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SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 2 Samuel xii. 13.

When bitter thoughts, of conscience born,

With sinners wake at morn,

When from our restless couch we start,

With fever’d lips and wither’d heart,

Where is the spell to charm those mists away,

And make new morning in that darksome day?

One draught of spring’s delicious air,

One steadfast thought, that GOD is there.

These are Thy wonders, hourly wrought,7474See Herber’s Poems, p. 160.

Thou Lord of time and thought,

Lifting and lowering souls at will,

Crowding a world of good or ill

Into a moment’s vision; e’en as light

Mounts o’er a cloudy ridge, and all is bright,

From west to east one thrilling ray

Turning a wintry world to May.

Would’st thou the pangs of guilt assuage?

Lo! here an open page,

Where heavenly mercy shines as free

Written in balm, sad heart, for thee.

Never so fast, in silent April shower,

Flush’d into green the dry and leafless bower,7575And all this leafless and uncolour’d sense Shall flash into variety again.    Cowper.

As Israel’s crowned mourner felt

The dull hard stone within him melt.

The absolver saw the mighty grief,

And hasten’d with relief; —

“The Lord forgives; thou shalt not die:”

’Twas gently spoke, yet heard on high,

And all the band of angels, us’d to sing

In heaven, accordant to his raptur’d string,

Who many a month had turn’d away

With veiled eyes, nor own’d his lay,

Now spread their wings, and throng around

To the glad mournful sound,

And welcome, with bright open face,

The broken heart to love’s embrace.

The rock is smitten, and to future years

Springs ever fresh the tide of holy tears7676The fifty-first Psalm.

And holy music, whispering peace

Till time and sin together cease.

There drink: and when ye are at rest,

With that free Spirit blest,7777Psalm li. 12. “Uphold me with thy free Spirit.” The original word seems to mean “ingenuous, princely, noble.” Read Bishop Horne’s paraphrase on the verse.

Who to the contrite can dispense,

The princely heart of innocence,

If ever, floating from faint earthly lyre,

Was wafted to your soul one high desire,

By all the trembling hope ye feel,

Think on the minstrel as ye kneel:

Think on the shame, that dreadful hour

When tears shall have no power,

Should his own lay th’ accuser prove,

Cold while he kindled others’ love:

And let your prayer for charity arise,

That his own heart may hear his melodies,

And a true voice to him may cry,

“Thy GOD forgives — thou shalt not die.”


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