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For now Thy people are allowed
Fresh from the atoning sacrifice,
Oh! agony of wavering thought,
O Saviour! calm our troubled fears;
450.-"The Table of the Lord." MALACHI i. 12.
IR. DODDRIDGE seems to have composed this Hymn after a sermon on the text above quoted; and the original title is God's Name Profaned when His Table is treated with Contempt. The Hymn, although by a Nonconformist, was long inserted at the end of editions of the Church of England Prayer-book.
MY God, and is Thy table spread,
And does Thy cup with love o'erflow?
Thither be all Thy children led,
And let them all its sweetness know.
Hail, sacred feast, which Jesus makes,
Rich banquet of His flesh and blood! Thrice happy he who here partakes
That sacred stream, that heavenly food.
Why are these emblems all in vain
O let Thy table honoured be,
And furnished well with joyful guests; And may each soul salvation see,
That here its sacred pledges tastes.
Lord, to Thine altar's shade we fly,
Long have we roamed in want and pain,
"Jesus invites His saints."
Better known, however, is the following, in which simplicity and pathos redeem the lack of high poetical expression.
On the authority of the late Mr. D. Sedgwick we retain in the last verse but one the reading of many old editions: "Nor lets His saints forget." Dr. Watts meant to say that Christ had ordained this memorial that His Church might remember Him. Most modern hymn-books, however, make the line hortatory: "Nor let His saints forget."
HOW condescending and how kind
Was God's eternal Son! Our misery reached His heavenly mind, And pity brought Him down.
He sunk beneath our heavy woes
This was compassion like a God,
That when the Saviour knew The price of pardon was His blood His pity ne'er withdrew.
Now, though He reigns exalted high,
Well He remembers Calvary,
Here let our hearts begin to melt,
458.-Love and Fellowship.
JOHN xiii. 23. HIS Hymn is from a series of six (Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749) on the same subject: "Desiring to Love." In its ardour and pathos it well merits a place among Hymns for the Lord's Supper, a position to which a fine appropriateness is given by the allusion to "the beloved disciple," in the last verse. Many hymn-books end with the stanza on "Mary at the Master's feet," an obvious incompleteness. There is a seventh verse in the original, which, though fine in itself, seems needless here, and the Wesleyan Hymnbook judiciously omits it.