Words: Isaac Watts
A version in the metre of the 50th Psalm is below
The true God our refuge; or, Idolatry reproved.
1 Not to ourselves, who are but dust,
Not to ourselves is glory due,
Eternal God, thou only just,
Thou only gracious, wise, and true.
2 Shine forth in all thy dreadful name;
Why should a heathen's haughty tongue
Insult us, and, to raise our shame,
Say, "Where's the God you've served so long ?"
3 The God we serve maintains his throne
Above the clouds, beyond the skies;
Through all the earth his will is done;
He knows our groans, he hears our cries.
4 But the vain idols they adore
Are senseless shapes of stone and wood;
At best a mass of glitt'ring ore,
A silver saint or golden god.
5 With eyes and ears they carve their head;
Deaf are their ears, their eyes are blind;
In vain are costly off'rings made,
And vows are scattered in the wind.
6 Their feet were never made to move,
Nor hands to save when mortals pray;
Mortals that pay them fear or love
Seem to be blind and deaf as they.
7 O Isr'el! make the Lord thy hope,
Thy help, thy refuge, and thy rest;
The Lord shall build thy ruins up,
And bless the people and the priest.
8 The dead no more can speak thy praise,
They dwell in silence and the grave;
But we shall live to sing thy grace,
And tell the world thy power to save.
To the tune of the 50th Psalm.
Popish idolatry reproved.
A Psalm for the Fifth of November. (Guy Fawkes Day)
||Old 50th, from the French Psalters of 1558-1561, probably by Louis
1 Not to our names, thou only just and true,
Not to our worthless names is glory due;
Thy power and grace, thy truth and justice, claim
Immortal honors to thy sov'reign name:
Shine through the earth from heav'n, thy blessed abode,
Nor let the heathens say, "And where's your God ?"
2 Heav'n is thine higher court, there stands thy throne,
And through the lower worlds thy will is done;
Our God framed all this earth, these heav'ns he spread;
But fools adore the gods their hands have made:
The kneeling crowd, with looks devout, behold
Their silver saviors, and their saints of gold.
3 Vain are those artful shapes of eyes and ears;
The molten image neither sees nor hears;
Their hands are helpless, nor their feet can move,
They have no speech, nor thought, nor power, nor love;
Yet sottish mortals make their long complaints
To their deaf idols and their moveless saints.
4 The rich have statues well adorned with gold;
The poor, content with gods of coarser mold,
With tools of iron carve the senseless stock,
Lopt from a tree, or broken from a rock;
People and priest drive on the solemn trade,
And trust the gods that saws and hammers made.
5 Be heav'n and earth amazed! 'Tis hard to say
Which is more stupid, or their gods or they:
O Isr'el, trust the Lord; he hears and sees,
He knows thy sorrows and restores thy peace;
His worship does a thousand comforts yield,
He is thy help, and he thy heav'nly shield.
6 O Britain, trust the Lord: thy foes in vain
Attempt thy ruin, and oppose his reign;
had they prevailed, darkness had closed our days,
And death and silence had forbid his praise:
But we are saved, and live; let songs arise,
And Britain bless the God that built the skies.