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POETRY.
FROM THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER.

A Hymn for Christmas Day.
Written by the celebrated Chatterton when he was about eleven years

of age.'

ALMIGHTY framer of the skies !
O, let our pure devotion rise,

Like incense in thy sight!
Wrapt in impenetrable shade
The texture of our souls were made

Till thy command gave light.
The sun of glory gleam'd the ray,
Refin'd the darkness into day,

And bid the vapours fly :
Impell’d by his eternal love,
He left his palaces above

To cheer our gloomy sky.
How shall we celebrate this day,
When God appear'd in mortal clay,

The mark of wordly scorn ;
When the Archangels heavenly lays,
Attempted the Redeemer's praise

And hail'd Salvation's morn!
A humble form the Godhead wore ;
The pains of poverty he bore ;

To gaudy pomp unknown :
Tho' in a human walk he trod,
Still was the man Almighty God,

In glory all his own.
Despis'd, oppress'd, the Godhead bears,
The torments of this vale of tears ;

Nor bid his vengeance rise ;
He saw the creatures he had made
Revile his power, his peace invade :

He saw with mercy's eyes.
How shall we celebrate his name,
Who groan'd beneath a life of shame,

In all afflictions tried ;
The soul is raptur'd to conceive
A truth which being must believe *,

The God eternal died.
My soul, exert thy powers, adore,
Upon devotions plumage soar,

To celebrate the day ;
The God from whom creation sprung
Shall animate my grateful tongue ;

From him I'll catch the lay.

S.

* The transcriber is not responsible for the obscurity of this tine: it belongs to the original

The Happy Penitent.
GREAT is the luxury of grief,

The offspring of the contrite heart ;
Tears yield the burden'd soul relief,

And dew-drops grace and health impart.
Let worldly wisdom form her sons

To sullen joy, and hearts of steel ;
Pride mock at penitential groans,

And folly teach 'tis vain to feel.
Be mine the pleasures of the soul,

That glows and burns with gen'rous shame,
That loves o'er each offence to roll,

And mourn a Saviour's injur'd name.
Ah ! little know the cold and vain,

A Saviour's worth, a Saviour's love ;
The price of pardon, death of sin ;

Or weal of wo if He approve.
Know ye, who these keen pangs despise,

That Jesus bears in each a share ?
To give them birth He left the skies,

To give them worth, he mediates there.
So just these sorrows God approves,

These are the sacrifice He claims,
And what He claims true virtue loves,

And only what He censures, blames.
The dropping cloud alone receives,

The beauteous tints that grace the bow ;
The token of God's cov'nant gives,

And seals his truth and mercy too.
Distil my soul and take the sign,

Nor check the penitential tear,
A better covenant's promise thine,

And fairer far the tints you wear.

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

SEVERAL Communications have been received which are now under consideration.

Senex is desired to continue his letters of caution.
The second Letter from Matilda is received.

The Letter from Urbanus on Christian politeness is received. So far as manners indicate true benevolence of heart, they are part of the Christian character. We fear that some of the maxims in this communication contradict the Apostolic injunction * Be not conformed to this world.” It cannot be admitted.

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IN

Memoir of the late Rev. John The first public office which Caspar Lavaier.

was entrusted to Mr. Lavater's

care, was that of chaplain to the (Continued from p. 86.) orphan-house in Zurich; upon

which he entered in the year, N the spring of 1763, Mr. 1769. Here he found a very

Lavater set out on a literary large sphere of usefulness. His tour to some of the principal sermons were much admired, places in Germany ; from which and numerously attended ; for journey he acknowledges hím- he displayed in them great force self to have derived the most ex- of natural eloquence, accompanitensive benefits :-" I received ed with that divine unction of the advantages," said he, “ from Spirit of God which convinces my journey, of which I had not the understanding, and wins the the least conception. My mind affections of the heart. is continually enlarging, and my He used to write his discour. heart forcibly drawn after that ses; and, by constant practice, which is good :-o greatly I obtained such a facility of comprofit by the conversation and mitting them to memory, that example of learned, great, and he wanted but a few minutes for good inen.”

this purpose : yet he never conIn the year 1766 Mr. Lavater fined himself strictly to his married an excellent and amia- notes ; but was very successful ble lady, with whom he lived in making alterations in the pulthirty-four years in the most ex- pit, suitable to time and circumemplary and happy manner ; stances. A chief part of his and by whom he had eight chil- attention was devoted to a large dren, three of whom, a son and flock of orphan-children, to Iwo daughters, survive him. whom he shewed the most ten. Vol. I. NO. 4.

Q

der regard and affectionate care of my former life be banished He possessed a talent of con- from thy presence ! Hitherto, versing with children in an thou hast led me with as much eminent degree, condescending wisdom as mercy; and, I trust, to their very lowest capacities, thou wilt lead me to-day, to-morknowing how to keep alive their row, and so on, till my dear attention, to occupy their under friends may be enabled to say at standing, and to make a deep my dying bed,'He hasovercome! impression upon their tender Very few ministers can be hearts.

found; who more constantly and But still a larger field of use-conscientiously officiated, except ful activity was opened to Mr. a few weeks in summer, when Lavater, when he was chosen, in the delicate state of his health the year-1778, to be deacon, or rendered it necessary for him assistant minister, at the large to take a little excursion into the parish of St. Peter, in Zurich, country. To the instruction of which contained about 5000 peo- young people and the visitation ple. Most deeply impressed of the sick, he devoted a conAvith a sense of the infinite im- siderable portion of his time. portance of this charge, and of Under these circumstances, it his own insufficiency for the fis difficult to conceive how it same, he wrote the following was possible for him to keep effusions of his heart :

up the most extensive corres“() God, take away the veil pondence, and to compose so from my eyes and from my many literary and religious heart! Darkness is around me. works, by which he obtained Oh may I hear that word : “Let celebrity, even in foreign parts : 'there be light!" On thou, who but it must be observed that his alone knowest me, how shall I time was exceeding precious to know thee? How shall I teach him ; so that he was continually others to know thee? Oh thou employed, wishing to redeem divine Omnipotence, draw near the very smallest particle, and 'to help me in my extreme weak- not to lose a single moment.'ness ! Oh thou divine Love, un- Even when at table, some books veil thyself to my waiting soul ! or papers used to lie near bim ; I am thine : let me feel it, feel and when taking a walk, which it anew, feel it continually, that was his constant practice every 1 belong to thee, in a much day, he was always seen reading higher sense than to any one or writing. In his short ex. else. I Have not deserved the cursions to the country, and confidence of my congregation even when he went to see some as yet : Oh let me deserve it in friends in town, his pockets were 'fulure by godly simplicity, and full of papers; and he used to "the most faithful discharge of sit down at the very first table, my duty! Let a sense of thy and continue his writing. He presence every where accompa- had, however, the happy talent ny me! Be near me when in to suffer himself continually to business or retirement, when at be interrupted, and to keep up 'work or at rest ! Hide the days the most cheerful conversation; that are past let the iniquities, and yet, at the first leisure mo

ment, he could take up his sub- ble skill as a physician, be adject, like one who had not expe- dressed the young couple in rienced the least interruption. the following manner :-" BeIn summer, strangers crowded lieve me, children, I speak it deto see him from every quarter. liberately and with full convicThough there was a consideration, I have enjoyed many of the ble number whose only object comforts of life, none of which was to gaze at him ; yet, on the I wish to esteem lightly: often other hand, many visitors affor- have I been charmed with the ded him no less pleasure than beauties of Nature, and refreshreal instruction. Never there- ed with her bountiful gifts : fore, did he suffer his patience I have spent many an hour in to be exhausted ; nor did he ev- sweet meditation, and in reader cease to treat strangers of ev- ing the most valuable producery rank and description in the tions of the wisest men : I most polite and respectful man- have often been delighted with ner. Scarcely any one ever the conversation of ingenious, $aw him in an ill humour; even sensible, noble and exalted charwhen he happened to be deeply | acters : my eyes have been powdepressed, he had such a com- erfully atiracted by the finest mand over himself, that, sup- productions of human art, and pressing his grief, he could my ears by enchanting melomost cheerfully receive and use- dies : I have found pleasure fully entertain visiting friends or when calling into activity the foreigners.

powers of my own mind; when At the end of the year, 1786, residing in my own native counhe was unanimously chosen to try, or travelling through forthe rectory of St. Peter's Par- eign parts ; when surrounded by ish, in Zurich. When he large and splendid companies preached the first time after his still more, when moving in the election, he thus addressed his small endearing circle of my congregation :- I will not own family : yet, to speak the promise much. A man out of truth before God, who is my the fulness of his heart, may Judge, I must confess, I know easily promise too much. Who not any joy that is so dear to can be sufficiently cautious and me, that so fully satisfies the incircumspect in his promises, most desires of my mind, that more especially in those of so so enlivens, refines, and elevates important and solemn a nature ? my whole nature, as that which - Where is the preacher who I derive from religion, from faith has not, in his first sermon, pro- in God as one who not only is mised more than he could, in ev- the Parent of men, but has conery respect fulfil? Instead, there- descended as a brother, to clothe fore, of promising too much, himself with our nature. Nolet us rather encourage, stir up, thing affords me greater delight confirm, and pray for each oth-than a solid hope that I partake er.”.......

of his favours, and may rely on At the nuptials of his only his never-failing support and son, whom he had the satisfac- protection. tion to see acquiring considera-l' « And now, my dear children,

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