That be far from thee…to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:25
Words: John Needham, Hymns Devotional and Moral on Various Subjects (Bristol, England: S. Farley, 1768), number 26.
If you know where to get a good picture of Needham (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
When Sodom’s rich but guilty plains
To wrath divine were doomed,
Abr’am the patriarch interposed
And thus his plea assumed.
“Shall good and bad together fall
And undistinguished lie?
Far be this ever from the God
That rules above the sky.
Shall not the judge of all the earth
Whom righteous acts delight;
Shall not the spring whence justice flows
Do ever what is right?
Thus did the holy patriarch plead
When zeal, with pity warm;
And saw with joy just Lot preserved
From the sulfurous storm.
Let God in wrath destroy a land,
Or drown in floods a world;
Guilty they were and did deserve
In ruin to be hurled.
What tho’ the faint sometimes may smart
Beneath a heavier rod?
He that inflicts the blow is still
A just and righteous God.
The ways of Heaven, dark as they seem,
Are not without their light;
The last, that brightest day of truth
Will show that all is right.