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Thine, BAPTIST, was the cry,
Heard in clear accents by the prophet's ear;
Herald some eastern monarch's proud career;
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;
Bring down high-vaulting pride, and lay ambition low.
Such, Baptist, was thy care,
Might check the progress of the King of kings;
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,
Failed in thine hour of threatened death,
When thrice his ear the challenge heard,
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,
Lord! when by human frailty led,
We 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,
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,
The prayer is heard else why so deep
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
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 bosom 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,
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
Not Herod but an Angel leads.