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uniform and powerful excitement to fidelity in every
We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
God answers our prayers not according to our wishes, but our wants; not as in our ignorance we may have asked, but as an enlightened regard to our best interests would have us to ask.
God will excuse our prayers for ourselves, whenever we are prevented from them, by being occupied in such good works as to entitle us the prayers of others. -COLTON.
There is a living principle in prayer:
For prayers have wings, and make their way to
Swift Messengers, and true, 'twixt God and Man.
Cautiously wrought within the brain astute,
Nor without high commission do they come
*From Mary Carpenter's Meditations.
Glorious assurance that the human heart
When fears and perils thicken fast,
And many dangers gather round ;
No mortal refuge to be found;
And gather strength to meet and bear:
Prayer is a key which being turned with the hand of faith unlocks all God's treasures.
Prayer is the pillar of religion and the key of Paradise.
By prayer and penance Dhruva gained at last
Oh, God! how beautiful the thought,
How merciful the bless'd decree,
That grace can e'er be found when sought,
The flame may scorch, the rack may tear;
Can be endured with Faith and Prayer.
* From Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan.
In desert wilds, in midnight gloom;
Will never heed the when or where;
A prayer-less heart may be considered as a defenceless citadel, lying open and exposed to the incursion of every foe; whereas the heart of one truly devout is like a castle in which the Lord dwells, and which is garrisoned with the Divine Presence.
Lord, let us to thy gates repair
While yet it may be found.
There let us joy and comfort reap:
There teach us how to pray,
For grace to choose, and strength to keep
The strait, the narrow way.
And so increase our love for Thee,
That all our future days
May one continued Sabbath be
Of gratitude and praise.
Let all be ready,-watch and pray,
And use His sovereign power.
Let Childhood lift its hands to heaven,
Let Manhood think that death may come
And, though content, with his bright home,
Let Pilgrims bend with fervent zeal,
And ask their Father, while they kneel,
Let all be ready,-watch and pray-
Brings forth for young or old.
O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright
Whom none can comprehend, and none explore!
Embracing all,-supporting,-ruling o'er,-
In its sublime research, philosophy
May measure out the ocean-deep,-may count
The sands, or the sun's rays;
but God! for Thee
There is no weight nor measure :-none can mount Up to Thy mysteries; Reason's brightest spark,
Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try
And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Thou from primeval nothingness didst call
Sprung forth from Thee of light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin all life, all beauty thine.
Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thou whom I love, but cannot see,
My Lord, My God! look down on me;
The spirit of liberty impart,
Enlarge my soul, inflame my heart,
The life that makes the heart to beat,
At morn, at noontide, and at even;
• The above is only the opening of the celebrated poem (Ode on God) translated by Mr. Bowring.