We are as Barks afloat upon the Sea.

UR thoughts are boundless, though our frames

are frail, Our souls immortal, though our limbs decay ; Though darken’d in this poor life by a veil Of suffering, dying matter, we shall play

In truth's eternal sunbeams; on the way To heaven's high capitol our cars shall roll;

The temple of the Power whom all obey,
That is the mark we tend to, for the soul
Can take no lower flight, and seek no meaner goal.
I feel it—though the flesh is weak, I feel

The spirit has its energies untamed
By all its fatal wanderings; time may heal

The wounds which it has suffer’d; folly claim'd

Too large a portion of its youth; ashamed Of those low pleasures, it would leap and fly,

And soar on wings of lightning, like the famed Elijah, when the chariot, rushing by, Bore him with steeds of fire triumphant to the sky. We are as barks afloat upon the sea,

Helmless and oarless, when the light has fled, The spirit, whose strong influence can free

The drowsy soul, that slumbers in the dead

Cold night of mortal darkness; from the bed Of sloth he rouses at her sacred call,

And, kindling in the blaze around him shed, Rends with strong effort sin's debasing thrall, And gives to God his strength, his heart, his

mind, his all.

Our home is not on earth; although we sleep,

And sink in seeming death a while, yet, then, The awakening voice speaks loudly, and we leap

To life, and energy, and light, again;
We cannot slumber always in the den
Of sense and selfishness; the day will break,

Ere we forever leave the haunts of men;
Even at the parting hour the soul will wake,
Nor, like a senseless brute, its unknown journey

take. How awful is that hour, when conscience stings

The hoary wretch, who, on his death-bed hears, Deep in his soul, the thundering voice that rings,

In one dark, damning moment, crimes of years

And, screaming like a vulture in his ears, Tells, one by one, his thoughts and deeds of

shame, How wild the fury of his soul careers ! His swart eye flashes with intensest flame, And like the torture's rack the wrestling of his frame.


What is Prayer ?
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,
1 Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles at the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

The falling of a tear ;
The upward glancing of an eye,

When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech

That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,

The Christian's native air ;
His watchword at the gates of death-

He enters heaven by prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,

Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice,

And cry, “Behold, he prays!”
The saints in prayer appear as one,

In word, and deed, and mind;
While with the Father and the Son,

Sweet fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone :

The Holy Spirit pleads ;
And Jesus on the eternal throne

For mourners intercedes.
O Thou ! by whom we come to God,

The life, the truth, the way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod :
Lord, teach us how to pray.

JAMES MONTGOMERY. When Spring Unlocks the Flowers. WA/HEN Spring unlocks the flowers, to paint

the laughing soil; When Summer's balmy showers refresh the

mower's toil ; When Winter binds in frosty chains the fallow

and the flood, In God the earth rejoiceth still, and owns his

Maker good. The birds that wake the morning, and those that

love the shade ; The winds that sweep the mountain, or lull the

drowsy glade; The sun that from his amber bower rejoiceth on

his way, The moon, and stars, their Maker's name in

silent pomp display. Shall man the lord of nature, expectant of the

sky,Shall man alone unthankful, his little praise

deny ? No, let the year forsake his course, the seasons

cease to be, Thee, Master, must we always love; and, Saviour,

honour Thee. The flowers of Spring may wither,—the hope of

Summer fade, The Autumn droop in Winter,—the birds for

sake the shade,

The wind be lulled,—the sun and moon forget

their old decree,But we in nature's latest hour, O Lord! will cling to Thee.


WWinter Sabbath Walk. How dazzling white the snowy scene ; deep,

deep, The stillness of the winter Sabbath-day, Not even a foot-fall heard. Smooth are the fields, Each hollow pathway level with the plain : Hid are the bushes, save that here and there Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom. High ridged the whirled drift has almost reached The powdered key-stone of the churchyard porch ; Mute hangs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried: No step approaches to the house of prayer: The flickering fall is o'er; the clouds disperse, And show the sun hung o'er the welkin's verge, Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time To visit nature in her grand attire; Though perilous the mountainous ascent, A noble recompense the danger brings. How beautiful the plain stretched far below, Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream With azure windings, or the leafless wood.

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