It is the Lord our Saviour's hand
Weakens our strength amidst the race;
Disease and death, at his command,
Arrest us, and cut short our days.
Spare us, O Lord, aloud we pray,
Nor let our sun go down at noon:
Thy years are one eternal day,
And must thy children die so soon?
Yet in the midst of death and grief
This thought our sorrow shall assuage,
Our Father and our Saviour live;
Christ is the same through every age.
'Twas he this earth's foundation laid;
Heaven is the building of his hand:
This earth grows old, these heavens shall fade,
And all be chang'd at his command.
The starry curtains of the sky
Like garments shall be laid aside;
But still thy throne stands firm and high;
Thy church for ever must abide.
Before thy face thy church shall live,
And on thy throne thy children reign:
This dying world shall they survive,
And the dead saints be rais'd again.
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the
earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall
perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a
garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall
be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
.....here the mutability of this world is brought in to illustrate the immutability
of Christ. Observe,
1. This world is mutable, all created nature is so; this world has passed
through many changes, and shall pass through more; all these changes are
by the permission and under the direction of Christ, who made the world
(v. 11-12): They shall perish, they shall all wax old as doth a garment;
as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed. This
our visible world (both the earth and visible heavens) is growing old. Not
only men and beasts and trees grow old, but this world itself grows old, and is
hastening to its dissolution; it changes like a garment, has lost much of its
beauty and strength; it grew old betimes on the first apostasy, and it has been
waxing older and growing weaker ever since; it bears the symptoms of a dying
world. But then its dissolution will not be its utter destruction, but its change.
Christ will fold up this world as a garment not to be abused any longer, not to be
any longer so used as it has been. Let us not then set our hearts upon that
which is not what we take it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has
made a great change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great
change in it for the better. We look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein
dwelleth righteousness. Let the consideration of this wean us from the present
world, and make us watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world.....
2. Christ is immutable. Thus the Father testifies of him, Thou remainest,
thy years shall not fail. Christ is the same in himself, the same yesterday, and
to-day, and for ever, and the same to his people in all the changes of time.
This may well support all who have an interest in Christ under all the changes
they meet with in the world, and under all they feel in themselves. Christ is
immutable and immortal: his years shall not fail. This may comfort us under
all decays of nature that we may observe in ourselves or in our friends, though
our flesh and heart fail and our days are hastening to an end. Christ lives to
take care of us while we live, and of ours when we are gone, and this should
quicken us all to make our interest in him clear and sure, that our spiritual and
eternal life may be hid with Christ in God.