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things are their care and their business. But if great things will satisfy our inquiry,--the course
Like cattle through the budded brooms;
WORDSWORTH'S WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE. Oh! brethren, I have seen sabbath sights, and joined in sabbath worships, which took the heart with their simplicity, and ravished it with sublime emotions. I have crossed the hills in the sober and contemplative autumn, to reach the retired lonely church betimes, and as I descended towards the simple edifice, whitherto every heart and every foot directed itself from the country round, on the sabbath morn, we beheld issuing from the vales and mountain glens, the little train of worshippers coming up to the congregation of the Lord's house, around
of the sun and moon, the spots in their faces, the firmament of heaven and the supposed orbs, the ebbing and flowing of the sea, are work enough for us; or, if this be not, let him tell me whether the number of the stars be even or odd, and when they began to be so. If these be too troublesome, search lower, and tell me why this turf this year brings forth a daisy, and the next year a plantane: why the apple bears his seed in his heart and wheat bears it in his head; let him tell why a graft taking nourishment from a crabstock shall have a fruit more noble than its nurse and parent: let him say why the best of oil is at the top, the
which the bones of their fathers reposed, and near to which reposed the bones of one who had in cold blood fallen for his God, at the hands of that wretched man, the hero of our northern romances : bones oft visited by pious feet, and covered on the hill side where they lie with a stone bearing an inscription not to be paralleled in our noble mausoleum, which containeth the ashes of those whom the nation delighteth to honour. In so holy a place, the people assembled under a roof where ye of the plentiful south would not have lodged the porter of your gate. But under that roof the people sat and sang their Maker's praise,“ tuning their hearts, by far the noblest aim," and the pastor poured forth to God the simple wants of the people, and poured into their attentive ears the scope of christian doctrine and duty, and having filled the hearts of his flock with his consolations, parted with them after much blessing and mutual congratulation, and the people went on their way rejoicing. Oh! what meaning there was in the whole! what piety! what intelligence! what simplicity! The men were shepherds and came up in their shepherd's guise, and the very brute, the shepherd's servant and companion, rejoiced to come at his feet. Oh! it was a sabbath! a sabbath of rest! From a Sermon of Edward Irving.
best of wine in the middle, and the best of honey at the bottom. But these things are not such as please busy-bodies; they must feed upon tragedies, and stories of misfortunes and crimes. *
do but see a maiden carried to her grave a little before her intended marriage, or an infant die before the birth of reason, nature hath taught us to pay a tributary tear. Alas! your eyes will behold the ruin of many families, which though
* There is (for life is too short to be wasted on fruitless speculations) scarcely any subject of more importance than idle curiosity; or, to speak more correctly, (as all knowledge contains something good, all dross some pure metal), curiosity in things of little use. Be not curious,” says the preacher, “in unnecessary matters, for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand.” “We spend our days,” says the philosopher,“ in un profitable questions and disputations, intricate subtleties, de lana caprina, about moonshine in the water.
Truths, that the learn'd pursue with eager thought,
See the conclusion of this note, in note II. at the end of the volume.
they sadly have deserved, yet mercy is not delighted with the spectacle ; and therefore God places a watery cloud in the eye, that when the light of heaven shines upon it, it may produce a rainbow to be a sacrament and a memorial that God and the sons of God do not love to see a man perish. *
As contrary as cruelty is to mercy, as tyranny to charity, so is war and bloodshed to the meekness and gentleness of Christian religion: and, however, there are some exterminating spirits who think God to delight in human sacrifices, as if that Oracle-Και κεφαλάς άδη και το πάτρι TÉLTETE Pūra, had come from the Father of Spirit, yet if they were capable of cool and tame homilies, or would hear men of other opinions give a quiet account without invincible resolutions never to alter their persuasions, I am very much persuaded it would not be very hard to dispute such men into mercies and compliances, and tolerations mutual, such I say, who are zealous for Jesus Christ, than whose doctrine never was any thing more merciful and humane, whose lessons were softer than nard, or the juice of the Candian olive.
Sermon at the Opening of the Parliament.
I have followed the design of Scripture, and have given milk for babes, and for stronger men stronger meat; and in all I have despised my own reputation, by so striving to make it useful, that I was less careful to make it strict in retired senses, and embossed* with unnecessary but graceful ornaments, I pray God this may go forth into a blessing to all that shall use it, and reflect blessings upon me all the way, that my spark may grow greater by kindling my brother's taper, and God may be glorified in us both. +