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“ TO BE WITH CHRIST;-WHICH IS FAR BETTER!”

“O most delightful hour by man

Experienced here below,
The hour that terminates his span,

His folly and his woe !

“ Worlds should not bribe me back to tread

Again life's dreary waste,
To see again my day o'erspread

With all the gloomy past.

“ My home henceforth is in the skies,

Earth, seas, and sun, adieu !
All heaven unfolded to my eyes,

I have no sight for you.”

So spake Aspasio, firm possessid

Of faith's supporting rod ;
Then breathed his soul into its rest,

The bosom of his God.

“ OPEN THOU MINE EYES!”

Blinded in youth by Satan's arts,
The world to our unpractised hearts

A flattering prospect shows :
Our fancy forms a thousand schemes
Of gay delights, and golden dreams,

And undisturbed repose.

So in the dreary desert's waste,
By magic power produced in haste,

(As ancient fables say,) Castles, and groves, and music sweet, The senses of the traveller meet,

And stop him in his way :

But while he listens with surprise,
The charm dissolves, the vision dies,

'Twas but enchanted ground; Thus if the Lord our spirit touch, The world, which promised us so much,

A wilderness is found.

At first we start, and feel distrest ;
Convinced we never can have rest

In such a wretched place;
But He whose mercy breaks the charm,
Reveals His own Almighty arm,

And bids us seek His face.

Then we begin to love indeed,
When from our sin and bondage freed

By this beloved Friend;
We follow Him from day to day,
Assured of grace through all the way,

And glory at the end.

I HAVE RANSOMED HIM FROM THE POWER OF

DEATH !”

THANKLESS for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon ;
Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.

But he, not wise enough to scan

His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages, if he might :

To ages, in a world of pain,

To ages, where he goes
Galled by affliction's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.

Strange fondness of the human heart,

Enamoured of its harm!
Strange world !-that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm.

Whence has the world her magic power?

Why deem we death a foe ? Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer woe ?

The cause is Conscience ;—Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews ;
Her voice is terrible, though soft,

And dread of death ensues.

Then, anxious to be longer spared,

Man mourns his fleeting breath : All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of death.

'Tis judgment shakes him; there's the fear,

That prompts the wish to stay : He has incurred a long arrear,

And must despair to pay.

Pay!—follow Christ, and all is paid ;

His death your peace ensures ;
Think on the grave where He was laid,

And calm descend to your's.

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