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BLOSSOM.

THEREFORE as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.—Isaiah, v. 24.

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly.--Isaiah, xxxv. 1, 2.

FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do you fall so fast?
Your date is not so past

But you may stay yet here awhile,
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.

What! were ye born to be

An hour and half's delight,
And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave,
And after they have shown their pride
Like you awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

Our life hath many a wintry scene,
Deciduous are our sweetest joys;
And blossoms that have loveliest been,
Some withering demon oft destroys.

But there are germs that inly lie,
Waiting the touch of some kind hand,
Germs that destruction's power defy,
And soon in bloom of hope expand.

Lo, the arid desert
Shall blossom as the rose,
Wheresoe'er the messenger
Of the Saviour goes.

Herrick.

W. J. Brock.

Egone.

BOLDNESS.

How

I SPEAK as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. beit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.--II. Corinthians, xi 21.

Great is my boldness of speech towards you.--II. Corinthians, vii. 4. Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.--Ephesians, iii. 11, 12.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.--I. John, iv. 17. We were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.--I. Thessalonians, ii. 2.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.--Proverbs, xxviii. 1.

Where high the heavenly temple stands,
The house of God not made with hands,
A great High Priest our nature wears,
The guardian of mankind appears.
He who for men their surety stood,
And poured on earth His precious blood,
Pursues in heaven His mighty plan,
The Saviour and the friend of man.
With boldness, therefore, at the throne
Let us make all our sorrows known,
And ask the aid of heavenly power
To help us in the evil hour.

Jesus! Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
'Midst flaming worlds, in these array'd,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolv'd through these I am

Logan.

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame. Wesley.

The man is bold who fronts the cannon's mouth,
And trembles not when danger leads the way;
But bolder far is he who speaks the truth
Regardless who may stand around and hear,
And with a kindly spirit dares reprove
The fool that cavils at a world to come,

J. Burbidge.

BONDAGE.

THE bondage was heavy upon this people.--Nehemiah, v. 18.

They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free.--John,

viii. 33.

And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.--Acts, vii. 6.

The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.--Romans, viii. 21.

Put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness --Colossians, iii. 14. Deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.-Hebrews, ii. 15.

GET up, my soul; redeem thy sluggish eyes
From drowsy bondage: O beware; be wise:
Thy foe's before thee; thou must fight or fly:
Life lies most open in a closed eye.

Lamb of God, for sinners slain,
To thee I feebly pray;
Heal me of my grief and pain,
O take my sins away!

From this bondage Lord release;
No longer let me be opprest;
Jesus, Master, seal my peace,
And take me to thy breast.

My God, what silken cords are thine!

How soft, and yet how strong!

While power, and truth, and love combine,

To draw our souls along.

Thou sawest us crushed beneath the yoke

Of Satan and of sin:

Thy hand the iron bondage broke,

Our worthless hearts to win.

Drawn by such cords, we onward move,
Till round thy throne we meet;

And, captive in the chains of love,
Embrace our conqueror's feet.

Quarles.

Wesley.

Doddridge.

BOOK.

AND he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people.--Exodus, xxiv. 7.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up.--Nehemiah, viii. 5.

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!--Job, xix. 23.

Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.--Ecclesiastes, xii. 12.

There shall in no wise enter into it (the holy city) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.--Revelation, xxi. 27.

THY glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste,
Thy vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning may'st thou taste:
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show,
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by the dial's shady stealth may'st know
Time's thievish progress to eternity:

Look, what thy memory cannot contain,

Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shall find Those children nursed delivered from thy brain To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. These offices so oft as thou wilt look, Will profit thee, and much enrich thy book.

Shakspere.

But what strange art, what magic can dispose
The troubled mind to change its native woes,
Or lead us willing from ourselves, to see
Others more wretched, more undone than we?
This books can do;-nor this alone, they give
New views of life, and teach us how to live.
They soothe the grieved, the stubborn they chastise,
Fools they admonish, and confound the wise;
Their aid they yield to all; they never shun
The man of sorrow, nor the wretch undone.
Unlike the hard, the selfish, and the proud,
They fly not sullen from the suppliant crowd;
Nor tell to various people various things,

But show to subjects what they show to kings.

Blessed be the gracious Power! who taught mankind
To stamp a lasting image of the mind.

Beasts may convey and tuneful birds may sing
Their mutual feelings in the opening spring,
But man alone has skill and power to send
The heart's warm dictates to a distant friend;
'Tis his alone to please, instruct, advise
Ages remote, and nations yet to rise.

I love the sacred book of God,
No other can its place supply;
It points me to the saints' abode,
It gives me wings, and bids me fly.
Blest book! in thee my eyes discern
The image of my absent Lord;
From thine instructive page I learn
The joys his presence will afford.

Then shall I need thy light no more,

For nothing shall be there concealed;
When I have reached the heavenly shore
The Lord himself will stand revealed.

When, 'midst the throng celestial placed,
The bright original I see,

From which thy sacred page was traced,
Blest book! I've no more need of thee.

But while I'm here thou shalt supply
His place, and tell me of His love;
I'll read with faith's discerning eye,
And thus partake of joys above.

There is a book, who runs may read,
Which heavenly truth imparts,

And all the lore its scholars need
Pure eyes and Christian hearts.

Crabbe.

Kelly.

The works of God above, below,
Within us, and around,

Are pages in that book, to show
How God himself is found.

Keble.

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