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The cross! Oh, ravishment and bliss—
How grateful e'en its anguish is;
Its bitterness how sweet!
There every sense, and all the mind,
In all her faculties refined,
Tastes happiness complete.
Souls once enabled to disdain
Base sublunary joys, maintain
Their dignity secure;
The fever of desire is pass'd,
And love has all its genuine taste,
Is delicate and pure.
Self-love no grace in sorrow sees,
Consults her own peculiar ease;
'Tis all the bliss she knows;
But nobler aims true Love employ;
In self-denial is her joy,
suffering her repose.
Sorrow and love go side by side;
Nor height nor depth can e'er divide
Their heaven-appointed bands;
Those dear associates still are one,
Nortill the race of life is run
Disjoin their wedded hands.
Jesus, avenger of our fall,
Thou faithful lover, above all
The cross has ever borne!
Oh, tell me, life is in thy voice-
How much afflictions were thy choice,
And sloth and ease thy scorn!
Thy choice and mine shall be the same,
Inspirer of that holy flame
Which must for ever blaze!
To take the cross and follow thee,
Where love and duty lead, shall be
My portion and my praise.
Sweet tenants of this grove!
Who sing without design,
A song of artless love,
In unison with mine:
These echoing shades return
Full many a note of ours,
That wise ones cannot learn,
With all their boasted powers.
O thou! whose sacred charms
These hearts so seldom love,
Although thy beauty warms
And blesses all above;
How slow are human things,
To choose their happiest lot!
All-glorious King of kings,
Say why we love thee not?
This heart, that cannot rest,
Shall thine for ever prove;
Though bleeding and distress'd,
Yet joyful in thy love:
'Tis .# though it breaks
Beneath thy chastening hand;
And speechless, yet it speaks,
What thou canst understand.
STILL, still, without ceasing,
I feel it increasing,
This fervour of holy desire;
And often exclaim,
Let me die in the flame
Of a love that can never expire!
Had I words to explain
What she must sustain
Who dies to the world and its ways;
How joy and affright,
Distress and delight,
Alternately chequer her days:
Thou, sweetly severe !
I would make thee appear,
In all thou art pleased to award.
Not more in the sweet
Than the bitter I meet
My tender and merciful Lord.
This faith, in the dark,
Pursuing its mark,
Through many sharp trials of love,
Is the sorrowful waste
That is to be pass'd
On the way to the Canaan above.
THE NECESSITY OF SELF-ABASEMENT.
SouroE of love, my brighter sun,
Thou alone my comfort art;
See, my race is almost run;
Hast thou left this trembling heart?
In my youth thy charming eyes
Drew me from the ways of men;
Then I drank unmingled joys;
Frown of thine saw never then.
Spouse of Christ was then my name;
And, devoted all to thee,
Strangely jealous I became,
Jealous of this self in me.
Thee to love, and none beside,
Was my darling, sole employ;
While alternately I died,
Now of grief, and now of joy.
Through the dark and silent night
On thy radiant smiles I dwelt;
And to see the dawning light
Was the keenest pain I felt.
Thou my gracious teacher wert;
And thine eye, so close applied,
While it watch'd thy pupil's heart,
Seem'd to look at none beside.
Conscious of no evil drift,
This, I cried, is love indeed—
'Tis the giver, not the gift,
Whence the joys I feel proceed.
But, soon humbled and laid low,
Stript of all thou hast conferr'd,
Nothing left but sin and woe,
I perceived how I had err'd. ,
Oh, the vain conceit of man,
Dreaming of a good his own,
Arrogating all he can,
Though the Lord is good alone?
He the graces thou hast wrought
Makes subservient to his pride;
Ignorant that one such thought
Passes all his sin beside.
Such his folly—proved, at last
By the loss of that repose,
Self-complacence cannot taste,
Only love divine bestows.
'Tis by this reproof severe,
And by this reproof alone,
His defects at last appear,
Man is to himself made known.
Learn, all earth! that feeble man,
Sprung from this terrestrial clod,
Nothing is, and nothing can;
Life and power are all in God,
In of awful night we find
he God of our desires;
'Tis there he stamps the yielding mind,
And doubles all its fires.
Flames of encircling love invest,
And pierce it sweetly through;
'Tis fill'd with sacred joy, yet press'd
With sacred sorrow too.
Ah love! my heart is in the right-
Amidst a thousand woes
To thee, its ever new delight,
And all its peace it owes.
Fresh causes of distress occur
Where’er I look or move;
The comforts I to all prefer
Are solitude and leve.
Nor exile I nor prison fear;
Love makes my o great;
I find a Saviour every where,
His grace in every state.
Nor castle walls, nor dungeons deep,
Exclude his quickening beams;
There I can sit, and sing, and weep,
And dwell on heavenly themes.
There sorrow, for his sake, is found
Ajoy beyond compare;
There no presumptuous thoughts abound,
No pride can enter there.
A Saviour doubles all my joys,
And sweetens all my pains,
His strength in my defence employs,
Consoles me and sustains.
I fear no ill, resent no wrong;
Nor feel a passion move,
When malice whets her slanderous tongue;
Such patience is in love,
SCENES FAWOURABLE TO MEDITATION.
WILD’s horrid and dark with o'ershadowing trees,
Rocks that ivy and briers infold,
Scenes nature with dread and astonishment sees,
But I with a pleasure untold;
Though awfully silent, and shaggy, and rude,
I am charm'd with the peace ye afford;
Your shades are a temple where none will intrude,
The abode of my lover and Lord.
I am sick of thy splendour, O fountain of day,
And here I am hid from its beams,
Here safely contemplate a brighter display
Of the noblest and holiest of themes.
Yeforests, that yield me my sweetest repose,
Where stillness and solitude reign,
To you I securely and § disclose
T. dear anguish of which I complain.
Here, sweetly forgetting and wholly forgot
By the world and its turbulent throng,
The birds and the streams lend me many a note
That aids meditation and song.
Here, wandering in scenes that are sacred to night,
Love wears me and wastes me away,
And often the sun has spent much of his light
Ere yet I perceive it is day.
While a mantle of darkness envelops the sphere,
My sorrows are sadly rehearsed,
To me the dark hours are all equally dear,
And the last is as sweet as the first.
Here I and the beasts of the deserts agree,
Mankind are the wolves that I fear,
They grudge me my natural right to be free,
But nobody questions it here.
Though little is found in this dreary abode
That appetite wishes to find,
My spirit is soothed by the présence of God,
And appetite wholly resign'd.
Ye desolate scenes, to your solitude led,
My life I in praises employ,
And scarce know the source of the tears that I shed,
Proceed they from sorrow or joy.
There's nothing I seem to have skill to discern,
I feel out my way in the dark,
Lovereigns in my bosom, I constantly burn,
Yet hardly distinguish the spark.