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Then since this world is vain
And volatile and fleet,
Why should I lay up earthly joys,
Where rust corrupts and moth destroys,
And cares and sorrows eat?
Why fly from ill
With anxious skill,
When soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart lie still?
AH! when did wisdom covet length of days,
Or seek its bliss in pleasure, wealth, or praise?
No: wisdom views, with an indifferent eye,
All finite joys, all blessings born to die.
The soul on earth is an immortal guest,
Compell'd to starve at an unreal feast:
A spark that upward tends by nature's force,
A stream diverted from its parent source;
A drop dissever'd from the boundless sea,
A moment parted from eternity!
A pilgrim panting for a rest to come;
An exile anxious for his native home.
WHERE high the heav'nly temple stands,
The house of God not made with hands,
A great High Priest our nature wears,
The guardian of mankind appears.
He who for men their surety stood,
And pour'd on earth his precious blood,
Pursues in heav'n his mighty plan,
The Saviour and the friend of man.
Though now ascended up on high,
He bends on earth a brother's eye:
Partaker of the human name,
He knows the frailty of our frame.
Our fellow-sufferer yet retains
A fellow-feeling of our pains;
And still remembers in the skies
His tears, his agonies, and cries.
every pang that rends the heart,
The man of sorrows had a part;
He sympathizes with our grief,
And to the sufferer sends relief.
With boldness, therefore, at the throne,
Let us make all our sorrows known,
And ask the aid of heavenly power
To help us in the evil hour.
'Tis not too hard, too high an aim,
Secure thy part in Christ to claim;
The sensual instinct to control,
And warm with purer fires the soul.
Nature will raise up all her strife,
Foe to the flesh-abasing life,
Loth in a Saviour's death to share,
Her daily cross compell'd to bear;
But grace omnipotent at length
Shall arm the saint with saving strength;
Through the sharp war with aids attend,
And his long conflict sweetly end.
Act but the infant's gentle part,
Give up to love thy willing heart ;
No fondest parent's tender breast
Yearns like thy God's to make thee blest;
Taught its dear mother soon to know,
The simplest babe its love can show,
Bid bashful, servile fear retire,
The task no labour will require.
The sovereign Father, good and kind,
Wants but to have his child resign'd;
Wants but thy yielded heart, no more—
With his rich gifts of grace to store.
He to thy soul no anguish brings,
From thy own stubborn will it springs ;
That foe but crucify, thy bane,
Nought shalt thou know of frowns or pain.
Shake from thy soul, o'erwhelm'd, deprest,
Th' encumbering load that galls its rest;
That wastes her strength with bondage vain!
With courage break th' enslaving chain!
Let faith exert its conquering power,
Say, in thy fearing, trembling hour,
"Father! thy pitying aid impart !
'Tis done; a sigh can reach his heart.
Yet if, more earnest plaints to raise,
Awhile his succours he delays;
Though his kind hand thou canst not feel,
The smart let lenient patience heal ;
Or if corruption's strength prevail,
And oft thy pilgrim footstep fail,
Lift for his grace thy louder cries,
So shalt thou cleansed and stronger rise.
If haply still thy mental shade
Deep as the midnight's gloom be made,
On the sure faithful arm divine
Firm let thy fastening trust recline.
The gentlest Sire, the best of friends,
To thee, nor loss nor harm intends;
Though tost on the most boisterous main,
No wreck thy vessel shall sustain.
Should there remain of rescuing grace
No glimpse, no shadow left to trace,
Hear thy Lord's voice, ""Tis Jesus' will;"
Believe, thou dark lost pilgrim still.
Then, thy sad night of terrors past,
Though the dread season long may last,
Sweet peace shall from the smiling skies
Like a new dawn before thee rise;
Then shall thy faith's firm grounds appear,
Its eyes shall view salvation clear,
Be hence encouraged more, when tried
On the best Father to confide.
O my too blind but nobler part,
Be moved! Be won by these, my heart!
See of how rich a lot, how bless'd,
The true believer stands possess'd!
Come, backward soul, to God resign;
Peace, his best blessing shall be thine;
Boldly recumbent on his care,
Cast thy full burden only there.
GREAT God! what do I see and hear!
The end of things created:
The judge of mankind doth appear
In clouds of glory seated;
The trumpet sounds, the graves restore
The dead which they contained before.
Prepare my soul to meet Him.