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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,
With beauty, passing royal pomp, indued.
Father of all! On thee I cast my care,

By doubts distracted, and by fears distrest !
O, grant me strength thy righteous yoke to bear,

Thy will to do, on thy support to rest !
Whate'er we need, thy bounty will not spare

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,
And what high privilege, therein to look,
To read, mark, learn, digest! But in this nook

Of earth pent up, and blinded by earth's cares,

Its hopes and joys if man the treasure dares
To scorn, such scorn shall the great Author brook
How long'd the holy men and prophets old

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.

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IX. THE GOSPEL,

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'Twas music's voice, and thus the descant ran,

Glory to God,” what time to Bethlehem's fold
The Saviour's birth the angelic anthem told,
“On earth be peace, benevolence to man!
And He, who then his earthly course began,

What did He else but that sweet hymn unfold

A lovely sight for angels to behold,
And men to copy ?-Duly as ye can
Transcribe the pattern! What the Law austere

Gave not, the Gospel gives : by truth portray'd
Life's perfect model ; and the radiance clear

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 !

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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
To make his own; his thirst to satisfy
From that

pure well ; must ear, eye, soul, apply ; On precept precept scan, and line on line;

Search, ponder, sift, compare, divide, combine,
For truths that oft beneath the surface lie.
Yes; there are things, which he who runs may read :

Nor few there are, which yield a harder part,
To mark, discern, and know. With cautious heed,

'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
Thy volume, Seer evangelic, of yore.
And Candor still, 'mid truth's exhaustless store,

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

you

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
Their guides ; and He, who works nor wills in vain,

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!
Hail to the day, when He, by whom was given
New life to man, the tomb asunder riven,

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;
Type of the rest, when sin and care shall cease,

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,
And worship in the temple of the air !
For me, not heedless of the lone address,

Nor slack to greet my Maker on the height
By wood, or living stream; yet not the less

Seek I his presence in each social :ite
Of his own temple; that He deigns to bless,

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 !

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