Page images
PDF
EPUB

PSALM XVIII.

The earth shook, and was alarmed,
And the foundations of the hills rocked with terror,
For the wrath of Jehovah was hot against them.
Before his face a smoke ascended,
And a flame consumed before his presence :
Burning fires were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens and came down,
And clouds of darkness were beneath his feet.
He rode upon the pinions of the Cherubim,
And flew on the wings of the wind.
He concealed himself in a veil of darkness :
A pavilion encompassed him
Of black water and thick clouds of ether.
From the brightness before him thick clouds passed along,
Hailstones and burning fires.
Jehovah thundered in the heavens :
And the Most High God sent forth his voice:
He shot out his arrows and dispersed the enemies,
And he multiplied his thunder and confounded them.

PSALM CXXXIX.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit ?
And whither shall I flee from thy presence ?
If I ascend the heavens thou art there;
If I make my bed in the abyss, behold thou art there!
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the extreme parts of the ocean,
There also thy hand shall lead me,
And thy right hand shall hold me.

ISAIAH, CHAPTER XLI.
I will open in the high places rivers;
And in the midst of the vallies, fountains :
I will make the desert a standing pool;
And the dry ground streams of waters.
In the wilderness I will give the cedar;
The acacia, the myrtle, and the tree producing oil;
I will plant the fir-tree in the desert;
The pine and the box together:
That they may see, and that they may know;
And may consider, and understand at once ;
That the hand of Jehovah hath done this,
And that the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

[ocr errors]

ISAIAH, CHAPTER LII. Awake, awake; be clothed with thy strength, O Sion: Clothe thyself with thy glorious garments, o Jerusalem, thou

holy city! Shake thyself from the dust, ascend thy lofty seat, O Jerusalem : Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, 0 captive daughter of

Sion ! How beautiful appear on the mountains The feet of the joyful messenger; of him that announceth peace! Of the joyful messenger of good tidings; of him that announceth

salvation ! Of him that sayeth unto Sion, Thy God reigneth! All thy watchmen lift up their voice; they shout together : For face to face shall they see, when Jehovah returneth to Sion. Burst forth into joy, shout together, ye ruins of Jerusalem ! For Jehovah hath comforted his people; he hath redeemed Israel. Jehovah hath made bare his holy arm, in the sight of all the

nations; All all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

ISAIAH, CHAPTER LV. Ho!

every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters !
And that hath no silver, come ye, buy and eat!
Wherefore do ye weigh'out your silver for that which is no bread ?
And your riches for that which will not satisfy.
Attend and hearken unto me, and eat that which is truly good;
And your soul shall feast itself with the richest of delicacies.
Seek ye Jehovah, while he may be found,
Call ye upon him, while he is near at hand;
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts :
And let him return unto Jehovah, for he will receive him with

compassion;
And unto our God, for he aboundeth in forgiveness.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts;.
Neither are your ways my ways, saith Jéhovah.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth;
So are my ways higher than your ways,
And my thoughts than your thoughts.
Verily, like as the rain descendeth,
And the snow, from the heavens;
And thither it doth not return;
But moisteneth the earth,
And maketh it generate, and put forth its increase ;
That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall the word which goeth forth from my mouth;

It shall not return unto me fruitless;
But it shall effect what I have willed;
And make the purpose succeed, for which I have sent it.
Surely with joy shall ye go forth,
And with peace shall ye be led onward :
The mountains and the hills shall burst forth before you into song;
And all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.

ISAIAH, CHAPTER LXIII.
(Chorus.)-Who is this that cometh from Edom ?

With garments deeply dyed from Bozrah?
This, that is magnificent in his apparel;

Marching on in the greatness of his strength ? (Messiah.)- I who publish righteousness, and am mighty to save. (Chorus.)-Wherefore is thine apparel red ?

And thy garments as of one that treadeth the wine-vat? (Messiah.)- I have trodden the vat alone;

And of the peoples there was not a man with me.
And I trod them in mine anger;
And I trampled them in mine indignation :
And their life-blood was sprinkled upon my garment;
And I have stained all mine apparel.
For the days of vengeance was in my heart;
And the year of my redeemed was come.
And I looked, and there was no one to help;
And I was astonished that there no one to uphold:
Therefore mine own arm wrought salvation for me,
And mine indignation itself sustained me.

ON GOD.
0, thou Eternal One, whose presence bright

All space doth occupy-all motion guide;
Unchanged through Time's all-devastating flight,

Thou only God: there is no God beside.
Being above all beings! Mighty One!

Whom none can comprehend, and none explore;
Who fillest existence with Thyself alone;

Embracing all-supporting-ruling o'er-
Being whom we call God-and know no more !
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 or measure; none can mount
Up to thy mysteries; reason's brightest spark,

Though kindled by thy light, in vain would try
To trace thy counsels, infinite and dark;

And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in eternity.

Thou, from primeval nothingness did call,

First chaos, then existence-Lord, on Thee Eternity had its foundation; all

Sprang from Thee; of light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin—all life, all beauty, Thine;

Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thy splendour fills all space with rays divine;

Thou art, and wert, and shall be ! glorious! great! Light-giving, Life-sustaining, Potentate !

Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround;

Ŭpheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath !
Thou the beginning with the end hast bound,

And beautifully mingled life with death!
As sparks mount upwards from the fiery blaze,

So suns are born, -50 worlds spring forth from Thee, And as the spangles, in the sunny rays,

Shine from the silver snow,—the pageantry Of Heaven's bright army glitters in thy praise.

A million torches, lighted by thy hand,

Wander unwearied through the blue abyss ;
They own thy power, accomplish thy command,

All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss.
What shall we call them ? 'Piles of crystal light!

A glorious company of golden streams !
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright!

Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams ! But Thou to these art as the noon to night.

Yes! as a drop of water in the sea,

All this immensity in Thee is lost:-
What are ten thousand worlds compared to Thee ?

What am I then? Heaven's unnumbered host,
Though multiplied by myriads and array'd

In all the glory of sublimest thought, Is but an atom in the balance weigh'd

Against Thy greatness—is a cipher brought Against infinity! What am I then ?-nought!

Nought-but the effluence of Thy light divine,

Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too! Yes, in my spirit doth Thy Spirit shine,

As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew.Nought-but I live, and on Hope's pinions fly

Eager towards Thy presence: for in Thee
I live, and breathe, and dwell; I lift my eye

Even to the throne of Thy divinity;
I am, O God, and surely Thou must be !

Thou art! directing, guiding all, Thou art!

Direct my understanding then to Thee; Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart;

Though but an atom ʼmidst immensity, Still I am something fashioned by Thy hand:

I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth, On the last verge of mortal being stand,

Close to the realms where angels have their birth, Just on the boundaries of the spirit land.

The chain of being is complete in me;

In me is matter's last gradation lost, And the next step is Spirit-Deity!

I can command the lightning, and am dust! A monarch—and a slave; a worm,-a god!

Whence came I here, and how so marvellously Created and sustain'd? Doubtless this clod

Lives ever through some higher energy; For from itself alone it could not be.

Creator! Yes—Thy wisdom and Thy word

Created me! Thou source of life and good! Thou Spirit of my spirit and my Lord;

Thy light, Thy love, in their bright plentitude Fill'd me with an immortal soul, to spring

Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear The garments of eternal day, and wing

Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere, Even to its source-to Thee-its author there.

O thoughts ineffable! O visions blest !

Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee-
Yet shall Thy shadow'd image fill our breast,

And waft its homage to thy Deity.
God! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar,

Thus seek Thy presence-being wise and good 'Midst thy vast works, admire, obey, adore !

And when the tongue is eloquent no more, The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.

From the Russian of Derzhavin.

« PreviousContinue »