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THE SOUL THAT LOVES GOD FINDS HIM
Oh thou, by long experience tried,
Near whom no grief can long abide;
My love! how full of sweet content
I pass my years of banishment !
All scenes alike engaging prove
To souls impress'd with sacred love!
Where'er they dwell, they dwell in thee;
In heaven, in earth, or on the sea.
To me remains nor place nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
'Tis equal joy to go or stay.
Could I be cast where thou art not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot;
But regions none remote I call,
Secure of finding God in all.
My country, Lord, art thou alone ;
Nor other can I claim or own;
The point where all my wishes meet;
My law, my love; life's only sweet!
I hold by nothing here below;
Appoint my journey, and I go;
Though pierced by scorn, oppress'd by pride,
I feel thee good-feel nought beside.
No frowns of men can hurtful
To souls on fire with heavenly love;
Though men and devils both condemn,
No gloomy days arise from them.
Ah then! to his embrace repair ;
My soul, thou art no stranger there;
There love divine shall be thy guard,
And peace and safety thy reward.
THE TESTIMONY OF DIVINE ADOPTION.
How happy are the new-born race,
Partakers of adopting grace;
How pure the bliss they share !
Hid from the world and all its
eyes, Within their heart the blessing lies,
And conscience feels it there. The moment we believe, 'tis ours ; And if we love with all our powers
The God from whom it came; And if we serve with hearts sincere, 'Tis still discernible and clear,
An undisputed claim.
But, ah! if foul and wilfull sin
Stain and dishonour us within,
Farewell the joy we knew;
Again the slaves of nature's sway,
In labyrinths of our own we stray,
Without a guide or clue.
The chaste and pure, who fear to grieve
The gracious spirit they receive,
His work distinctly trace :
And, strong in undissembling love,
Boldly assert and clearly prove
Their hearts his dwelling place.
Oh messenger of dear delight,
, Whose voice dispels the deepest night,
Sweet peace-proclaiming dove ! With thee at hand, to soothe our pains, No wish unsatisfied remains,
No task but that of love.
'Tis love unites what sin divides ; The centre, where all bliss resides ;
To which the soul once brought, Reclining on the first great cause, From his abounding sweetness draws
Peace passing human thought.
Sorrow foregoes its nature there,
And life assumes a tranquil air,
Divested of its woes ; There sovereign goodness soothes the breast, Till then incapable of rest,
In sacred sure repose.
DIVINE LOVE ENDURES NO RIVAL.
Love is the Lord whom I obey,
Whose will transported I perform;
The centre of my rest, my stay,
Love's all in all to me, myself a worm.
For uncreated charms I burn,
Oppress'd by slavish fear no more ;
For one in whom I may discern,
E'en when he frowns, a sweetness I adore.
He little loves him who complains,
And finds him rigorous and severe;
His heart is sordid, and he feigns,
Though loud in boasting of a soul sincere.
Love causes grief, but 'tis to move
And stimulate the slumbering mind;
And he has never tasted love,
Who shuns a pang so graciously design'd.
Sweet is the cross, above all sweets,
To souls enamour'd with thy smiles ;
The keenest woe life ever meets,
Love strips of all its terrors, and beguiles.
'Tis just that God should not be dear
Where self engrosses all the thought,
And groans and murmurs make it clear,
Whatever else is loved, the Lord is not.
The love of thee flows just as much
As that of ebbing self subsides;
Our hearts, their scantiness is such,
Bear not the conflict of two rival tides.
Both cannot govern in one soul;
Then let self-love be dispossess'd;
The love of God deserves the whole,
And will not dwell with so despised a guest.
Source of love, and light of day,
Tear me from myself away;
Every view and thought of mine
Cast into the mould of thine ;
Teach, O teach this faithless heart,
A consistent constant part;
Or, if it must live to grow
More rebellious, break it now!
Is it thus that I requite
Grace and goodness infinite?
Every trace of every boon,
Cancel'd and erased so soon!