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Though whirlwinds tear the blossoms fair, yet still the stem may thrive,
While a cold season's withering blight scarce leaves the root alive.
But as our earthly pleasures fade, if plants of heavenly peace
Spring in our bosom's wilderness, and, nurtured there, increase,
In humble hope, and holy fear, our hearts will daily prove That, "smitten friends are angels sent on errands full of love."
Then seek not hours of sober grief or sorrowing thought to shun,
Until our hearts are brought in truth to say, "Thy will be done."
And grateful love for strokes like these, our hearts to God may warm,
Perhaps He saw the gathering cloud, and housed them from the storm.
If in his own good time and way he shelter these from ill, And in his mercy bless the blow to those remaining still, May we not hope to join in heaven the song the blessed raise?
Almighty God, and King of saints, how just and true thy ways.
HYMN TO THE FLOWERS.
DAYSTARS! that ope your eyes with man to twinkle
Ye matin worshippers! who, bending lowly
Ye bright Mosaics! that, with storied beauty,
'Neath clustered boughs, each floral bell that swingeth And tolls its perfume on the passing air, Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth
A call to prayer..
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand,
But to that fane, most Catholic and solemn,
To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder,
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply, Its choir the winds and waves-its organ thunderIts dome the sky.
There, as in solitude and shade I wander
Through the green aisles, or stretched upon the sod, Awed by the silence, reverently ponder
The ways of God.
Your voiceless lips, O flowers! are living preachers,
Floral apostles! that, in dewy splendour,
"Weep without wo, and blush without a crime,"
Oh! may I deeply learn, and ne'er surrender
"Thou wert not, Solomon! in all thy glory, Arrayed," the lilies cry-" in robes like ours;
How vain your grandeur! ah, how transitory
In the sweet-scented pictures, heavenly Artist!
Of love to all!
Not useless are ye, flowers! though made for pleasure, Blooming o'er field and wave, by day and night, From every source your sanction bids me treasure Harmless delight.
Ephemeral sages! what instructors hoary
For such a world of thought could furnish scope? Each fading calyx a memento mori,
Yet fount of hope.
Posthumous glories! angel-like collection!
And second birth.
Were I, O God! in churchless lands remaining,
HEAVEN is not merely a thing to come; it is in one sense a present possession; for "he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." It is a state within us, rather than a place without us; it is the likeness and the enjoyment, and the service of God; that which every true Christian carries in his bosom now, and into which he will fully enter hereafter, when he shall be made perfect in love.
To this state all true religion is ever tending. The spirit of love is the motion and progress of the soul towards its eternal rest in the presence of God. No man can be prepared for heavenly happiness while his heart is destitute of this; and whosoever has most of it, knows most of the unseen and ineffable joys of the righteous. He lives in the vestibule of the heavenly temple, and is ready,