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Or rather neither, but a treasure
Unconfined without measure,
Whose centre, and circumference,
Including all pre-eminence,
Excluding nothing but defect,
And infinite in each respect,
Is equally both here and there,
And now, and then, and every where,
And always, one, himself, the same.
A being far above a name.
Draw nearer then, and freely pour
Forth all thy light into that hour,
Which was crowned with his birth,
And made heaven envy earth.

Let not his birth-day clouded be,
By whom thou shinest, and we see.

THE CIRCUMCISION, OR NEW-YEAR'S DAY.

SORROW betide my sins! Must smart so soon
Seize on my Saviour's tender flesh scarce grown

Unto an eighth day's age?

Can nothing else assuage
The wrath of heaven, but his infant-blood ?
Innocent Infant, infinitely good!

Is this thy welcome to the world, great God !
No sooner born, but subject to the rod

Of sin-incensed wrath ?

Alas I what pleasure hath
Thy Father's justice to begin thy passion,
Almost together with thine incarnation ?

Is it to antedate thy death? to indite
Thy condemnation himself, and write

The copy with thy blood,

Since nothing is so good ? Or, is 't by this experiment to try, Whether thou beest born mortal, and canst die ?

If man must needs draw blood of God, yet why Stays he not till thy time be come to die?

Didst thou thus early bleed

For us to show what need We have to hasten unto thee as fast; And learn that all the time is lost that's pass'd ?

'Tis true, we should do so : Yet in this blood There's something else, that must be understood ;

It seals thy covenant,

That so we may not want Witness enough against thee, that thou art Made subject to the Law, to act our part.

The sacrament of thy regeneration
It cannot be ; it gives no intimation

Of what thou wert, but we :

Native impurity;
Original corruption, was not thine,
But only as thy righteousness is mine.

In holy Baptism this is brought to me,
As that in Circumcision was to thee :

So that thy loss and pain

Do prove my joy and gain.
Thy Circumcision writ thy death in blood :
Baptism in water seals

my

livelihood.

O blessed change! Yet, rightly understood, That blood was water, and this water 's blood.

What shall I give again,

To recompense thy pain?
Lord, take revenge upon me for this smart :
To quit thy fore-skin, circumcise my heart.

THE EPIPHANY, OR TWELFTH-DAY.

GREAT, without controversy great,

They that do know it will confess

The mystery of godliness; Whereof the Gospel doth intreat.

God in the flesh is manifest,

And that which hath for ever been

Invisible, may now be seen, The eternal Deity new drest.

Angels to shepherds brought the news :

And Wise men, guided by a Star,

To seek the Sun, are come from far: Gentiles have got the start of Jews.

The stable and the manger hide

His glory from his own ; but these

Though strangers, his resplendent rays Of Majesty divine have spied.

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they give ;

And worshipping him plainly show,

That unto him they all things owe, By whose free gift it is they live.

R

a

Though clouded in a veil of flesh,

The Sun of Righteousness appears,

Melting cold cares, and frosty fears,
And making joys spring up afresh.

O that his light and influence,

Would work effectually in me

Another new Epiphany,
Exhale, and elevate me hence :

That, as my calling doth require,

Star-like I may to others shine ;

And guide them to that Sun divine,
Whose day-light never shall expire !

THE PASSION, OR GOOD FRIDAY.

This day my Saviour died : and do I live?

What, hath not sorrow slain me yet?
Did the immortal God vouchsafe to give

His life for mine, and do I set
More by my wretched life, than he by his,

So full of glory, and of bliss ?

Did his free mercy, and mere love to me,

Make him forsake his glorious throne, And mount a cross, the stage of infamy,

That so he might not die alone ; But dying suffer more through grief and shame,

Than mortal men have power to name?

And can ingratitude so far prevail,

To keep me living still ? Alas! Methinks some thorn out of his crown, some nail,

At least his spear, might pierce, and pass Thorough, and thorough, till it rived mine heart,

As the right death-deserving part.

And doth he not expect it should be so ?

Would he lay down a price so great,
And not look that his purchases should grow

Accordingly? Shall I defeat
His just desire ? O no, it cannot be :

His death must needs be death to me.

My life's not mine, but his : for he did die

That I might live : yet died so,
That being dead he was alive; and I

Thorough the gates of death must go
To live with him : yea, to live by him here

Is a part in his death to bear.

Die then, dull soul, and if thou canst not die,

Dissolve thyself into a Sea Of living tears, whose streams may ne'er go dry,

Nor turned be another way, Till they have drown'd all joys, but those alone,

Which sorrow claimeth for its own.

For sorrow hath its joys: and I am glad

That I would grieve, if I do not :
But, if I neither could, nor would, be sad

And sorrowful, this day, my lot
Would be to grieve for ever, with a grief

Uncapable of all relief.

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