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Where the worth to thine impotent heart, of that stirred Bethesda,
All numbed and palsied as it is, by the scorpion stings of sin ?
No, thy trinity of nature, enchained by treble death,
Helplessly craveth of its God, himself for three salvations:
The soul to be reconciled in love, the mind to be glorified in light,
While this poor dying body leapeth into life.
And if indeed for us all the costly ransom hath been paid,
Bethink thee, could less than Deity have owned so vast a treasure ?
Could a man contend with God, and stand against the bosses of His
Rendering the balance for guilt, atonement to the uttermost?
Thou art subtle to thine own thinking, but wisdom judgeth thee a fool,
Resolving thou wilt not bow the knee to a Being thou canst not com-
prehend: The mind that could compass perfection were itself perfection's equal; And reason refuseth its homage to a God who can be fully understood.
Thou that despisest mystery, yet canst expound nothing,
Wherefore rejectest thou the fact that solveth the enigma of all things?
Wherefore veilest thou thine eyes, lest the light of revelation sun them,
And puttest aside the key that would open the casket of truth?
The mind and the nature of God is shadowed in all his works,
And none could have guessed of his essence, had He not uttered it himself
Therefore, thou child of folly, that scornest the record of his wisdom,
Learn from the consistencies of nature the needful miracle of Godhead:
Yea, let the heathen be thy teacher, who adoreth many gods,
For there is no wide-spread error that hath not truth for its beginning.
Be content; thine eye cannot see all the sides of a cube at one view,
Nor thy mind in the self-same moment follow two ideas :
There are now many marvels in thy creed, believing what thou seest,
Then let not the conceit of intellect hinder thee from worshipping mystery
REFLECTION is a flower of the nund, giving out wholesome fragrance,
But reverie is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.
Better to read little with thought, than much with levity and quickness;
For mind is not as merchandize, which decreaseth in the using,
But liker to the passions of man, which rejoice and expand in exertion :
Yet live not wholly on thine own ideas, lest they lead thee astray;
For in spirit, as in substance, thou art a social creature;
And if thou leanest on thyself, thou rejectedst the guidance of thy betters,
Yea, thou contemnest all men,--Am I not wiser than they?-
Foolish vanity hath blinded thee, and warped thy weak judgment:
For, though new ideas flow from new springs, and enrich the treasury of
knowledge, Yet listen often, ere thou think much; and look around thee ere thou
judgest. Memory, the daughter of Attention, is the teeming mother of Wisdom, And safer is he that storeth knowledge, than he that would make it for
IMAGINATION is not thought, neither is fancy reflection :
Thought paceth like a hoary sage, but imagination hath wings as an eagle;
Reflection sternly considereth, nor is sparing to condemn evil,
But fancy lightly laugheth, in the sun-clad garden of amusement.
For the shy game of the fowler the quickest shot is the surest ;
But with slow care and measured aim the gunner pointeth his cannon :
So for all less occasions, the surface-thought is best,
But to be master of the great take thou heavier metal.
It is a good thing, and a wholesome, to search out bosom sins,
But to be the hero of selfish imaginings, is the subtle poison of pride :
At night, in the stillness of thy chamber, guard and curb thy thoughts,
And in recounting the doings of the day, beware that thou do it with
Or thinking will be an idle pleasure, and retrospect yield no fruit.
Steer the bark of thy mind from the syren isle of reverie,
And let a watchful spirit mingle with the glance of recollection :
Also, in examining thine heart, in sounding the fountain of thine actions,
Be more careful of the evil than of the good: and humble thyself in thy
The root of all wholesome thought is knowledge of thyself,
For thus only canst thou learn the character of God toward thee.
He made thee, and thou art; he redeemed thee, and thou wilt be:
Thou art evil, yet he loveth thee: thou sinnest, yet he pardoneth thee.
Though thou canst not perceive him, yet is he in all his works,
Infinite in grand outline, infinite in minute perfection :
Nature is the chart of God, mapping out all his attributes;
Art is the shadow of his wisdom, and copieth his resources.
Thou knowest the laws of matter to be emanations of his will,
And thy best reason for aught is this,—thou, Lord, would have it so.
Yea, what is any law but an absolute decree of God?
Or the properties of matter and mind, but the arbitrary fiats of Jehovah ?
He made and ordained necessity; he forged the chain of reason;
And holdeth in his own right hand the first of the golden links.
A fool regardeth mind as the spiritual essence of matter,
And not rather matter as the gross accident of mind.
Can finite govern infinite, or a part exceed the whole,
Or the wisdom of God sit down at the feet of innate necessity ?
Necessity is a creature of his hand: for He can never change;
And chance hath no existence where every thing is needful.
Canst thou measure Omnipotence, canst thou conceive Ubiquity,
Which guideth the meanest reptile, and quickeneth the brightest seraph,
Which steereth the particles of dust, and commandeth the path of the
To Him all things are equal, for all things are necessary.
The smith is weary at his forge, and weldeth the metal carelessly,
And the anchor breaketh in its bed; and the vessel foundereth with her
A word of anger is muttered, engendering the midnight murder:
The sun bursteth from a cloud, and maddeneth the toiling husbandman.
Shall these things be, and God not know it?
Shall he know, and not be in them ? shall he see, and not be among them?
And how can they be otherwise than as he knoweth ?
Truly, the Lord is in all things; verily, he worketh in all.
Think thus, and thy thoughts are firm, ascribing each circumstance to
Yet know surely, and believe the truth, that God willeth not evil:
For adversities are blessings in disguise, and wickedness the Lord
That he is in all things is an axiom, and that he is righteous in all:
Ascribe holiness to Him, while thou musest on the mystery of sin,
For infinite can grasp that, which finite cannot compass.
In works of art, think justly: what praise canst thou render unto man?
For he made not his own mind, nor is he the source of contrivance,
If a cunning workman maketh an engine that fashioneth curious works,
Which hath the praise, the machine or its maker,—the engine, or he that
And could he frame it so subtly as to give it a will and freedom,
Endow it with complicated powers, and a glorious living soul,
Who, while he admireth the wondrous understanding creature,
Will not pay deeper homage to the Maker of master minds?
Otherwise, thou art senseless as the pagan, that adoreth his own handi-
work; Yei, while thou boastest of thy wisdom, thy mind is as the mind of the
savage, For he boweth down to his idols, and thou art a worshipper of self, Giving to the reasoning machine the credit due to its creator.
The keystone of thy mind, to give thy thoughts solidity,
To bind them as in an arch, to fix them as a world in its sphere,
Is to learn from the book of the Lord, to drink from the well of his
wisdom. Who can condense the sun, or analyse the fulness of the Bible, So that its ideas be gathered, and the harvest of its wisdom be brought in? That book is easy to the man who setteth his heart to understand it, But to the careless and profane it shall seem the foolishness of God; And it is a delicate test to prove thy moral state; To the hunble disciple it is bread, but a stone to the proud and
unbelieving: A scorner shall find nothing but the husks, wherewith to feed his hunger, But for the soul of the simple, it is plenty of full-ripe wheat. The Scripture abideth the same in the sober majesty of truth ; And the differing aspects of its teaching proceed from diversity in minds. He that would learn to think may gain that knowledge there; For the living word, as an angel, standeth at the gate of wisdom, And publisheth, This is the way, walk ye surely in it. Religion taketh by the hand the humble pupil of repentance, And teacheth him lessons of mystery, solving the questions of doubt; She maketh man worthy of himself, of his high prerogative of reason, Threadeth all the labyrinths of thought, and leadeth him to his God.
Come hither, child of meditation, upon whose high fair forehead
Glittereth the star of mind in its unearthly lustre,
Hast thou nought to tell us of thine airy joys,-
When borne on sinewy pinions, strong as the western condor,
The soul, after soaring for a while round the cloud-capped Andes uf
Glad in its conscious immortality, leaveth a world behind,
To dare at one bold flight the broad Atlantic to another?
Hast thou no secret pangs to whisper common men,
No dread of thine own energies, still active, day and night,
Lest too ecstatic heat sublime thyself away,
Or vivid horrors, sharp and clear, madden thy tense fibres ?
In half-shaped visions of sleep hast thou not feared thy flittings,
Lest reason, like a raking hawk, return not to thy call;
Nor waked to work-day life with throbbing head and heart,
Nor welcomed early dawn to save thee from unrest?