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SPIRITUAL BIRTH.

A

DIVINE POEM.

SPIRITUAL BIRTH.

DIVINE POEM.

PART 1.

How keen are the pains of a spiritual birth,

When its dreadful attendants invade! The soul is a stranger to music and mirth,

A companion for none but the dead.

But spiritual travail is life in disguise,

Though with imminent dangers beset; The voice of the prophets calls flames from the skies ;

Yea, and Moses pursues us for debt,

All crimes from the cradle come fresh to the mind,

Transgression's presented to view; While Satan accuses for every crime,

Yea, and Conscience repeats-it is true.

Jehovah erects his tribunal within,

And the criminal trembles with guilt; The billows of wrath stir the motions of sin, And the arrows of vengeance are felt. VOL. II.

2 A

His feigned profession is totally marr'd,

Both torments and terrors invade;
The door of kind Mercy seems bolted and barr'd,
And the gates of Destruction display'd.

All friends stand aloof, and acquaintances hide,
And the soul is refus'd to be known;
Our intimates curse us, and scorners deride,
Yea, and fathers and mothers disown.

I envy'd the brutes which dissolve with the day,
And reflected with wrath on the womb;

The pains of the damn'd rack'd my mind with dismay, And I wish'd I could end in a tomb.

I cavill'd with Mercy, and trembled at Fate,
While distraction was raging within;
And envy'd the angels their innocent state,
For I knew they were strangers to sin.

This fearing, and doubting, and hoping between;
While the Tempter, he never gives out;
His dreadful blaspemies how cutting and keen,
When my life hung impending doubt!

My follies were link'd like a chain to my soul,
And as bound for the realms of the dead:
I look'd for a friend, or for some to condole,
But my friends and companions were fled!

On my wearisome bed I courted the day,
And at morning I woo'd for the night;
I mourned to think in what darkness I lay,
And yet trembled as much at the light.

If I made my confession in private alone,

Then the worst of temptations began; And, though I petition'd with many a groan,

Yet I fain would have fled from his hand.

The horrors of justice, and terrors of death,

And mad desperation within !
How dreadful to travel this perilous path,

With a conscience polluted with sin!

This sorrowful travail, what will it avail,

While my heart's too contracted to yield? Despair and distraction must, doubtless, prevail:

My wound is too deep to be heal’d.

My cruel companions, they daily deride,

And I'm chaf’d with the plague of my heart; My prayers to Heaven have passage deny’d,

And this wounds more than dagger or dart.

Can such a conception be found in the dead?

And, if quicken'd, why under the curse? Hope springing within me, must prove that I'm wed;

And, if barren, then why am I thus?

But, though of all strength I am wholly bereav'd,

And deliverance hid from my view; Yet, still in child-bearing the spouse must be sav'd;

Old Adam must yield to the New.

My Saviour perceiv'd me when sunk in distress,

And his love could no longer refrain : He yielded to prayer, and granted redress;

And my mountains were sunk to a plain.

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