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They spake of him they loved, of him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurr'd perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The further tracell, enrich'd them still the more
They thought him, and they justly thought him, one
Sent to do more than he appear’d t' have done ;
T'exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wonder'd he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd then, courteous as a friend,
And ask'd them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
Inform’d, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explain'd, illustrated, and search'd so well
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell,
That reaching home, The night, they said, is near,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here-
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
He bless’d the bread, but vanish'd at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, 'Twas the Lord !
Did not our hearts feel all He deign'd to say,
Did they not burn within us by the way?
I would not enter on my list of friends
(Though graced with polish'd manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail
That crawls at evening in the public path;
But he that has humanity, forewarn’d,
Will tread aside, ånd let the reptile live.
The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
And charged perhaps with venom, that intrudes,
A visitor unwelcome, into scenes
Sacred to neatness and repose-th' alcove,
The chamber, or refectory-may die:
A necessary act incurs no blame.
Not so when, held within their proper bounds,
And guiltless of offence, they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field :
There they are privileged ; and he that hunts
Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong,
Disturbs th' economy of Nature's realm,
Who, when she formd, design'd them an abode.
The sum is this :-If man's convenience, health,
Or safety interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
Else they are all—the meanest things that are-
As free to ve, and to enjoy that life,
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who in His sovereign wisdom made them all.
Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons
To love it too. The spring-time of our years
Is soon dishonour'd and defiled in most
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
To check them. But, alas ! none sooner shoots,
If unrestrain'd, into luxuriant growth,
Than cruelty, most devilish of them all.
Mercy to him that shews it is the rule
And righteous limitation of its act,
By which Heaven moves in pardoning guilty man;
And he that shews none, being ripe in years,
And conscious of the outrage he commits,
Shall seek it, and not find it, in his turn.
The Restoration of all Things.
The groans of Nature in this nether world,
Which Heaven has heard for ages, have an end.
Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,
Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp,
The time of rest, the promised sabbath, comes.
Six thousand years of sorrow have well-nigh
Fulfill'd their tardy and disastrous course
Over a sinful world ; and what remains
Of this tempestuous state of human things
Is merely as the working of a sea
Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest :
For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds
The dust that waits upon His sultry march,
When sin hath moved Him, and His wrath is hot,
Shall visit earth in mercy; shall descend,
Propitious, in His chariot paved with love;
And what His storms have blasted and defaced
For man’s revolt, shall with a smile repair.
() scenes surpassing fable, and yet true, Scenes of accomplish'd bliss ! which who can see, Though but in distant prospect, and not feel His soul refresh'd with foretaste of the joy ? Rivers of gladness water all the earth, And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean, Or fertile only in its own disgrace, Exults to sce its thistly curse repeald. The various seasons woven into one, And that one season an eternal spring, The garden fears no blight, and nceds no fence, For there is none to covet, all are full. The lion, and the libbard, and the bear Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon Together, or all gambol in the shade Of the same grove, and drink one common stream. Antipathies are none. No foe to man Lurks in the serpent now: the mother sees, And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand Stretch'd forth to dally with the crested worm, To stroke his azure neck, or to receive The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue. All creatures worship man, and all mankind One Lord, one Father. Error has no place: That creeping pestilence is driven away ; The breath of heaven has chased it. In the lieart No passion touches a discordant string,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not: the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations; and all cry,
"Worthy the Lamb, for He was slain for us!”
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks
Shout to each other, and the mountain tops
From distant mountains catch the flying joy ;
Till, nation after nation taught the strain,
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round.
Behold the measure of the promise fill’d;
See Salem built, the labour of a God!
Bright as a sun the sacred city shines;
All kingdoms and all princes of the earth
Flock to that light; the glory of all lands
Flows into her; unbounded is her joy,
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
Nebaioth, and the flocks of Kedar there;
The looms of Ormus, and the mines Ind,
Aud Saba's spicy groves, pay tribute there;
Praise is in all her gates: upon her walls,
And in her streets, and in her spacious courts,
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there
Kneels with the native of the furthest west;
And Æthiopia spreads abroad the hand,
And worships. Her report has travelld forth
Into all lands. From every clime they come
To see thy beauty and to share thy joy,
O Sion! an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as Heaven stoops down to see.
Come then, and, added to Thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy! It was Thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth ;
And Thou hast made it Thine by purchase since,
And overpaid its value with Thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim Thee king; and in their liearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipp'd in the fountain of eternal love.
The eighteenth century gave England nearly all its hymns. If any popular collection were analysed, it would be found that the chronology of its chief contents ranges between 1709, when Watts published his “Spiritual Songs,” and 1800, when Cowper died. The three favourite compositions of Bishop Ken are a little older, and some delightful additions have been made to our sacred minstrelsy by writers of more recent date —by Heber and James Montgomery, by Keble and Canon Stowell, by Sir E. Denny and Horatius Bonar; but still the great staple of British hymnology is to be found in Watts and Doddridge, in Toplady, Cowper, and the Wesleys, and in those contemporaries of theirs who clothed ardent devotion in vivid words and melodious numbers. Consequently, readers who are familiar with this kind of literature will at once recognise nearly all our specimens. It has been our object to bring together a few of those Christian lyrics which have been crowned by general acclamation, rather than to move for a new trial in behalf of candidates who, however graceful or ingenious, lacked that kind of excellence which compels the popular favour.
Regarding the three following hymns, Mr Montgomery has said—“Had he endowed three hospitals he might have been less a benefactor to posterity. There is exemplary plainness of speech, manly vigour of thought, and consecration of heart in these pieces. The well-known doxology, 'Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,' &c., is a masterpiece at once of amplification and compression-amplification, on the burthen 'Praise God,' repeated in each line; compression, in exhibiting God