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FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

So Joshua smote all the country, . . . and all their kings; he left none remaining. Joshua x. 40.

Where is the land with milk and honey flowing,

The promise of our God, our fancy’s theme?

Here over shatter’d walls dank weeds are growing,

And blood and fire have run in mingled stream;

Like oaks and cedars all around

The giant corses strew the ground,

And haughty Jericho’s cloud-piercing wall

Lies where it sank at Joshua’s trumpet call.

These are not scenes for pastoral dance at even,

For moonlight rovings in the fragrant glades,

Soft slumbers in the open eye of Heaven,

And all the listless joy of summer shades.

We in the midst of ruins live,

Which every hour dread warning give,

Nor may our household vine or fig-tree hide

The broken arches of old Canaan’s pride.

Where is the sweet repose of hearts repenting,

The deep calm sky, the sunshine of the soul,

Now Heaven and earth are to our bliss consenting,

And all the Godhead joins to make us whole.

The triple crown of mercy now

Is ready for the suppliant’s brow,

By the Almighty Three for ever plann’d,

And from behind the cloud held out by Jesus’ hand.

“Now, Christians, hold your own — the land before ye

Is open — win your way, and take your rest.”

So sounds our war-note; but our path of glory

By many a cloud is darken’d and unblest:

And daily as we downward glide,

Life’s ebbing stream on either side

Shows at each turn some mouldering hope or joy,

The Man seems following still the funeral of the Boy.

Open our eyes, Thou Sun of life and gladness,

That we may see that glorious world of Thine!

It shines for us in vain, while drooping sadness

Enfolds us here like mist: come Power benign,

Touch our chill’d hearts with vernal smile,

Our wintry course do Thou beguile,

Nor by the wayside ruins let us mourn,

Who have th’ eternal towers for our appointed bourne.

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