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LVIII.
[Character, dignity, and happiness of the Christian.].
Honour and happiness unite

To make the Christian's name a praise ;
How fair the scene, how clear the light,

That fills the remnant of his days!

A kingly character he bears,

No change his priestly office knows ;
Unfading is the crown he wears,

His joys can never reach a close.

Adorn'd with glory from on high,

Salvation shines upon his face ;
His robe is of the ethereal dye,

His steps are dignity and grace.

Inferior honours he disdains,

Nor stoops to take applause from earth;
The King of kings himself maintains

The expenses of his heavenly birth.

The noblest creature seen below,

Ordain'd to fill a throne above;
God gives him all he can bestow,

His kingdom of eternal love !

My soul is ravish'd at the thought !

Methinks from earth I see him rise!
Angels congratulate his lot,

And shout him welcome to the skies !

LIX. [Confidence in God the peculiar heritage of the poor — the riches promised to them.]

WHEN Hagar found the bottle spent, *

And wept o'er Ishmael,
A message from the Lord was sent
To guide her to a well.

* Genesis, xxi. 19.

Should not Elijah's cake and cruise *

Convince us, at this day,
A gracious God will not refuse

Provisions by the way ?

His saints and servants shall be fed,

The promise is secure;
“ Bread shall be given them,” as he said,

6 Their water shall be sure." +

Repasts far richer they shall prove,

Than all earth's dainties are;
'Tis sweet to taste a Saviour's love,

Though in the meanest fare.

To Jesus, then, your trouble bring,

Nor murmur at your lot;
While you are poor, and he is King,

You shall not be forgot.

LX.

[Turning from dead works to serve the living God. A transcript of Cowper's early experience, and calculated therefore to operate upon the heart as a personal warning.]

Sin enslaved me many years,

And led me bound and blind ;
Till at length a thousand fears

Came swarming o'er my mind.
Where, I said, in deep distress,

Will these sinful pleasures end!
How shall I secure my peace,

And make the Lord my friend ?

Friends and ministers said much

The gospel to enforce ;
But my blindness still was such,

I chose a legal course :
Much I fasted, watch'd, and strove,

Scarce would shew my face abroad,
Fear'd almost to speak or move,

A stranger still to God.
* 2 Kings, xvii. 14. † Isaiah, xxxiv. 16.

Thus afraid to trust his grace,

Long time did I rebel ;
Till, despairing of my case,

Down at his feet I fell :
Then my stubborn heart he broke,

And subdued me to his sway;
By a simple word he spoke,

“ Thy sins are done away.”

LXI. [The hateful dominion of sin— the delights of spiritual freedom and purity as secured by a saving belief in Jesus. ]

Holy Lord God! I love thy truth,

Nor dare thy least commandment slight;
Yet pierced by sin, the serpent's tooth,

I mourn the anguish of the bite.

But though the poison lurks within,

Hope bids me still with patience wait,
Till death shall set me free from sin,

Free from the only thing I hate.

Had I a throne above the rest,

Where angels and archangels dwell ;
One sin, unslain, within my breast,

Would make that heaven as dark as hell.

The prisoner, sent to breathe fresh air,

And bless'd with liberty again,
Would mourn were he condemn'd to wear

One link of all his former chain.

But oh! no foe invades the bliss,

When glory crowns the Christian's head ;
One view of Jesus as he is,

Will strike all sin for ever dead.

LXII. [Conversion through grace. We are saved, and that not of ourselves.]

The new-born child of gospel grace,

Like some fair tree when summer's nigh,
Beneath Emmanuel's shining face,

Lifts up his blooming branch on high.

No fears he feels, he sees no foes,

No conflict yet his faith employs,
Nor has he learnt to whom he owes

The strength and peace his soul enjoys.

But sin soon darts its cruel sting,

And comforts sinking day by day ;
What seem'd his own, a self-fed spring,

Proves but a brook that glides away.

When Gideon arm’d his numerous host,

The Lord soon made his numbers less ;
And said, “ Lest Israel vainly boast, *

My arm procured me this success.”

Thus will he bring our spirits down,

And draw our ebbing comforts low,
That saved by grace, but not our own,
We may not claim the praise we owe.

LXIII. I True faith in its own deep quietness is content. The loud professor often but a tinkling cymbal. The whole is doctrinal and beautiful ; but we dislike both the sentiment and the witticism in the fourth verse.]

The Lord receives his highest praise

From humble minds and hearts sincere ;
While all the loud professor says

Offends the righteous Judge's ear.

* Judges, vii. 2.

To talk as children of the day,

To mark the precept's holy light,
To wage the warfare, watch, and pray,

Shew who are pleasing in his sight.

Not words alone it cost the Lord,

To purchase pardon for his own ;
Nor will a soul, by grace restored,

Return the Saviour words alone.

With golden bells, the priestly vest, *

And rich pomegranates border'd round,
The need of holiness express'd,

And call’d for fruit as well as sound.

Easy, indeed, it were to reach

A mansion in the courts above,
If swelling words and fluent speech

Might serve instead of faith and love.

But none shall gain the blissful place,

Or God's unclouded glory see,
Who talks of free and sovereign grace,

Unless that grace has made him free!

LXIV. [Not all those who cry Lord, Lord, are true believers — the called many, but the chosen few.]

Too many, Lord, abuse thy grace,

In this licentious day ;
And while they boast they see thy face,

They turn their own away.

Thy book displays a gracious light,

That can the blind restore ;
But these are dazzled by the sight,

And blinded still the more.

* Exod. xxvii. 33.

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