Of Death and Dying. --Psalm Xc.
Lord God! Thou art for evermore Thy people's habitation, And Thou existence hadst before Was laid the earth's foundation! Ere yet the hills began to be Thou lived'st in eternity, Of all things the beginning!

Thou lettest all the crowds of men Through death's dark portals wander, And biddest them return again, Those others follow yonder. With Thee a thousand years are aye Like watch of night or yesterday When it is gone for ever.

Thou lettest the base hosts of men E'en as a stream be flowing, And as a ship upon the main That fav'ring winds are blowing, And as a sleep and dream of night That when men wake at morning light They can no more remember.

We're like an herb that early dies, Or grass in fields that groweth, That in the morning flourishes, Ere night the mower moweth. So is't with man: he blooms to-day, To-morrow he is borne away If but a breath doth touch him!

Because Thy wrath 'gainst us doth glow, Lord! we so early vanish, And for our sins Thou lay'st us low, And from Thy face dost banish. Our sins Thou sett'st before Thine eyes, Then doth Thine indignation rise In Thine heart ever holy!

This fire it is consumes in all Our bones the marrow ever; And hence it is that great or small From death escapeth never. And hence our days are passing o'er Like tales that oft beguile an hour And that are soon forgotten.

And scarcely doth our life on earth To seventy years last even; And what are all our labours worth If four-score years be given. What is the sum of all our gain From youth to age, but toil and pain, Heart-sorrow and vexation?

We're ever toiling full of care, And ere we do bethink us To stop our work, lo! death is there, Into the grave to sink us. And speedily we pass away, Yet of their end none ever stay To think, nor of God's anger.

O teach us, Lord! to think each day Upon this earth's affliction, That when we think on death we may Grow wiser by reflection. Ah! turn on us again Thy face And be at peace, O God of grace! With Thy rebellious children.

And early with Thy mercy free Be soul and body filling, And late and early, Lord, may we Thy glorious praise be telling. O chiefest joy! our hearts now cheer, And once more give us good times here, The days have been so evil.

We've borne the cross these weary years, Now let Thy sun be shining, Vouchsafe us laughter after tears, And pleasure after pining. And evermore, O Lord! make known Thy works of wonder to Thine own, Thine honour to Thy children.

Be Thou our faithful friend and God, Establish us for ever! And when we err from wisdom's road Give penitence and favour! Turn Thou our hearts again to Thee, May all our works establish'd be, Crown all we do with blessing!

song of consolation for married
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