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Oh! who would bear life's stormy doom,
Did not Thy wing of love Come brightly wafting through the gloom,
One peace-branch from above.
The sorrow touch'd by Thee grows bright,
With more than rapture's ray,
T. MOORE. PROBATION.
Sweet hope sustains the soul.
If we would consider this world on the true Scripture ground, as a state of probation ; if we consider religion as a school for happiness indeed, but of which the consummation is only to be enjoyed in heaven, the Christian hope will support us, the Christian faith will strengthen us. We shall serve diligently, wait patiently, love cordially, obey faithfully, and be steadfast under all trials, sustained by the cheering promise held out to them “who endure unto the end."
Most of the beatitudes which Infinite compassion pronounced, have the sorrows of earth for their subject, but the joys of heaven for their completion.
The hour of death, which to the wish of the sceptic brings extinction, or the bewildering dread of something worse, is, to the Christian believer, the hour of his nativity, the birth-day of immortality. At the height of his sufferings the spirit of the good man is calm. He knows they are appointed in mercy by Him who cannot err, and that they will soon terminate.
In the zenith of his successes the sinner has the same assurance; but, oh, how different is the result of the same conviction !
An invincible faith sustains and consoles the one, while an inextinguishable dread gives the lie to the proudest triumphs of the other!
He then is the only happy man, not whom worldly prosperity renders apparently happy, but whom no change of circumstances can make essentially miserable, whose peace depends not on external events, but on internal support; on that hope which is the peculiar privilege, and on those promises which are the sole prerogative of the Christian. Those who connect with religion,
gloomy and austere ideas, and say that it increases the melancholy of the afflicted, little know its nature; are little able to conceive the serene and cheerful light it sheds on such as are influenced by its dictates, and guided by its principles. While centering their best hopes on the fruition of its divine promises, and making it their stay and support in all the troubles of a tempestuous world, the arrows of affliction pass by them comparatively harmless; and although, on every side, the storm may assail them, they still feel themselves safe, for they still with are God, their guide, preserver and friend !
Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs
added days, Invades-possesses—and o’erwhelms the soul Of him whom Hope has with a touch made whole. 'Tis heav'n, all heav'n descending on the wings Of the glad legions of the King of kings : 'Tis more,—'tis God diffus'd through every part, 'Tis God himself triumphant in his heart.
THE FRIEND DECEASED.
** I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
Vor to the grave, not to the grave, my soul,
Descend to contemplate
The form that once was dear!
The spirit is not there
The spirit is not there!
That moulders in the grave;
Now to the elements,
Not to the grave, not to the grave, my soul,
Follow thy friend beloved,
The spirit is not there!