The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflections on the New Year

HELD in their path of glory by the hand,
That rear'd all nature's bright and wondrous frame,
That made the sky, the ocean, and the land,
And all that dwell therein, whate'er their name;
Held by that wondrous hand of might and pow'r,
The distant stars their steady course have run,
The moon hath watch'd in her aerial tower,
Along his annual round hath march'd the sun,
Until his task once more, his Zodiac race, is done.

Yes! Time's unwearied course hath borne us on;
Successively the rapid seasons pass'd;
Another twelve month's space is come and gone,
And a  New  Year upon the world is cast.
Time's noiseless wheel rolls on, and; oh how fast!
'Tis like the tide that rushes to the sea;
Uncounted things are on it — at the last,
Those of the earth shall perish, cease to be,
But souls, a spark of heaven, go to eternity.

The earth, still subject to its ancient curse,
Hath felt its storms, and shook with thunder's dread,
And Death, to make its bosom populous,
Hath smitten down full many a weary head.
The young, the man of scatter'd locks and gray,
All ages to the grave's cold rest have gone,
The dwelling-place of silence and decay.
There dwells the worm; the serpent feeds upon
The soulless mass deformed, and twines the skeleton bone.

The living too, whose bosoms erst did beat
With promise high and unabated joy,
How many now in gloomy sorrow sit,
And constant woes their life and hopes annoy!
How many in the course of one short year,
Who love received, and love as warmly gave,
Now shed o'er sunder'd ties the burning tear!
Alas! earth's ties are often like the wave,
That brightly clasps the shore — then breaks, and seeks its

See here a mother mourning o' er her son!
How desolate her soul! And seated there,
With countenance of deeper grief, is one,
New rob'd in widow's weeds. Into thin air
And blackness terrible hath sunk their light.
Oh! Happy they, when joys terrestrial fade,
Who rest on God's right arm and changeless might.
There's nothing firm of all things that are made,
But life shall wane to death, and substance change to shade.

Yes, there's a spirit of change in all things round,
Which shows itself, as year on year goes by;
Which at the last shall sink the solid ground,
Nor spare the brighter fabric of the sky;
Both heaven and earth shall be one cemetery.
Down from their home of light the stars shall fall,
The blaze, that lights the solar pathway, die,
While clouds and flame shall wrap this earthly ball,
Its  wither'd pomp depart, and fade its glory all.

Boast not, because these things have never been,
For we shall see them, though we see not now,
When rolls through heaven the final trumpet's din,
And lightnings bind the "seventh angel's brow."
Then months and New Years shall be o' er.
Ah, how That final. trump shall rock the land and sea!
Then shall the proud, majestic mountains bow,
The islands and the continents shall flee,
The solid earth go down, and time no more shall be.

The years of earth shall pass; but heavenly years
Shall start upon their endless destiny.
The joys of earth shall perish; but no tears
Shall dim the brightness of the joys on high.
The scenes and things below shall fade away;
The brighter scenes of heaven shall be the same,
Without a blighting touch, without decay;
And all her hosts, in one sublime acclaim,
Shall pour their transports high, and shout the Saviour's name.

The Religious Offering (1835).

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