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THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.
When sinners broke the Father's laws,
The dying Son atones :
The triumph of his groans !
Adorn the heavenly plains; Sweet cherubs learn Immanuel's name,
And try their choicest strains. O may I bear some humble part
In that immortal song ! Wonder and joys shall tune my heart,
And love coinmand my tongue.
THE HUMBLE INQUIRY.
A French Sonnet imitated. 1695.
Shepiends, rejoice, lift up your eyes,
And send your fears away; News from the region of the skies,
Salvation's born to-day. “ Jesus, the God whom angels fear,
Comes down to dwell with you; To-day he makes his entrance here,
But not as monarchs do. “ No gold, nor purple swaddling bands,
Nor royal shining things;
And holds the King of kings. “ Go, shepherds, where the infant lies,
And see his humble throne; With tears of joy in all your eyes,
Go, shepherds, kiss the Son." Thus Gabriel sang: and straight around
The heavenly arinies throng ; They tune their harps to lofty sound,
And thus conclude the song : "Glory to God that reigns above,
Le peace surround the Earth; Mortals shall know their Maker's love,
At their Redeemer's birth."
And men no tunes to raise ?
When they forget to praise!
That pitied us forlorn !
For there's a Saviour born.
Grand Dieu, tes Jugemens, &c. Grace rules below, and sits enthron'd above, How few the sparks of wrath ! how slow they move, And drop and die in boundless seas of love! But me, vile wretch ! should pitying Love embrace Deep in its ocean, Hell itself would blaze, And fash, and burn me through the boundless seas, Yea, Lord, my guilt, to such a vastness grown, Seems to confine thy choice to wrath alone, And calls thy power to vindicate thy throne. Thine honour bids, “ avenge thine injur'd name," Thy slighted loves a dreadful glory claim, While my moist tears might but incense thy flame. Should Heaven grow black, almighty thunder roar, And vengeance blast me, I could plead no more,
I But own thy justice dying, and adore. Yet can those bolts of Death, that cleave the flood To reach a rebel, pierce this sacred shroud, Ting'd in the vital stream of my Redeemer's blood!
THE PENITENT PARDONED.
GOD GLORIOUS, AND SINNERS SAVED. Father, how wide thy glory shine's!
How high thy wonders rise !
By thousand through the skies.
Their motions speak thy skill;
We read thy patience still.
On all thy creatures writ;
Or impress of thy feet.
To save rebellious woris,
In their divinest forms;
We love and we adore;
So much of God before.
Nor dares a creature guess
The justice or the grace.
Hence from my soul, my Sins, depart !
Peace, my complaints! Let every groan
Dark as our thoughts our minutes roll, Be still, and silence wait his love;
While tyranny possess'd the throne, Compassions dwell amidst his throne,
And murderers of an Irish soul And through his inmost bowels move.
Ran, threatening death, through every town. Lo, from the everlasting skies,
The Romish priest and British prince Gently, as morning-dews distil,
Join'd their best force, and blackest charms, The dove immortal downward flies,
And the fierce troops of neighbouring France With peaceful olive in his bill.
Offer'd the service of their arms. How sweet the voice of pardon sounds!
“ 'Tis done,” they cried, and laugh'd aloud : Sweet the relief to deep distress :
The courts of darkness rang with joy, I feel the balm that heals my wounds,
Th’old Serpent hiso’d, and Hell grew proud,
While Zion mourn'd her ruin nigh.
And smiling seas, and wishing gales,
Convey him to the longing land.
The happy day', and happy year, FOR THREE GREAT SALVATIONS.
Both in our new salvation meet :
The day that quench'd the burning snare, 1. From the Spanish Invasion, 1588.
The year that burnt th’invading fleet. 2 Prom the Gun-powder Plot, Nov. 5.
Now did thine arm, O God of Hosts, 3. From Popery and Slavery by K. William of Glo. Now did thine arm shine dazzling bright; rious Memory, why landed Nov. 5. 1688. The sons of might their hands had lost, Composed Nov. 5, 1695. And men of blood forgot to fight.
Brigades of angels lin’d the way, INFINITE God, thy counsels stand
And guarded William to his throne: Like mountains of eternal brass,
There, ye celestial warriors, stay, Pillars to prop our sinking land,
And make his palace like your own. Or guardian rocks to break the seas.
Then, mighty God, the Earth shall know From pole to pole thy name is known,
And learn the worship of the sky : Thee a whole Heaven of angels praise;
Angels and Britons join below, Our labouring tongues would reach thy throne To raise their Hallelujahs high. With the loud triumphs of thy grace.
All Hallelujah, heavenly King ! Part of thy church, by thy command,
While distant lands thy victory sing, Stands rais'd upon the British isles;
And tongues their utmost powers employ, * There,” said the Lord,“ to ages stand,
The world's bright roof repeats the joy.
My God, the mark of my desires,
And hides his lovely face;
When he descends within my view,
He charms my reason to pursue,
But leaves it tir'd and fainting in th’ unequal chase. Beneath the senate and the throne
Or if I reach unusual height Engines of hellish thunder lay;
Till near his presence brought, There the dark seeds of fire were sown,
There floods of glory check my fight, To spring a bright but dismal day.
Cramp the bold pinions of my wit, Thy Lore beheld the black design,
And all untune my thought; Thy Love, that guards our island round;
Plung'd in a sea of light I roll, Strange! how it quench'd the fiery mine,
Where wisdom, justice, mercy, shines;
(soul. And crush'd the tempest under ground.
Infinite rays in crossing lines
Come to my aid, ye fellow-minds,
And help me reach the throne;
(What single strength in vain designs, Assume, my tongue, a nobler strain,
United force hath done ;
.Nov. 5, 1688.
Nov. 5, 1588.
Thus worms may join, and grasp the poles,
My cheerful Soul now all the day
Sits waiting here and sings;
Looks through the ruins of her clay, Stretch'd to their last extent of thought, plunge and And practises her wings. are lost in thee.
Faith almost changes intu sight, Great God! behold, my reason lies
While from afar she spies Adoring; yet my love would rise
Her fair inheritance, in light On pinions not her own :
Above created skies. Faith shall direct her humble Aight,
Had but the prison walls been strong,
And firm without a flaw,
And less of glory saw.
Through every chink appear,
And something of the joy she feels
While she's a prisoner here. My thoughts, that often mount the skies,
The shines of Heaven rush sweetly in Go, search the world beneath,
At all the gaping flaws : Where Nature in all ruin lies,
Visions of endless bliss are seen,
And native air she draws.
O may these walls stand tottering still,
The breaches never close, And heaps of dust and bones appear
If I must here in darkness dwell, Through all the hollow ground.
And all this glory lose! These skulls, what ghastly figures now!
Or rather let this flesh decay, How loathsome to the eyes!
The ruins wider grow, These are the heads we lately knew
Till, glad to see th’ enlarged way, So beanteous and so wise.
I stretch'd my pinions through.
That left this dying clay?
And trace Eternity.
THE UNIVERSAL HALLELUJAH.
PSALM CXLVIII. PARAPHRASED.
Praise ye the Lord with joyful tongue,
Ye powers that guard his throne;
Jesus the Man shall lead the song,
The God inspire the tune.
Gabriel, and all th' immortal choir
That fill the realms above,
Sing; for he form'd you of his fire,
And feeds you with his love. Some hearty friend shall drop his tear
Shine to his praise, ye crystal skies, On our dry bones, and say, « These once were strong, as mine appear,
The floor of his abode, And mine must be as they."
Or veil your little twinkling eyes
Before a brighter God.
Thou restless globe of golden light,
Whose beams create our days,
Join with the silver queen of night,
To own your borrow'd rays.
To your inferior names :
Tell the blind world, your orbs are fed A SIGHT OF HEAVEN IN SICKNESS.
By his o'erflowing fames.
Winds, ye shall bear his name aloud
Through the ethereal blue ;
For, when his chariot is a cloud,
He makes his wheels of you.
Thunder and hail, and fires and storms, Nor dares the Aesh complain;
The troops of his command,
Appear in all your dreadful forms,
And speak his awful hand.
Sbout to the Lord, ye surging seas,
Hence, ye profane! I hate your ways, In your eternal roar;
I walk with pious souls; La Fave to wave resound his praise,
There's a wide diff'rence in our race, And shore reply to shore:
And distant are our goals.
In scaly silver sbine,
THE LAW GIVEN AT SINAI.
Arm thee with thunder, heavenly Muse, But gentler things shall tune his name
And keep th' expecting world in awe; To softer notes than these,
Oft hast thou sung in gentler mood Yang Zephyrs breathing o'er the stream,
The melting mercies of thy God; Or whispering through the trees.
Now give thy fiercest fires a loose, Wave your tall heads, ye lofty pines,
And sound his dreadful law: To him that bid you grow :
To Israel first the words were spoke, Sweet clusters, bend the fruitful vines
To Israel freed from Egypt's yoke, On every thankful bough.
Inhuman bondage ! The hard galling load
Over-press'd their feeble souls, Let the shrill birds his honour raise,
Bent their knees to senseless bulls,
And broke their ties to God.
Now had they pass'd th’ Arabian bay,
And march'd between the cleaving sea; (way, Thus while the meaner creatures sing,
The rising waves stood guardians of their wondrous Ye mortals, take the sound,
But fell with most impetuous force Eebo the glories of your King
On the pursuing swarms, Through all the nations round.
And bury'd Egypt all in arms, TV' eternal name must fly abroad
Blending in watery death the rider and the horse : Fron Britain to Japan;
O'er struggling Pharaoh rolld the mighty tide, And the whole race shall bow to God,
And sav'd the labours of a pyramid.
Apis and Ore in vain he cries,
And curs'd the Hebrews as he died.
Ah! foolish Israel, to comply
With Memphian idolatry ! Large, ye profane, and swell and burst
And bow to brutes (a stupid slave), With bold impiety :
To idols impotent to save ! Yet shall ye live for ever curst,
Behold thy God, the sovereign of the sky, And seek in vain to die.
Has wrought salvation in the deep, The gasp of your expiring breath
Has bound thy fues in iron sleep, Consims your souls to chains,
And rais'd thine honours high : By the last agonies of death
His grace forgives thy follies past, Sent down to fiercer pains.
Behold, he comes in majesty,
And Sinai's top proclaims his law: Ye stand upon a dreadful steep,
Prepare to meet thy God in haste; And all beneath is Hell:
But keep an awful distance still: Your weighty guilt will sink you deep,
Let Moses round the sacred hill Where the old Serpent fell.
The circling limits draw. When iron slumbers bind your flesh,
Hark! the shrill echoes of the trumpet roar, With strange surprise you'll find
And call the trembling armies near : Immortal vigour spring afresh,
Slow and unwilling they appear ; And tortures wake the mind.
Rails kept them from the mount before, Then you'll confess, the frightful names
Now from the rails their fear: Of plagues you scorn'd before,
'Twas the same herald, and the trump the same ko inore shall look like idle dreams,
Which shall be blown by high cominand, Like foolish tales no more.
Shall bid the wheels of Nature stand,
And Heaven's eternal will proclaim, Theo shall ye curse that fatal day, (With flames upon your tongues)
That time shall be no more. When you exchang'd your souls away
Thus while the labouring angel swellid the sound, For vanity and songs.
And rent the skies, and shook the ground, Bebold, the saints rejoice to die,
Up rose th’ Almighty; round his sapphire seat For Heaven shines round their heads ;
Adoring thrones in order fell; An angel-guards, prepar'd to fly,
The lesser powers at distance dwell, Attend their fainting beds.
And cast their glories down successive at his feet :
Gabriel the Great prepares his way, Their longing spirits part, and rise
“ Lift up your heads, eternal doors !” he cries; To their celestial seat;
Th' eternal doors his word obey, Above these ruinable skies
Open, and shoot celestial day They make their last retreat
Upon the lower skies.
Heaven's mighty pillars bow'd their head,
Hark! from the centre of the flame,
All arm'd and feather'd with the same,
A Aight of cherubs guard the words along,
And bear their fiery law to the retreating crowd. The winds in harness with the flames
“ I am the Lord: 'Tis I proclaim Flew o'er th' ethereal road;
That glorious and that fearful name, Down through his magazines he pass'd
Thy God and King: 'twas I that broke Of hail, and ice, and fleecy snow;
Thy bondage, and th' Egyptian yoke; Swift rol'd the triumph, and as fast,
Mine is the right to speak my will, Did hail, and ice, in melted rivers flow.
And thine the duty to falfil. The day was mingled with the night,
Adore no God beside me, to provoke mine eyes : His feet on solid darkness trod,
Nor worship me in shapes and forms that men deHis radiant eyes proclaim'd the God,
[to jest; And scatter'd dreadful light;
With reverence use my name, nor turn my words He breath'd, and sulphur ran, a fiery stream: Observe my sabbath well, nor dare profane my rest; He spoke, and (though with unknown speed he came) Honour and due obedience to thy parents give; Chid the slow tempest, and the lagging flame. Nor spill the guiltless blood, nor let the guilty live: Sinai receiv'd his glorious flight ;
Preserve thy body chaste, and flee th' unlawful bed; With axle red, and glowing wheel,
Nor steal thy neighbour's gold, his garment, or his
bread; Did the winged chariot light,
Forbear to blast his name with falsehood, or deceit;
Nor let thy wishes loose upon his large estate.”
The pyramids to Heaven aspire, [higher.
Children, to your Creator, God,
Your early honours pay,
Would tempt your thoughts astray.
The memory of his mighty name
Demands your first regard ;
Nor dare indulge a meaner flame,
Till you have lov'd the Lord.
Be wise, and make his favour sure,
Before the mournful days,
When youth and mirth are known no more,
And life and strength decays.
No more the blessings of a feast
Shall relish on the tongue ;
The heavy ear forgets the taste
Invades your golden years
With sighs and groans, and raging pain,
And Death, that never spares. Press'd with a greater than feign'd Atlas' load,
What will ye do when light departs,
And leaves your withering eyes
Without one beam, to cheer your hearts,
From the superior skies? Fresh hortours seize the camp; despair,
How will you meet God's frowning brow, And dying groans, torment the air,
Or stand before his seat,
While nature's old supporters bow,
Nor bear their tottering weight?
Shall make a strong defence, “ Let Moses speak, or Israel dies :"
When Death, with terrible alarms, Moses the spreading terrour feels,
Summons the prisoner hence?
The silver bands of nature burst,
And let the building fall;
The flesh goes down to mix with dust, Silence, and deep attention, through the Hebrew
Its vile original.