But list to the words of the Saviour of men,
“Verily, verily I say unto thee,
That no man, except he be born again,
Is permitted the kingdom of heaven to see.”
How humbling to pride were these words of our Lord,
What fears in his guest they serve to awaken;
Though a ruler of Jews, he was yet in his sins;
The first step towards heaven he never had taken.
Ah! Nicodemus, how many like thee,
Would perceive all their boasted religion was vain,
Could they meet but his glance who “searcheth the heart,
And trieth the reins of the children of men.”
Sept. 9, 1852.
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD AND FREE AGENCY OF MAN.
Thou art a perfect Sovereign, oh my God!
And I rejoice to think that thou art so;
That all events are under thy control,
And that thou knowest all I think and do.
But some may ask, “then why am I to blame
Because I sin, if God hath made me thus?”
Stop, stop, my friend, God tempteth not to sin,
Thou dost it of thy own free will and choice.
Though God is Sovereign, we free agents are,
Accountable to him for all we do,
Feel, think, or say; and at the last great day,
A most exact account must render too.
With this conclusion be thou satisfied—
For all who will accept him, Christ hath died.
Sept. 19, 1862.
* * * * *
God is a Sovereign, man free agent too;
How these to reconcile I do not know:
But this I know, if lost, the blame is mine,
If saved, the praise, oh God! be only thine.
AUTUMN AND SUNSET.
Hail, sober Autumn! thee I love,
Thy healthful breeze and clear blue sky;
And more than flowers of Spring admire
Thy falling leaves of richer dye.
’Twas even thus when life was young,
I welcomed Autumn with delight;
Although I knew that with it came
The shorter day and lengthened night.
Let others pass October by,
Or dreary call its hours, or chill;
Let poets always sing of Spring,
My praise shall be of Autumn still.
And I have loved the setting sun,
E’en than his rising beams more dear;
’Tis fitting time for serious thought,
It is an hour for solemn prayer.
Before the evening closes in,
Or night’s dark curtains round us fall,
See how o’er tree, and spire, and hill,
That setting sun illumines all.
So when my earthly race is run,
When called to bid this world adieu,
Like yonder cloudless orb I see,
May my sun set in glory too.
Oct 8, 1852.
“MY TIMES ARE IN THY HAND.”
My times are in thy hand, my God!
And I rejoice that they are so;
My times are in thy hand, my God,
Whether it be for weal or woe.