Gravity and Decency

Behold the sons, the heirs of God,
So dearly bought with Jesus’ blood!
Are they not born to heavenly joys?
And shall they stoop to earthly toys?

Can laughter feed th’ immortal mind?
Were spirits of a heavenly kind
Made for a jest, for sport and play—
To wear out time, and waste the day!

Doth vain discourse, or empty mirth,
Well suit the honors of their birth?
Shall they be fond of fine attire,
Which children love, and fools admire?

What if we wear the richest vest!
Peacocks and flies are better dressed;
This flesh, with all its gaudy forms,
Must drop to dust and feed the worms.

Lord, raise our hearts and passions higher!
Touch our vain souls with sacred fire;
Then, with a heav’n-directed eye,
We’ll pass these glittering trifles by.

We’ll look on all the toys below
With such disdain as angels do;
And wait the call that bids us rise
To mansions promised in the skies.

–Isaac Watts (1674-1748), #229 in John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns

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