Vanity of the World

Melody -

William Cowper, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 55

God gives his mercies to be spent;
Your hoard will do your soul no good:
Gold is a blessing only lent,
Repaid by giving others food.

2. The world's esteem is but a bribe,
To buy their peace you fell your own;
The slave of a vain-glorious tribe,
Who hate you while they make you known.

3. The Joy that vain amusements give,
O! sad conclusion that it brings!
The honey of a crowded hive,
Defended by a thousand stings.

4. 'Tis thus the world rewards the fools
That live upon her treach'rous smiles;
She leads them, blindfold, by her rules,
And ruins all whom she beguiles.

5. God knows the thousands who go down
From pleasure, into endless woe;
And with a long despairing groan
Blaspheme their Maker as they go.

6. O fearful thought! be timely wise;
Delight but in a Saviour's charms;
And God shall take you to the skies,
Embraced in everlasting arms.


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