Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Isaiah 66:8
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751). Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 121:
A nation born in a day; or the rapid progress of the Gospel desired.
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Behold with pleasing ecstasy
The Gospel standard lifted high,
That all the nations from afar
May in the great salvation share!
Why then, almighty Savior, why
Do wretched souls in millions die?
While wide th’infernal tyrant reigns
O’er spacious realms in ponderous chains?
And shall he still go on to boast
Thy cross its energy hath lost?
And shall Thy servants still complain
Their labors, and their tears are vain?
Awake, all conquering arm, awake,
And hell’s extensive empire shake;
Assert the honors of Thy throne,
And call this ruined world Thine own.
Thine all successful power display;
Produce a nation in a day;
For at Thy word this barren earth
Shall travail with a general birth.
Swift let Thy quickening Spirit breathe
On these abodes of sin and death!
That breath shall bow ten thousand minds,
Like waving corn before the winds.
Scarce can our glowing hearts endure
A world, where Thou art known no more;
Transform it, Lord, by conquering love;
Or bear us to the realms above.