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To human kind; though peace be on his tongue Gentleness in his heart,
can earth afford
Such genuine state, preeminence so free,
As when, arrayed in Christ's authority,
He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand;
Conjures, implores, and labors all he can
For resubjecting to divine command
The stubborn spirit of rebellious man?
YES, if the intensities of hope and fear
Attract us still, and passionate exercise
Of lofty thoughts, the way before us lies
Distinct with signs, through which in set career,
As through a zodiac, moves the ritual year
Of England's Church; stupendous mysteries!
Which whoso travels in her bosom eyes,
As he approaches them, with solemn cheer.
Upon that circle traced from sacred story
We only dare to cast a transient glance,
Trusting in hope that others may advance
With mind intent upon the King of Glory,
From his mild advent till his countenance
Shall dissipate the seas and mountains hoary.
DEAR be the Church, that, watching o'er the needs
Of Infancy, provides a timely shower,
Whose virtue changes to a Christian Flower
A Growth from sinful Nature's bed of weeds!
Fitliest beneath the sacred roof proceeds
The ministration; while parental Love
Looks on, and Grace descendeth from above
As the high service pledges now, now pleads.
There, should vain thoughts outspread their wings
To meet the coming hours of festal mirth,
which hear and answer that brief cry,
The Infant's notice of his second birth
Recall the wandering Soul to sympathy
With what man hopes from Heaven, yet fears from Earth.
FATHER! to God himself we cannot give
A holier name! then lightly do not bear
Both names conjoined, but of thy spiritual care
Be duly mindful: still more sensitive
Do thou, in truth a second Mother, strive
Against disheartening custom, that by thee
Watched, and with love and pious industry
Tended at need, the adopted Plant may thrive
For everlasting bloom. Benign and pure
This Ordinance, whether loss it would supply,
Prevent omission, help deficiency,
Or seek to make assurance doubly sure.
Shame if the consecrated Vow be found
An idle form, the Word an empty sound!
FROM Little down to Least, in due degree,
Around the Pastor, each in new-wrought vest,
Each with a vernal posy at his breast,
We stood, a trembling, earnest Company!
With low, soft murmur, like a distant bee,
Some spake, by thought-perplexing fears betrayed;
And some a bold, unerring answer made:
How fluttered then thy anxious heart for me,
Beloved Mother! Thou whose happy hand
Had bound the flowers I wore, with faithful tie:
Sweet flowers! at whose inaudible command
Her countenance, phantom-like, doth reappear :
O lost too early for the frequent tear,
And ill requited by this heartfelt sigh!
THE Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
With holiday delight on every brow:
'T is past away; far other thoughts prevail;
For they are taking the baptismal Vow
Upon their conscious selves; their own lips speak
The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail,
And many a blooming, many a lovely cheek,
Under the holy fear of God turns pale;
While on each head his lawn-robed servant lays
An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals
The Covenant. The Omnipotent will raise
Their feeble Souls; and bear with his regrets,
Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels
That ere the Sun goes down their childhood sets.
I SAW a Mother's eye intensely bent
Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt ;
In and for whom the pious Mother felt
Things that we judge of by a light too faint:
Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned Muse, or Saint!
Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved,
Then, when her Child the hallowing touch received,
And such vibration through the Mother went
That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear?
Opened a vision of that blissful place
Where dwells a Sister-child? And was power given Part of her lost One's glory back to trace
Even to this Rite? For thus she knelt, and, ere The summer-leaf had faded, passed to Heaven.
By chain yet stronger must the Soul be tied :
One duty more, last stage of this ascent,
Brings to thy food, mysterious Sacrament!
The Offspring, haply at the Parent's side;
But not till they, with all that do abide
In Heaven, have lifted up their hearts to laud
And magnify the glorious name of God,
Fountain of Grace, whose Son for sinners died.
Ye, who have duly weighed the summons, pause
No longer; ye, whom to the saving rite
The Altar calls; come early under laws
That can secure for you a path of light
Through gloomiest shade; put on (nor dread its weight)
Armor divine, and conquer in your cause!
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY.
THE Vested Priest before the Altar stands;
Approach, come gladly, ye prepared, in sight