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Hardened with toil and exercise,
They counted ease itself a vice;
Which so improved their temperance
That, to avoid extravagance,
They flew into a hollow tree,
Blessed with content and honesty.
Then leave complaints: fools only strive
To make a great an honest hive.
T'enjoy the world's conveniences,
Be famed in war, yet live in ease,
Without great vices, is a vain
Utopia seated in the brain.
THE HAZARD OF LOVING THE CREATURES
Where'er my flattering passions rove,
I find a lurking snare;
'Tis dangerous 'to let loose our love
Beneath th' eternal fair.
Souls whom the tie of friendship binds,
And things that share our blood,
Seize a large portion of our minds,
And leave the less for God.
Nature has soft but powerful bands,
And reason she controls;
While children with their little hands
Hang closest to our souls.
Thoughtless they act th' old Serpent's part;
What tempting things they be!
Lord, how they twine about our heart,
And draw it off from Thee!
Our hasty wills rush blindly on
Where rising passion rolls,
And thus we make our fetters strong
To bind our slavish souls.
Dear Sovereign, break these fetters off,
And set our spirits free;
God in Himself is bliss enough;
For we have all in Thee.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
When the fierce north-wind with his airy forces
Rears up the Baltic to a foaming fury;
And the red lightning with a storm of hail comes
Rushing amain down;
How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble,
While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet,
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters,
Quick to devour them.
Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder
(If things eternal may be like these earthly),
Such the dire terror when the great Archangel
Shakes the creation;
Tears the strong pillars of the vault of heaven,
Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes.
See the graves open, and the bones arising,
Flames all around them!
Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches!
Lively bright horror and amazing anguish
Stare through their eyelids, while the living worm lies
Gnawing within them.
Thoughts like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,
And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds the
Lofty Judge frowning, and a flood of vengeance
Rolling afore Him.
Hopeless immortals! how they scream and shiver, While devils push them to the pit wide-yawning Hideous and gloomy, to receive them headlong Down to the centre!
Stop here, my fancy: (all away, ye horrid
Doleful ideas!) come, arise to Jesus,
How He sits God-like! and the saints around Him
Throned, yet adoring!
O may I sit there when He comes triumphant,
Dooming the nations! then arise to glory,
While our hosannas all along the passage
Shout the Redeemer.
O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years for to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:
Under the shadow of Thy throne,
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
O God, our help in ages past;
Our hope for years to come;
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home!
A CRADLE HYMN
Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed!
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.
Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment:
All thy wants are well supplied.
How much better thou'rt attended
Than the Son of God could be, When from Heaven He descended And became a child like thee!
Soft and easy is thy cradle:
Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay, When His birthplace was a stable And His softest bed was hay.
Blessed babe! what glorious features-
Spotless fair, divinely bright!
Must He dwell with brutal creatures?
How could angels bear the sight?
Was there nothing but a manger
Cursed sinners could afford
To receive the heavenly stranger?
Did they thus affront their Lord?
Soft, my child: I did not chide thee, Though my song might sound too hard; 'Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
And her arms shall be thy guard.
Yet to read the shameful story
How the Jews abused their King, How they served the Lord of Glory, Makes me angry while I sing.
See the kinder shepherds round Him,
Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
With His virgin mother by.
See the lovely babe a-dressing;
Lovely infant, how He smiled! When He wept, the mother's blessing Soothed and hushed the holy child.
Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
Where the hornèd oxen fed;
Peace, my darling; here's no danger,
Here's no ox a-near thy bed.
'Twas to save thee, child, from dying,
Save my dear from burning flame,
Bitter groans and endless crying,
That thy blest Redeemer came.
May'st thou live to know and fear him,
Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell forever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise!