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VI.* GOD'S PROVIDENCE.
FATHER OF ALL, the powerful and the good!
To thee the fowls of air for succor cry:
No seed-time theirs, nor well-stored granary, But thou sustain'st them with their daily food. Nor less thy plants, a well-robed multitude,
Which spring to wither, and are born to die,
The field-flow'rs grow beneath thy fostering eye,
By doubts distracted, and by fears distrest !
Thy will to do, on thy support to rest !
Those lower gifts, if first we seek the best.
VII. THE BOOK OF GOD.
THE BOOK OF GOD! And is there then a book
Which on its front that awful title bears ?
Who hold it, what high duty must be theirs,
Of earth pent up, and blinded by earth's cares,
Its hopes and joys if man the treasure dares
God's truth to see! How blest, whom He hath will'd To see his truth in his own book enroll'd!
Pure is the Book of God, with sweetness fill'd : More pure
than massive unadulterate gold, More sweet than honey from the rock distillid.
VIII. THE LAW.
He spake in thunder, making the heart quail
Of conscious Israel, when from Sinai’s height
God gave his Law! And well might deep affright The soul appal : for who, by nature frail, Could do his bidding? Yet beneath the veil
Of shadowy type, and sacrificial rite,
And lofty prophecy, the illumin'd sight Might far off scenes of better promise hail. Revere its voice; 'tis“ holy, just, and good :"
But look not there for pardon, nor confide To 'scape its curse! 'Twas given, that flesh and blood
Might stand condemn’d by, that tribunal tried : And, by the standard of God's justice view'd,
Man see his weakness, and forego his pride.
IX. THE GOSPEL,
'Twas music's voice, and thus the descant ran,
Glory to God,” what time to Bethlehem's fold
What did He else but that sweet hymn unfold
A lovely sight for angels to behold,
Gave not, the Gospel gives : by truth portray'd
Of brighter light; and stronger grace to aid ; And hope, the debtor's prison-house to cheer,
The debt all cancell'd, and the ransom paid !
X. SCRIPTURE DIFFICULTIES. YES, 'tis a mine of precious jewelry,
The Book of God; a well of streams divine !
But who would wish the riches of that mine
pure well ; must ear, eye, soul, apply ; On precept precept scan, and line on line;
Search, ponder, sift, compare, divide, combine,
Nor few there are, which yield a harder part,
'Tis God's command, survey thy safety's chart; Lest arduous things, distorted, death-ward lead
The mind unlearned, and the unstable heart.
XI. SCRIPTURE GUIDES. “ How can I sound the depths of sacred lore
Without the guidance of a friendly hand ?"2
Such Candor's meek confession, as he scann'd
Will own his powers unapt to understand [mand,
Much of God's word untaught. 'Twas Christ's comHis preacher's voice the sound of truth should pour On listening ears ;
" and I with
remain Till the world's end !” And tho' the world to turn From sin, his truth in one recorded strain
Subsist, for living lips the many yearn
Still wills that some should teach and some should learn.
1 2 Pet. üi. 16.
Acts viii. 30, 31.
XII. THE LORD'S DAY. Hail to the day, which He, who made the heaven,
Earth, and their armies, sanctified and blest,
Perpetual memory of the Maker's rest!
Arose! That day his Church hath still confest,
At once Creation's and Redemptions's feast, Sign, of a world call'd forth, a world forgiven. Welcome that day, the day of holy peace,
The Lord's OWN DAY! to man's Creator owed, And man's Redeemer; for the soul's increase
In sanctity, and sweet repose bestow'd;
The rest remaining for the lov'd of God!
XIII. GOD'S SABBATH. Call'd by the Church, before God's holy shrine,
Oft as the Sabbath-morn with sacred ray
Warns me his courts to tread, I humbly pray, That for time past forgiveness may be mine, Whene'er I've err’d, and he will still incline
My heart no more from his command to stray ;
But holy keep and unprofan’d the day, First blest and hallow'd by the voice divine. Are there who deem a less commanding law
Alone gives sanction to the Christian's rest? Be theirs their fond conceit! Be mine to draw
The mind to reverence, by God's Church confest, His own commandment: and with holy awe Revere the day by man’s Creator blest !
XIV. THE HOUSE OF GOD. It is the Sabbath bell which calls to pray'r,
Ev'n to the House of God, the hallow'd dome, Where He, who claims it, bids his people come, To bow before his throne, and serve Him there With pray’rs, and thanks, and praises. Some there are
Who hold it meet to linger now at home;
And some o'er fields and the wide hills to roam,
Nor slack to greet my Maker on the height
Seek I his presence in each social :ite
There still He dwells, and there is his delight.
XV. SOCIAL WORSHIP. THERE is a joy, which angels well may prize;
To see, and hear, and aid God's worship, when
Unnumber'd tongues, a host of Christian men, Youths, matrons, maidens join. Their sounds arise, “Like many waters:" now glad symphonies
Of thanks and glory to our God; and then,
Seal of the social pray'r, the loud Amen! Faith's common p!edge; contrition's mingled cries. Thus, when the Church of Christ was hale and young,
She callid on God, one spirit and one voice : Thus from corruption c!eans’d, with health new strung,
Her sons she nurtur'd. O, be theirs the choice, What duty bids, to worship heart and tongue,
At once to pray, at once in God rejoice !