1 At length, by certain proofs, 'tis plain
That God will to his saints be kind!
That all whose hearts are pure and clean,
Shall his protecting favour find.
2 Till this sustaining truth I knew,
My stagg'ring feet had almost fail'd:
I griev'd, the sinners wealth to view,
And envy'd when the fools prevail'd.
3 They to the grave in peace descend,
And, whilst they live, are hale and strong;
No plague or troubles them offend,
Which oft to other men belong.
4 With pride, as with a chain, they're held,
And rapine seems their robe of state;
Their eyes stand out, with fatness swell'd;
They grow beyond their wishes great.
5 With hearts corrupt, and lofty talk,
Oppressive methods they defend;
Their tongue through all the earth will walk,
Their blasphemies to heav'n ascend.
6 And yet admiring crowds are found,
Who servile visits duly make;
Because with plenty they abound,
Of which their flatt'ring slaves partake.
7 Their fond opinions these pursue,
Till they with them profanely cry,
"How should the Lord our actions view?
"Can he perceive, who dwells so high?
8 Behold the wicked! these are they
Who openly their sins profess;
And yet their wealth's increas'd each day,
And all their actions meet success.
9 "Then have I cleans'd my heart, (said I,)
"And wash'd my hands from guilt, in vain;
"If all the day oppress'd I lie,
"And ev'ry morning suffer pain.
10 Thus did I once to speak intend:
But if such things I rashly say,
Thy children, Lord, I must offend,
And basely should their cause betray.
11 To fathom this my thoughts I bent;
But found the case too hard for me;
Till to the house of God I went;
Then I their end did plainly see.
12 How high soe'er advanc'd, they all
On slipp'ry places loosely stand;
Thence into ruin headlong fall,
Cast down by thy avenging hand.
13 How dreadful and how quick their fate!
Despis'd by thee, when they're destroy'd;
As waking men with scorn do treat
The fancies that their dreams employ'd.
14 Thus was my heart with grief opprest,
My reins were rack'd with restless pains;
So stupid was I like a beast,
Who no reflecting thought retains.
15 Yet still thy presence me supply'd,
And thy right handaAssistance gave;
Thou first shalt with thy council guide
And then to glory me receive.
16 Whom then in heav'n but thee alone
Have I whose favour I require?
Throughout the spacious earth there's none
That I besides thee can desire.
17 My trembling flesh, and aching heart
May often fail to succour me;
But God shall inward strength impart,
And my eternal portion be.
18 For they that far from thee remove,
Shall into sudden ruin fall;
If after other gods they rove,
Thy veng'ance shall destroy them all.
19 But as for me, 'tis good and just,
That I should still to God repair;
In him I always put my trust,
And will his wond'rous works declare.
20 Sure there's a righteous God,
Nor is religion vain;
Though men of vice may boast aloud,
And men of grace complain.
21 I saw the wicked rise,
And felt my heart repine,
While haughty fools with scornful eyes
In robes of honor shine.
22 The tumult of my thought
Held me in hard suspense,
Till to thy house my feet were brought
To learn thy justice thence.
23 Thy word with light and pow'r
Did my mistake amend;
I view'd the sinners life before,
But here I learnt their end.
24 On what a slipp'ry steep
The thoughtless wretches go;
And Oh that dreadful fiery deep,
That waits their fall below!
25 Lord, at thy feet I bow,
My thoughts no more repine;
I call my God my portion now,
And all my pow'rs are thine.
Source: The Psalms of David: with hymns and spiritual songs: also, the catechism, confession of faith, and liturgy of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands #73