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SONNET VII.

The Seer's Commission.- Rev. i. 18.

And at His feet I fell, like one o'ercast

With death's dark shadow; when His gracious hand

He reached forth, and strengthened me to stand ; And gently said, Fear not ! (as in days past When on His breast I leant): The First, The Last

Behold in Me, whom hell's confed'rate band

Could not retain within their gloomy land :
Death and the grave I spoild, and all aghast
Have led them captive in : wherefore now in heaven

I reign as God, the Prince of endless life.
These visions of that glory to me given

For having vanquish'd in nat mortal strife, Write thou, and send unto the Churches Seven,

My number'd saints, my death-betrothed wife.

SONNET VIII.

The Universal Bishop.—Rev. ii. 1. I am the One High Priest and only Head

Of my own Church; the Shepherd of the fold;

Who walk amidst the candlesticks of gold, Their brightness to preserve, their lamps to feed With holy oil, and in each time of need

To tend those lights o'th' world, which high uphold

Hope's day-star, midst the storms and darkness cold Of this lost earth, to save a righteous seed :

The Universal Bishop, Sovereign Lord Of church dominion; in whose hand

Lie side by side the angels of the word In equal eminence of high command

And hidden power, by whom in sweet accord I teach and rule my church o’er every land.

490

SONNET IX.

The Bishop's Seven Charges to his Angels. First Charge, of Love.

Rev. ii. 2-7.
Hear then! ye angels of the churches, hear

My charge. First, last, of all your thoughts, be love

Unto those sheep, whom I preferr'd above
Heaven's state : They to my Father's heart are near
Who Me do love the most, because more dear

I loved them than life. My turtle dove

Oh leave not to the vultures wild, which rove
The heavens ; nor to the snare, the pit, the fear.

Aye watch. Your work, your patience, well I know,
And, knowing, well reward. He works for me

Who works for them : who aims at them a blow,
Had better far been cast into the sea

With milstone round his neck. Still forward go
In love: and to my throne advanced be.

SONNET X.

The Spirit's Seven Battle Words. - First Battle Word, Promise of

Paradise. Rev. ii. 8.

Taus speaks the Spirit to the Churches all,

And to each man who hath an ear to hear,

" Whoso o'ercometh in this fell career
With Pow'rs of earth and hell, which proudly call
My people to the battle; he shall fall

Unvanquish'd, and to his grave shall bear

The martyr's crown; victorious rise, and wear
The palm of Jubilee. Let no fears appal
Christ's fellow-soldiers. Him, your Captain, view

Upon the throne of God; who hath on high
Mansions prepar'd, and wine o'th' kingdom new

Upon his table set; where never sigh
Is heard, nor sorrow enters. There shall you

With him abide, and in his bosom lie.”

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A PARABLE.

They tell of one of England's noblest peers,
Who sought within the shades of humble life
Retreat from sorrow, and for comfort found,
What for man's comfort was by God ordain'd,
A woman of a tender, loyal heart ;
Whom for his wedded wife he joyful took :
Nor aught revealed of his name and line,
But brought her, all unconscious, to his home,
And there did plant her, partner of his state.
But, ah! she lov'd him over-much, and thought
His home dishonour'd in his lowly wife,
And, like a flower transplanted, droop’d, and died.
-But, thankless Church, thou’rt ready to reject
The Son of God, because in lowliness
He came to woo thee, lowly; laid aside
His heavenly glory, and in mortal weeds
Found access to thy prison, all in thine ear
To pipe soft strains of consolation, meet
TY assuage thy sufferings, and thy love to win;
Then broke thy bonds, thy captors captive led;
And by his Father crowned Lord of all,
Sent thee his Holy Spirit from on high,-
Pledge of His love, of thy inheritance
The earnest ;-call’d thee in His throne to sit,
And plac'd upon thy head creation's crown.
But, ah! strange mock ! thy pride is sore displeas'd
Because he came in mortal, sinful flesh,
From sin and sickness sore to raise its state
And high enthrone it in the height of heaven;
As kings are sometimes wont, in their own guise
To woo and wed fair maids, who to a crown
Did ne'er aspire, nor dream of royal love.

-If thus, O graceless, thankless, heartless Church!
Thou

spurn that meanness, which was undergone
To purchase thy redemption : Fear then, O fear,
Lest unto thee it fare as heretofore
To Michal, David's wife, who scorn'd her lord
For dancing with the throng before God's Ark,
And for her cold and saucy pride was writ
Thenceforward childless, and was doom'd to see
Another wife advanc'd into her room,
Herself cast out, though daughter of a king;
A base adultress rais'd into her room.
So thou shalt be cast out, O Gentile Church,
Born to a kingdom, for thy saucy pride,
And the adultress bond-wife, Jacob's seed,
Shall sit, and share in earth King David's throne !

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

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