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The book of nature open lies,

with much instruction stored!

But till the Lord anoints the eyes,

we cannot read a word.


Philosophers have pored in vain,

and guessed from age to age:

for reason’s eye could never attain

to understand a page.


Though to each star they give a name,

its size and motion teach;

the truths which all the stars proclaim,

their wisdom cannot reach.


With skill to measure earth and sea,

and weigh the subtle air:

they cannot, Lord, discover Thee,

though present everywhere.


The knowledge of the saints excels

the wisdom of the schools,

 to them His secrets God reveals,

though men account them fools.


To them the sun and stars on high

the flowers that paint the field,

and all the artless birds that fly,

Divine instruction yield.


The creatures on their senses press,

as witnesses to prove

their Saviour’s power and faithfulness,

His providence and love.


Thus may we study nature’s book,

to make us wise indeed!

And pity those who only look

at what they cannot read.


                                                -J. Newton

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