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III. CONCLUDED. AMERICAN EPISCOPACY.
PATRIOTS informed with Apostolic light
Were they, who, when their Country had been freed,
Bowing with reverence to the ancient creed,
A GENIAL hearth, a hospitable board,
And a refined rusticity, belong
Fixed on the frame of England's Church their sight,
And strove in filial love to reunite
To the neat mansion, where his flock among,
The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful Lord.
Though meek and patient as a sheathed sword;
Of Christian unity, and won a meed
Of praise from Heaven. To thee, O saintly WHITE,
Patriarch of a wide-spreading family,
What force had severed. Thence they fetched the seed Though pride's least lurking thought appear a wrong
To human kind; though peace be on his tongue,
Gentleness in his heart-can earth afford
Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free,
As when, arrayed in Christ's authority,
He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand;
Conjures, implores, and labours all he can
For re-subjecting to divine command
The stubborn spirit of rebellious man?
Remotest lands and unborn times shall turn
Whether they would restore or build — to thee,
As one who rightly taught how zeal should burn,
As one who drew from out Faith's holiest urn
The purest stream of patient Energy.
BISHOPS and Priests, blessed are ye, if deep
(As yours above all offices is high)
Deep in your hearts the sense of duty lie;
Charged as ye are by Christ to feed and keep
From wolves your portion of his chosen sheep:
Labouring as ever in your Master's sight,
Making your hardest task your best delight,
What perfect glory ye in Heaven shall reap!-
But, in the solemn Office which ye sought
And undertook premonished, if unsound
Your practice prove, faithless though but in thought,
Bishops and Priests, think what a gulf profound
Awaits you then, if they were rightly taught
Who framed the Ordinance by your lives disowned!
PLACES OF WORSHIP.
As star that shines dependent upon star
Is to the sky while we look up in love;
As to the deep fair ships which though they move
Seem fixed, to eyes that watch them from afar;
As to the sandy desert fountains are,
With palm-groves shaded at wide intervals,
Whose fruit around the sun-burnt Native falls
Of roving tired or desultory war-
Such to this British Isle her christian Fanes,
Each linked to each for kindred services;
Her Spires, her Steeple-towers with glittering vanes
Far-kenned, her Chapels lurking among trees,
Where a few villagers on bended knees
Find solace which a busy world disdains.
YES, if the intensities of hope and fear
Attract us still, and passionate exercise
Of lofty thoughts, the way before us lies
Distinct with signs, through which in set career,
As through a zodiac, moves the ritual year
Of England's Church; stupendous mysteries!
Which whoso travels in her bosom eyes,
As he approaches them with solemn cheer.
Upon that circle traced from sacred story
We only dare to cast a transient glance,
Trusting in hope that others may advance
With mind intent upon the King of Glory,
From his mild advent till his countenance
Shall dissipate the seas and mountains hoary.
FATHER! to God himself we cannot give
A holier name! then lightly do not bear
Both names conjoined, but of thy spiritual care
Be duly mindful: still more sensitive
Do thou, in truth a second Mother, strive
Against disheartening custom, that by thee
Watched, and with love and pious industry
Tended at need, the adopted Plant may thrive
For everlasting bloom. Benign and pure
This ordinance, whether loss it would supply,
Prevent omission, help deficiency,
Or seek to make assurance doubly sure.
Shame if the consecrated vow be found
An idle form, the word an empty sound!
FROM Little down to Least, in due degree,
Around the Pastor, each in new-wrought vest,
Each with a vernal posy at his breast,
We stood, a trembling, earnest company!
With low soft murmur, like a distant bee,
Some spake, by thought-perplexing fears betrayed
And some a bold unerring answer made:
How fluttered then thy anxious heart for me,
Beloved Mother! Thou whose happy hand
Had bound the flowers I wore, with faithful tie:
Sweet flowers! at whose inaudible command
Her countenance, phantom-like, doth re-appear:
O lost too early for the frequent tear,
And ill requited by this heartfelt sigh!
THE Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
With holiday delight on every brow:
'Tis passed away; far other thoughts prevail;
For they are taking the baptismal vow
Upon their conscious selves; their own lips speak
The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail,
And many a blooming, many a lovely, cheek
Under the holy fear of God turns pale;
While on each head his lawn-robed Servant lays
An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals
The covenant. The Omnipotent will raise
Their feeble souls; and bear with his regrets,
Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels
That ere the sun goes down their childhood sets.
I SAW a Mother's eye intensely bent
Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt;
In and for whom the pious Mother felt
Things that we judge of by a light too faint:
Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned Muse, or Saint!
Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved—
Then, when her child the hallowing touch received,
And such vibration through the Mother went
That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear?
Opened a vision of that blissful place
Where dwells a Sister-child? And was power given
Part of her lost one's glory back to trace
Even to this rite? For thus She knelt, and, ere
The summer-leaf had faded, passed to Heaven.
By chain yet stronger must the Soul be tied:
One duty more, last stage of this ascent,
Brings to thy food, mysterious Sacrament!
The offspring, haply at the parent's side;
But not till they, with all that do abide
In Heaven, have lifted up their hearts to laud
And magnify the glorious name of God,
Fountain of Grace, whose Son for sinners died.
Ye, who have duly weighed the summons, pause
No longer; ye, whom to the saving rite
The Altar calls; come early under laws
That can secure for you a path of light
Through gloomiest shade; put on (nor dread its
Armour divine, and conquer in your cause!
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY.
THE vested priest before the Altar stands;
Approach, come gladly, ye prepared, in sight
Of God and chosen friends, your troth to plight
With the symbolic ring, and willing hands
Solemnly joined. Now sanctify the bands
O Father! to the espoused thy blessing give,
That mutually assisted they may live
Obedient, as here taught, to thy commands.
So prays the Church, to consecrate a vow
"The which would endless matrimony make;"
Union that shadows forth and doth partake
A mystery potent human love to endow
With heavenly, each more prized for the other's
Weep not, meek Bride! uplift thy timid brow
THANKSGIVING AFTER CHILDBIRTH.
WOMAN! the Power who left his throne on high,
And deigned to wear the robe of flesh we wear,
The power that through the straits of infancy
Did pass dependent on maternal care,
His own humanity with thee will share,
Pleased with the thanks that in his people's eye
Thou offerest up for safe delivery
From childbirth's perilous throes. And should the
Of thy fond hopes hereafter walk inclined
To courses fit to make a mother rue
That ever he was born, a glance of mind
Cast upon this observance may renew
A better will; and, in the imagined view
Of thee thus kneeling, safety he may find.
VISITATION OF THE SICK.
THE Sabbath bells renew the inviting peal;
Glad music! yet there be that, worn with pain
And sickness, listen where they long have lain,
In sadness listen. With maternal zeal
Inspired, the Church sends ministers to kneel
Beside the afflicted; to sustain with prayer,
And soothe the heart confession hath laid bare-
That pardon, from God's throne, may set its seal
On a true penitent. When breath departs
From one disburthened so, so comforted,
His Spirit Angels greet; and ours be hope
That, if the sufferer rise from his sick-bed,
Hence he will gain a firmer mind, to cope
With a bad world, and foil the Tempter's arts.
THE COMMINATION SERVICE.
SHUN not this rite, neglected, yea abhorred,
By some of unreflecting mind, as calling
Man to curse man, (thought monstrous and appalling.)
Go thou and hear the threatenings of the Lord;
Listening within his Temple see his sword
Unsheathed in wrath to strike the offender's head,
Thy own, if sorrow for thy sin be dead,
Guilt unrepented, pardon unimplored.
Two aspects bears Truth needful for salvation;
Who knows not that? — yet would this delicate age
Look only on the Gospel's brighter page:
Let light and dark duly our thoughts employ;
So shall the fearful words of Commination
Yiela timely fruit of peace and love and joy.
FORMS OF PRAYER AT SEA.
To kneeling worshippers no earthly floor
Gives holier invitation than the deck
Of a storm-shattered vessel saved from wreck
(When all that Man could do avail'd no more)
By him who raised the tempest and restrains;
Happy the crew who this have felt, and pour
Forth for his mercy, as the Church ordains,
Solemn thanksgiving. Nor will they implore
In vain who, for a rightful cause, give breath
To words the Church prescribes aiding the lip
For the heart's sake, ere ship with hostile ship
Encounters, armed for work of pain and death.
Suppliants! the God to whom your cause ye trust
Will listen, and ye know that He is just.
FROM the Baptismal hour, thro' weal and woe,
The Church extends her care to thought and deed;
Nor quits the body when the soul is freed,
The mortal weight cast off to be laid low.
Blest rite for him who hears in faith, "I know
That my Redeemer liveth," hears each word
That follows-striking on some kindred chord
Deep in the thankful heart; - yet tears will flow
Man is as grass that springeth up at morn,
Grows green, and is cut down and withereth
Ere nightfall-truth that well may claim a sigh,
Its natural echo; but hope comes reborn
At Jesu's bidding. We rejoice, "O Death
Where is thy Sting-O Grave where is thy Victory?'
WOULD that our scrupulous Sires had dared to leave
Less scanty measure of those graceful rites
And usages, whose due return invites
A stir of mind too natural to deceive;
Giving to Memory help when she would weave
A crown for Hope! —I dread the boasted lights
That all too often are but fiery blights,
Killing the bud o'er which in vain we grieve.
Go, seek, when Christmas snows discomfort bring,
The counter Spirit found in some gay church
Green with fresh holly, every pew a perch
In which the linnet or the thrush might sing,
Merry and loud and safe from prying search,
Strains offered only to the genial Spring.
FROM low to high doth dissolution climb,
And sink from high to low, along a scale
Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
A musical but melancholy chime,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whitened hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.
MONASTIC Domes! following my downward way,
Untouched by due regret I marked your fall!
Now, ruin, beauty, ancient stillness, all
Dispose to judgments temperate as we lay
On our past selves in life's declining day:
For as, by discipline of Time made wise,
We learn to tolerate the infirmities
And faults of others- gently as he may,
So with our own the mild Instructor deals,
Teaching us to forget them or forgive.*
Perversely curious, then, for hidden ill
Why should we break Time's charitable seals?
Once ye were holy, ye are holy still;
Your spirit freely let me drink, and live?
EMIGRANT FRENCH CLERGY. EVEN while I speak, the sacred roofs of France Are shattered into dust; and self-exiled From altars threatened, levelled, or defiled, Wander the Ministers of God, as chance Opens a way for life, or consonance of faith invites. More welcome to no land The fugitives than to the British strand, Where priest and layman with the vigilance Of true compassion greet them. Creed and test Vanish before the unreserved embrace
Of catholic humanity: - distrest
They came, and, while the moral tempest roars Throughout the Country they have left, our shores Give to their Faith a fearless resting-place.
THUS all things lead to Charity, secured
By THEM who blessed the soft and happy gale
That landward urged the great Deliverer's sail,
Till in the sunny bay his fleet was moored!
Propitious hour! had we, like them, endured
Sore stress of apprehension,† with a mind
Sickened by injuries, dreading worse designed,
From month to month trembling and unassured,
How had we then rejoiced! But we have felt,
As a loved substance their futurity:
Good, which they dared not hope for, we have seen;
A State whose generous will through earth is dealt;
A State which, balancing herself between
License and slavish order, dares be free.
BUT liberty, and triumphs on the Main,
And laurelled armies, not to be withstood
What serve they? if, on transitory good
Intent, and sedulous of abject gain,
The State (ah, surely not preserved in vain!)
Forbear to shape due channels which the Flood
Of sacred truth may enter-till it brood
O'er the wide realm, as o'er the Egyptian plain
The all-sustaining Nile. No more - the time
Is conscious of her want; through England's bounds,
In rival haste, the wished-for Temples rise?
I hear their sabbath bells' harmonious chime
Float on the breeze- the heavenliest of all sounds
That vale or hill prolongs or multiplies!
+ See Burnet, who is unusually animated on this subject; This is borrowed from an affecting passage in Mr. the east wind so anxiously expected and prayed for, was George Dyer's history of Cambridge.
called the Protestant wind."
CHURCH TO BE ERECTED. BE this the chosen site; the virgin sod, Moistened from age to age by dewy eve, Shall disappear, and grateful earth receive The corner-stone from hands that build to God. Yon reverend hawthorns, hardened to the rod Of winter storms, yet budding cheerfully; Those forest oaks of Druid memory, Shall long survive, to shelter the Abode Of genuine Faith. Where, haply, 'mid this band Of daisies, shepherds sate of yore and wove May-garlands, there let the holy altar stand For kneeling adoration; -while-above, Broods, visibly portrayed, the mystic Dove That shall protect from blasphemy the Land.
MINE ear has rung, my spirit sunk subdued,
Sharing the strong emotion of the crowd,
When each pale brow to dread hosannas bowed
While clouds of incense mounting veiled the rood,
That glimmered like a pine-tree dimly viewed
Through Alpine vapours. Such appalling rite
Our church prepares not, trusting to the might
Of simple truth with grace divine imbued;
Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross,*
Like men ashamed: the Sun with his first smile
Shall greet that symbol crowning the low Pile:
And the fresh air of incense-breathing morn
Shall wooingly embrace it; and green moss
Creep round its arms through centuries unborn.
THE encircling ground, in native turf arrayed,
Is now by solemn consecration given
To social interests, and to favouring Heaven,
And where the rugged colts their gambols played,
And wild deer bounded through the forest glade,
Unchecked as when by merry outlaw driven,
Shall hymns of praise resound at morn and even;
And soon, full soon, the lonely Sexton's spade
Shall wound the tender sod. Encincture small,
But infinite its grasp of weal and woe!
Hopes, fears, in never-ending ebb and flow;—
The spousal trembling, and the "dust to dust,"
The prayers, the contrite struggle, and the trust
That to the Almighty Father looks through all.
The Lutherans have retained the Cross within their churches: it is to be regretted that we have not done the
OPEN your gates, ye everlasting Piles!
Types of the spiritual Church which God hath reared
Not loth we quit the newly-hallowed sward
And humble altar, 'mid your sumptuous aisles
To kneel, or thrid your intricate defiles,
Or down the nave to pace in motion slow;
Watching, with upward eye, the tall tower grow
And mount, at every step, with living wiles
Instinct to rouse the heart and lead the will
By a bright ladder to the world above.
Open your gates, ye Monuments of love
Divine! thou Lincoln, on thy sovereign hill!
Thou, stately York! and Ye, whose splendours cheer
Isis and Cam, to patient Science dear
INSIDE OF KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE.
TAX not the royal Saint with vain expense,
With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned-
Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white-robed Scholars only - this immense
And glorious Work of fine intelligence!
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more;
So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proot
That they were born for immortality.
WHAT awful perspective! while from our sight
With gradual stealth the lateral windows hide
Their Portraitures, their stone-work glimmers, dyed
In the soft chequerings of a sleepy light.
Martyr, or King, or sainted Eremite,
Whoe'er ye be, that thus yourselves unseen,
Imbue your prison-bars with solemn sheen,
Shine on, until ye fade with coming Night!-
But from the arms of silence-list! O list!
The music bursteth into second life;
The notes luxuriate, every stone is kissed
By sound, or ghost of sound, in mazy strife;
Heart-thrilling strains, that cast, before the eye
Of the devout, a veil of ecstasy!