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[Besides the sacred poetry contained in his Psalms, his Hymns, and his Lyrics, Dr Watts appended a hymn to many of his sermons; and some beautiful verses are contained in his "Miscellaneous Thoughts." Of these there are perhaps none more exquisite than the following:—]
Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb;
Take this new treasure to thy trust,
And give these sacred relics room
Nor pain, nor grief, nor anxious fear,
And angels watch her soft repose.
So Jesus slept: God's dying Son
Pass'd through the grave, and bless'd the bed.
The morning break, and pierce the shade.
Break from His throne, illustrious morn!
Musings in a Grove.
[To combine the Christian and the classical was a habitual aspiration of Dr Watts's devout and highly-cultivated mind. With this view he went so far as to give religious imitations of the Odes of Horace; and his "Lyric Poems," his "Miscellaneous Thoughts," and his "Remnants of Time Employed," are all efforts in the same direction. It will be allowed that he was not always and entirely successful; but his aim was a right one; and we should not like to be so fastidious as to perceive no charm in such numbers as the following:]
Sweet muse, descend, and bless the shade,
And bless the evening grove;
Business, and noise, and day are fled,
And every care but love.
But hence, ye wanton, young, and fair:
Mine is a purer flame;
No Phillis shall infect the air
With her unhallowed name.
Jesus has all my powers possess'd,
My hopes, my fears, my joys:
What astonishing variety of artifices, what innumerable millions of exquisite works, is the God of Nature engaged in every moment! How gloriously are His all-pervading wisdom and power employed in this useful season of the year, this Spring of Nature! What infinite myriads of vegetable beings is He forming this very moment, in their roots and branches, in their leaves and blossoms, their seeds and fruit! Some, indeed, begun to discover their bloom amidst the snows of January, or under the rough cold blasts of March: those flowers are withered and vanished in April, and their seeds are now ripening to perfection. Others are shewing themselves this day in all their blooming pride and beauty; and while they adorn the gardens and meadows with gay and glowing colours, they promise their fruits in the day of harvest. The whole nation of vegetables is under the Divine care and culture; His hand
forms them day and night with admirable skill and unceasing operation, according to the natures He first gave them, and produces their buds and foliage, their flowery blossoms, and rich fruits, in their appointed months. Their progress in life is exceeding swift at this season of the year; and their successive appearances, and sweet changes of raiment, are visible almost hourly.
But these creatures are of lower life, and give but feebler displays of the Maker's wisdom. Let us raise our contemplations another storey, and survey a nobler theatre of Divine wonders. What endless armies of animals is the hand of God moulding and figuring, this very moment, throughout His brutal dominions! What immense flights of little birds are now fermenting in the egg, heaving and growing towards shape and life! What vast flocks of four-footed creatures, what droves of large cattle, are now framed in their early embrios, imprisoned in the dark cells of nature! And others, perhaps, are moving towards liberty, and just preparing to see the light. What unknown myriads of insects, in their various cradles and nesting-places, are now working toward vitality and motion ! And thousands of them with their painted wings just beginning to unfurl, expand themselves into fluttering and daylight; while other families of them have forsaken their husky beds, and exult and glitter in the warm sunbeams!
An exquisite world of wonders is complicated even in the body of every little insect-an ant, a gnat, a mite—that is scarce visible to the naked eye. Admirable engines! which a whole academy of philosophers could never contrive—which the nation of poets hath neither art nor colours to describe― nor has a world of mechanics skill enough to frame the plainest or coarsest of them. Their nerves, their muscles, and the minute atoms which compose the fluids fit to run in the little channels of their veins, escape the notice of the most sagacious mathematician, with all his aid of glasses, The active powers
THE FIRST OF MAY.
and curiosity of human nature are limited in their pursuit, and must be content to lie down in ignorance.
It is a sublime and constant triumph over all the intellectual powers of man, which the great God maintains every moment in these inimitable works of nature-in these impenetrable recesses and mysteries of Divine art. The flags and banners of Almighty wisdom are now displayed round half the globe, and the other half waits the return of the sun to spread the same triumph over the southern world. The very sun in the firmament is God's prime minister in this wondrous world of Beings, and he works with sovereign vigour on the surface of the earth, and spreads his influences deep under the clods to every root and fibre, moulding them into their proper forms, by Divine direction. There is not a plant, nor a leaf, nor one little branching thread, above or beneath the ground, that escapes the eye or influence of this benevolent star—an illustrious emblem of the omnipotence and universal activity of the Creator.
The Young Man's Entrance upon the World.
Curino was a young man brought up to a reputable trade; the term of his apprenticeship was almost expired, and he was contriving how he might venture into the world with safety, and pursue business with innocence and success. Among his near kindred, Serenus was one, a gentleman of considerable character in the sacred profession; and after he had consulted with his father, who was a merchant of great esteem and experience, he also thought fit to seek a word of advice from the divine. Serenus had such a respect for his young kinsman that he set his thought at work on this subject, and, with some tender expressions which melted the youth into tears, he put into his hand a paper of his best counsels. Curino entered upon business, pursued his employment with uncommon ad