John Greenleaf Whitter
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Just God! and these are they Who minister at thine alter, God of Right! Men who their hands with prayer and blessing lay On Israel's Ark of light! What! preach, and kidnap men? Give thanks, and rob thy own afflicted poor? Talk of thy glorious liberty, and then Bold hard the captive's door? What! servants of thy own Merciful Son, who came to seek and save The homeless and the outcast, fettering down The tasked and plundered slave! Pilate and Herod, friends! Chief priests and rulers, as of old, combine! Just God and holy! is that church, which lends Strength to the spoiler, thine? Paid hypocrites, who turn Judgment aside, and rob the Holy Book Of those high words of truth which search and burn In warning and rebuke; Feed fat, ye locusts, feed! And, in your tasselled pulpits, thank the Lord That, from the toiling bondman's utter need, Ye pile your own full board. How long, O Lord! how long Shall such a priesthood barter truth away, And in Thy name, for robbery and wrong At Thy own altars pray? Is not Thy hand stretched forth Visibly in the heavens, to awe and smite? Shall not the living God of all the earth, And heaven above, do right? Woe, them, to all who grind Their brethren of a common Father down! To all who plunder from the immortal mind Its bright and glorious crown! Woe to the priesthood! woe To those whose hire is with the price of blood; Perverting, darkening, changing, as they go, The searching truths of God! Their power and their might Shall perish; and their very names shall be Vile before all the people, in the light Of a world's liberty. Oh, speed the moment on When Wrong shall cease, and Liberty and Love And Truth and Right throughout the earth be known As in their home above.