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LXXXVI. THE FUNERAL. I envy not the feelings which can send
The breathless corpse to its sepulchral home,
Heedless of Him who made it! Mid the gloom Of sorrows, which the widow'd bosom rend, 'Tis kind, 'tis comforting, 'tis wise to blend [come
Earth, as it were, with heaven, whence thoughts may
Rous'd by God's word and pray'r; and from the tomb The heart to bliss unseen, unheard, ascend ! God takes the spirit; to the ground we give
The body, “ earth to earth, and dust to dust!” But not, as they who have no hope, we grieve:
Sure is the Christian's faith, and firm his trust, That they, who sleep in Christ, in Christ shall live,
And waking join the assembly of the just.
LXXXVII. THANKSGIVING FOR THE
Each has his share: and who, that on the days
gaze, Can tell how much of ill, without, within, Waite him; or what of freedom he
win By death's kind stroke ?- Then count it not dispraise,
That when the Church her children's bodies lays In the still grave, meet theme of thanks therein She sees to God who claims them! Well she knows,
That sins beset, that ambush'd sorrow tries, The flesh-encumber'd spirit: whither goes
Each spirit hence, she dares not say; but wise And good is He, who mid impending woes
Still notes his creatures with benignant eyes.
LXXXVIII. HOPE FOR THE DEPARTED.
To doom thy brother, from the flesh releas’d,
Christian, befits thee not. 'Twill best behove
The grace which "hopeth all things,” Christian love, To hope that each may in the Saviour rest. Degrees of hope are various : for the best
Well may it rise to faith, but not above :
For those, the worst in semblance,- who can prove God's mercy may not rank them with the blest ? Yield then, in hope that he in Christ may sleep,
To earth thy lifeless brother !—Whom most pure Thou deem'st, in mind his good example keep;
Whom soild with sin, bis sins avoid, abjure : So may'st thou sow in love, in transport reap,
Thyself; and make thine own election sure !
LXXXIX. CHRISTIAN UNITY. One God there is, who reigns above in light:
One Lord on earth, for man incarnate made;
One body form'd He by one Spirit's aid; Call’d to one hope by one baptismal rite, One holy bread to eat of, and to plight
One common faith. Who name his name, He bade
In concord live; and of his Father pray'd,
Turns to a sword the rod for healing sent.
His seamless coat by reckless hands is rent:
When most disfigur'd, were most excellent.
* Eph. iv. 4-6; 1 Cor. x. 17.
? John xvii. 20-23; Col. iii. 14.
XC. BEAUTY OF THE CHURCH. What fairer form, my country's Church, than thine ?
“ Glorious within, thy clothing of wrought gold !”?
What tho', (for who his course on earth may hold, Nor aught betray of earthliness a sign ?) A speck perchance of earthly origin
May here and there by curious eyes be told,
Dimming the brightness of thy raiments fold; 'Tis of wrought gold from God's celestial mine, Of “glory and beauty"_Yes, thou’rt passing fair,
My Country's Church !—To grace their royal Sire Full many a daughter stands : but few compare
With thee for virtuous deeds and meet attire; Few to their King so pure an offering bear,
Tried in the flame, and purified by fire.
XCI. SAFETY IN THE CHURCH. Why should I e'er forsake thy dwelling, blest
Of God; or whither from thy shelter move?
Whate'er vouchsafement waits us from above
And sure I think, if tempted once to rove
From thee, my foot would find, like Noah's dove, O’er the wide waters refuge pone, nor rest. Grace is within thy precincts, holy Ark;
Grace and salvation! And tho' gathering gloom Now and again with signs of presage dark
O'erhang thee, mercy's beams the skreen illume; And faith on blackest clouds may brightest mark
God's bow, the pledge of blessings yet to come.
• Psa. xlv. 14.
· Exod. xxvii. 40.
XCII.** THE CHURCH'S WORTHIES. Might aught beside thine own inherent praise,
Thy stores adopted from heaven's treasury,
Mark'd with God's name and genuine imagery, Win the charm'd soul to pass her earthly days With thee, loved Mother! 'tis that she surveys
In the long record of the times gone by,
What sweet memorials of a grace from high, Shed on The Faithful Sons, her scroll displays. Hail, holy men! by whom of yore was fought,
True to your CAPTAIN, to his Consort true, The Christian fight! The goal your footsteps sought,
Fain would I, following in your track, pursue; And fain my soul, her work of trial wrought,
Would find the haven of her rest with you!
XCIII.** THE CHURCH'S PROTO-MARTYR,
If life preserved for wife and children's sake,
If bliss which none but husbands, fathers feel,
If worldly woe escaped, and worldly weal Enjoy'd, lands, houses, goods, with all to take Captive the waverer, had had power to shake
Thy firm resolve, and quench thy fervent zeal
Rogers, the Church had lost her earliest seal Stamp'd in thy heart's blood on the burning stake. But nobler thought was thine, and loftier scope,
The Tempter's vile allurements to withstand
The Christian's faith: and thus thy native land
XCIV.** THE MARTYRED BISHOPS, 1555. “ Take heart, my brother! for from yonder pile,
Our deathbed and our sepulchre to day,
A lamp shall spring, to light with quenchless ray The length and breadth of England's darkling isle!” So spake the MITRED Martyr, as with smile
Sedate, not reckless, he the hard affray
Encounter'd, for the gain, thenceforth to pay His own life's loss, gladden'd bis soul the while. Hold we such names in reverence, nor mis-deem
That they for nought the oppressor's rage withstood ! Still o'er the land, so God ordain'd it, stream
The rays that issued from that blazing wood; And England hail'd, waked from her papal dream,
Her Church's seed-time in her martyrs' blood.
XCV.** THE PRIMATE AT THE STAKE, 1556. Who that behulds his hand reluctant trace
Words which the MEEK Confessor's 2 thoughts dis
Drops not a tear of sorrow on the name, (clainn, Consign’d by one sad act to dire disgrace ? Who that beholds his willing hand embrace,
Ah! not unworthy now! the scorching flame,
Joys not to see that well-repented shame
Drop for thy renovated Church's Sire,
How few perchance had dared, like his, respire,
And faith that mark'd unmoved the circling fire !