1 Great Former of this various frame,
Our souls adore thine awful name;
And bow and tremble, while thy praise
The Ancient of eternal days.
2 Thou, Lord, with unsurprised survey,
Saw'st nature rising yesterday;
And, as tomorrow, shall thine eye
See earth and stars in ruin lie.
3 Beyond an angel's vision bright,
Thou dwell'st in self-existent light;
Which shines with undiminished ray,
While suns and worlds in smoke decay.
4 Our days a transient period run,
And change with every circling sun;
And, in the firmest state we boast,
A moth can crush us into dust.
5 But let the creature fall around:
Let death consign us to the ground;
Let the last general flame arise,
And melt the arches of the skies:
6 Calm as the summer's ocean, we
Can all the wreck of nature see,
While grace secures us an abode,
Unshaken as the throne of God.
The Hartford Selection of Hymns from the most approved authors, 1799
Great Former of this various frame. P. Doddridge. [New Year.] This is No. 69 of the Doddridge Manuscript is dated, "Jan. 1, 1737/8," and headed, "The mutability of Creation, and the immutability of God." It was first published by J, Orton in his (posthumous) edition of Doddridge's Hymns, &c, No. 64, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and with the same heading; and again, with slight variations, in the text, by J. D. Humphreys, in his edition of the same, 1839, No. 67. Although in common use in Great Britain and America, it is not so popular as many of Doddridge's hymns.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
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