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FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestations of the sons of God : for the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope ; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God : for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Rom. viii. 19-22.
IT was not then a poet's dream,
An idle vaunt of song,
On vacant fancies throng ;
Which bids us see in heaven and earth,
In all fair things around,
With sinless glories crown'd;
Which bids us hear, at each sweet pause
From care and want and toil, When dewy eve her curtain draws
Over the day's turmoil,
In the low chant of wakeful birds,
: In the deep weltering flood, In whispering leaves, these solemn words
“ God made us all for good.”
All true, all faultless, all in tune,
Creation's wondrous choir Open'd in mystic unison
To last till time expire.
And still it lasts: by day and night,
With one consenting voice, All hymn thy glory, Lord, aright,
All worship and rejoice.
Man only mars the sweet accord,
O’erpowering with “ harsh din” The music of thy works and word,
Ill match'd with grief and sin.
Sin is with man at morning break,
And through the live-long day Deafens the ear that fain would wake
To Nature's simple lay.
But when eve's silent foot-fall steals
Along the eastern sky,
Those purer fires on high,
When one by one each human sound
Dies on the awful ear, Then Nature's voice no more is drown'd,
She speaks and we must hear.
Then pours she on the Christian heart
That warning still and deep, At which high spirits of old would start
Even from their Pagan sleep,
Just guessing, through their murky blind,
Few, faint, and baffling sight, Streaks of a brighter heaven bebind,
A cloudless depth of light.
Such thoughts, the wreck of Paradise,
Through many a dreary age, Upbore whate'er of good and wise
Yet lived in bard or sage:
They mark?d what agonizing throes
Shook the great mother's womb; But Reason's spells might not disclose
The gracious birth to come ;
Nor could th’ enchantress Hope forecast
God's secret love and power ; The travail pangs of Earth must last
Till her appointed hour;
The hour that saw from opening heaven
Redeeming glory stream, Beyond the summer hues of even,
Beyond the mid-day beam.
Thenceforth, to eyes of high desire,
The meanest things below, As with a seraph's robe of fire
Invested, burn and glow :
The rod of heaven has touch'd them all,
The word from heaven is spoken; Rise, shine, and sing, thou captive thrall;
“ Are not thy fetters broken?
61 The God who hallow'd thee and blest,
Pronouncing thee all good“ Hath He not all thy wrongs redrest,
“ And all thy bliss renew'd ?
Why mourn'st thou still as one bereft,
6. Now that th' eternal Son “ His blessed home in heaven hath left
66 To make thee all his own ?”
Thou mourn'st because Sin lingers still
In Christ's new heaven and earth 1; Because our rebel works and will
Stain our immortal birth :
Because, as Love and Prayer grow cold,
The Saviour hides his face,
With uses vile and base.