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Thine, BAPTIST, was the cry,
In ages long gone by,
As if 't were thine to wait,
And with imperial state Herald some eastern monarch's proud career; Who thus might march his host in full array, And speed through trackless wilds his unresisted
But other task hadst thou
Than lofty hills to bow,. Make straight the crooked, the rough places plain.
Thine was the harder part
To smooth the human heart, The wilderness where sin had fixed his reign ; To make deceit his mazy wiles forego, Bring down high-vaulting pride, and lay ambition
Such, Baptist, was thy care,
That no obstruction there Might check the progress of the King of kings ;
But that a clear highway
Might welcome the array Of heavenly graces which his presence brings ; And where repentance had prepared the road, There faith might enter in, and love to man and God.
SAINT PETER'S DAY.
Collect. O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; make, we beseech thee, all pastors diligently to preach thy holy word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord! when thy PETER, weak in faith,
By terror too severely tried,
And thee forsook, and thee denied ;-
And thrice his tongue renounced thy name, And each sad time the recreant word
More loud and more impassioned came ; — One look from thee his fault reproved,
And made his slumbering conscience start ; One look from thee, so dearly loved,
Spoke daggers to his bleeding heart;
And sent him forth a prey to grief,
Unbeeded all his former fears, To seek in solitude relief
From bitter and repentant tears.
Lord! when by human frailty led,
e pass thy gracious warning by, Prone as we are awry to tread,
And thee forsake, and thee deny ;
Grant us to feel the keen rebuke,
By conscience, faithful guardian, sent, As if we saw thy pitying look,
When on thy frail Apostle bent.
That pitying look! O may it melt
Our hearts in penitential showers !
When Herod would have brought him out, the same night Peter was sleeping. Acts xii. 6.
Thou thrice denied, yet thrice beloved,
Watch by thine own forgiven friend;
Let his soul love thee to the end.
The prayer is heard else why so deep
His slumber on the eve of death? And wherefore smiles be in his sleep
As one who drew celestial breath?
He loves and is beloved again –
Can his soul choose but be at rest? Sorrow hath fled away, and Pain
Dares not invade the guarded nest.
He dearly loves, and not alone:
For his winged thoughts are soaring high Where never yet frail heart was known
To breathe in vain affection's sigh.
He loves and weeps - but more than tears
Have sealed thy welcome and his loveOne look lives in him, and endears Crosses and wrongs where'er he rove:
That gracious chiding look, Thy call
To win him to himself and Thee, Sweetening the sorrow of his fall,
Which else were rued too bitterly.
Even through the veil of sleep it shines,
The memory of that kindly glance; The Angel watching by divines
And spares awhile his blissful trance.
Or haply to his native lake
His vision wafts him back, to talk With Jesus, ere his flight he take,
As in that solemn evening walk,
When to the bošom of his friend,
The Shepherd, He whose name is Good, Did His dear lambs and sheep commend,
Both bought and nourished with His blood:
Then laid on him the inverted tree,
Which firm embraced with heart and arm, Might cast o'er hope and memory,
O’er life and death, its awful charm.
With brightening heart-he bears it on,
His passport through the eternal gates, To his sweet home so nearly won,
He seems, as by the door he waits,
The unexpressive notes to hear
Of angel song and angel motion, Rising and falling on the ear
Like waves in Joy's unbounded ocean.
His dream is changed - the Tyrant's voice
Calls to that last of glorious deeds But as he rises to rejoice,
Not Herod but an Angel leads.