Friday, May 7, 2010

Divine Providence

Two Puritan poems remind us that God is sovereign and we may cast our cares upon his gracious providence.

Diuina Prouidentia by Andrew Willet

Jacob did see a ladder hie,
As he was laid asleepe;
The angels come and go thereby,
Which doe him safely keepe.

We learne hereby in euery way
That God must be our guide,
Or else we soone may go astray;
Our foote is apt to slide.
And as he saw this thing at rest,
So God keepeth vs when we thinke lest.

On Divine Providence by Rhys Prichard

Trust not to human strength or skill,
If thou wouldst thy desires fulfil;
But look to God, who rules on high,
And on his providence rely.
He feeds the warblers of the wood,
And gives to all his creatures food;
He clothes the lillies of the plain,
And will he not his sons sustain?
Observe the humblest flowers that blow;
They neither toil nor spinning know;
Yet have they not a garment on,
More fair than that of Solomon?
The ravens neither sow nor reap,
Yet God does ev'n the ravens keep;
The fowls, through ev'ry season, feed,
Without a barn to keep their seed.
To God the creatures raise their eyes,
And he their ev'ry want supplies;
He feeds them with a parent's care,
And gives to each its proper share.

God is a sun, to cheer and warm;
A shield to keep the just from harm;
And he delights his grace to shew
On those who fear his name below.
On him thy burdens freely cast,
And trust in him while life shall last:
His goodness will thy labour speed,
And help thee in the time of need.
He gives the abject soul his food;
His very foes he fills with good;
Supplies the Turk and Heathen's need,
Bestowing both their bread and seed.
The cares of worldlings, then, disclaim,--
And at their portion never aim;
But be content with what is thine,
Submitting to the will divine.--
While we each evening seek repose,
God neither sleep nor slumber knows:
He for his children still prepares,
And for his household daily cares.
Say, if a mother ever yet
Her lovely babe could once forget?
Nor to assist will God refrain,
While those he loves to him complain.
If thou by faith his aid implore,
He'll largely bless thy worldly store:
Or thou shalt be divinely wise,
And make thy scanty means suffice.

Thou dost not drop a single hair,
Nor falls a sparrow from the air
Without the providence divine,
That watches over thee and thine.
The sparrows are of value small,
Yet God himself supports them all;
But still more precious in his sight
The pious man -- the child of light.
His promise ev'ry good ensures,
And faith his bounty still secures:
Then why shouldst thou in want remain,
Or fail the blessing to obtain?
Thy soul in patience learn to keep;
Enjoy thy food, and soundly sleep;
By faith to God commit thy ways,
And he shall fill thy mouth with praise.

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