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CHRISTMAS.

ALL after pleasures as I rid one day,

My horse and I, both tired, body and mind,

With full cry of affections, quite astray; I took up in the next Inn I could find.

There when I came, whom found I but my dear,

My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief

Of pleasures brought me to him, ready there To be all passengers' most sweet relief?

O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light,

Wrapt in night's mantle, stole into a manger; Since

my

dark soul and brutish is thy right, To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger :

Furnish and deck my soul, that thou may’st have A better lodging, than a rack, or grave.

The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?

My God, no hymn for thee? My soul's a shepherd too : a flock it feeds

Of thoughts, and words, and deeds. The pasture is thy word ; the streams, thy grace

Enriching all the place.

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Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers

Out-sing the daylight hours.
Then we will chide the Sun for letting night

Take up his place and right :
We sing one common Lord; wherefore he should

Himself the candle hold,

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I will go searching, till I find a Sun

Shall stay, till we have done ;
A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,

As frost-nipt Suns look sadly.
Then we will sing, and shine all our own day,

And one another pay :

His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
Till even his beams sing, and my music shine.

UNGRATEFULNESS.

LORD, with what bounty and rare clemency
Hast thou redeem'd us from the grave!

If thou hadst let us run,
Gladly had man adored the Sun,

And thought his god most brave;
Where now we shall be better gods than he.

Thou hast but two rare Cabinets full of treasure,
The Trinity, and Incarnation :

Thou hast unlock'd them both,
And made them jewels to betroth

The work of thy creation
Unto thyself in everlasting pleasure.

The statelier Cabinet is the Trinity,
Whose sparkling light access denies :

Therefore thou dost not show
This fully to us, till death blow

The dust into our eyes ;
For by that powder thou wilt make us see.

But all thy sweets are pack'd up in the other ;
Thy mercies thither flock and flow;

That, as the first affrights,
This may allure us with delights;

Because this box we know ;
For we have all of us just such another.

But man is close, reserved, and dark to thee;
When thou demandest but a heart,

He cavils instantly
In his poor cabinet of bone

Sins have their box apart,
Defrauding thee, who gavest two for one.

SIGHS AND GROANS.

O do not use me
After my sins ! look not on my desert,
But on thy glory! then thou wilt reform,
And not refuse me: for thou only art
The mighty God, but I a silly worm :

O do not bruise me!

O do not urge me! For what account can thy ill steward make ? I have abused thy stock, destroy'd thy woods, Suck'd all thy magazines : my head did ache, Till it found out how to consume thy goods :

O do not scourge me!

O do not blind me! I have deserved that an Egyptian night Should thicken all my powers ; because my lust

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Hath still sew'd fig-leaves to exclude thy light :
But I am frailty, and already dust :

O do not grind me!

O do not fill me
With the turn’d vial of thy bitter wrath!
For thou hast other vessels full of blood,
A part whereof

my Saviour emptied hath, Even unto death : since he died for my good,

O do not kill me!

But 0, reprieve me! For thou hast life and death at thy command ; Thou art both Judge and Saviour, feast and rod, Cordial and Corrosive : put not thy hand Into the bitter box; but, O

My God, relieve me !

my God,

THE WORLD.

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Love built a stately house ; where Fortune came :
And spinning fancies, she was heard to say,
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same :
But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.

Then Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion,
Began to make Balconies, Terraces,
Till she had weaken'd all by alteration :
But reverend laws, and many a proclamation
Reformed all at length with menaces.

Then enter'd Sin, and with that Sycamore,
Whose leaves first shelter'd man from drought and dew,
Working and winding slily evermore,
The inward walls and summers cleft and tore:
But Grace shored these, and cut that as it grew.

Then Sin combined with Death in a firm band,
To raze the building to the very floor :
Which they effected, none could them withstand ;
But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand,
And built a braver palace than before.

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COLOSSIANS III. 3.

OUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD.”

My words and thoughts do both express

this notion, That Life hath with the sun a double motion. The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend ; The other Hid, and doth obliquely bend. One life is wrapt In flesh, and tends to earth : The otherwinds toward Him, whose happy birth Taught me to live here so, That still one eye Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high ; Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure, To gain at harvest eternal Treasure.

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