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What stays thee from the clouded noons,

Thy sweetness from its proper place?

Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons?
Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,

The little speedwell's darling blue;

Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,

Laburnums, dropping wells of fire.' Enough! We have reached the sober certainty of a New Year. The old things are really lying far behind her; the flowers are peeping out far around her; the golden months stretch far before ; and

; if she still occasionally shows herself

• Mindful of disaster past,
And shrinking at the northern blast,
The sleety storm returning still,

The morning hoar and evening chill,' of you we hope better things than such unintelligent shows of the soul that is in nature'

• Let the dead Past be crucified;

The Past for all is full of pain;
Time shall not slay, nor Death divide,

Now Christ the Lord hath risen again.
To-night within the tomb He sleeps,

And hides our sinful lives away;
And all the morrow silent keeps

Arise! oh, glorious Easter day!
The anchor'd Hope of all this earth,

The golden April hours will bring;
Flowers to the woods, to souls new birth,

And to the heart an inner spring.** Now, then, is your time for action. There is no proper time for idleness, indeed; but if the spring of the year brings to your heart an 'inner spring,' which is the poetic, and perhaps natural hypothesis, doubtless

you will then seize the moment to set a firmer foot upon the Ladder of St. Augustine, for, you know,

. We have not wings-we cannot soar

But we have feet to scale and climb,
By slow degrees--by more and more-

The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone,

That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen and better known,

Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains that uprear

Their frowning foreheads to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear,

As we to higher levels rise.

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• Gabriel.' By Bessie Rayner Parkes. J. Chapman.
+ Longfellow.


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The heights by great men reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore,

With shoulders bent, and downcast eyes,
We may discern, unseen before,

A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable past

As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks at last,

To something nobler we attain.' Nor,—conceive what design you may for your own good or the world's,—hold yourself bound to creep on hands and feet, because you cannot fly. Patience is good, but not pusillanimity. “There is,' says Lord Bacon,

some nobleness in excess, which, like an eagle, claims kindred with the skies, but defect is a base reptile which crawls upon the earth ;' therefore, strike the iron of occasion while yet hot, with the strong hand of application, and be not only (what Lord Brougham recommends), “a whole man to one thing at a time, but a prompt and courageous man to whatever you design to accomplish

'Lose this day loitering, 'twill be the same story

To-morrow, and the next more dilatory;
The indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o'er lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute!
What you can do, or think you can, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
Only engage;

and then the mind grows heated;

Begin it, and the work will be completed.' I know full well you need help in your work, great or small. I know how hard it is to keep a height once gained. I know what storms of passion and folly blot, too often, the fairest spring-time of the soul. Shall I provide you with a Litany that will meet your case ?

• Thou, who dost dwell alone
Thou, who dost know thine own
Thou, to whom all are known
From the cradle to the grave-

Save, oh, save.
From the world's temptations,

From tribulations;
From that fierce anguish
Wherein we languish;
From that torpor deep

Wherein we lie asleep,
Heavy as death, cold as the grave;

Save, oh, save.

From the ingrain'd fashion
Of this earthly nature,
That mars thy creature.
From grief, that is but passion;

From mirth, that is but feigning;
From tears, that bring no healing;
From wild and weak complaining;
Thine old strength revealing,

Save, oh, save.
From doubt, where all is double;
Where wise men are not strong;
Where comfort turns to trouble;
Where just men suffer wrong;
Where sorrow treads on joy;
Where sweet things soonest cloy;
Where faiths are built on dust;

Where love is half mistrust,
Hungry and barren, and sharp as the sea ;

Oh, set us free.
O let the false dream fly
Where our sick souls do lie,

Tossing continually.
O where thy voice doth come

Let all doubts be dumb:
Let all words be mild:
All strifes be reconcil'd:

All pains beguild.
Light bring no blindness;
Love no unkindness;
Knowledge no ruin;
Fear no undoing.
From the cradle to the grave,

Save, oh, save.'* And now, no more solemn word remaining to be said, I think we will part. Yet stay! ·Soft you, a word or two before you go.' Your little girl, Maria, there, has not understood half what we have been talking about. She ought to have a New Year's Gift, like you and me, for all she is so little. Come hither, Maria, and listen to me; and do not puzzle over the first verse, for, whether I have ever kissed your forehead or not, I have often wished you well (among little girls in general, of whom I am very fond), so it is all true :

• Maria ! I have every good

For thee wish'd many a time ;
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,

But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,

More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed

From temper-flaws unsightly.' (Maria, will your conscience bear all that?)

• What favour then, not yet possess' d,

Can I for thee require,
In parents' love already bless'd

To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part;

Full bliss is bliss divine;
There dwells some wish in every heart,

And, doubtless, one in thinc.

* Matthew Arnold. Poems. Second Series.

That wish, on some fair future day,

Which Fate shall brightly gild
('Tis blameless, be it what it may),

I wish it all fulfill'd!'* One of the wishes I might, perhaps, venture to form for Maria is, that she may never read Sir John Suckling; indeed, she is not likely to fall in with his writings. But if any one should ever happen to mention him in her presence, she can say, if she reads what follows, that she once tasted his quality, and did not like it overmuch. This is the sort of New Year's Ode that passed for the right thing two hundred years ago, with a king's name atop:

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To the King.
Awake, great sir ! the sun shines here,
Gives all your subjects a New Year,
Only we stay till you appear ;
For thus, by us, your Pow'r is understood ;
He may make fair days, you must make them good.

Awake, awake,

And take
Such presents as poor men can make ;
They can add little unto Bliss,
Who cannot wish.
May no ill Vapour cloud the Sky,
Bold Storms invade the Sovereignty ;
But gales of joy, so fresh, so high,
That you may think Heav'n sent to try this Year
What Sail or Burthen a King's mind could bear.

Awake, awake, &c.
May all the discords in your State,
Like those in Musick we create,
Be govern'd at so wise a rate,
That what would of itself sound harsh, or fright,
May be so temper'd that it may delight.

Awake, awake, &c.' Great George our King—of that ilk the second, and, perhaps, the stupidest-once said, in reply to a hint that some poor bard wanted pecuniary assistance, “If beebles vill be Boets, dey must sdarve.' Suckling has written pretty verses, but that ode unquestionably belongs to the class of poetry that ought to be left to 'sdarve.' But I must not grow splenetic of pen to-night. Is it not the eve of the common birthday, as Elia calls it? Friend! The Old Year is going fast. Ring out, wild bells !'


she is going! Vale! .

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Cowper. The Poet's New Year's Gift.'

Religion in History.


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If we examine the words of the apostle Paul, · When the fulness of time was come, God sent his Son,' we shall find them, considered historically, of incalculable importance. In our age, even philosophy has said, "history has there its terminus and starting point.' The general division of history must be into the periods before and after Christ; and that not merely because the actual commencement of the world's history cannot be determined. Of all the religious books of the old world, the Bible is the only one which contains an outline of the history of the world in its connexion with religion. Not only does it connect the period from Abraham to Moses, as well as the law itself, with a chronological history of man from his creation, and trace the history of the peculiar people of God in the light of divine history of the world, but prophecy, the gospel and apostolic predictions, all point to historical circumstances. The apostle Paul especially, with his glimpses of distant ages, past and to come, proves himself to be a great historian. The biblical history describes it as an act of God that the human race was divided into nations and tongues, each following its peculiar destiny. It refers to the principle of expansion which history proves to have been characteristic of Japheth. It treats of the movements of the nations, reckons the civilized kingdoms of the earth which follow each other, till the kingdom of Christ distinguishes between resistance and adhesion, the powers of superstition and of unbelief; and when the kingdoms of the world shall have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, still sees a remnant of brute force, through which a vain resistance to the Christ of God will be repeated again and again, till it is finally exhausted.

But there are still great diversities in the interpretation and application of prophecy, and we are not to have a scientific history of the future of the kingdom of God. Faith and experience are to be left unfettered. At the same time the Scriptures do treat, not merely of history, but of the source and issue of its events, of the beginning, middle, and end, and of the great law that the design of all, be the process slow or rapid, is to work out religion in this separation and reunion of the nations.

The question, however, still presents itself, whether the course of history, so far as we are acquainted with and understand it, furnishes any evidence of the existence and operation of such a principle, sustaining, guiding, and arranging the progress of events; whether it be really a fact that tribes and occurrences have gained importance in the history of the world in proportion to their importance, negatively or positively, in connexion with the Church of Christ. Should we not rather be correct in saying, that the only points to be regarded are culture and morality, the complete and harmonious development of all that is truly human, including, of course, religion, or, indeed, first of

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