Belshazzar

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 74

Poor sinners! little do they think
With whom they have to do!
But stand securely on the brink
Of everlasting woe.

2. Belshazzar thus, profanely bold,
The Lord of hosts defied;
But vengeance soon his boasts controlled,
And humbled all his pride.

3. He saw a hand upon the wall
And trembled on his throne
Which wrote his sudden dreadful fall
In characters unknown.

4. Why should he tremble at the view
Of what he could not read?
Foreboding conscience quickly knew
His ruin was decreed.

5. See him o'erwhelmed with deep distress!
His eyes with anguish roll;
His looks, and loosened joints, express
The terrors of his soul.

6. His pomp and music, guests and wine,
No more delight afford;
O sinner, ere this case be thine,
Begin to seek the Lord.

7. The law like this hand-writing stands,
And speaks the wrath of God;
But Jesus answers its demands,
And cancels it with blood.

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