58. Warning to Magistrates

1 Judges, who rule the world by laws,
Will ye despise the righteous cause,
When vile oppression wastes the land?
Dare ye condemn the righteous poor,
And let rich sinners 'scape secure,
While gold and greatness bribe your hand!

2 Have ye forgot, or never knew
That God will judge the judges too?
High in the heav'ns his justice reigns;
Yet you invade the rights of God;
And send your bold decrees abroad
To bind the conscience in your chains.

3 A poison'd arrow is your tongue,
The arrow sharp, the poison strong,
And death attends where'er it wounds;
You hear no counsels, cries or tears;
So the deaf adder stops her ears!
Against the pow'r of charming sounds.

4 Break out their teeth, eternal God,
Those teeth of lions dy'd in blood;
And crush the serpents in the dust:
As empty chaff, when whirlwinds rise,
Before the sweeping tempest flies,
So let their hopes and names be lost.

5 Th' Almighty thunders from the sky,
Their grand'ur melts, their titles die,
As hills of snow dissolve and run,
Or snails that perish in their slime,
Or births that come before their time,
Vain births that never see the sun.

6 Thus shall the veng'ance of the Lord
Safety and joy to saints afford;
And all that hear shall join and say,
"Sure there's a God that rules on high,
"A God that hears his children cry,
"And will their suff'rings well repay."

Text Information
First Line: Judges, who rule the world by laws
Title: Warning to Magistrates
Meter: As the 113th Psalm
Language: English
Publication Date: 1793
Tune Information
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