« PreviousContinue »
Since then, my God, Thou hast
So brave a palace built ; oh, dwell in it, That it may dwell with Thee at last !
Till then afford us so much wit, That as the world serves us we may serve Thee ; And both thy servants be.
The same grand argument for reliance on God is taken up and carried forward into nature by the dramatist John Fletcher, with a depth and strength of thought truly admirable.
AGAINST DISTRUST OF OUR MAKER. O man! thou image of thy Maker's good, What canst thou fear, when breathed into thy blood His spirit is that built thee?
What dull sense Makes thee suspect, in need, that Providence Who made the morning, and who placed the light, Guide to thy labours; who call’d up the night, And bid her fall upon thee like sweet showers, In hollow murmurs, to lock up thy powers ; Who gave thee knowledge, who so trusted thee, To let thee grow so near Himself, the tree? Must He then be distrusted? shall His frame Discourse with Him, Why thus and thus I am ? He made the angels thine, thy fellows all ; Nay, even thy servants, when devotions call. Oh! canst thou be so stupid then, so dim To seek a saving influence, and lose Him? My mistress, then, be knowledge and fair Truth; So I enjoy all beauty and all youth.
Friends' promises may lead us to believe;
To bear the hammer; and the deeper still,
Gladness and sorrow :
And solemn before us
Veild, the dark portal:
Goal of all mortal:
Graves under us silent.
While earnest thou gazest,
Comes boding of terror,
Comes phantasm and error ;
With doubt and misgiving.
But heard are the voices,
Heard are the Sages,
The works and the Ages ;
Brief and yet endless !
Here eyes do regard you
In eternity's stillness;
Here is all fulness,
Work, and despair not.
So another poet :
From Gloom is born;
The stars shed light;
Have their slow birth;
Come summer flowers ;
Give gentle rain;
The year's fresh store;
The full accord;
Thought reaches truth;
Begets the deed ;-
Life's brightest hope
Never despair !
The greatest spirits waste scant time in wailing: all hope lies for them in
ACTION. Do something! do it soon-with all thy might;
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest,
And God inactive were no longer blest. Some high or humble enterprise of good
Contemplate till it shall possess thy mind, Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food,
And kindle in thy heart a flame refined:
Pray Heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind
To this high purpose; to begin, pursue,
Strength to complete, and with delight review,
Wilcox. How superior is this to the querulous, morbid sentimentality!
The wisdom of cheerfulness is finely urged by old Dunbar of Scotland-a poet, says Sir Walter Scott, unrivalled by any that Scotland has ever produced — Be merry, man, and tak’ not sair in mind'
The wavering of this wretched world of sorrow; To God be humble, to thy friend be kind,
And with thy neighbours gladly lend and borrow;
His chance to-night; it may be thine to-morrow; Be blythe in heart for any aventure,
For oft with wise men it hath been said aforow, Without Gladness availeth no treasure. Make thee gude cheer of it that God thee sends,
For warld's wrack but welfare* nought avails; Nae gude is thine save only that thou spends,
Remanent all thou omites but with bails,t
Seek to solace when sadness thee assails; In dolour long thy life may not endure ;
Wherefore of comfort set up all thy sails : Without Gladness availes no treasure.
Follow on pity, flee trouble and debate,
With famous folkis hold thy company; Be charitable and humble in thine estate, For worldly honour lasteth but a cry.
* World's trash without health, + Bails, i.ee injuries.
For trouble in earth tak’ no melancholy;
Be rich in patience, if thou in goods be poor ; Who lives merrily, he lives mightily;
Without Gladness availeth no treasure.
The chief event of middle life is marriage, and with this period begins a new life, so that a wedding-day is essentially a birthday. The soul is as it were newly born, when it emerges from the glittering palace of free and careless youth, and enters on the grandest and most solemn of human engagements, with all its tender anxieties and mighty responsibilities.
Bulwer Lytton in “The New Timon” has embodied the idea of the birthday of the Soul
Two years ago this dayDost thou remember ?—'twas a morn of MayAn outcast in the city sate and wept ! That day, the birthday of her soul, be kept ! That day, thy stranger-hand outstretch'd to save, Thy home the roof, thy heart the shelter gave, And from that day sun never rose nor set But with one prayer-nay, hush, and hear me yetThis morn light smiled to earth, but not to me, The fair world sadden'd with one want of thee! How
many mothers will sympathize with these lines, by the wife of the celebrated surgeon, Dr. Hunter :TO MY DAUGHTER, ON BEING SEPARATED FROM
HER ON HER MARRIAGE.
Which animates this mortal clay!
And deck with smiles the future day;