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Sabbath Thoughts

By Grace Aguilar.

We announced in our second number that we expected some poetical contributions from our valued friend; and we are therefore pleased to be able to make good our implied promise to enrich our pages by the pious effusions of this daughter of Judah's race. We believe that we promise not too much when we say that our readers may look for farther original contributions from Miss Aguilar's pen in future numbers of our magazine, having one already for the succeeding month.

"The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy." PROVERBS.

Yes! Better far our God should read,
And God alone—our inmost soul,
That He alone can see it bleed,
'Neath its dark veil of stern control;
'Tis best that man can never know
One half the spirit's joy or woe.

For did earth give us all we seek,
A perfect sympathy and love—
Did man console in accents meek—
Oh, should we ever look above?
Contented to the earth we'd cling
And clip the spirit's soaring wing!

We ne'er would lift the tear-dimmed eye,
Nor bend in prayer the sinking knee,—
Man would receive each swelling sigh,
And soon, too soon, our idol be!
Oh, blessed He who doth ordain
A love no earthly doubt can stain.

To feel this world our resting place,
The fainting soul is all too prone,
Seldom the ways of Heav'n we trace,
While earth's bright dreams are all our own—
While man may give us hope and love,
Oh, who will lift the heart above?

But when the heart is clouded o'er
With shades no earthly eye can reach,
When e'en though love might peace restore,
We cannot give our sorrows speech—
When all within is dark and drear,
And none may mark the spirit's tear:

Oh, it is then we first shall learn
The blessedness of lowly prayer,
Then upwards shall the spirit yearn,
And feel one pitying Friend is there;
Then the deep fulness of his love
Our lonely moments still shall prove!

No earthly forms the void can fill,
Which thirsts to drink th'immortal spring—
No earthly balm the heart can still,
Which droops to clasp his Saviour's wing.*
Then blessed be that lonely hour
Which first proclaims a Father's power.

Come then, and seek the Fount of love,
Whose living waters all may share,
The Friend, who sits enshrined above,
Will all our sorrows soothe and bear;
Come but to Him, and He will give
Us fitting grace, for heav'n to live.

Nor think we harshly of our kind,
That none may read our joy and woe,
That dearest friends on earth, we find,
The heart's deep caverns ne'er may know,
The purest love our souls retain,
Can guess now, soothe not, all its pain.

'Tis but to whisper, that below
Imperfect e'en affection is;
That fondest friends may never know
The fulness of a love like His,
Who reads the spirit's veiled recess,
Which scarce defines its own distress.

And should we droop beneath the pain
We have to feel, that none can see
Our secret selves: then God will deign
To hear each throb of agony,
And trace unto its source the tear
Which fails, when none to mark are near.

My Gd! Bid Thou the heart be still,
And calmly on thy mercy lie—
Its aching void let thy love fill,
And raise to Thee the tearful eye;
Oh, ne'er be earthly links our own
If they must fill the heart alone.

No! be thine image ever there,
That blessed our lonely hours may be,
No griefs alone 'tis ours to bear,
For all are known and shared by Thee!
Then let us bless the Love supreme,
That bends o'er earth its radiant gleam.

Yet grant us still those loving ties
Which long this earth with joy have blest—
But let us seek beyond the skies
The love on which our souls may rest;
Oh, quick descend! And with thy power,
Bless, Lord, the spirit's lonely hour.

* Psalm 91.4; Isaiah 41.26; 60.16, 63.8.