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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about The Christian Year.

   Father and Lover of our souls! 
   Though darkly round Thine anger rolls,
      Thy sunshine smiles beneath the gloom,
   Thou seek’st to warn us, not confound,
   Thy showers would pierce the hardened ground
And win it to give out its brightness and perfume.

   Thou smil’st on us in wrath, and we,
   E’en in remorse, would smile on Thee,
      The tears that bathe our offered hearts,
   We would not have them stained and dim,
   But dropped from wings of seraphim,
All glowing with the light accepted love imparts.

   Time’s waters will not ebb, nor stay;
   Power cannot change them, but Love may;
      What cannot be, Love counts it done. 
   Deep in the heart, her searching view
   Can read where Faith is fixed and true,
Through shades of setting life can see Heaven’s work begun.

   O Thou, who keep’st the Key of Love,
   Open Thy fount, eternal Dove,
      And overflow this heart of mine,
   Enlarging as it fills with Thee,
   Till in one blaze of charity
Care and remorse are lost, like motes in light divine;

   Till as each moment wafts us higher,
   By every gush of pure desire,
      And high-breathed hope of joys above,
   By every secret sigh we heave,
   Whole years of folly we outlive,
In His unerring sight, who measures Life by Love.

THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands.  Coloss. ii. 11.

   The year begins with Thee,
   And Thou beginn’st with woe,
To let the world of sinners see
   That blood for sin must flow.

   Thine infant cries, O Lord,
   Thy tears upon the breast,
Are not enough—­the legal sword
   Must do its stern behest.

   Like sacrificial wine
   Poured on a victim’s head
Are those few precious drops of Thine,
   Now first to offering led.

   They are the pledge and seal
   Of Christ’s unswerving faith
Given to His Sire, our souls to heal,
   Although it cost His death.

   They to His Church of old,
   To each true Jewish heart,
In Gospel graces manifold
   Communion blest impart.

   Now of Thy love we deem
   As of an ocean vast,
Mounting in tides against the stream
   Of ages gone and past.

   Both theirs and ours Thou art,
   As we and they are Thine;
Kings, Prophets, Patriarchs—­all have part
   Along the sacred line.

   By blood and water too
   God’s mark is set on Thee,
That in Thee every faithful view
   Both covenants might see.

   O bond of union, dear
   And strong as is Thy grace! 
Saints, parted by a thousand year,
   May thus in heart embrace.

   Is there a mourner true,
   Who fallen on faithless days,
Sighs for the heart-consoling view
   Of those Heaven deigned to praise?

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