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Oh, how unlike the complex works of man,
Heaven's easy, artless, unencumbered plan!
No meretricious graces to beguile,
No clustering ornaments to clog the pile;
From ostentation, as from weakness free,
It stands like the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic in its own simplicity.
Inscribed above the portal, from afar,
Conspicuous as the brightness of a star,
Legible only by the Light they give,
Stand the soul-quickening words -- Believe and live.
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare;
Learning is one, and wit, however rare.
The Frenchman, first in literary fame,
(Mention him if you please. Voltaire? The same.)
With spirit, genius, eloquence, supplied,
Lived long, wrote much, laughed heartily, and died;
The Scripture was his jest-book, whence he drew
Bon-mots to gall the Christian and the Jew;
An infidel in health, but what when sick ?
Oh!- then a text would touch him at the quick :
View him at Paris in his last career:
Surrounding throngs the demigod revere;
Exalted on his pedestal of pride,
And fumed with frankincense on every side,
He begs their flattery with his latest breath,
And, smothered in it at last, is praised to death.
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door,
Pillow and bobbins all her little store,
Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay,
Shuffling her threads about the livelong day,
Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;
She, for her humble sphere by God made fit,
Has little understanding and no wit,
Receives no praise; but though her lot be such
(Toilsome and indigent), she renders much;
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true-
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ;
And in that charter reads, with sparkling eyes,
Her title to a treasure in the skies.
Oh, happy peasant ! oh, unhappy bard !
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward;
He, praised perhaps for ages yet to come;
She, never heard of half-a-mile from home:
He, lost in errors, his vain heart prefers;
She, safe in the simplicity of hers.
MARSHALLING all His terrors as He came,
Thunder, and earthquake, and devouring flame,
From Sinai's top Jehovah gave the law,
Life for obedience, death for every flaw.
When the great Sovereign would His will express, He gives a perfect rule—what can He less ? And guards it with a sanction as severe As vengeance can inflict, or sinners fear: Else His own glorious rights He would disclaim, And man might safely trifle with His name. He bids him glow with unremitting love To all on earth, and to Himself above; Condemns the injurious deed, the slanderous tongue, The thought that meditates a brother's wrong: Brings not alone the more conspicuous partHis conduct to the test, but tries his heart. Hark! universal nature shook and groaned ; 'Twas the last trumpet-see the Judge enthroned: Rouse all your courage at your utmost need, Now summon every virtue, stand and plead. What! silent? Is your boasting heard no more? That self-renouncing wisdom, learned before, Had shed immortal glories on your brow, That all your virtues cannot purchase now. All joy to the believer! He can speak Trembling yet happy, confident yet meek. Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot, And cut up all my follies by the root, I never trusted in an arm but thine, Nor hoped, but in thy righteousness divine ! My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled, Were but the feeble efforts of a child; Howe'er performed, it was their brightest part That they proceeded from a grateful heart: Cleansed in thine own all-purifying blood, Forgive their evil, and accept their good :
I cast them at thy feet-my only plea
Is what it was, dependence upon thee:
While struggling in the vale of tears below,
That never failed, nor shall it fail me now.
Angelic gratulations rend the skies,
Pride falls unpitied, never more to rise ;
Humility is crowned, and Faith receives the prize.
WHEN one, that holds communion with the skies,
Has filled his urn where these pure waters rise,
And once more mingles with us meaner things,
'Tis e'en as if an angel shook his wings;
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide,
That tells us whence his treasures are supplied.
So when a ship, well freighted with the stores
The sun matures on India's spicy shores,
Has dropped her anchor, and her canvass furled,
In some safe haven of our western world,
"Twere vain inquiry to what port she went;
The gale informs us, laden with the scent.
THE DISCIPLES ON THEIR WAY TO
It happened on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He that was our Surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event:
They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurred 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 farther traced, enriched them still the more;
They thought Him, and they justly thought Him, One
Sent to do more than He appeared to have done
To exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else--and wondered He should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger joined them, courteous as a friend,
And asked them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begged a share.
Informed, He gathered up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all He said,
Explained, illustrated, and searched 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,