A PENITENTIAL SOLILOQUY.
What though no objects strike upon the
Thy sacred presence is an inward light.
What though no sounds shall penetrate the ear!
To listening thought the voice of truth is clear.
Sincere devotion needs no outward shrine;
The centre of an humble soul is thine.
There may I worship! and there mayst thou place
Thy seat of mercy, and thy throne of grace!
Yea, fix, if Christ my advocate appear,
The dread tribunal of thy justice there!
Let each vain thought, let each impure desire
Meet in thy wrath with a consuming fire.
And here are two of more lyrical favour.
THE SOUL’S TENDENCY TOWARDS ITS TRUE CENTRE.
Stones towards the earth descend;
Rivers to the ocean roll;
Every motion has some end:
What is thine, beloved soul?
“Mine is, where my Saviour is;
There with him I hope to dwell:
Jesu is the central bliss;
Love the force that doth impel.”
Truly thou hast answered right:
Now may heaven’s attractive grace
Towards the source of thy delight
Speed along thy quickening pace!
“Thank thee for thy generous care:
Heaven, that did the wish inspire,
Through thy instrumental prayer,
Plumes the wings of my desire.
“Now, methinks, aloft I fly;
Now with angels bear a part:
Glory be to God on high!
Peace to every Christian heart!”
THE ANSWER TO THE DESPONDING SOUL.
Cheer up, desponding soul;
Thy longing pleased I see:
’Tis part of that great whole
Wherewith I longed for thee.
Wherewith I longed for thee,
And left my Father’s throne,
From death to set thee free,
To claim thee for my own.
To claim thee for my own,
I suffered on the cross:
O! were my love but known,
No soul could fear its loss.
No soul could fear its loss,
But, filled with love divine,
Would die on its own cross,
And rise for ever mine.
Surely there is poetry as well as truth in this. But, certainly in general, his thought is far in excess of his poetry.
Here are a few verses which I shall once more entitle
With peaceful mind thy race of duty run
God nothing does, or suffers to be done,
But what thou wouldst thyself, if thou couldst see
Through all events of things as well as he.
* * * * *
Think, and be careful what thou art within,
For there is sin in the desire of sin:
Think and be thankful, in a different case,
For there is grace in the desire of grace.
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