If that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.@Jeremiah 18:8
portrait
William Tans’ur (1700-1783)

Anne Steele, Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional 1760, number 241, alt.

Bangor William Tans’ur, 1734 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Long has divine compassion strove
With this rebellious land;
O justice, long has pleading love
Withheld thy dreadful hand.

At lengths, ye people, lift your eyes,
Your crimes no more pursue;
Behold the gathering tempest rise,
And tremble at the view!

See, fraught with vengeance, how it spreads!
To mercy instant fly;
E’er yet it burst upon your heads,
Repent, repent—or die.

Late raging storm, ’twas mercy stayed,
Her voice destruction heard,
Th’impetuous winds her voice obeyed,
And awful justice spared.

Shall every warning be in vain
Your ruin to prevent?
Indulgent mercy calls again,
Return, repent! repent!

The voice, ye people, hear with awe,
O hear, and turn to God;
Lest mercy, long abused, withdraw,
And leave you to the rod.

Almighty God, Thy powerful grace
Can change us, and forgive;
Can save a guilty rebel race,
And say, Repent, and live.

O let Thy powerful grace appear,
And justice sheath her sword;
Then shall a rescued nation fear
And love and praise the Lord.