I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord.
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751), alt. Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 155:
For a fast day. Original first line:
Yes, Britain seem’d to ruin doom’d.
Our nation seemed to ruin doomed,
Just like a burning brand;
Till snatched from fierce surrounding flames
By God’s indulgent hand.
Once more, He says,
I will suppress
The wrath that sin would wake,
Once more My patience shall attend,
And call this nation back.
But who this clemency reveres?
Or feels this melting grace?
Who stirs his languid spirit up
To seek Thine awful face?
On days like these we pour our cries,
And at Thy feet we mourn;
Then rise to tempt Thy wrath again,
And to our sins return.
Our nation far from God remains,
Far, as in distant years;
And that small remnant which is left,
A dying aspect wears.
Now chastened, rescued thus in vain,
Thy righteous Hand severe
Into the flames might hurl us back,
And quite consume us there.
So by the light our burning gives
Might neighboring nations read.
How terrible Thy judgments are,
And learn our guilt to dread.
Yet, ’midst the cry of sins like ours,
Incline Thy gracious ear;
And Thine own children’s feeble cry
With soft compassion hear.
O by Thy sacred Spirit’s breath
Ignite a holy flame;
Refine the land that Thou has spared,
And magnify Thy name.