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UNIVERSAL PRAISE TO THE
God of the earth's extended plains !
The dark green fields contented lie: The mountains rise like holy towers,
Where man might commune with the sky: The tall cliff challenges the storm
That low'rs upon the vale below,
With joyous music in their flow.
God of the dark and heavy deep !
The waves lie sleeping on the sands, Till the fierce trumpet of the storm
Hath summoned up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dash'd like foam,
Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calm'd by thee, the sinking gale
Serenely breathes, then dies in peace, God of the forest's solemn shade!
The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,
Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,
When, side by side, their ranks they form, To wave on high their plumes of green,
And fight their battles with the storm. God of the light and viewless air!
Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,
The fierce and wintry tempests blow; All – from the evening's plaintive sigh,
That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry
Breathe forth the language of thy power.
God of the fair and open sky!
How gloriously above us springs
Suspended on the rainbow's rings;
Each gilded cloud, that wanders free
The beauty of its praise to thee.
Thy name is written clearly bright
Or evening's golden shower of light.
And every spark that walks alone
Were kindled at thy burning throne. God of the world! the hour must come,
And nature's self to dust return! Her crumbling altars must decay !
Her incense fires shall cease to burn! But still her grand and lovely scenes
Have made man's warmest praises flow; For hearts grow holier as they trace
The beauty of the world below. Peabody.
THE JUSTICE OF GOD. How gloriously is God qualified by this attribute for the government of all things. In what an amiable, majestic, and dignified light is he here manifested to our view. Without this attribute all others would be vain. A ruler he might be, because his power would easily compel all beings to obey him. But he would be merely an arbitrary and despotic ruler, neither venerable nor lovely. No creature
would or could serve him willingly, with either love or confidence. The fear which gendereth bondage would be the only principle of subjection; nor would any subjection or service secure his creatures from perpetual danger and distress.
What a dreadful instrument would omnipotence be in the hands of an unjust being! What must not all creatures fear! What evils would they not suffer! What spectacles of vengeance and woe would not his arm call up into being ! How in. stantaneously would all hope vanish, all safety cease, all good perish! The universe would become a desert, a dungeon, an immense region of mourning, lamentation, and woe.
Now, all creatures are secure from every possible act of injustice from the hand of God. Powerful as he is, knowing all things as he does, these amazing attributes are employed only to discern that which is just and right, and to bring it in every instance to pass. Hence he is the universal safeguard of his unnumbered creatures, the rock on which their rights and interests immoveably rest, the proper and unfailing object of supreme and endless confidence. Wrong he cannot do, right he cannot fail to do. Submission to his will, his law, his government, is safe: and, when voluntary, is assured of the regard, the approbation, and the rewards which are promised to cheerful obedience.
Were God not possessed of this glorious attribute, his benevolence would be mere weakness. All froward, rebellious, obstinate creatures, would presume on his want of energy to vindicate his own honour, and the rights of the suffering universe. But, whatever their rebellion against God, their rejection of his Son, their deceit, injustice, and
cruelty to each other, and their pollution of themselves, deserves, they will receive exactly at his hand, and will be rewarded exactly “ according to their works.” It becomes every impenitent sinner to ask himself, what reward he ought to expect for a life spent wholly in rebellion of thought, word, and action; with no account of voluntary obedience, and millions of accounts of gross disobedience against his Maker.
It is plainly “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” In his hand, and within his knowledge and power, are all the avenues to woe, all the ingredients to misery. He is equally able to pierce the soul, and to agonize the body. There is no escape from his power, no concealment from his eye! What then will become of hardened sinners? How will the justice of God overwhelm them in consternation and horror at the great day!
DIVINE LOVE. “GOD IS LOVE.” All his perfections and procedures are but so many modifications of his love. What is his omnipotence but the arm of his love? What his omniscience but the medium through which he contemplates the objects of his love ? What his wisdom but the scheme of his love? What are the offers of the gospel but the invitations of his love? What the threatenings of the law but the warnings of his love? They are the hoarse voice of his love, saying, “ Man! do thyself no harm.” They are a fence thrown round the pit of perdition to prevent rash men from rushing into ruin. What was the incarnation of the Saviour
but the richest illustration of his love? What were the miracles of Christ but the condescension of his love? What were the sighs of Christ but the breath of his love? What were the prayers of Christ but the pleadings of his love? What were the tears of Christ but the dew-drops of his love? What is the earth but the theatre for the display of his love? What is heaven but the Alps of his mercy, from whose summits his blessings, flowing down in a thousand streams, descend to water and refresh his church situated at its base ?
ANGELIC WORSHIP. No sooner had the ALMIGHTY ceased, but all The multitude of angels, with a shout Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, heaven rung With jubilee, and loud hosannas fill’d The eternal regions : lowly reverent Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground With solemn adoration down they cast Their crowns inwove with amaranth and gold : Immortal amaranth, a flower which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence To heaven removed where first it grew, there grows, And flowers aloft shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss thro’ midst of heaven Rolls o’er Elysian flowers her amber streams; With these that never fade the spirits elect Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams; Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd. Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took,