Psalm XXXVI: High in the Heav'ns

by Isaac Watts

High in the heav'ns, eternal God,
Thy goodness in full glory shines;
Thy truth shall break through ev'ry cloud
That veils and darkens thy designs.

For ever firm thy justice stands,
As mountains their foundations keep;
Wise are the wonders of thy hands;
Thy judgments are a mighty deep.

Thy providence is kind and large,
Both man and beast thy bounty share;
The whole creation is thy charge,
But saints are thy peculiar care.

My God! how excellent thy grace,
Whence all our hope and comfort springs !
The sons of Adam in distress
Fly to the shadow of thy wings.

From the provisions of thy house
We shall be fed with sweet repast;
There mercy like a river flows,
And brings salvation to our taste.

Life, like a fountain rich and free,
Springs from the presence of the Lord;
And in thy light our souls shall see
The glories promised in thy word.

While men grow bold in wicked ways,
And yet a God they own,
My heart within me often says,
"Their thoughts believe there's none."

Their thoughts and ways at once declare,
Whate'er their lips profess,
God hath no wrath for them to fear,
Nor will they seek his grace.

What strange self-flatt'ry blinds their eyes!
But there's a hast'ning hour,
When they shall see with sore surprise
The terrors of thy power.

Thy justice shall maintain its throne,
Though mountains melt away;
Thy judgments are a world unknown,
A deep, unfathomed sea.

Above the heav'ns created rounds,
Thy mercies, Lord, extend;
Thy truth outlives the narrow bounds
Where time and nature end.

Safety to man thy goodness brings,
Nor overlooks the beast;
Beneath the shadow of thy wings
Thy children choose to rest.

[From thee, when creature-streams run low,
And mortal comforts die,
Perpetual springs of life shall flow,
And raise our pleasures high.

Though all created light decay,
And death close up our eyes,
Thy presence makes eternal day,
Where clouds can never rise.]

When man grows bold in sin,
My heart within me cries,
"He hath no faith of God within,
Nor fear before his eyes."

[He walks awhile concealed
In a self-flatt'ring dream,
Till his dark crimes at once revealed
Expose his hateful name.]

His heart is false and foul,
His words are smooth and fair;
Wisdom is banished from his soul,
And leaves no goodness there.

He plots upon his bed
New mischiefs to fulfil;
He sets his heart, and hand, and head,
To practice all that's ill.

But there's a dreadful God,
Though men renounce his fear;
His justice, hid behind the cloud,
Shall one great day appear.

His truth transcends the sky,
In heav'n his mercies dwell;
Deep as the sea his judgments lie,
His anger burns to hell.

How excellent his love,
Whence all our safety springs !
O never let my soul remove
From underneath his wings.

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