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If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things? St. John iii. 12.

Creator, Saviour, strengthening Guide,

Now on Thy mercy’s ocean wide

Far out of sight we seem to glide.

Help us, each hour, with steadier eye

To search the deepening mystery,

The wonders of Thy sea and sky.

The blessed Angels look and long

To praise Thee with a worthier song,

And yet our silence does Thee wrong. —

Along the Church’s central space

The sacred weeks, with unfelt pace,

Hath borne us on from grace to grace.

As travellers on some woodland height,

When wintry suns are gleaming bright,

Lose in arch’d glades their tangled sight; —

By glimpses such as dreamers love

Through her grey veil the leafless grove

Shows where the distant shadows rove; —

Such trembling joy the soul o’er-awes

As nearer to Thy shrine she draws: —

And now before the choir we pause.

The door is clos’d — but soft and deep

Around the awful arches sweep,

Such airs as soothe a hermit’s sleep.

From each carv’d nook and fretted bend

Cornice and gallery seem to send

Tones that with seraphs hymns might blend.

Three solemn parts together twine

In harmony’s mysterious line;

Three solemn aisles approach the shrine:

Yet all are One — together all,

In thoughts that awe but not appal,

Teach the adoring heart to fall.

Within these walls each fluttering guest

Is gently lur’d to one safe nest —

Without, ’tis moaning and unrest.

The busy world a thousand ways

Is hurrying by, nor ever stays

To catch a note of Thy dear praise.

Why tarries not her chariot wheel,

That o’er her with no vain appeal

One gust of heavenly song might steal?

Alas! for her Thy opening flowers

Unheeded breathe to summer showers,

Unheard the music of Thy bowers.

What echoes from the sacred dome

The selfish spirit may o’ercome

That will not hear of love or home!

The heart that scorn’d a father’s care,

How can it rise in filial prayer?

How an all-seeing Guardian bear?

Or how shall envious brethren own

A Brother on the eternal throne,

Their Father’s joy, their hops alone?

How shall Thy Spirit’s gracious wile

The sullen brow of gloom beguile,

That frowns on sweet Affection’s smile?

Eternal One, Almighty Trine!

(Since Thou art ours, and we are Thine,)

By all Thy love did once resign,

By all the grace Thy heavens still hide,

We pray Thee, keep us at Thy side,

Creator, Saviour, strengthening Guide!

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