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172

MIDNIGHT HYMN.

Give me a place at Thy saints' feet,
Or some faīl'n angel's vacant seat :
I'll strive to sing as loud as they
Who sit above in brighter day.
Oh, may I always ready stand,
With my lamp burning in my hand;
May I in sight of heaven rejoice,
Whene'er I hear the Bridegroom's voice.
All praise to Thee, in light array'd,
Who light Thy dwelling-place hast made ;
A boundless ocean of bright beams
From Thy all-glorious Godhead streams.
The sun, in its meridian height,
Is very darkness in Thy sight :
My soul, oh, lighten and inflame
With thought and love of Thy great name !
Blest Jesu! Thou, on heaven intent,
Whole nights hast in devotion spent ;
But I, frail creature, soon am tired,
And all

my

zeal is soon expired.
My soul! how canst thou weary grow
Of antedating bliss below,
In sacred hymns and heavenly love,
Which will eternal be above?
Shine me, Lord; new life impart ;
Fresh ardours kindle in

my

heart:
One ray of Thy all-quick'ning light
Dispels the sloth and clouds of night!

CHRISTMAS MORNING.

173

Lord, lest the tempter me surprise,
Watch over Thine own sacrifice;
All loose, all idle thoughts cast out,
And make my very dreams devout.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

KEN.

CHRISTMAS MORNING,

The Advent of Christ our Lord. He might have come in regal pomp, With pealing of archangel's trump, — And angel-blast as loud and dread As that which shall awake the dead : His lightning might have scar'd the night, Streaming insufferable light; His thunder deep’ning peal on peal, Have made earth to her centre reel, Deep voices, such as shook with fear, At Sinai's base, the favour'd seer; The wing of whirlwind might have borne Him; The trampling earthquake gone before Him:He might have come, - that Holy One, With millions round His awful throne, Countless as are the sands that lie On burning plains of Araby;

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And arm’d for vengeance, -who might stand
Before each conquering red right hand ?
He came not thus; no earthquake shock
Shivered the everlasting rock ;
No trumpet blast, nor thunder peal,
Made earth through all her regions reel ;
And but for the mysterious voicing
Of that unearthly quire rejoicing;
And but for that strange herald-gem,
The star which burn'd o'er Bethlehem,
The shepherds, on His natal morn,
Had known not that their God was born.
There were no terrors, for the song
Of peace rose from the seraph throng ;
On wings of love He came, to save,
To pluck pale terror from the grave;
And on the bloodstain’d Calvary
He won for man the victory.

H. CARRINGTON.

SUNDAY.

O day most calm, most bright,
The indorsement of supreme delight,
Writ by a Friend, and with His blood;
The couch of time ; care’s balm and bay ;
The week were dark but for thy light:

Thy torch doth shew the way.

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The other days and thou
Make up one man, whose face thou art,
Knocking at heaven with thy brow;
The working days are the back part;
The burden of the week lies there,
Making the whole to stoop and bow,

Till thy release appear.

The Sundays of man's life,
Threaded together on time's string,
Make bracelets to adorn the wife
Of the eternal glorious King.
On Sunday heaven's gate stands ope;
Blessings are plentiful and rife,

More plentiful than hope.

The rest of our creation
Our great Redeemer did remove
With the same shake which, at His passion,
Did the earth and all things with it move.
As Samson bore the doors away,
Christ's hands, though naild, wrought our

salvation,
And did unhinge that day.

The brightness of that day
We sullied by our foul offence :
Wherefore that robe we cast away,
Having a new at His expense,
Whose drops of blood paid the full price,
That was required to make us gay,

And fit for paradise.

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Thou art a day of mirth;
And where the week-days trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher, as thy birth;
Oh, let me take thee at the bound,
Leaping with thee from seven to seven,
Till that we both, being toss’d from earth,

Fly hand in hand to heaven!

HERBERT.

ANGELS. And is there care in heaven ? and is there love In heavenly spirits to these creatures base, That may compassion of their evils move? There is :-else much more wretched were the

case

Of men than beasts : but, oh, the exceeding grace
Of highest God, that loves His creatures so,
And all His works with mercy doth embrace,

That blessed angels He sends to and fro,
To serve the wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!

How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succour us that succour want !
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant !
They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;

And all for love, and nothing for reward :
Oh, why should heavenly God to men have such

regard !

SPENSER.

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