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He will, with his omniscient eye,
By trial search, and purify.
Elijah comes, the morning star,
The great precursor seen from far;
The herald of repentance, he
Shall close the scheme of prophecy;
Fulfil the law, prepare the way,
The earnest of approaching day.
With healing beams the light divine,
The Sun or RigHTEOUSNESS shall shine.
Like fragrant incense shall arise
His intercession to the skies;
With this, the suppliant shall prevail,
Without it, prayer itself shall fail.
Yet e'er the ancient books you leave, This truth in all your hearts receive, That all the saints unite with care To prove the omnipotence of PRAYER. Search through the annals of mankind, One solitary instance find; Prove that you know one prayer preferr'd In faith by man, by God not heard; Then boldly venture, if you dare, No more to lift your heart in prayer. Till then, pray on; 'twill clear your way: Chiefly for God's own Spirit pray: There we shall find, if there we seek, Wealth for the poor, strength for the weak;
Soundness for sickness, life for death,
Derived from this inspiring breath;
Till every nation, tongue, and tribe,
The healing influence shall imbibe;
Distilling like the genial rain,
Or dews upon the tender grain :
This, in the secret of the soul,
Each strong temptation shall control;
And some faint image, lost before,
Of its bright origin restore.
This dispensation, clear and bright,
Brings immortality to light;
Proclaims the rebel Man restor’d,
Th’ Apostate brought to know the Lord.
Within this consecrated ground
Discrepancies are never found;
The writers vary just to prove
That not in concert do they move;
While Jesus' glory stands reveald,
The Authors' faults are not conceal’d;
No selfish arts, no private ends,
But all to one grand centre tends;
No fact disguis’d, however wrong,
No truth kept back, however strong.
One sure criterion leaves no doubt,
Consistency prevails throughout:
The doctrine who shall dure disprove,
Of genuine faith which works by love?
MATTHEW and Mark divinely treat Those truths which LUKE and John repeat: Though all concur in one grand scheme, Each throws fresh light upon the theme.
MATTHEW by do rain bope enticed,
Left all be bad to follow Christ;
Bebold him faithfully record
The matchless Sermon of his Lord.
Here, every want its refuge seeks;
Here every grace its nature speaks;
Each in its own appropriate place,
The blessing suited to the case.
Each gift to its own want confin'd;
Mercy the merciful shall find.
How cheering to the poor in spirit,
Promis’d a kingdom to inherit !
Told e'en on earth, the meek man knows
The best enjoyments Heav'n bestows;
Lovers of peace shall peace possess,
Comfort the comfortless shall bless;
That he who feels the oppressor's rod
Feels more the mercies of his God;
Proclaims, the pure in heart shall see,
In God, Essential Purity.
MARK, next among the historic saints, The Baptist of the desert paints. Herod the prophet gladly heard, In many things obey'd his word. But mark the rapid race of sin ! They fast advance who once begin. Long train’d in vice, the tempter now Ensnares him to a sinful vow : Her graceful movements win his heart, He will with half his kingdom part:
Sudden he cries, by passion driven,
“ Make thy demand — it shall be given.”
Fearless she ask'd the Baptist's head,
The king was griev'd, the king obey’d:
O fruitless sorrow, vainly spent,
To mourn the crime he might prevent !
If sinful such a vow to make,
More sin to keep it than to break.
To death he doom'd the saint he lov'd;
Condemn’d the preacher he approv'd;
And she whose softness charm'd before,
Herself the bleeding victim bore.
What wonder if the king amaz’d,
Should dread in Christ that John was rais'd ?
See LUKE the glorious scene record
The scene of his transfigur'd Lord !
This sight of wonder and of love
Confirms the glorious state above:
How blest the three * to whom 'twas given
To view three t witnesses from heaven!
The representatives they saw
Of Gospel, Prophecy, and Law.
Luke more Christ's miracles records, John more preserves his gracious words ; Records, for Christian consolation, His Saviour's heavenly conversation. Though John for ever stands approv'd The blest disciple Jesus lov'd; Yet all one path devoutly trod, And follow'd their redeeming God. * Peter, James, and John. t Jesus, Moses, and Elias.