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My fate is in Thy righteous keeping,
Ruler of worlds! unbounded One!
While to weak man, in error sleeping,
Thy awful course is all unknown :
Far from Thy light immortal streaming,
From heaven, -resplendently afar,
Man's ray is but the feeble gleaming
Of evening's palest, farthest star.
With hope upon his path descending,
Life's darkness soon gives way to light;
Some holy sunbeams hither tending,
Chase the dark clouds of doubt, of night.
O, had our journey, wasting, weary,
No ray like these to gild the gloom,
Life were a desert dark and dreary,
A midnight prison-house-a tomb!
Merciful Being ! friend and father,
To Thee I look, to Thee I call ;
On Thee I rest my spirit, rather
Than on this transient world, or all
The world's foundations. Thou, who kindly
Smil'st on my path, conduct me still ;
Conduct me, while fatigued and blindly
I climb up life's deceitful hill;
Wave Thy pure wand of mercy

o'er

me;
And form me to Thy holy will:
Thy hope shall sweetly play before me,
Thy light my little lamp shall fill.
Could I control my future being,
No thought of pride should e'er rebel;

Thou, all-designing -guiding-seeing,
Wilt direct all things wisely, well.
Disturb not, dreams of care! to-morrow :
Enough the evil of today:
My destined sum of joy and sorrow
The scales of perfect wisdom weigh.
He, for ten thousand worlds providing,
Yet condescends to think of me!
My little skiff securely guiding
O'er Time's now still, now troubled sea ;
Calm as the night, and soft and vernal
As the spring's breath, my bark shall move,
Till, launched into the gulf eternal,

It anchors in a port above.' We select from the third week, the hymn for Friday Morning, on account of its being one of the very few that contain any reference to the Saviour.

* This is the day, when prejudice and guilt The blood of innocence and virtue spilt !

pp. 268.

'Twas in those orient Syrian lands afar,
O'er whose high mountains towers the morning star:
Lands now to tyranny and treachery given,
But then the special care and charge of heaven:
Lands, now by ignorance and darkness trod,
Then shining brightest in the light of God!
• Holiest and best of men ! 'twas there thou walkedst,
There with thy faithful, privileged followers talkedst,
Privileged indeed, listening to truth divine,
Breath'd from a heart, and taught by lips, like thine !
• He that from all life's strange vicissitude
Drew forth the living hidden soul of good;
And in the strength of wisdom, and the might
Of peaceful virtue fought, and won the fight :
His armour righteousness-his conquering sword
A spiritual weapon-his prophetic word,
The arms of truth, his banners from above
His conquests meekness, and his warfare love.
He stands a pillar ’midst his children ; grace
And majesty and truth illume his face;
He bows his head, and dies ! the very rock
Is rent, and Zion trembles at the shock!
But, tho' he dies, he triumphs--and in vain
Would unbelief oppose his conquering reign ;
A reign o'erspreading nature-gathering in
Kindreds and nations from the tents of sin
To virtue's temple. O how calm, how great,
A death like this come, then, and venerate
Your Saviour and your King. All hail! All hail !
The songs of gratitude shall fill the vale,
And echo from the mountains, and shall rise
In one consenting tribute to the skies.
• Sow then thy seed-that seed will spring, and give
Rich fruits and fairest flowers, that will survive
All chance, all change: and though the night may comex
And though the deeper darkness of the tomb,
A sun more bright than ours shall bid them grow,
And on the very grave hope's buds will blow,
And blow like those sweet flowers that, pluck'd, ne'er lose
Their freshness, or their fragrance, or their hues.
Now the day calls us with its eloquent ray ;
O let us toil unwearied while 'tis day,
For the night cometh, all enveloping-
But virtue, that on spiritual soaring wing
Flies to its rest! 'tis but a pilgrim here,
Shaping its course towards a better sphere,
Where its own mansion is ; yet, in its flight,
Dropping from its pinions healing and delight;

And from the darkest shades, like some fair star

Of midnight, scattering beams of light afar.' pp. 137-9. We take one more specimen from the fourth week: it is Tuesday Morning

• Almighty One! I bend in dust before Thee :

Even so veild cherubs bend;
In calm and still devotion I adore Thec,

All-wise, all-present friend!
Thou to the earth its emerald robes hast given,

Or curtained it in snow ;
And the bright sun, and the soft moon in heaven

Before thy presence bow.
• Thou in Thy wisdom spread'st the map of nature,

That map so fair and bright;
Reared'st the arch of heaven-on every creature

Pouring its streams of light.
Thou feed'st with dew the early spring-rose glowing,

Quickenest the teeming sea :
Thine is the storm through the dark forest blowing,

Thine, heaven's soft harmony.
« Thine is the beam on ocean's bosom glancing,

Thine is the thunder-cloud,
Thine are the lamps that light our steps, advancing

To the tomb's solitude.
Thou speakest—and all nature's pregnant bosom

Heaves with Thy mighty breath ;
Thou frownest-man, even like a frost-nipp'd blossom,

Drops in the lap of death.
• A thousand worlds which roll around us brightly,

Thee in their orbits bless;
Ten thousand suns which shine above us nightly,

Proclaim Thy righteousness.
Thou didst create the world—'twas Thy proud mandate,

That woke it into day;
And the same power that measur’d, weigh’d, and spann'd it,

Shall bid that world decay.
• Thou Power sublime! whose throne is firmly seated

On stars and glowing suns;
O could I praise Thee-could my soul elated

Waft Thee seraphic tones,
Had I the lyres of angels—could I bring Thee

An offering worthy Thee,
In what bright notes of glory would I sing Thee

Blest notes of ecstacy!
• Here is my song, a voice of mortal weakness

Just breathing from my breast ;

A mingled song, of worthlessness and meekness,

And feeble hope at best.
In heaven that voice, up to Thy throne ascending,

Should speak as angels speak,
And joy and confidence and glory blending,

Thy seat of light should seek.
• Eternity ! Eternity !-how solemn,

How terrible the sound !
Here, leaning on thy promises--a column

Of strength-may I be found !
Olet my heart be ever Thine, while beating,

As when 't will cease to beat ;
Be Thou my portion-till that awful meeting,

When I my God shall greet.' pp. 1646. Considered as poetry, there is much that is pleasing, and melodious, and occasionally striking in these matins and vespers ; although they are not free from marks of carelessness and false tase, and the rhymes are sometimes inadmissibly defective and quite below the dignity of serious poetry. But, as the Author has reminded us in his Preface, that the substance. • of piety is of higher interest than any of its decorations,' we waive all further criticism on the composition, and ask, the Bible being the rule and arbiter, Is this ‘ piety? Had we been told that these hymns were free translations of some Greek or Latin odes to the Father of gods and men, which modern researches had brought to light from among the unrolled treasures of Herculaneum, we should have been led to believe that, like the hymn of Cleanthes, they were probably imitations, rather than relics, of the poetry of the ancients; but, were it not for a few exceptions, there would have been nothing to forbid the idea, that they might possibly be the production of some later Platonist or Eclectic philosopher, whose mind had admitted a still further portion of the borrowed light of Christianity, than shines in the pages of Plotinus, or occasionally lights up the eloquence of Tully. An enlightened Deist of any school, whether Western or Eastern, might certainly have been the author of almost any and every matin and vesper in the present collection. And had they heen the production of some Persian Soofi or some old classical theist, we should have been ready to say, This man wanted but the knowledge of the Bible, to be a Christian.

We could not have desired a better illustration, though it is a melancholy one, of the remarks we offered on true and spurious devotion, in treating of love to God*, than is supplied

* Eclectic Review, Feb. 1823. pp. 103—5.

by these poems. We had not then read them-we believe they were not published-or it might have been supposed, that we had some allusion to the Author when we remarked, that men will admit nothing more readily than the doctrine of the general benevolence of God; will descant, with a refined and delusive sentimental pleasure, on the power, and wisdom, and beneficence of the Creator ; while yet, the God of the Bible is so far from being recognised by them, that the most illustrious manifestation which he has made of his character in the redemption and reconciliation of the world to himself through a Mediator, is viewed with indifference or distaste. These poetical contemplations' on the Deity, what are they, but the philosophic musings of a speculative mind, which has embraced its own deified ideal as the object of a sentimental worship, in lieu of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

The feature which will probably first strike most of our readers, is the irreverent and repulsive familiarity with which the Divine Being is addressed in some of the passages above cited. Mr. Bowring seems to wish to make it appear, that he does not feel to stand in need of a Mediator in drawing near to the Divine Majesty ; that he has no occasion for the doctrine, to enable him to come · boldly' to the throne of grace, for it is not mercy he comes to supplicate. He calls the Supreme Being his all-wise, all-present friend, with an which savours of any thing rather than " reverence and godly fear;" and speaks, with an awful misappropriation of language, of greeting God at the day of judgement. Surely, his song breathes the reverse of meekness:' it is the haughty spirit of a guilty worm paying compliments to its offended Maker. The volume is full of expressions partaking of this unhallowed familiarity. Who would imagine that it is the Creator of all things, whom he thus addresses ?

· Wave thy pure wand of mercy o'er me'

· Thy hope shall sweetly play before me.' -a style of invocation only adapted, one would have thought, to some allegorical personage, some guardian spirit of the fancy. But the volume contains things much worse than this -phrases in which irreverence touches on blasphemy. Our readers will have noticed the expression, proud mandate.' This is either nonsense, or it is worse. But what will they think of the following lines, which we feel that we ought almost to apologize for transcribing into our pages ?

• Thy name, Thy glories, they rehearse,
Proud Spirit of the universe !

assurance

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