Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The American Hero

Why should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and destruction in the field of battle,
Where blood and carnage clothe the ground in crimson,
Sounding with death-groans?

Death will invade us by the means appointed,
And we must all bow to the King of Terrors;
Nor am I anxious, if I am prepared,
What shape he comes in.

Infinite goodness teaches us submission;
Bids us be quiet under all his dealings:
Never repining, but forever praising
God our Creator.

Well may we praise him--all his ways are perfect;
Though a resplendence, infinitely glowing,
Dazzles in glory on the sight of mortals
Struck blind by lustre.

Good is Jehovah in bestowing sunshine,
Nor less his goodness in the storm and thunder,
Mercies and judgments both proceed from kindness--
Infinite kindness.

O then exult, that God forever reigneth;
Clouds, which around him hinder our perception,
Bind us the stronger to exalt his name, and
Shout louder praises.

Then to the wisdom of my Lord and Master,
I will commit all that I have or wish for;
Sweetly as babes sleep will I give my life up
When called to yield it.

Now, Mars, I dare thee, clad in smoky pillars,
Bursting from bombshells, roaring from the cannon,
Rattling in grapeshot, like a storm of hailstones,
Torturing aether.

Up the bleak heavens led the spreading flames rise,
Breaking like Aetna thro' the smoky columns.
Low'ring like Egypt o'er the falling city,
Wantonly burnt down.

While all their hearts quick palpitate for havock,
Let slip your bloodhounds, nam'd the British Lyons,
Dauntless as death stares, nimble as the whirlwind,
Dreadful as daemons.

Let oceans waft on all your floating castles,
Fraught with destruction, horrible to nature;
Then with your sails fill'd by a storm of vengeance,
Bear down to battle!

From the dire caverns made by ghostly miners,
Let the explosion, dreadful as volcanoes,
Heave the broad town, with all its wealth and people,
Quick to destruction.

Still shall the banner of the King of Heaven
Never advance where I'm afraid to follow;
While that precedes me, with an open bosom,
War, I defy thee!

Fame and dear freedom lure me on to battle,
While a fell despot, grimmer than a Death's-head,
Stings me with serpents, fiercer than Medusa's,
To the encounter.

Life, for my country, and the cause of freedom,
Is but a trifle for a worm to part with;
And if preserved in so great a contest,
Life is redoubled.

The American Hero, by Nathaniel Niles, 1775


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