Let all the heathen writers join
To form one perfect book;

Ver. 96, Paraphrased

Let all the heathen writers join
      To form one perfect book;
Great God! if once compared with thine,AC
      How mean their writings look!

Not the most perfect rules they gave
      Could show one sin forgiv’n,
Nor lead a step beyond the grave;
      But thine conduct to heav’n.

I’ve seen an end to what we call
      Perfection here below;
How short the powers of nature fall,
      And can no further go!

Yet men would fain be just with God
      By works their hands have wrought;
But thy commands, exceeding broad,
      Extend to every thought.

In vain we boast perfection here,
      While sin defiles our frame,
And sinks our virtues down so far,
      They scarce deserve the name.

Our faith, and love, and every grace,
      Fall far below thy word;
But perfect truth and righteousness
      Dwell only with the Lord.

~ Isaac Watts

 

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