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Pastoral A GENIAL hearth, a hospitable board,
Character And a refined rusticity, belong
To the neat mansion, where, his flock among,
The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful Lord.
Though meek and patient as a sheathèd sword;
Though pride's least lurking thought appear a
To human kind; though peace be on his tongue,
Gentleness in his heart—can earth afford
Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free,
As when, arrayed in Christ's authority,
He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand;
Conjures, implores, and labours all he can
For re-subjecting to divine command
The stubborn spirit of rebellious man ?
The Liturgy 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
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 Baptism
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,
The tombs—which hear and answer thatbrief cry,
The Ipfant's notice of his second birth
Recall the wandering Soul to sympathy
With what man hopes from Heaven, yet fears
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 !
Catechising 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 Auttered 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 re-appear :
O lost too early for the frequent tear,
And ill requitted by this heartfelt sigh !
Confirmation The Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
With holiday delight on every brow:
'Tis passed 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
Confirmation Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt ;
continued In and for whom the pious Mother felt Things that we judge of by a light too faint: Tell, if yemay, 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 powergiven 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 : Sacrament
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) Armour divine, and
The The Vested Priest before the Altar stands ; Marriage Approach, come gladly, ye prepared, in sight Ceremony of God and chosen friends, your troth to plight
With the symbolic ring, and willing hands
Solemnly joined. Now sanctify the bands
O Father!—to the Espoused thy blessing give,
That mutually assisted they may live
Obedient, as here taught, to thy commands.
the Church, to consecrate a Vow
“ The which would endless matrimony make ” ;
Union that shadows forth and doth partake
A mystery potent human love to endow
With heavenly, each more prized for the other's
sake; Weep not, meek Bride! uplift thy timid brow.
Thanks. Woman! the Power who left his throne on high, giving after And deigned to wear the robe of flesh we wear, Childbirth The Power that thro' the straits of Infancy
Did pass dependent on maternal care,
His own hunanity with Thee will share,
Pleased with the thanks that in his People's eye
Thou offerest up for safe Delivery
From Childbirth’s perilous throes. And should
Of thy fond hopes hereafter walk inclined
To courses fit to make a mother rue
That ever he was born, a glance of mind
this observance may renew
A better will; and, in the imagined view
Of thee thus kneeling, safety he may find.