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Poem by William Cowper
God Hides His People
To lay the soul that loves him low, Becomes the Only–wise: To hide beneath a veil of woe, The children of the skies. Man, though a worm, would yet be great; Though feeble, would seem strong; Assumes an independent state, By sacrilege and wrong. Strange the reverse, which, once abased, The haughty creature proves! He feels his soul a barren waste, Nor dares affirm he loves. Scorned by the thoughtless and the vain, To God he presses near; Superior to the world's disdain, And happy in its sneer. Oh welcome, in his heart he says, Humility and shame! Farewell the wish for human praise, The music of a name! But will not scandal mar the good That I might else perform? And can God work it, if he would, By so despised a worm? Ah, vainly anxious!—leave the Lord To rule thee, and dispose; Sweet is the mandate of his word, And gracious all he does. He draws from human littleness His grandeur and renown; And generous hearts with joy confess The triumph all his own. Down, then, with self–exalting thoughts; Thy faith and hope employ, To welcome all that he allots, And suffer shame with joy. No longer, then, thou wilt encroach On his eternal right; And he shall smile at thy approach, And make thee his delight.
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