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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,
The spirit has its energies untamed
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;
Ere we forever leave the haunts of men;
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.
JAMES G. PERCIVAL.
What is Prayer ?
That trembles at the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear ;
When none but God is near.
That infant lips can try;
The Majesty on high.
The Christian's native air ;
He enters heaven by prayer.
Returning from his ways;
And cry, “Behold, he prays!”
In word, and deed, and mind;
Sweet fellowship they find.
The Holy Spirit pleads ;
For mourners intercedes.
The life, the truth, the way!
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.