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LXVI. THE EVENING SACRIFICE. CANST thou thy body on thy bed compose,
The resting place whence it no more may rise,
Till the Archangel's trump unseal thine eyes, And call thee hence to judgment; canst thou close Those eyes with comfort, and in peace repose,
Before thou lift thy voice, and to the skies
devotion's Evening SACRIFICE, Sweet as the fumes which from the censer rose ? Ere on thy thoughts oblivious slumber creep,
Ere the still sleep can lull thy pillow'd head, To Him, whose eyelids slumber not, nor sleep,
Commend thy spirit : that about thy bed His wings may shield thee, and his feathers keep,
Sustain thee living, or receive thee dead!
LXVII. FAMILY WORSHIP. Fair is the sight, by Israel's psalmist sung,
Of those whom God hath in one household join'd,
In peace, and unity, and love combin'd; Most fair, when all assemble, old and young, Parents and children; those who serve, among
Those whom they serve; with social feelings kind
Each to the other, and with knees inclin’d In patriarchal worship, heart and tongue. List to the Saviour's words ! “Where two or three
Meet in my name, there in the midst am I.” Believe, and welcome to thy family
The gracious Guest; and by his blessing try, How much domestic bliss and amity
Hang on DOMESTIC worship’s hallowing tie!
LXVIII. HOLY MATRIMONY. If there's a scene, which joy unmingled cheers,
It is not, no, it is not when the bride
And happy bridegroom meet, and side by side
To yield his child, his heart's delight and pride,
To him she loves, uncertain how the tide
Of mutual truth : and now the sacred priest
From God upon them. Happy omens rest On love so pledg’d, and hallow'd by the RITE
Which God appointed and Christ's presence blest !
LXIX. THE HONORED WIFE. If "worship,” honor, (kindred terms I use,
As us’d our fathers, for the self-same thought :)
If worship man, by God's instruction taught,
His home's, his heart's companion : if in aught
Less worthy, yet perchance with feelings fraught Holier, more virtuous deeds, more generous views ?'Tis her's to yield, the weaker vessel's sign,
Obedience, reverence; to receive is her's, Love, comfort, honor:1 made by God's design
· Help meet for man," 2 like man from God she bears His image, bis similitude divine; Both taught of God, and both “salvation's heirs.”
| 1 Pet. iii. 1, 5, 7. Eph. v. 22, 25. Col. iii. 18, 19. * Gen. i. 27; ii. 18.
LXX. THE THANKFUL MOTHER. Yes, in thy chamber thou dost well to pray,
And there to thank thy Refuge and Support,
Who hath not cut thine own existence short, But adds to thine thy offspring's. Day by day, And night by night, thy praise in secret pay:
But not the less in Salem's public court,
The house of God, his people's lov'd resort, (So bids the Church,) thy gratitude display! 'Twas thine the fruit of Eve's offence to feel,
That she “ in sorrow should her children bear :' 'Tis thine to taste, that He who smites can heal.
Go then, like holy Mary! Go, repair
There lift thy voice, and make thine offering there !
LXXI. THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY. Is there a sight on earth, where God may
throw His eyes, and gaze with heart's complacency?
Such sight is that, where her young family The virtuous mother trains, his praise to show In hymn or holy psalm, to whom they owe
Life, health, and all things; while the father by
Sits thrill'd with thoughts of silent ecstasy; Sweet thoughts, which none but pious parents know! This be thy garland, lady fair and good,
That those, whom God hath given, thy blooming race To God thou lead'st !— With goodness unendued,
What were the fairest form, the loveliest face ? But dear to heaven, with heaven's own tints imbued,
Is female beauty deck'd with Christian grace.
LXXII. GOD'S JUDGMENTS DENOUNCED AGAINST SINNERS IN THE COMMINATION. No! deem it not the Church could e'er pursue
Her sons, tho' mark'd by many a crimson spot,
With pray'r or wish for evil! Deem it not She bids thee e'er such pray'r or wish renew! But well she knows that holy, just and true
Are God's commands and menaces; and what
His word proclaims the wilful sinner's lot, She knows, and owns, and bids thee own it due. “ Curs’d is the man who spurns Jehovah's will."
Doubt'st thou the sentence? Does it aught declare Which is not ? aught which He shall not fulfil ?
Confess the truth : pray God his flock to spare : And, warn’d thyself, and heedful of the ill,
Of sin, and sin's appointed doom beware ! LXXIII. IN A TIME OF COMMON SICKNESS.1 'Twas not the day of Sabbath, when I past,
Nor by the Church made holy: yet a dumb
Lone stillness reign'd there for the week-day hum
A sidelong glance on every hallow'd dome,
Thither I saw the assembled people come, To
pray the God of mercy !-'Tis the blast Of his displeasure hovering o'er their head,
Which calls them thither. Hear their fervent pray'r, All Merciful! Bid thou the arm outspread
Of the destroyer from his prey forbear; And
may the Great Atoner from the dead Sever the living, and thy suppliants spare!
* On passing through a town in my diocese towards the end of August this year (1832,) I was much affected by the solemnity of LXXIV. THE SICK MAN VISITED. “ Peace to this house !”–Now, ere in langor lost
The weary spirit from the task recoil
Of self-research, or racking pain embroil The thoughts, and reason's gentle sway be crost; Welcome the holy man! What tho' he boast
No potent charm the sting of death to foil,
Relic, or magic word, or holy oil,
Love, patience, trust, repentance, and release From worldly cares; his hand confer the sign
Of pardoning mercy; and his pray'r increase (God's steward he!) thy store of wealth divine, Support thee here, or send thee hence in peace!
LXXV. THE SICK COMMUNICANT. Nor fail, as round the clouds of sickness steal,
Perchance of death, again a willing guest
To seek refreshment at the heavenly feast, Pledge of thy faith, and thy salvation's seal. Alas! that reckless of their spirit’s weal
Some should refrain till then; as if, imprest
With sigil quaint, by cunning wizard blest, A spell were there the fainting soul to heal, Howe'er in Christ untutor'd. Wiser thuu,
As He commands, thy Christian race hast run; As He commands, renew'd thy plighted vow;
And sought his glory, not content to shun His means of
be with thee now, And hope presageful of thy Lord's “ Well done!” the appearance. All the shops were closed; the streets well-nigh deserted; and the church and other places of divine worship filled, in pursuance of an arrangement among the several ministers of religion for a day of fast and humiliation, on account of the Cholera, then