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15.

THE OFFERTORY.

“God loveth a cheerful giver.".

CHRIST before thy door is waiting ;

Rouse thee, slave of earthly gold. Lo, He comes, thy pomp abating,

Hungry, thirsty, homeless, cold :-
Hungry, by Whom Saints are fed
With the Eternal Living Bread ;
Thirsty, from Whose pierced side

Healing waters spring and glide ; Cold and bare He comes, Who never

May put off His robe of light ; Homeless, Who must dwell for ever

In the Father's Bosom bright.

In kind ambush alway lying

He besets thy bed and path,
Fain would see thee hourly buying

Prayers against the time of wrath,
Prayers of thankful mourners here,
Prayers that in Love's might appear
With the offerings of the Blest,

At the shrine of perfect rest.
See, His undecaying treasure
Lies like dew

upon

the

grass, To be won and stored at pleasure :

But its hour will quickly pass.

Christ before His Altar standing,

Priest of Priests, in His own Day,
Calls on thee, some fruit demanding

Of the week's heaven-guarded way.
See His Arm stretch'd out to bless :
Whoso nearest to Him press,
Open-handed, eagle-eyed,

They may best that Arm abide,
When, the last dread lightnings wielding,

He shall lift it, and decree,

“Go, ye churls of soul unyielding,

Where nor gift nor prayer shall be.”

Jesus in His babes abiding

Shames our cold ungentle ways,
Silently the young heart guiding

To unconscious love and praise.
See out-reached the fingers small,
Ever, at each playful call,
Ready to dispense around

Joys and treasures newly found.
Fearless they of waste or spoiling

Nought enjoy but what they share ; Grudging thought and care and moiling

Live not in their pure glad air.

Strange the law of Love's combining !

As with wild winds moaning round Tones from lute or harp entwining

Make one thread of solemn sound ;As calm eve's autumnal glow Answers to the woods below ;

As in landscape leaf or stone,

Cloud or flower, at random thrown, Helps the sadness or the glory ;

So the gift of playful child May recall thy natal story,

Church of Salem undefiled !

How the new-born Saints, assembling

Daily ’neath the shower of fire,
To their Lord in hope and trembling

Brought the choice of earth's desire.
Never incense-cloud so sweet
As before the Apostles' feet
Rose, majestic Seer, from thee,

Type of royal hearts and free,
Son of holiest consolation,

When thou turn’dst thy land to gold, And thy gold to strong salvation,

Leaving all, by Christ to hold :

Type of Priest and Monarch, casting

All their crowns before the Throne, And the treasure everlasting

Heaping in the world unknown.

Now in gems their relics lie,
And their names in blazonry,
And their forms from storied panes

Gleam athwart their own lov'd fanes,
Each his several radiance flinging

On the sacred Altar floor, Whether great ones much are 'bringing,

Or their mite the mean and poor.

Bring thine all, thy choicest treasure,

Heap it high and hide it deep :
Thou shalt win o'erflowing measure,

Thou shalt climb where skies are steep.
For as Heaven's true only light
Quickens all those forms so bright,
So where Bounty never faints,

There the Lord is with His Saints,
Mercy's sweet contagion spreading

Far and wide from heart to heart, From His Wounds atonement shedding

On the blessed widow's part.

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