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They broke the vessels, raised the lights, and blew
A blast, which Midian's countless hosts o'erthrew;
Foe fell on foe, and friend his friend assailed ;-
The sword of GoD and Gideon thus prevailed.
When David's heart was lifted up with pride,
And more on multitudes than God relied,
Three days an angel smote with pestilence
The numbered people for the king's offence;
Yet, when the penitent for Israel prayed,
Heaven heard his groaning, and the plague was stayed ;
He kneeled between the living and the dead,
Even as the sword came down on Zion's head :
Then went the Almighty's voice throughout the land,
"It is enough: Avenger! stay thy hand.”
Elijah with his mantle smote the flood,
And Jordan's hastening waves divided stood ;
The fiery chariot on the farther shore
Deathless to heaven the ascending prophet bore;
“My father !” cried Elisha, as he flew,
And caught his mantle, and his spirit too:
His prayer of faith,—when, like a living net,
Drawn close, the Syrian bands his home beset,-
Opened his servant's eyes, who saw, amazed,
How Dothan's mountain round the prophet blazed:
Chariots of fire and horses thronged the air,
And more were for them than against them there.
When pale Jerusalem heard Sennacherib's boast,
How, in their march of death, his locust-host
Swept field and forest, rivers turned aside,
Crushed idols, and the living God defied ;
While fear within the walls sad vigils kept,
And the proud foe without securely slept;
At midnight, through the camp, as with a blast
Hot from Arabian sands, an angel passed,
All in their tents, around the city, lay
An army of dead men, at dawn of day.
Down in the raging furnace, bound, they fell,
Three Hebrew youths,—when, lo, a miracle !--
At large amidst the sevenfold flames they walked,
And with an angel, as in Eden, talked.
Up rose the king, astonied and in haste,-
“ Three men,” he cried, “into the fires we cast;
Four I behold-and in the fourth, the mien
And semblance of the Son of God are seen.”
While Daniel lay beneath the lions' paws,
An angel shut the death-gates of their jaws;
Which, ere his headlong foes could touch the floor,
Crashed all their bones, and drank the living gore.
Angels to prophets things to come revealed,
And things yet unfulfilled in types concealed,
When in deep visions of the night they lay,
And saw, in spirit, that millennial day
For which the Church looks out with earnest eye,
And counts the moments as the hour draws nigh.
Thus oft of old were angels from above
Swift ministers of vengeance or of love ;
And in the fulness of the time decreed,
Glad heralds of the woman's promised seed.
To Zacharias, with his spouse grown old,
John the forerunner's course an angel told ;
Struck dumb for unbelief, the father's tongue,
At the babe's birth, for joy brake loose and sung.
To Mary, highly favoured, Gabriel brought
An embassy of love, surpassing thought;
With fear and meekness, hearkening to his word,
“Behold,” said she," the handmaid of the LORD.”
When Christ was born, GOD's messenger once more
Glad tidings to the watching shepherds bore;
When suddenly around, the angelic throngs
Turned night to morning, earth to heaven, with songs.
When Herod sought the young Child's life,--by night
An angel warned his foster-sire to flight ;
But when the murderer's race of blood was run,
TEHOVAH out of Egypt called His Son.
When by the Spirit to the desert led,
Vapours His covering, turf and stones His bed,
With hunger, thirst, fatigue, and watching worn,
Jesus the Tempter's dire assaults had borne,
Still with the written Word his wiles repelled,
Though long in that mysterious conflict held, -
When the foiled fiend at length shrunk back with shame,
Angels to minister unto Him came.
In lone Gethsemane's most doleful shade,
When in such agony of soul He prayed,
That the dark sweat, from every pore around,
Burst like great blood-drops, falling to the ground,
An angel,- from twelve legions marshalled nigh,
Who waited but the signal of His eye, -
Spread o'er the Son of God his shadowing wing,
To strengthen Him whom angels own their King.
Round the sealed sepulchre where Jesus slept,
Angels their watch till the third morning kept;
They saw the earthquake, they beheld Him rise,
Death's victim and Death's conqueror, to the skies.
While woman's faithful love the tomb surveyed,
In which her hands her Saviour's corpse had laid;
With lightning-looks and raiment snowy white,
To whom, as dead, the guards fell down in fright,
A mighty angel,-he who rolled the stone
From the cave's mouth, -the LORD's ascent made known.
He is not here, for He is risen :--repair
To Galilee, and ye shall meet Him there."
Angels-to His disciples, while they gazed
Silently, steadfastly to heaven, amazed
To see their Master in a cloud uprise,
Recede and vanish through the expanding skies,-
Foretold His second coming, in that day
When heaven and earth themselves shall pass away.
Angels unseen with them as guardians went,
When forth the chosen witnesses were sent,
With spirit and power to preach where'er they trocł
The glorious Gospel of the living GOD.
Angels made straight their paths o'er land and sea,
Opened their prison doors, and set them free;
Smote slaughter-breathing Herod on his thronc,
Led Philip where the eunuch sate alone;
Taught meek Cornelius from what lips his ear
Might“words whereby he must be saved” hear;
And stood by fearless Paul, when, tempest-driven,
A whole ship's company to him were given.
Good angels still conduct, from age to age,
Salvation's heirs on Nature's pilgrimage ;
Cherubic swords, no longer signs of strife,
Now point the way, and keep the Tree of Life;
Seraphic hands, with coals of living fire,
The lips of God's true messengers inspire;
Angels, who see their heavenly Father's face,
Watch'o'er His "little ones” with special grace;
Still o'er repenting sinners they rejoice,
Millions of voices blending as one voice.
Angels, with healing virtue on their wings,
Trouble rank poois, unsluice salubrious springs,
Till, fresh as life new-born, the waters roll ;
Lepers and lame step in, and are made whole.
Angels, the saints from noonday perils keep,
Encamp around their couches while they sleep,
Uphold them where they seem to walk alone,
Nor let them dash their foot against a stone;
They teach the dumb to speak, the blind to see,
Comfort the dying in their agony,
And to the Paradise of rest convey
Spirits enfranchised from the fettering clay.
Strong angels, armed by righteous Providence,
Judgments on guilty nations still dispense;
Pour out their vials of disease, despair,
And death, o'er sun and ocean, earth and air ;
Or sound their trumpets, while, at every blast,
Plague follows plague, woe treads on woe gone past.
Blest angels through mid-heaven shall hold their flight,
Till all that sit in darkness see the light;
And the good tidings of great joy proclaim,
Till every tongue confess Messiah's name.
The archangel's voice—the trump of God—the cry
Of startled Nature, rending earth and sky,
Shall change the living, raise the dead, and bring
All nations to the presence of their King;
Whose flaming ministers, on either hand,
As witnesses, around the throne shall stand,
Till Time's full roll hath by the Judge been sealed,
And unbegun eternity revealed ;-
That era in the reign of Deity,
Whence sin, the curse, and death no more can be.
Angels who fell not, men who fell res ed,
Shall then rejoice for ever with the LORD;
Hearts, harps, and voices in one choir shall raise
The new, the old, the eternal song of praise.
May he who wrote, and ye who read this strain,
Join in that song and worship in that train.
WHERE are ye with whom in life I started,
Dear companions of my golden days?
Ye are dead, estranged from me, or parted,
-Flown, like morning clouds, a thousand ways.
Where art thou, in youth my friend and brother,
Yea, in soul my friend and brother still ? Heaven received thee, and on earth none other
Can the void in my lorn bosom fill.
Where is she, whose looks were love and gladness?
-Love and gladness I no longer see !
She is gone; and, since that hour of sadness,
Nature seems her sepulchre to me.
Where am I?-life's current faintly flowing
Brings the welcome warning of release; Struck with death, ah! whither am I going?
All is weli,-my spirit parts in peace.