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Higflt in f erusalem.
Midnight o'er Zion spread her solemn shades, And deep repose the sacred towers pervades: By fits, the Moon, emerging from the cloud, Full on the "temple's holy turrets glow'd, And ever, as the veiling cloud past on, The glorious shrine in mildest radiance shone. Fair as on gloomy skies is Mercy's bow, So shone that Dome where all was dark below: By fits, the night-breeze, with mysterious tone Of more than earthly thrill, was heard alone; Save when from tower to tower the wakeful call Of Rome's stern sentries circled Zion's wall— Then all was still again—the passing cloud Veil'd or unveil'd the shrine belov'd of God: The breeze arose with solemn pealing swell. Or died away like Nature's own farewell.—
But how may words the mystery declare That God himself, inhuman form, was there! 'Yes, in those days, within her walls abode Her long-desired—rejected King—and God! And now he sits in yon deserted tower, Alone and wakeful at the midnight hour.—
But who may tell what meditations high
The sleepless hours to his pure breast supply!—
What prayers he pour'd, what deepest anguish felt
For his own City, where his glory dwelt—
Himself rejected ;—he beheld the day
Of its destruction near, to Rome a prey,
And that fair city now that calmly slept
Involv'd in flames;—and o'er the scene he wept—
He saw that Temple which the Moon's soft beam
Now meetly bath'd in mildest silver-gleam,
(O sad reverse !) with fire's red raging glare
Terrific blazing in the midnight air;
He hears the Victors' shout,—despairing cries
Of helpless Mothers for their babes arise;
He sees them seek the Temple's last retreat,—
There, God no longer fills a Mercy-Seat;
The Glory that for ages past had shone
Between the Seraphims, for ever gone.—
Hark to that thunder crash!—yon Dome no more
Ascends to heaven, and Sion's glory's o'er.
But leave, my muse, the horrors of the sightReturn, where Jesus watches through the nightLike Israel's keeper, seeking no repose, But deeply brooding o'er his People's woes. Who steals along the street's tall shaded side?
Say, does some Murderer to his victim glide?
Or some Adulterer seek the shades of night
Welcome, because sincere, to Christ he came, Who like a pitying brother knows our frame. And now with reverence meet, the midnight Guest The condescending Son of God address'd: "Rabbi, all-hail! we know thou art from Heav'n, "Such power as thine alone by God is giv'n— "Deign to instruct me in th' unerring way "That leads mankind to heaven's eternal day." Jesus, who knew the heart that thus enquired, Announc'd the mystic truth that heart requir'd. "Unless a man to life be born again "AH hope of heav'n's eternal bliss is vain."
Sad and dejected, the enquirer sigh'd, And to the Saviour hopelessly replied: "Hard is the saying, and if this must be, •' O who may hope eternal bliss to see ?— "Can wither'd age recal its youthful bloom? "Or man return into his mother's womb?*
** Nay, marvel not that the decree is given, "Man must l>e born again to enter Heav'n:— ** List to the breeze of night, that through these towers "By fits its wild and wand'ring music pours. "It comes,—ye hear with solemn awe the swell, *' But who the place from whence it rose can tell? "It sinks, and now its sighing murmurs close, "But who may follow where its spirit goes ?— "Not more mysterious the sensation proves, "When o'er the soul God's Holy Spirit moves.'
Did God ever say, Mamma, on my asking him by prayer, and confessing myself a sinner, that, after once having given the Spirit, he would preserve me by it?
I have shown you that the Spirit is light, and light is Christ; for our precious Lord declared, " I am the light of the world: he that folio weth me shall not walk in darkness, and shall have the light of life." So having received the Spirit, you perceive the darkness of sin, and avoid it by the light of the gospel, which is a sufficient preservation; as you see the danger, like a precipice, in following the ways of the wicked. But our Lord, my love, has described his preserving power in a more delightful, endearing manner; he declared himself to be the Shepherd of the sheep. "The sheep hear his voice, and he calleth in Egypt, and said: "Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead that sought the young child's life." On which they returned to the land of Israel : but as Archelaus, the son of Herod, reigned in the land of Judea, they turned into Galilee, and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, which was another fulfilment of the words of the prophet in the holy Scripture: "He shall be called a Nazarene." Joseph, after due season, according to the law of the Jews, took the holy child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord; "as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord," and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons." It happened, that while they were performing this oblation, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, who was not only just, but devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was*upon him.