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XXVI. THE CHRISTIAN'S BELIEF. What God for man's instruction deigns reveal,
His guide to truth, and love, and holiness,
We hold that man should hear, believe, confess;
Strive for the faith, before the Church express
His hope assur'd of promis'd blessedness, And with his lips his heart's persuasion seal. On those, who sunk in heathen darkness pine,
No doom we dare pronounce. But Christian light Brings Christian duties. Where the sunbeams shine
Of Gospel truth, who wish for heav'n's delight Must own and serve the tri-une name divine,
And plead for health the incarnate Godhead's might.
And does in heav'n the Church triumphant raise,
Circling the throne of God, the voice of praise ? Well may her voice on earth, ere she her rest From warfare gain, be thus to God addrest:
While Sion's songs, the Psalmist's heav'n taught lays
And hymns, the first-fruits of the Gospel days, Her thanks, and joy, and holy hopes-attest. There are, whose voice by strains less sweet is shar'd.
Me, the pure songs, by Siloa's echoes caught, Suffice. Nor deem I that the pledg’d regard,
To thee, my mother, ow'd, permits us aught, But what thou vouchest; song of gifted bard,
Rich in God's truth, and by his Spirit taught.
XXVIII. THE CHURCH-YARD. As by the CHURCH-YARD yew my evening way
I take, and meditate the sacred muse,
To catch thy notes my ears unbidden use,
Were to my heart more grateful, if thy views,
Profusely rich in earth's autumnal hues, Show'd more of heaven's enlivening vernal day. “ The paths of glory lead but to the grave ”.
Lo, from the grave fresh paths of glory rise ! Reviving thence the “flower” shall breathe and wave
With purer sweetness and with lovelier dyes; And the bright “gem,” releas’d from ocean's cave,
Adorn with sun-like ray its kindred skies.
XXIX. THE TOMB-STONES. From stone to stone my eyes successive roam,
And note what tenants underneath them lie.
Each sex is here; all ages, infancy
Signs of their former fortunes : low and high,
Ail ranks and states of earth's society, All earthly kindreds, find a common home. Hark, from the grave with still small voice they call,
And thus the moral of their stories preach ! “We all were born, we lived, we died, and all
Shall rise to judgment. How on earth by each His task was done, and what shall each befall,
Inquire not now: that day alone can teach!”
XXX, CHURCH BELLS. What varied sounds from yon grey pinnacles
Sweep o'er the ear, and claim the heart's reply!
Now the blithe peal of home festivity,
Speaks the due hour of social worship nigh:
And now the last stage of mortality The deep duil toll with lingering warning tells, llow much of human life those sounds comprise;
Birth, wedded love, God's service, and the tomb! Not heard in vain, if thence kind feelings rise,
Such as befit our being, free from gloom Monastic; pray’r, that communes with the skies ;
And musings mindful of the final doom.
XXXI. THE VILLAGE CLOCK. Hark, 'tis the Village clock! It bids the swain,
As breaks the morning, to his labor haste
A-field : and now the hour of noon's repast The glad stroke tells, short season to remain, For the next note of time is heard again
Sign of returning toil, until at last
It's welcome sound bespeaks the day is past, And sends him home releas'd from care and pain, Till the next morning dawn. Thus hour by hour,
And day by day, time creeps unresting by, Mark'd by the sound from the low village tower,
Our work-day's guide; on days, beyond that lie, Note we meanwhile its everlasting power,
For time's the passport to eternity.
XXXII. THE PARSONAGE.
An elm o’erhangs the porch, and round it twine
The honey-suckle and sweet eglantine : And there the mullion'd windows linger still, Reliques of elder days, the moulded sill,
And pointed arch, where creeps the cluster'd vine:
And flowers, and fruits, and well-trimm'd turf combine To show domestic taste and rural skill. There lives the Village Pastor ? Mark him there !
From weightier duties for a season freed Of books and pastoral calls, his willing care
The garden claims, to check the trailing weed, And prune the fruit branch. Breathe a passing pray'r,
And bid the good man and his works “God speed!”
XXXIII. THE MAN OF GOD.
He's Christ's ambassador, that man of God,
Steward of God's own mysteries! From on high
His warrant is : his charge, aloud to cry And spread his Master's attributes abroad, His works, his ark of mercy, and his rod
Of justice; his, to sinners to supply
The means of grace, and point how they may fly Hell-flames, and how heaven's pathway must be trod. Hold him in honor on his works' account,
And on his Master's! Though a man he be, And with his flock partake corruption's fount,
Holy and reverend is his ministry: And, hark ! a voice sounds from the heavenly mount,
"He, that despiseth you, despiseth me!"
XXXIV. THE GOSPEL MINISTRY. How beautiful upon the mountain's head, 1
Like “ the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,"
The feet of them, who to their country bear News of release for slaves to bondage led ! How beautiful on Judah's hills the tread
Of feet to Sion sent, to minister
Good tidings of great joy, and cry to her, “Joy, for her warfare is accomplished !"Still are ye beautiful, ye feet, that bring
On God's high embassage the authentic sign Of peace. 'Tis yours, God's light abroad to fling,
That men may see his Glorious Gospel shine : 'Tis theirs to greet you heralds of heav'n's King,
Divine your mission, as your charge divine.
XXXV. THE PRIESTHOOD.
Take not the holy office, till the call
Of God has made thee, Aaron-like, be known
His minister! Tho'round thy loins be thrown Zeal, as thou deem'st, to gird thee, and the pall Of sanctity; yet not for these, for all
Thy private worth, does the great Master own
Thy PRIESTHOOD, till the honor'd claim be shown By lawful charge and hands episcopal. God is a God of order, nor approves
Confusion in his Church! Whate'er He wills, He freely does, but still by laws He moves,
Laws of his own !-Among the vales and hills Its stated course the heaven-fed river roves :
He marks its path, and He its channel fills.
Isa. lii. 7. Rom. x. 15.