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He has received the meed of faith, and now
The cross shines forth triumphant on his brow.
He too, who while on earth could nothing find
To satisfy the longings of his mind,
So ill by grosser spirits understood,
May realize his dream of perfect good.
That dream a light prophetic, as he mused,
Gradual his mind's horizon circumfused;
Promise through intervening mists of sense,
Of knowledge infinite, of love intense:
Love, as truth opes the everlasting doors
Of heaven for the beloved of God, outpours
Through depths of space, from suns-embracing zones,
Harmonious joy in fragrance-breathing tones.
The light-encircled spirits seem to move
As visitants from heaven through yonder grove;
Though the world's follies be by them forgot,
Yet they might wish to consecrate the spot
With their occasional presence that on earth
They loved, where ripen'd first for heaven their worth;
There, there to flourish in its
Not asking, to support it, further toil.
Virtue is there identified with being,
Splendours we vaguely guess at ever seeing;
Splendours ineffable, that Milton's pen
Scarce shadowed out, above our mental ken.
Now they commingle with that holy race
Whom powers that emanate from God embrace!
Measureless knowledge-man here vainly craves-
Now circumscribes them, as the sea its waves:
Not flashing forth and vanishing by turns,
Devotion's steady flame above them burns;
The sun of happiness, that scarcely cheers
Our progress here, how bright to them appears!
Within his influence, yet unmark'd by fame.
Many a time God is present in the still voice and private retirement of a quiet religion, and the constant spiritualities of an ordinary life; when the loud and impetuous winds, and the strong fires of more laborious and expensive actions, are profitable to others; like a tree of balsam distilling precious liquors for others, not for its own use.— JEREMY TAYLOR.
A GOOD MAN'S FUTURE EXISTENCE.
Nube non è ch' oscuri vostra luce,
L'ore distinte a voi non fanno forza,
Caso o necessità non vi conduce.-MICHAEL ANGELO.
Eternal life! If all the winds of heaven might be concentrated to fill the trump that should proclaim it, the blast would be but too feeble for the theme! If all the constellations of our firmament were grouped afresh to blazon those few letters on the vault of heaven, the matter would be more than worthy of the legend.-SHEPPARD.
As heavenly bodies through the ether move
Silently, stormful regions far above,
Thus above passions that around the throng
Gather, the good man moves his course along.
With such a facile energy he goes
Onward, 'tis action, 'tis sublime repose.
He to the stock of human happiness
Brings every day accession, more or less.
As Flora from her pictured urn in May
Throws flowers. Love scatters blessings in his way.
When gone, remembrance of what he has been,
Sweet as perfume from violet banks unseen,
To those his present influence gladden'd, gives
A fragrant joy his presence that survives.
Fraught with a solar life, unworn by change
Organic, (Mind must have a wider range)
Through faith he brightens in a higher sphere,
Serenely beautiful, as star-light here:
An undecaying spirit, that adores
The source eterne of all its virtues, powers;
Virtues, from sin's disturbing force secure;
Powers, more efficient, ever to endure;
Of strength possessive, ne'er to lose their hold
On truths, no master-minds can here unfold;
With thoughts as sunbeams penetrating, true
As arrow from the bow of Tell that flew.
No damps like those from earth arising tame
There adoration's ever-living flame:
No mists there intercept the light of grace
Effluent from the Triune seen face to face:
No cares that here thwart purposed good distract
Affections pure, that ceaseless interact.
Developed partially in grosser clay
Emotions noble are call'd into play;
Even if expended, then renew'd as soon,
Their influence powerful as sun at noon.
Far higher in degree, the same in kind,
As in the mortal, so in form refin'd
Of the transfigurated being rise
With him of life the social charities,
That, as he wills, pour forth around their strength,
Uncircumscribed in width, or depth, or length;
Equable, simultaneous, love-impell'd,
By counteractive agencies unquell'd.
The stream thus from obstructing weeds released
Flows o'er its ample bed with force increased;
Thus swelling buds in spring-time somewhat harm'd
By cold burst into leaves by summer warm'd.
As fabled trees for ever blossoming,
And rich with fruit of autumn pride and spring,
There glow matured by light and heat the power
And will to do, the fruitage and the flower.
Of life the ascending vista on the soul
Opens, as ages after ages roll
Away, progressing still the glorious sprite,
Into a far receding infinite!
A cloudless perspective! with which the past
Compared is nothingness, however vast!
The soul, on brightening pinions upward soaring,
Eagle-wise, still the Sun of suns adoring!
Not solitary! but, affections good
Here, to enjoy in their most perfect mood;
Uninterrupted friendship, social bliss!
What can be greater happiness than this,
To view in sweet communion with the loved
On earth, Heaven's folded counsels there evolved?