Hymn for the Opening of the Sheffield General Infirmary, October, 1797.
When, like a stranger on our sphere,
The lowly Jesus sojourn'd here,
Where'er He went Affliction fled,
And Sickness rear'd her drooping head.
The eye That roll'd in irksome night
Beheld His face, for He was light;
The opening ear, the loosen'd tongue,
His precepts heard, His praises sung.
Demoniac Madness, dark and wild,
With melancholy transport smiled;
The storm of horror ceased to roll,
And reason lighten'd through his soul.
His touch the outcast leper heal'd,
His lips the sinner's pardon seal'd;
The palsied frame, the crippled limb,
Felt Virtue going forth from Him.
Behold Him in the wilderness,
He lifts His hand the bread to bless;
And while the fainting multitude
Look'd up to Him, gave all their food.
In Him with man's infirmity,
The fulness of the Godhead see,
Warm tears o'er Lazarus He shed,
Then spake the word that raised the dead.
Through paths of loving-kindness brought,
May all our work in Him be wrought;
In His great Name, let us dispense
The crumbs of our benevolence.
Hark! the sweet voice of pity calls
Misfortune to these hallow'd walls;
The breaking heart, and burthen'd breast,
And helpless Poverty distrest.
Here the whole family of woe
Shall friends, and home, and comfort know;
The blasted form and shipwreck'd mind,
Shall here a tranquil haven find.
And Thou, dread Power! whose sovereign breath,
Is health or sickness, life or death,
Send Thine abundant blessing down,
And with success our labours crown.