The Rock of Israel said to me, 2 Samuel 23:3
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
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 365, alt.
The last words of David.
Thus hath the son of Jesse said,
When Israel’s God had raised his head
To high imperial sway:
Struck with his last poetic fire,
Then Zion’s psalmist tuned his lyre
To this harmonious lay.
Thus dictates Israel’s sacred Rock:
Thus hath the God of Jacob spoke
By my responsive tongue:
Behold the just one over men
Commencing his religious reign!
Great subject of my song.
So gently shines with genial ray
Th’unclouded lamp of rising day,
And cheers the tender flowers,
When midnight’s soft diffusive rain
Hath blessed the gardens and the plain
With kind refreshing showers.
Shall not my house this honor boast?
My soul th’eternal covenant trust,
Well ordered still and sure?
There all my hopes and wishes meet;
In death I call its blessings sweet,
And feel its bond secure.
The sons of Belial shall not spring,
Who spurn at Heav’n’s appointed king,
And scorn his high command:
Tho’ wide the briars infest the ground,
And all the sharpest thorns around
Defy a tender hand.
A dreadful warrior shall appear
With iron arms, and massy spear,
And tear them from their place:
Touched with the lightning of his ire,
At once they kindle into fire,
And vanish in the blaze.