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Sabbath Thoughts

Written on the close of a peculiarly blessed Day of Rest.

by Grace Aguilar

"Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest. It is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings."--Levit. 23.2.

I bless thee, Father, for the grace
Thou me this day hast given,
Strengthening my soul to seek thy face,
And list the theme of heaven.

I bless thee, that each workday care
Thy love hath lulled to rest,
And ev'ry thought whose wing was prayer,
Thine answering word hath blessed.

I bless thee, Father! those dark fears,
That linger'd round my heart,
That called for murmurs, doubts and fears,
Thy mercy bade depart.

Oh, Thou alone couldst send them hence,
On this bless'd day of peace,
And with thy spirit's pure incense,
Bid workday turmoils cease.

The with'ring pangs of anxious care,
Were through the week mine own,
Eased only in the hour of pray'r,
But never from me flown.

Darkly around me closed the night,
Though trusting still in Thee;
And heavily I hailed the light,
Fraught with few joys for me.

How came it, then, my Sabbath day
Is with such bliss replete,--
That visions bright around me play,
Whose smiles my spirit greet?

Oh, 'tis as some reviving dew,
Were o'er each sorrow stealing,
Folding in heaven's own azure hue,
Each dark and weary feeling.

As if no sorrow could molest,
My soaring soul again,
Nor find a momentary rest
For aught of earthly pain.

A Sabbath to my inmost heart,
Thy day, my God, hath been,
Thy loving kindness to impart,
E'en to a child of sin.

A verdant spot, a cooling spring,
On earth's unkindly breast,
Where all who childlike spirits bring,
Shall healing find, and rest.

My God! my Father! 'tis from Thee
These blessed hours have come,
I hail them type of joys for me,
That wait me in thy home!

Come, then! if, Lord, 'tis thy decree,
My workday thoughts of care,
The day of rest is still for me,
Thy presence then to share.

And nought shall banish from my heart
Its memories lingering yet,
Their twilight soothing to impart,
E'en when their sun hath set.

Oh, never let its fleece* be dry,
Thine own day mid the seven,
And wing with prayer, my God, each sigh,
That yearns for Thee and heaven!

* Judges 6.38.