Glory to God Alone
by Madame de la Mothe Guyon,
translated from the French by William Cowper
Oh loved! but not enough—though dearer far
Than self and its most loved enjoyments are;
None duly loves thee, but who, nobly free
From sensual objects, finds his all in thee.
Glory of God! thou stranger here below,
Whom man nor knows, nor feels a wish to know;
Our faith and reason are both shocked to find
Man in the post of honour—Thee behind.
Reason exclaims—“Let every creature fall,
Ashamed, abased, before the Lord of all;”
And faith, o'erwhelmed with such a dazzling blaze,
Feebly describes the beauty she surveys.
Yet man, dim–sighted man, and rash as blind,
Deaf to the dictates of his better mind,
In frantic competition dares the skies,
And claims precedence of the Only wise.
Oh, lost in vanity, till once self–known!
Nothing is great, or good, but God alone;
When thou shalt stand before his awful face,
Then, at the last, thy pride shall know his place.
Glorious, Almighty, First, and without end!
When wilt thou melt the mountains and descend?
When wilt thou shoot abroad thy conquering rays,
And teach these atoms, thou hast made, thy praise?
Thy glory is the sweetest heaven I feel;
And, if I seek it with too fierce a zeal,
Thy love, triumphant o'er a selfish will,
Taught me the passion, and inspires it still.
My reason, all my faculties, unite,
To make thy glory their supreme delight:
Forbid it, fountain of my brightest days,
That I should rob thee, and usurp thy praise!
My soul! rest happy in thy low estate,
Nor hope, nor wish, to be esteemed or great,
To take the impression of a will divine,
Be that thy glory, and those riches thine.
Confess him righteous in his just decrees,
Love what he loves, and let his pleasure please;
Die daily; from the touch of sin recede;
Then thou hast crowned him, and he reigns indeed.
[This poem is quoted (in part) by Upham at the close of The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition 1844) Part 1, Chapter 4.]