Sunday, January 07, 2018

Melancholy Thoughts Suppressed

What follows is a hymn by Thomas Greene, under the heading “Melancholy Thoughts Suppressed.” It is given as it appears in Poems on Various Subjects, Chiefly Sacred. By the late Thomas Greene of Ware, Hertfordshire (London: H. Goldney, 1780, pp. 253-254). Lines in brackets are not in that publication, but often appear in printings of the hymn. According to Josiah Miller, “Mr. Greene was a gentleman of good means, residing at Ware...a member of the Congregational church...” He is also author of “It is the Lord, enthron’d in light, whose claims all all divine...” – found in the same 1780 Poems on Various Subjects.

1. Why should my soul indulge complaints,
Or sit and brood despair? [And yield to dark despair?]
The meanest of my Father’s saints
Are safe beneath his care.

2. Why should I thus desponding bow,
Or why with anguish bleed?
Tho’ darkness veils my passage now,
Yet glory shall succeed.

3. Why should my envious foes prevail
In what they most desire?
My faith, though weak, can never fail,
Nor humble hope expire.
[3. Why should my fears so far prevail,
When they my hopes accost?
My faith, though weak, can never fail,
Nor shall my hopes be lost.]

4. A thousand promises are wrote
In characters of blood,
And those emphatic lines denote
The ever-faithful God.

5. Thro’ these sweet promises I range,
And (blessed be his name !)
Tho’ I, a fickle mortal, change,
His love is still the same.

6. Grace, like a fountain, ever flows,
Fresh succours to renew:
The Lord my wants and weakness knows,
My sins and sorrows too.

7. ’Tis not perpetual sunshine here,
Yet I’m assured of this,
Oceans’s wild tumults shall endear
The port of endless bliss.

8. My God, my everlasting friend,
Directs my doubtful ways;
Will give salvation in the end,
And his shall be the praise.
[8. ’Tis he directs my doubtful way,
When dangers line the road;
Here I my Ebenezer raise,
And trust a gracious God.]

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