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ARGUMENT.

Earth. The Garden of Childhood. The many paths of Life all lead to the valley of Death. Receiving the Kingdom as a Child. A Flower of the Garden transplanted. Sympathy. The living Way. A Guide to the Hills. Vision of the Cross. The path of Error leads to Unbelief and Despair; Penitence : The Cross in the Storm. The missing Guide is revealed by the light of the Spirit, who leads to the place of Refuge. Resting on the Rock of Ages. The distant Hills.

THE VISION OF THE CROSS.

“ And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day. time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”—Isa. iv. 6.

I OVERLOOKED a plain, extending wide,

As meets the eye of mariner, when morn
Struggling with night o’erruffles all the sea
With soft forerunning breeze, to break the mist
And clear a pathway for his tender light.
Faint, far, on every side a landscape dim,
Yet dimly beautiful, for fancy kind
Filled up the want of half-discernment fair,
As ever wont, with touches all her own;
Well shaped each tree, and every glimmering field

Thick stored with bounty, and herself surprised,
Half dreading clearer view which might distract
Enraptured sense, and harsher truths display.
Wider and wider ne'ertheless it grew,
In pleasant robes of varying light adorned,
Smiling from slumber fresh with heavenly dews.
Wild flowers as burst the sudden morn from far

Delighted blushed through all the silver mist
That veiled their beauty from the fervent light,
Trembling 'twixt fields and sky. Where first the Morn
Broke on the twilight stretched a shining chain
Of lofty hills, in mantling lustre robed,
And, stretching thence his glowing arms, he held
The purpled plain beneath in warm embrace.

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Ten thousand orisons shook all the woods

With choral music, and from whispering dell
Wild echo challenged, and each stony rock
Moved to soft rapture with the general song,
Till filled the vault of smiling heaven with light,

And grateful Earth with rich harmonious praise.
Then first appeard no more a plain my view,
Here verdant heights and bare, with steep descents,
And there deep dingles, ran through all its reach,
And forests smooth or broken mixed between
In mingled order, from its centre far
To small perspective; all the various views
Of scene familiar gathered, formed in one.

Now I a garden saw, by sparkling brooks Profusely nourished, nor were noiser floods Deep driven there, with loud tumultuous flow To sound discordant, or dismay the charm Of song sweet swelling from its rustling groves To every glad retreat; but whispers breathed From verdant plot, or wayside violet bed, Snow-white and fragrant more than all beside, Spoke still contentment, where, with gaudy wings Of many powders, fanned the feathery shade

The airy butterfly, or sunny sport
Held drone and ladybird and numerous hordes
Of happy insects; and beneath the arms
Of spreading lime, beside the babbling rill,
Lay snow-white lambs till cooler hours of play.
These, held by narrow bounds, seemed fairer all
Than other prospect given; among the trees
Thick overarched, one path embowered ran
From midst its beauties to a gate that there
Closed on the wide expanse, without which lay,
Then distant circling, where the aching eye
To trace them failed, paths numberless outbranched,
Whilst arrowlike this centre way was laid,
Strait bound between; at one strange spot alone,
One hazy mount, (though there direct it led,)
Lost to my vision veiled; and far beyond
Burst forth again each errant path and this
In clear display, as ’neath an autumn sky
When noon is past, and lengthening falls the shade

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