Who Shall Ascend Thy Heavenly Place?

Who shall ascend Thy heav’nly place,
Great God, and dwell before Thy face?
The man that minds religion now,
And humbly walks with God below.

Whose hands are pure, whose heart is clean,
Whose lips still speak the thing they mean;
No slanders dwell upon his tongue;
He hates to do his neighbor wrong.

Scarce will he trust an ill report,
Nor vents it to his neighbor’s hurt:
Sinners of state he can despise,
But saints are honored in his eyes.

Firm to his word he ever stood,
And always makes his promise good;
Nor dares to change the thing he swears,
Whatever pain or loss he bears.

He never deals in bribing gold,
And mourns that justice should be sold;
While others gripe and grind the poor,
Sweet charity attends his door.

He loves his enemies, and prays
For those that curse him to his face
And doth to all men still the same
That he would hope or wish from them.

Yet, when his holiest works are done,
His soul depends on grace alone:
This is the man Thy face shall see,
And dwell for ever, Lord, with Thee.

-Isaac Watts, Psalm 15, The Psalms of David, 1719.

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