Words: Isaac Watts
Providences of God recorded
1 Let children hear the mighty deeds Which God performed of old, Which in our younger years we saw, And which our fathers told. 2 He bids us make his glories known, His works of power and grace; And we'll convey his wonders down Through ev'ry rising race. 3 Our lips shall tell them to our sons, And they again to theirs; That generations yet unborn May teach them to their heirs. 4 Thus shall they learn in God alone Their hope securely stands; That they may ne'er forget his works, But practice his commands. PART 2. Israel's rebellion and punishment. 1 O what a stiff rebellious house Was Jacob's ancient race! False to their own most solemn vows, And to their Maker's grace. 2 They broke the cov'nant of his love, And did his laws despise; Forgot the works he wrought to prove His power before their eyes. 3 They saw the plagues on Egypt light From his revenging hand; What dreadful tokens of his might Spread o'er the stubborn land! 4 They saw him cleave the mighty sea, And marched in safety through, With wat'ry walls to guard their way, Till they had 'scaped the foe. 5 A wondrous pillar marked the road, Composed of shade and light; By day it proved a shelt'ring cloud, A leading fire by night. 6 He from the rock their thirst supplied; The gushing waters fell, And ran in rivers by their side, A constant miracle. 7 Yet they provoked the Lord most High, And dared distrust his hand: "Can he with bread our host supply Amidst this desert land?" 8 The Lord with indignation heard, And caused his wrath to flame; His terrors ever stand prepared To vindicate his name. PART 3. The punishment of luxury and intemperance. 1 When Isr'el sins, the Lord reproves And fills their hearts with dread; Yet he forgives the men he loves, And sends them heav'nly bread. 2 He fed them with a lib'ral hand, And made his treasures known; He gave the midnight clouds command To pour provision down. 3 The manna, like a morning shower, Lay thick around their feet; The corn of heav'n, so light, so pure, As though 'twere angels' meat. 4 But they in murm'ring language said, "Manna is all our feast; We loathe this light, this airy bread; We must have flesh to taste." 5 "Ye shall have flesh to please your lust," The Lord in wrath replied, And sent them quails like sand or dust, Heaped up from side to side. 6 He gave them all their own desire, And greedy as they fed, His vengeance burnt with secret fire, And smote the rebels dead. 7 When some were slain, the rest returned And sought the Lord with tears; Under the rod they feared and mourned, But soon forgot their fears. 8 Oft he chastised and still forgave, Till, by his gracious hand, The nation he resolved to save Possessed the promised land. v. 8, &c. PART 4. Backsliding and forgiveness; or, Sin punished and saints saved,
1 Great God, how oft did Isr'el prove By turns thine anger and thy love! There in a glass our hearts may see How fickle and how false they be. 2 How soon the faithless Jews forgot The dreadful wonders God had wrought! Then they provoke him to his face, Nor fear his power, nor trust his grace. 3 The Lord consumed their years in pain, And made their travels long and vain; A tedious march through unknown ways Wore out their strength, and spent their days. 4 Oft when they saw their brethren slain They mourned, and sought the Lord again; Called him the Rock of their abode, Their high Redeemer, and their God. 5 Their prayers and vows before him rise As flatt'ring words or solemn lies, While their rebellious tempers prove False to his cov'nant and his love. 6 Yet did his sov'reign grace forgive The men who not deserved to live; His anger oft away he turned, Or else with gentle flame it burned. 7 He saw their flesh was weak and frail, He saw temptations still prevail; The God of Abr'am loved them still, And led them to his holy hill.