Why are not sinners, Lord, consumed
By Thy avenging rod?
’Tis Lord, because Thou art the good,
And the long suffering God.
Tho’ men provoke Thee to Thy face,
And Thy rich grace despise,
Yet still Thy bounty feeds Thy foes,
Thy thunder sleeping lies.
On swiftest wing Thy mercy flies,
Thy wrath advances slow;
Long dost Thou whet Thy glittering sword
Before it gives the blow.
Long didst Thou bear a guilty world
With rapine filled and blood;
Thy patience wished to have restrained
The wide destroying flood.
Could even Sodom the impure
Have named ten righteous men,
Thy flaming sword in sulfur dipped
Would have been sheathed again.
How often did Thy anger burn
Against Thy chosen seed?
But still Thy heart within Thee turned
For them Thy bowels plead.
How shall I give My Ephraim up?
My wrath on Israel vent?
How shall I Admah’s plagues inflict?
I pity and repent.
So great are Thy compassions, Lord,
Our songs they far exceed;
O may such goodness melt our hearts
And to repentance lead!