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Duty to God and Neighbor (Poetry)

I recently discovered an old book by Isaac Watts (who incidentally was the inspiration for this blog) entitled Divine and Moral Songs for Children. There are some interesting poems that you might find helpful for children (or just helpful in general). A couple that I really like have to do with loving God and loving neighbor:

With all thy soul love God above.
And, as thyself thy neighbour love.

and,

Love God with all your soul and strength,
With all your heart and mind:
And love your neighbour as yourself;
Be faithful, just, and kind.
Deal with another as you’d have
Another deal with you;
What you’re unwilling to receive,
Be sure you never do.

You can browse all the poems HERE.

Sunday Hymn: Jesus, My Great High Priest

As is my Saturday custom, I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tonight. In it, speaking of ‘the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel,’ he quoted the words of this great hymn:

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered his blood and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside.
His pow’rful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the Throne.

Jesus, My Great High Priest is another beauty from Isaac Watts. The tune, Bevan, is very easy to pick up. You can click the link HERE for the words and tune. You can find it in the Trinity Hymnal at number 306. Here are the lyrics:

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered his blood and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside.
His pow’rful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the Throne.

To this dear Surety’s hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfills
His Father’s broken laws.
Behold my soul at freedom set;
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.

My Advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows his ears
And lays his thunder by.
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn his heart, his love, away.

Should all the hosts of death
And pow’rs of hell unknown
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
His conqu’ring pow’r and guardian grace.

Bless’d Are The Humble Souls That See

This is Isaac Watts’ rendering of the beatitudes for singing:

Bless’d are the humble souls that see
Their emptiness and poverty;
Treasures of grace to them are giv’n,
And crowns of joy laid up in Heav’n.

Bless’d are the men of broken heart,
Who mourn for sin with inward smart;
The blood of Christ divinely flows,
A healing balm for all their woes.

Bless’d are the meek, who stand afar
From rage and passion, noise and war;
God will secure their happy state,
And plead their cause against the great.

Bless’d are the souls that thirst for grace
Hunger and long for righteousness;
They shall be well supplied, and fed
With living streams and living bread.

Bless’d are the men whose bowels move
And melt with sympathy and love;
From Christ the Lord they shall obtain
Like sympathy and love again.

Bless’d are the pure, whose hearts are clean
From the defiling powers of sin;
With endless pleasure they shall see
A God of spotless purity.

Bless’d are the men of peaceful life,
Who quench the coals of growing strife;
They shall be called the heirs of bliss,
The sons of God, the God of peace.

Bless’d are the suff’rers who partake
Of pain and shame for Jesus’ sake;
Their souls shall triumph in the Lord;
Glory and joy are their reward.

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Hymn 1:102 Matt. 5:3012

And Heaven Begins Below

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

And when we taste thy love,
Our joys divinely grow
Unspeakable, like those above,
And heaven begins below

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (on 1 Peter 1:8)

Which is reminiscent of,

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

-Isaac Watts, Come We that Love the Lord (We’re marching to Zion)

It is Better for Me to do Something for God…

I am at last convinced that it is better for me to do something for God, though it be imperfect, than to be guilty of perpetual delays in hopes of better pleasing myself.

-Isaac Watts, from the Preface to A Guide to Prayer

Watts had been ill. This illness had kept him from producing the quality of work to which he aspired. I’m glad he did something. Maybe you and I need to as well.

Sunday Hymn: We’re Marching to Zion

This is another of my favorite hymns written by Isaac Watts. I think of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones every time I sing it, as he was fond of repeating the middle verses:

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

And, speaking of the Doctor, today would be a good day to listen to one of his sermons. They’re available for free HERE. He’s far and away the best preacher I have ever heard.