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HROUGH shades and solitudes profound
The fainting traveller winds his way; Bewildering meteors glare around,
And tempt his wandering feet astray.
Welcome, thrice welcome, to his eye
The sudden moon's inspiring light,
When forth she sallies through the sky,
The guardian angel of the night.
Thus mortals, blind and weak, below
Pursue the phantom Bliss, in vain;
The world's a wilderness of woe,
And life a pilgrimage of pain.
Till mild Religion, from above
Descends, a sweet engaging form-
The messenger of heavenly love,
The bow of promise in a storm.
Then guilty passions wing their flight,
Sorrow, remorse, affliction cease;
Religion's yoke is soft and light,
And all her paths are paths of peace.
Ambition, pride, revenge, depart,
And folly flies her chastening rod;
She makes the humble contrite heart
A temple of the living GOD.
Beyond the narrow vale of time,
Where bright celestial ages roll,
To scenes eternal, scenes sublime,
She points the way, and leads the soul.
"At her approach the Grave appears
The gate of Paradise restored ;
Her voice the watching Cherub hears,
And drops his double-flaming sword.
Baptized with her renewing fire,
May we the crown of glory gain;
Rise when the host of heaven expire,
And reign with God, for ever reign!
FOR GOD'S BLESSING ON HIS ASSEMBLED
COMMAND Thy blessing from above,
O GOD! on all assembled here;
Behold us with a Father's love,
While we look up with filial fear.
Command Thy blessing, Jesus, LORD!
May we Thy true disciples be;
Speak to each heart the mighty word,
Say to the weakest, “ Follow me.”
Command Thy blessing in this hour,
Spirit of truth! and fill this place,
With humbling and exalting power,
With quickening and confirming grace.
O Thou, our Maker, Saviour, Guide !
One true eternal GOD confest,
May nought in life or death divide
The saints in Thy communion blest.
With Thee and these for ever bound,
May all who here in prayer unite,
With harps and songs Thy throne surround,
Rest in Thy love, and reign in light.
“PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER.”
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed ;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast:
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear;
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high :
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;
His watchword at the gates of death,-
He enters heaven with prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice,
“Behold, he prays !”
In prayer, on earth, the saints are one
In word, and deed, and mind;
When with the Father and His Son
Sweet fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone :
The Holy Spirit pleads;
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.
O Thou by whom we come to GOD,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod;
LORD, teach us how to pray!
THE FALL AND RECOVERY OF MAN.
To Adam thus JEHOVAH spake:
“ The ground is cursed for thy sake;
Thence eat thy bread; and there once more
Become the dust thou wert before.”
"Serpent !” again JEHOVAH said,
“ The woman's seed shall bruise thy head ;
Yet in the strife thy fury feel,
For thou shalt turn, and bruise his heel.”
Hail to Immanuel's promised birth !
He brings the blessing back to earth :
In Adam died the race of men,
In Christ they all shall live again.
Hail to our dying, rising LORD!
By Him is Paradise restored ;
Not Eden only,—but the Tree
Of Life and Immortality.
HEAVEN is a place of rest from sin ;
But all who hope to enter there
Must here that holy course begin,
Which shall their souls for rest prepare.
Clean hearts, O GOD! in us create;
Right spirits, LORD, in us renew :
Commence we now that higher state,
Now do Thy will as angels do.
A life in heaven !-Oh, what is this?-
The sum of all that faith believed,
Fulness of joy and depths of bliss,
Unseen, unfathomed, unconceived.
While thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers,
And saints made perfect triumph thus,
A goodly heritage is ours;
There is a heaven on earth for us.
The Church of Christ, the means of grace,
The Spirit teaching through the Word,-
In those our Saviour's steps we trace,
By this His living voice is heard.
Firm in His footsteps may we tread,
Learn every lesson of His love,
And be from grace to glory led,
From heaven below to heaven above.
JESUS, our best belovéd Friend,
Draw out our souls in pure desire;
Jesus, in love to us descend,
Baptize us with Thy Spirit's fire.
On Thy redeeming name we call ;
Poor and unworthy though we be,
Pardon and sanctify us all :
Let each Thy full salvation see.
Our souls and bodies we resign,
To fear and follow Thy commands:
Oh, take our hearts,-our hearts are Thine:
Accept the service of our hands.
Firm, faithful, watching unto prayer,
May we Thy blesséd will obey,
Toil in Thy vineyard here, and bear
The heat and burden of the day.
Yet, LORD, for us a resting-place
In heaven, at Thy right hand, prepare,
And till we see Thee face to face,
Be all our conversation there!