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'Tis the spring of the soul, when on sin's dark night
A ray from above is descending,
And the tear of contrition, lit up by its light,
With its beauty is silently blending;
When the heart's broken accents of prayer and praise
Are sweeter than nature's softest lays.
What is stronger and brighter than summer's sun,
In his noontide effulgence shining ?
Yet gentler than he when his goal is won,
And his beams in the west are declining;
More glorious than summer's most cloudless day,
Whose loveliest splendour soon passes away ;
"Tis the Christian's zenith, the summer of him
Whose strength to his God is devoted;
Who, whether his pathway be bright or dim,
By mortals admired or unnoted;
From strength to strength, and from grace to grace,
Outshines the sun in his glorious race.
What is richer than harvest? what gladdens the heart
Beyond autumn with bounty o’erflowing ?
What is wealthier than all the proud trophies of art,
More ripe than the red vintage glowing:
Yet majestic and touching as autumn's eve,
When the sun's calm glory is taking its leave?
'Tis the saint's ripe harvest; the gathering in
To the garner, of thanks and of glory;
His prayer and praise for redemption from sin,
His hopes now his locks are hoary,
That the mercy and goodness vouchsafed him long,
May still be his stay and his even song.
What is stiller and fairer than winter's night,
When the full moon and stars are unclouded; When earth is bespangled with glory and light,
Though its life deep within it be shrouded; When all is so calm and so lovely around, That a whisper might startle the ear by its sound?
”Tis the parting hour of the saint, when his cheek
Is tinged with delightful emotion;
When his eye and his smile in silence speak
The spirit's sublimest devotion;
When his earthly beauty and vigour have flown,
But the brightness of heaven is over him thrown.
GREAT God! how awful is the scene
A breath, a transient breath, between,
And can I trifle life away?
To earth, alas ! too firmly bound,
Trees deeply rooted in the ground,
Are shiver'd when they're torn away!
Vain joys, which envied greatness gains,
How do ye bind with silken chains,
Which ask immortal strength to break?
How with new terrors have ye arm’d,
That power whose slightest glance alarm’d
How many deaths of one ye make!
Yet, dumb with wonder, I behold
Man's thoughtless race, in error bold,
Forget, or scorn, the laws of death;
With these no projects coincide,
Nor vows, nor toils, nor hopes, they guide-
Each thinks he draws immortal breath!
Each, blind to fate's approaching hour,
Intrigues, or fights, for wealth or power,
And slumbering danger dares provoke:
And he who, tottering, scarce sustains
A century's age, plans future gains,
And feels an unexpected stroke !
ERE the morning's busy ray
Ere the silent evening close
Your wearied eyes in sweet repose ;
To lift your heart and voice in pray’r
Be your first and latest care.
He to whom the pray'r is due,
From heaven, his throne, shall smile on you;
Angels, sent by him, shall tend,
Your daily labour to befriend;
And their nightly vigils keep,
To guard you in the hour of sleep.
To me remains nor place nor time;
My country is in ev'ry clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore since God is there.
While place we seek or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
"Tis equal joy to go or stay.
Could I be cast where thou art not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot;
But regions none remote I call,
Secure of finding God in all.
My country, Lord, art thou alune;
Nor other can I claim or own;
The point where all my wishes meet ;
My law, my love; life's only sweet !
I hold by nothing here below;
Appoint my journey, and I go;
Though pierc'd by scorn, oppress’d by pride,
I feel thee good-feel nought beside.
No frowns of men can hurtful prove
To souls on fire with heav'nly love ;
Though men and devils both condemn,
No gloomy days arise from them.
Ah then! to his embrace repair;
My soul, thou art no stranger there;
There love divine shall be thy guard,
And peace and safety thy reward
On Horeb's brow the Tishbite stands,
Encompassed round with burning sands;
He felt the sullen earthquake's shock,
The heaving ground, the reeling rock,
Beheld the whirlwind's awful force
Rending the mountains in its course,
And fire that seem'd to fill the sky,
Shewing that Israel's God drew nigh-
Distinctly in the desert drear,
A still small voice now strikes his ear,
• Elijah, say, what dost thou here ??
. I have been jealous for the Lord,
Contemning Ahab's cruel sword;
And stood on Carmel's height unmov'd,
Where I thy people's sin reprov'd;
For they thy altars have o'erthrown,
Thy prophets slain,-and I alone
Assert the honour of thy name.'
With whom dwells now this holy flame?
If the great Judge should now appear,
How few like him, with hearts sincere,
Durst thus avow what they do here?
Am I then jealous for the Lord ?--
Or like Israël scorn his word ?
Like them are idols my desire ?
Quench I like them the Spirit's fire ?-
Alas! when with thy saints I pray,
To realms remote my thoughts will stray,