20/03/2007

Hymn Final Impenitence

This is quite and unusual hymn. It is negative throughout, without a ray of sunshine all the way through. Beddome, like others, prepared his hymns to be sung following his sermons and presumably that is how this hymn came to be written. Its usefulness would be in bringing about conviction of sin. One cannot imagine any congregation wanting to sing this hymn too often if at all. Its merit lies in Beddome's rightful unwillingness to give any quarter to the impenitent heart. Old versions of Psalm 46 contain the phrase 'bid defiance to the skies'. Charles Wesly refers to 'the downward road' in 'Ye simple sould that stray' and 'Infinite power'. 'Strike the rebels dead' is in Watts. 'Adamantine chains' are what, according to Milton, bound Satan in hell. He drew the phrase from Aeschylus's legend of Prometheus.
398 Final impenitence LM

ALLURED by sin's deceitful arts,
Unhappy men depart from God;
To Satan yield their treacherous hearts;
And fearless tread the downward road.

2 Still they increase their load of guilt,
Thoughtless amidst a thousand woes;
Or if some pangs of grief are felt,
Those pangs they quickly lose.

3 They bid defiance to the skies,
And dare th’ Almighty to his face,
His awful threatenings they despise,
And cast contempt upon his grace.

4 But the decisive day will come
And universal terror spread;
Then God will fix their final doom,
And vengeance strike the rebels dead.

5 Bound fast in adamantine chains,
Their numerous follies they will mourn;
Shall suffer unremitting pains,
And ever sin and ever burn.

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