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mit the Sacraments. In these delightful inclosures
I still delight to walk, that I may see the seed springing up with pleasure in the blade, and taste of the full corn in the ear; that, in the valley of death, I may begin to reap that harvest which, after I have passed the Jordan of dissolution, I shall reap and feast on fully in the heavenly Canaan.
But this I cannot do, unless He commanded the light to shine out of darkness," shine in my heart, “ to give the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God “ in the face of Jesus Christ,” 2 Cor. iv. 6.; for, through the fall of man, gross darkness hath overspread the whole soul, so that “the “ natural man receiveth not the things of “ the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness " unto him ; neither can he know them, be“ cause they are spiritually discerned,” i Cor. ii. 14.
And indeed it is impossible that he can, so long as his mind is in this state, discern the beauty of spiritual objects; any more than a man, during the darkness of the night, can discover the beauties of creation ; till God, of his infinite
vouchsafe to illuminate his mind by his Holy Spirit. It is then alone that he can discover the
vileness of his own heart, the deformity of sin, and the beauty of holiness.
But though light doth make manifest the deformities and beauties of objects in the natural world ; yet, without the
rays lutary beams of the sun, nothing is cherished or brought forward to perfection.
In like manner, though a sinner may be so far enlightened, as to be convinced of the evil nature of sin, the hatefulness of his own heart, and the necessity of renewing grace; yet, without the Sun of righteousness ariseth to him, with healing in his wings, he cannot be savingly converted; nor any of the graces of the spirit in his soul made to spring up and flourish to eternal life. How much doth it then concern me to examine whether I have experienced the dawn of spiritual things only, which consisteth merely in knowledge ; or the fructifying beams of the Sun of righteousness, making me spring and grow in
ON THE SINGING OF A LARK.
What pleasant sound is this salutes my ear so early! While I listen, I perceive it is a Lark, newly sprung from the turf, where he had reposed during the darkness.
Anxious, as it were, to be the first of all the terrestrial creation in expressing its thankfulness to the great Creator, and upholder of all, for his kindness during the night, it pours forth its little, grateful soul, in rapturous strains of melody ; swelling the anthem of praise, with still more, and more, harmonious notes, the nearer it approaches the sky.
This delightful bird, above most of the feathered tribe, is truly worthy of my
imitation, and that in various points of view. While I am ravished with its song, may I accord with the little charmer, in expressing
my gratitude to the bountiful Creator of all, which I am ten thousand times more bound to do than this cheerful songster,
How may I be put to shame with the early gratitude of this little creature, which enjoys so little in comparison of what I do, who am still so unthankful ! No house nor vàult sheltered it from the hawk during the night; while I slept in my house with doors shut against any who might molest either
my person or goods.
It is now descended from its aerial excursion, and is silent for a little, gathering scanty meal on yonder spot, but knows not where to find its next repast ; while I have provision, not only for sundry meals, but perhaps for some months. Led only by instinct, it gathers a few corns for the present; while I have reason to direct me, not only how to provide for the present, but also for future wants. It enjoys but a short temporal life ; while I not only enjoy the same, but also hope to inherit life eternal.
No songster of the grove soars so high as the lark, and none sits lower. This is truly