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THURSDAY BEFORE EASTER

As the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Daniel ix. 23.

“O Holy mountain of my God,

How do thy towers in ruin lie,

How art thou riven and strewn abroad,

Under the rude and wasteful sky!”

’Twas thus upon his fasting-day

The “Man of Loves” was fain to pray,

His lattice5353Daniel vi. 10. open toward his darling west,

Mourning the ruin’d home he still must love the best.

Oh! for a love like Daniel’s now,

To wing to Heaven but one strong prayer

For God’S new Israel, sunk as low,

Yet flourishing to sight as fair,

As Sion in her height of pride,

With queens for handmaids at her side,

With kings her nursing-fathers, throned high,

And compass’d with the world’s too tempting blazonry.

’Tis true, nor winter stays thy growth,

Nor torrid summer’s sickly smile;

The flashing billows of the south

Break not upon so lone an isle,

But thou, rich vine, art grafted there,

The fruit of death or life to bear,

Yielding a surer witness every day,

To thine Almighty Author and His steadfast sway.

Oh! grief to think, that grapes of gall

Should cluster round thine healthiest shoot!

God’s herald prove a heartless thrall,

Who, if he dar’d, would fain be mute!

E’en such is this bad world we see,

Which self-condemned in owning Thee,

Yet dares not open farewell of Thee take,

For very pride, and her high-boasted Reason’s sake.

What do we then? if far and wide

Men kneel to Christ, the pure and meek,

Yet rage with passion, swell with pride,

Have we not still our faith to seek?

Nay — but in steadfast humbleness

Kneel on to Him, who loves to bless

The prayer that waits for him; and trembling strive

To keep the lingering flame in thine own breast alive.

Dark frown’d the future e’en on him,

The loving and beloved Seer,

What time he saw, through shadows dim,

The boundary of th’ eternal year;

He only of the sons of men

Nam’d to be heir of glory then.5454Daniel xii. 13. See Bp. Kenn’s Sermon on the character of Daniel.

Else had it bruis’d too sore his tender heart

To see God’S ransom’d world in wrath and flame depart

Then look no more: or closer watch

Thy course in Earth’s bewildering ways,

For every glimpse thine eye can catch

Of what shall be in those dread days:

So when th’ Archangel’s word is spoken,

And Death’s deep trance for ever broken,

In mercy thou mayst feel the heavenly hand,

And in thy lot unharm’d before thy Savour stand.5555Thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of days. Daniel xii. 13.


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