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ST. BARTHOLOMEW

Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw the under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. St. John i. 50.

Hold up thy mirror to the sun,

And thou shalt need an eagle’s gaze,

So perfectly the polish’d stone

Gives back the glory of his rays:

Turn it, and it shall paint as true

The soft green of the vernal earth,

And each small flower of bashful hue,

That closest hides its lowly birth.

Our mirror is a blessed book,

Where out from each illumin’d page

We see one glorious Image look

All eyes to dazzle and engage,

The Son of God: and that indeed

We see Him as He is, we know,

Since in the same bright glass we read

The very life of things below. —

Eye of God’s word!118118“The position before us is, that we ourselves, and such as we, are the very person who Scripture speaks of: and to whom, as men, in every variety of persuasive form, it makes its condescending though celestial appeal. The point worthy of observation is, to note how a book of the description and the compass which we have represented Scripture to be, possesses this versatility of power; this eye, like that of a portrait, uniformly fixed upon us, turn where we will.” Miller’s Bampton Lectures, p. 128. where’er we turn

Ever upon us! thy keen gaze

Can all the depths of sin discern,

Unravel every bosom’s maze:

Who that has felt thy glance of dread

Thrill through his heart’s remotest cells,

About his path, about his bed,

Can doubt what spirit in thee dwells?

“What word is this? Whence know’st thou me?”

All wondering cries the humbled heart,

To hear thee that deep mystery,

The knowledge of itself, impart.

The veil is rais’d; who runs may read,

By its own light the truth is seen,

And soon the Israelite indeed

Bows down t’ adore the Nazarene.

So did Nathanael, guileless man,

At once, not shame-fac’d or afraid,

Owning Him God, who so could scan

His musings in the lonely shade;

In his own pleasant fig-tree’s shade,

Which by his household fountain grew,

Where at noon-day his prayer he made

To know God better than he knew.

Oh! happy hours of heavenward thought!

How richly crown’d! how well improv’d!

In musing o’er the Law he taught,

In waiting for the Lord he lov’d.

We must not mar with earthly praise

What God’s approving word hath seal’d:

Enough, if might our feeble lays

Take up the promise He reveal’d;

“The child-like faith, that asks not sight,

Waits not for wonder or for sign,

Believes, because it loves, aright —

Shall see things greater, things divine.

“Heaven to that gaze shall open wide,

And brightest angels to and fro

On messages of love shall glide

’Twixt God above and Christ below.”

So still the guileless man is blest,

To him all crooked paths are straight,

Him on his way to endless rest

Fresh, ever-growing strengths await.119119They go from strength to strength. Psalm lxxxiv. 7.

God’s witnesses, a glorious host,

Compass him daily like a cloud;

Martyrs and seers, the sav’d and lost,

Mercies and judgments cry aloud.

Yet shall to him the still small voice,

That first into his bosom found

A way, and fix’d his wavering choice,

Nearest and dearest ever sound.


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