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XXXVI. THE INWARD CALL. Who gives to man sufficiency? and whence
Proceed the holy wish, the good design,
The righteous deed, save from the source divine, The Spirit of God!—If thine the heart-felt sense Of holy love; if, cautious of offence,
Thine be the wish with knowledge meet to join
True zeal of God, and so to serve his shrine;
Presumptuous bearing, no intemperate flame,
God or his Church expects ; but the just aim Sincere, to feed, not unprepar'd, his fold
With food celestial, and adorn his name.
XXXVII. PASTORAL STUDIES. Wuo would teach others, first himself must learn
The lore he fain would teach them. Who would teach
High lore, surpassing human wisdom's reach, For grace must beg God's wisdom to discern, Nor fail God's sacred book by day to turn,
By night : yet think not 'twill God's pow'r impeach,
If weapons, meet to pierce the hidden speech,
Comes not with light intuitive to guide
his vessel ride In safety on: nor from its course decline
Astray, nor founder in the darkling tide.
XXXVIII. PASTORAL RECREATIONS. What fitter, man of God, thy thoughts to share,
To charm, nor less improve, a vacant hour,
Than thy great Master's works !—The wild fieldInsect or bird, that gaily wings the air, [flower, And what earth holds of wonderful and fair,
Invite thee forth; to thread the coppice bower,
Pierce the deep glen, or climb the rocky tower, Wave-hollow'd bank, thick wood, or mountain bare. Rich is the volume of the word of God:
Rich is the volume of his works! At home Be that; be this thy cherish'd search abroad!
Like Noah's dove, there see each fine-wrought plume God's love attest: each plant, like Aaron's rod,
With signs of might and thought paternal bloom !
XXXIX. THE PREACHER.
Who would not, choose the PREACHER's words sincere,
Which truth unmaim'd and unadulterate deal
To willing ears and minds? With prudent zeal, Temperate, tho' earnest; grave, but not austere ; Strong, without coarseness ; without meanness, clear;
Firm, to denounce God's wrath ; but meek to feel
Wild rhapsody, the gesture strange, the start
Go, elsewhere seek it! His the soberer part, Like Paul to satisfy the reasoning mind,
And “ draw by cords of man” 1 the obedient heart.
1 Hos. xi. 4
XL. PREACHING EVANGELICAL.
Man fell; and how, for ransom'd man to bleed,
And what his Spirit’s aid; and whither lead
of grace; and what the meed Of faith, matur'd by love; and what we owe The THREE in ONE! This knowledge, passing reach
Of man's device or angel's, broad and deep, God by his Son deliver'd; this to teach
Mankind, he charg'd the shepherds of his sheep: If man or angel other Gospel preach, 1
He "sows the wind, and shall the whirlwind reap.” ?
XLI. PREACHING UN-EVANGELICAL. “ To shut the gates of mercy on mankind," 3
By God's mere will excluded, save a few,
Will they or not, who pass selected through; To stint the stream of heavenly love; to bind By strong necessity the human mind
To sin and endless woe; to hold to view
The God of all perfection, as untrue,
Not such, great God, thy loving-mercy's call
Thy name is “ LOVE.' By our forefather's fall, All sinn'd and died. Forgive me if I've err'd,
Deeming thy Son a ransom paid for all ! 6
Hos. viii. 7.
i Gal. i. 8.
1 John iv. 8, 16.
Gray's Elegy. • 1 Tim. ii. 6
XLII. THE POOR MAN'S FRIEND. “He was the POOR MAN'S FRIEND! He sought and know
Who needed succor, and would fain incline
His ear and hearken. From his care benign The parent help, the child instruction true, Deriv'd: on age a cheering gleam he threw;
The sick man's wounds he bath'd with oil and wine :
On sin denounc'd the scourge of wrath divine, But more the meek with words of comfort drew."You've read his epitaph : do you
ask his name ? Full
many a POOR MAN'S FRIEND does Britain own Among her pastors; though from public fame
Remote they labor, mark’d by God alone, And those they tend; but mid the world's acclaim The Lord's - Well done" shall make their labors
XLIII. THE PASTOR'S HELP MEET. And no kind HELP dost thou, my country know,
MEET for such Pastor ?--Yes, 'tis she who bears
Her more than portion in his household cares;
Knit in the bonds of holy love, 'tis hers,
As woman may beseem whose meekness fears
Comfort herself too oft, when left to feel
Bear then in mind; lo her the kindness deal,
And soothe the heart which none but God can heal !
XLIV. THE PASTOR'S WIDOW AND
Her children with her; from that pleasant spot,
Where Providence had cast their goodly lot,
No more shall they on yonder grassy plot
Sport the long summer eve: for he is not,
Yes, they must leave; and what may then betide,
May'st thou watch over them! May'st thou provide Friends, shelter, food, and comfort yet to come,
The ORPHAN's Father, and the widow's Guide !
XLV. THE ARK OF CHRIST'S CHURCH. Rent were at once the floodgates of the sky,
And burst the great deep's fountains. All was dark,
Throng'd with the forms of drowning men: and hark, O'er the wide earth one agonising cry! Then mid the swelling surge, careering high,
Fraught with the world's remains, the Patriarch's ARK
Went o'er the waters : for that wondrous bark
Of sin reigns paramount: still God provides
His power secures it, and his wisdom guides.