Page images

The Christian poet, whom I quoted at the conclusion of my last discourse, after considering the misery which prevails in the world between man and man, and man with beast, and brutes among themselves, and then contemplating the blessed restoration of all things, promised by Him who created them, and hath redeemed them, and engaged to restore them,

breaks out into strains, which must find a welcome in every heart which at all feels the gracious influence of the gospel. I cannot do better than conclude with some of them:

Oh! scenes surpassing fable, and get true,
Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refresh'd with foretaste of the joy?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach
Of barrepness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance; and the land, once leag,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,

Exults to see its thistly curse repeal'd.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring,
The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet, all are full.
The lion, and the libbard, and the bear,
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade
of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Antipathies are none. No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent dow: the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
Stretch'd forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One Lord, one Father. Error has no place:
That creeping pestilence is driv'n away;
The breath of heav'n has chas'd it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant string,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not, the pure and uncontam’nate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.

One song employs all nations; and all cry,
“ Worthy the lamb, for he was slain for us!"

COW PER'S TASK, b. vi. 1. 759_792.

Thus heav'n-ward all things tend. For all were

Perfect, and all must be at length restor'd.
So God has greatly purpos'd; who would else
In his dishonour'd works himself endure
Dishonour, and be wrong'd without redress.
Haste, then, and wheel away a shatter'd world,
Ye slow-revolving seasons ! We would see
(A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet)
A world that does not dread and hate his laws,
And suffer for its crime; would learn how fair
The creature is that God. pronounces good,
How pleasant in itself what pleases him.

· Ditto, l. 818-829.

Come, then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the carth,
Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere nature's birth;
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

And overpaid its value with thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim thee king; and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipt in the fountain of eternal love.
Thy saints proclaim thee king; and thy delay
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see
The dawn of thy last advent, long desir'd,
Would creep into the bowels of the hills,
And flee for safety to the falling rocks.

DITTO, 1. 855-868.

Come, then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,
Due to thy last and most effectual work,
Thy word fulfill'd, the conquest of a world!

Ditto, 1. 902_905.


« PreviousContinue »