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90. TO MY NATIVE TOWN.
PITTSFIELD, my native town, how chang'd art thou,
Since first, in childhood's years, thy streets I trod,
And in thy single temple worshipp'd God,
My father then thine only teacher!-Now
On ev'ry side the rival temples grow,
As though upspringing from prolific sod,
With tow'r, or spire high-tap'ring to a rod;
And num'rous teachers now heav'n's pathway
But Truth is one, unchang'd, always the same,—
Its sempiternal source with God on high,
Whence God's own Son in wondrous mercy came,
Pure light to pour on man's dark, wild'ring eye.
May all thy pastors guide their flocks aright,
And lead them to the heav'nly pastures bright.
91. TO SARAH ANNA HOPKINS.
SARAH, my much-lov'd grandchild, thou dost bear
An ancient name of honor; on this day,
Which marks just sixteen years, quick fled away
Since first thou didst draw in the vital air;
No greeting need I give thee, but my prayer,
Utter'd with all the fervency I may,
That of her "faith in God" the pow'rful sway,
Like ancient Sarah, thou wilt keep with care.
So shall thy future years, of unknown count,
Be years of honor, usefulness, and joy,
For thou wilt drink at Christian joy's pure fount,
And hopes, like these, will thy best thoughts employ--
'A glad exchange to me will sure be given,-
For death new life, for earth a glorious heaven!'
92. TO MRS. DOUGLASS, IN JAIL.
Lady, who late didst teach the blinded slave,
And hidden truth didst open to his sight,
God's minister of his own heav'nly light,-
I honor thee, most noble, good, and brave.
Let despots of the "Old Dominion” rave,
And for this, in their chivalry and might,
A woman shut in prison! This poor spite
From dark forgetfulness thy name shall save.
So Galileo was in dungeon deep
By bigots thrust, because he dar'd to say,
Our system's centre is the orb of day,
And earth revolves by laws that never sleep.
Though him they silenc'd, still the earth turns round:
Though thee they bind, God's light shall not be bound!
93. "READY FOR EITHER."
Fit emblem of Christ's servant,-him whose love
Has borne him to his distant heathen field,
Which, if not by him reach'd, can nothing yield
But crimes, that shut men out from heav'n above:
There, heedless of fatigue, his footsteps move
In ceaseless toil; nor from his view conceal'd
Lies hid the peril, when God's truth reveal'd
The worshipper is sham'd in idol's grove.
Brave man! toil on; thou shalt not toil in vain:
Thy master's promise trust; the good seed sow;
A glorious harvest thou wilt help to gain.
And should the madmen's dagger lay thee low,
Yet from thy outpour'd blood may spring the truth,
Life's nutriment to Old men and to Youth!
94. TO MISS HANNAH LYMAN, MONTREAL.
I owe thee many thanks, my distant friend,
That on the broad Canadian river's shore
Thy home being gain'd with joyfulness once more
Thou didst remember me, and to me send
These clust'ring Grapes, which now on me attend
To soothe a sick man's taste. From God's rich
They came, from where the northern tempests
His bounty wide, his mercy without end! They speak to faith of greater sweetness far
Denoted by the wine that Jesus gave,
The Son of God, who came from heav'n to save,—
The Blood of Him, the framer of each star,
Which purchases our life, salvation free,
High glory, honor, immortality!
95. VISIT TO PONTOOSUC OR PITTSFIELD.
PITTSFIELD, so nam'd from British statesman bold,
Who dar'd command the struggles of the free,
What time men forg'd the chains for liberty;
How dear art thou to my pain'd vision old?
And many a scene now past dost thou unfold,
And many a wither'd joy, as well might be,
For years have fall'n, as leaves from autumn tree,
Since first thy light I saw and bliss untold.
Swift as the shadow of a flying cloud
All earthly good departs; but as a rock,
Which heeds not ocean's waves nor tempest loud,
My faith in Jesus, Savior, bides the shock:-
The same I held, when first in early youth
I here proclaim'd the heav'n-descended truth.
COMPANY OF OLD MEN.
"Hail, OLD MEN! Quite a goodly Company !"—
True, we are old; this day assembled here
In this new mansion to partake this cheer,
Of ancient friend to wake the memory.-
Though old, yet have we undimm'd eyes to see
And ears that fail not yet the truths to hear,
Once taught by our deceased pastor dear,
Which some in life's fair morn cannot descry,
Sin's thick, delusive veil spread o'er their sight.
We see time's speed, and death to be no cheat;
To us the Sun of Righteousness shines bright,
And bright you heav'ns, up where we hope to meet.
We see the worth of Truth, of Faith, of Love,—
Our certain guides to ENDLESS LIFE above.
97. JOY IN A DYING HOUR.
To change for good alone my mingled state
In this brief life, and what I have to hold
By God's firm word while endless years unfold,—
This wakens joy; and this will be my fate,
When soon shall come my final, worldly date.—
Now hear I this-" O, chosen one, behold
Wonders of love divine, by Christ unroll'd ;-
Come, share our bliss unmeasurably great!"-
Not one is toss'd by tempest, all at rest;—
Not one is conscience-smitten of the throng;— Not one a suff"rer, all I see are blest ;All know God's truth, all lift th' eternal song.Thus hearing calls from ev'ry heav'nly voice— These scenes in vision-DYING I REJOICE!
Great are the works of God, which meet our sight. Proud, sinful man! thyself above all fear
Of him who made the earth, come, stand but here, And here be taught his majesty and might.
This stream from western lakes how broad and bright?
But now its waves in froth and rage appear,
And as they plunge down deep, their voice we hear, Like thunders bursting from the clouds of night. This river from his hand doth God outpour:
Then say, O sinner! hast thou naught to dread From Majesty Divine, whom thou each hour Dost treat with scorn, though soon to join the dead? Pause in thy guilty path:-consider wellGod's wrathful flood may plunge thee down to hell!
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.
How can a sinning man with God be just?
This grand inquiry all men need to make,
For all are guilty; and they well may quake
For flagrant evil deeds or secret lust,
For which God's law smites down their prideful trust.
Ye sleepers on the brink of woe! awake
And to the Gospel listen:-that can break
The fetters binding all the lost unjust.
Justice and love in wonderful display,
Mercy and truth in union sweet combine, And shine forth glorious in the scheme divine. The word reveal'd unfolds to us the way,
By which we, sinners, can be just with God;It is by FAITH in Christ's atoning blood.