The faithful bless the Lord's "empire o'er the willing soul"

— Hayley, William (1745-1820)

Place of Publication
Printed at the private press of W. Mason
The faithful bless the Lord's "empire o'er the willing soul"
Metaphor in Context
This vital sunshine of enlighten'd hearts,
This to his firm adherents He imparts;
When duly grateful for his kind controul,
They bless his empire o'er the willing soul,
For in his own, as in his Father's name,
He claims their boundless love; a righteous claim!
A claim, in which the proofs of Godhead shine!
Celestial attributes! and grace divine!
Hear how beyond the scope of mortal voice,
He bids his servants in his word rejoice,
Bids them for every good on Him depend!
As dearer far than every earthly friend,
Regard Him, parents, children far above;
And die with transport to secure his love.
Were He mere man, must not such orders seem
Distracted arrogance, an impious dream?
So of men's lives He only might dispose;
From whose divinity their safety flows,
Who left the bosom of His heavenly Sire,
To merit, what none other might acquire,
A sacred right with that dread Sire to plead,
To change the doom, his justice had decreed,
And save the guilty from perdition's storm;
Celestial victim in a human form!
Whose mediation, soft'ning wrath supreme,
Taught nature to revive, in mercy's beam.
Gracious Restorer of a race condemn'd,
Tho' by the thankless tribes revil'd, contemn'd,
Yet gratitude, and truth, who round Thee fly,
With all thy menial angels of the sky,
Viewing thy gifts with rapturous amaze,
Hail thy beneficence with heavenly praise:
All bear eternal witness, that Thou art
Justly a Sovereign in the human heart.
Man cannot yield too much, when, at thy call
To Thee his grateful zeal resigns his all;
Whate'er he may resign, yet more he gains,
While in his heart his blest Redeemer reigns;
By thy kind words he is inform'd aright,
And Thee exulting owns his path, his light!
Whether we ponder, with a mind serene,
The gracious marvels of thy earthly scene.
Or the firm promise to thy servants given,
Just ere they saw Thee re-ascend to Heaven;
Or the fulfilment of thy grand bequest,
The promis'd Comforter of man distrest!
That spirit, which, as man's unfailing friend,
'Twas thine, from thy celestial throne, to send
The Spirit of thy Sire! of truth! and peace!
By whose blest influence base passions cease;
And Christians, worthy of their Lord, combine
In the pure bond of charity divine!
Conscious from whom, their new sensations flow!
To whom their renovated hearts they owe!
And conscious, while their heavenly guide they bless,
Their gratitude is safe from all excess!
In sentient beings, if their love and zeal
Should rise proportion'd to the aid, they feel,
Unbounded, as thy benefits, should be
The thankful homage of our hearts to Thee.
Divine Deliverer! whose grace bestows
Exemption from unutterable woes!
Such gifts on men, as they can ne'er requite,
Made, from the slaves of darkness, sons of light!
Thou filial Deity! whose merits rise
To such amazing height in human eyes,
A justly humble mind, that feels their sway
Too great for earthly language to display,
Conceives, e'en seraphs, tho' in glory's beam,
May find their voice unequal to the theme!
And seems to view them in their heavenly seat,
Mute, from pure adoration, at thy feet:
Thou blest Restorer of corrupted man
From all the snares of Satan's dark divan!
Thou, who with true compassion, hast survey'd
Lost wanderers perishing without thy aid!
To whose pure eyes all wonders are reveal'd,
That live in mortals, from themselves conceal'd!
Who view'st with favor, when they most aspire,
Their narrow faculties, and vast desire!
O prosper, and sustain my anxious thought,
Pondering thy attributes, as mortals ought!
That while I strive to make thy nature known,
My zeal may tend to purify my own.
Pardon the daring aim of grateful love,
If, in research, man's intellect above,
I vainly seek such heavenly things to know,
As Thou to mortals hast not deign'd to show,
Veiling the mode of thy celestial birth
From beings blind to mysteries of earth!
Thy geniture, and thy redeeming power
Transcend the known extent of nature's dower:
But pity weak mortality--that tries
To reach, what may elude all human eyes!
The knowledge man desires, is found by none:
The Eternal Sire, He only, knows the Son:
Taught by this truth, be it our wish alone
To know Him, only as he would be known,
By grace divine! his bounty's blest effect
On those, who hail Him with devout respect!
Thou filial Deity in manly shape!
Whose eye no deeds, no thoughts of man, escape!
Thy servants have no wound, Thou dost not feel,
No sorrow, that thy aid can fail to heal!
In all the trials, I was born to bear,
Many, and sharp, have fallen to my share:
I bless them, leading me to feel, and see,
Our sweetest comfort is our trust in Thee.
Calm acquiescence in thy sacred will
Becomes an antidote to every ill;
As tasks, ensuring favour in thy sight,
Grief turns to joy, and anguish to delight;
'Till all the chasten'd heart exults to bless
A Martyr's triumph o'er subdued distress!
Saviour! whose image pure maternal prayer,
Fix'd in my heart, with just dominion there,
Thou never banish'd thence! tho' in my youth,
I heard rash sceptics, scoffing at thy truth,
Deride thy Gospel, and thy deeds revile,
As the false tales of an impostor's guile:
Blest! that no impious wit had power to blind
Thy dawn of favour in my opening mind!
There, in maturer seasons, grief, and pain,
As heavenly agents, have confirmed thy reign.
My spirit's guardian! soother of my woes!
Still of my chequer'd days illume the close!
All mortals feel, their trespasses require
An Intercessor with th' eternal Sire;
And on their minds thy cheering favours shine,
Who feel, thou art an arbiter divine;
Who thy dominion o'er the soul confess,
And, as their final Judge, thy Godhead bless!
Deign to befriend me in my dying hour!
Thou clear Vicegerent of thy Father's power!
And, while, within a grateful heart, I own
My hopes to view Thee on thy heavenly throne,
With all thy merits on my soul imprest,
May faith's firm wings convey me to thy breast!
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.