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Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
'Sister spirit, come away!'
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath ?—
Tell me, my soul, can this be Death?
The world recedes, it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?
When all thy mercies, O my God!
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I'm lost
In wonder, love, and praise.
When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
With health renew'd my face;
And, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
Reviv'd my soul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Hath made my cup run o'er,
And in a kind and faithful friend
Hath doubled all my store.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ,
Nor is the least a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.
Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I'll pursue;
And after death in distant worlds
The glorious theme renew.
When nature fails, and day and night
Divide thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord,
Thy mercy shall adore.
Through all eternity, to thee,
A joyful song I'll raise;
For O, eternity alone
Can utter all thy praise.
"SEEING WE ARE COMPASSED ABOUT WITH SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES."
Could we but look beyond our sphere,
And trace along the azure sky,
The myriads that were inmates here,
Since Abel's spirit soar'd on high.
Then might we tell of those who see
Our wand'rings from Eternity!
But human frailty cannot gaze,
On such a cloud of splendid light,
As heavens acred court displays,
Of blessed spirits cloth'd in white,
Who from the fears of death are free-
And look from an Eternity.
They look, but ne'er return again,
To tell the secrets of their home,
And kindliest tears for them are vain,
For never! never, shall they come-
Till Time's pale light begin to flee,
Before a bright Eternity.
Could we but gaze beyond our sphere,
Within the golden porch of heav'n,
And see those spirits which appear,
Like stars upon the robe Even.
But no, unseen to us they see
Our wanderings from Eternity.
The crimes of men which heaven saw,
And pitied with a parent's eye;
Could ne'er a kindred spirit draw,
In mercy from its home on high,-
They look, but all they know or see
Is silent as Eternity.
Åt noonday hour, or midnight deep,
No bright inhabitant draws nigh;
And though a parent's offspring weep,
No whisper echoes from the sky.
Though friends may gaze, yet all they see
Is known but in Eternity.
Yet we may look beyond our sphere,
On one who shines among the throng;
And we by Faith may also hear
The triumphs of a glorious song; And while we gaze on Him, we see The path to this Eternity.
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.
When marshal'd on the nightly plain,
The glittering host bestud the sky;
One star alone, of all the train,
Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.
Hark! hark! to God the chorus breaks,
From every host, from every gem;
But one alone the Saviour speaks,
It is the Star of Bethlehem.
Once on the raging seas I rode,
The storm was loud,-the night was dark,
The ocean yawn'd,-and rudely blow'd
The wind that toss'd my foundering bark.
Deep horror then my vitals froze,
Death-struck, I ceas'd the tide to stem;
When suddenly a star arose,
It was the star of Bethlehem.
It was my guide, my light, my all,
It bade my dark forebodings cease;
And through the storm, and danger's thrall,
It led me to the port of peace.
Now safely moor'd-my perils o'er,
I'll sing, first in night's diadem,
For ever and for evermore,
The Star!-The Star of Bethlehem!
THUS far on Life's perplexing path,
Thus far the Lord our steps hath led,
Safe from the world's pursuing wrath,
Unharm'd though floods hung o'er our head;
Here then we pause, look back, adore,
Like ransom'd Israel from the shore.
Strangers and pilgrims here below,
As all our fathers in heir day,
We to a Land of Promise go,
Lord! by thine own appointed way;
Still guide, illumine, cheer our flight,
In cloud by day, in fire by night.
Protect us through this wilderness
From serpent plague, and hostile rage;
With bread from heaven our table bless,
With living streams our thirst assuage;
Nor let our rebel hearts repine,
Or follow any voice but Thine.
Thy righteous laws to us proclaim,
But not from Sinai's top alone;
Hid in the rock-clift, be thy name,
Thy pow'r, and all thy goodness shown;
And may we never bow the knee
To any other gods but Thee.
Thy presence with us, move or rest;
-And as the eagle, o'er her brood,
Flutters her pinions, stirs the nest;
Covers, defends, provides them food,
Bears on her wings, instructs to fly;
-Thus, thus prepare us for the sky.
When we have number'd all our years,
And stand at length on Jordan's brink,
Though the flesh fail with human fears,
Oh! let not then the spirit shrink;
But strong in faith, and hope, and love,
Plunge through the stream,-to rise above.
LOOKING UPWARDS IN A STORM.
God of my life, to thee I call,
Afflicted at thy feet I fall;