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In silence, ere that storm begin,
Pray only that thine aching heart,
Snatch'd sudden from th' avenging rod,
d Jeremiah xlv. 4, 5. The Lord saith thus: Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself ? seek them not, for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord ; but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.
TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER
And looking up to Heaven, He sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. St. Mark vii. 34.
THE Son of God in doing good
Was fain to look to heaven and sigh :
Seek joy unmix'd in charity ?
He look’d to heaven, and sadly sigh’d
What saw my gracious Saviour there,
The joy of Heaven-accepted prayer?
So o'er the bed where Lazarus slept
grave, Knowing himself so strong to save?
O’erwhelming thoughts of pain and grief
Over his sinking spirit sweep ;“ What boots it gathering one lost leaf
“ Out of yon sere and wither'd heap, “ Where souls and bodies, hopes and joys, “ All that earth owns or sin destroys, “ Under the spurning hoof are cast, “ Or tossing in th' autumnal blast ?"
The deaf may hear the Saviour's voice,
The fetter'd tongue its chain may break ; But the deaf heart, the dumb by choice,
The laggard soul, that will not wake, The guilt that scorns to be forgiven ;These baffle e'en the spells of heaven; In thought of these, his brows benign Not even in healing cloudless shine,
No eye but His might ever bear
To gaze all down that drear abyss,
Because none ever saw so clear
The shore beyond of endless bliss :
But that in such communion high
He hath a fount of strength within,
O'erburthen'd by his brethren’s sin ;
What then shall wretched sinners do,
When in their last, their hopeless day, Sin, as it is, shall meet their view,
God turn his face for aye away ? Lord, by thy sad and earnest eye, When Thou didst look to heaven and sigh; Thy voice, that with a word could chase The dumb, deaf spirit from his place ;
As thou hast touch'd our ears, and taught
Our tongues to speak thy praises plain,
That would make fast our bonds again.
From idle words, that restless throng,
And haunt our hearts when we would pray, From pride’s false chime, and jarring wrong,
Seal thou my lips, and guard the way: