Prayer and thanksgiving is the vital breath
That keeps the spirit of a man from death;
For pray'r attracts into the living soul
The life, that fills the universal whole.

by John Byrom.

CALM on the bosom of thy God,
   Fair spirit, rest thee now!
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod,
   His seal was on thy brow.

Dust, to its narrow house beneath!
   Soul, to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death
   No more may fear to die.

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

Adrian's Address To His Soul When Dying

Ah! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite,
Friend and associate of this clay!
To what unknown region borne,
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight?
No more with wonted humour gay,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.

[Animula! vagula, blandula,
Hospes comesque corporis,
Quæ nunc abibis in loca--
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos?]

by George Gordon Byron.

Thy soul within such silent pomp did keep,
As if humanity were lull'd asleep;
So gentle was thy pilgrimage beneath,
Time's unheard feet scarce make less noise,
Or the soft journey which a planet goes:
Life seem'd all calm as its last breath.
A still tranquillity so hush'd thy breast,
As if some Halcyon were its guest,
And there had built her nest;
It hardly now enjoys a greater rest.

by John Oldham.

My Spirit Longs For Thee

My spirit longs for thee
Within my troubled breast
Though I unworthy be
Of so divine a guest:

Of so divine a guest
Unworthy though I be,
Yet has my heart no rest,
Unless it come from Thee:

Unless it come from Thee,
In vain I look around:
In all that I can see
No rest is to be found:

No rest is to be found,
But in thy blessed love:
O let my wish be crowned,
And send it from above!

by John Byrom.

Psalm 144 Part 1

v.1,2
C. M.
Assistance and victory in the spiritual warfare.

For ever blessed be the Lord,
My Savior and my shield;
He sends his Spirit with his word,
To arm me for the field.

When sin and hell their force unite,
He makes my soul his care,
Instructs me to the heav'nly fight,
And guards me through the war.

A friend and helper so divine
Does my weak courage raise;
He makes the glorious vict'ry mine,
And his shall be the praise.

by Isaac Watts.

My Spirit On Thy Care

My spirit on Thy care,
Blest Savior, I recline;
Thou wilt not leave me to despair,
For Thou art Love divine.

In Thee I place my trust,
On Thee I calmly rest;
I know Thee good, I know Thee just,
And count Thy choice the best.

Whate’er events betide,
Thy will they all perform;
Safe in Thy breast my head I hide,
Nor fear the coming storm.

Let good or ill befall,
It must be good for me;
Secure of having Thee in all,
Of having all in Thee.

by Henry Francis Lyte.

Joy in heaven for a repenting sinner.

Luke 15:7,10.

Who can describe the joys that rise
Through all the courts of Paradise,
To see a prodigal return,
To see an heir of glory born?

With joy the Father doth approve
The fruit of his eternal love;
The Son with joy looks down and sees
The purchase of his agonies.

The Spirit takes delight to view
The holy soul he formed anew;
And saints and angels join to sing,
The growing empire of their King.

by Isaac Watts.

A Spirit Passed Before Me [from Job]

A spirit passed before me: I beheld
The face of immortality unveiled--
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine--
And there it stood,--all formless--but divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

'Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure?
Creatures of clay--vain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!'

by George Gordon Byron.

Regeneration.

John 1:13; 3:3, etc.

Not all the outward forms on earth,
Nor rites that God has giv'n,
Nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,
Can raise a soul to heav'n.

The sovereign will of God alone
Creates us heirs of grace
Born in the image of his Son,
A new, peculiar race.

The Spirit, like some heav'nly wind,
Blows on the sons of flesh,
New-models all the carnal mind,
And forms the man afresh.

Our quickened souls awake, and rise
From the long sleep of death;
On heav'nly things we fix our eyes,
And praise employs our breath.

by Isaac Watts.

Bright Be The Place Of Thy Soul!

Bright be the place of thy soul!
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.

On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine,
When we know that thy God is with thee.

Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be:
There should not be the shadow of gloom
In aught that reminds us of thee.

Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest:
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet To Twilight

Meek Twilight! soften the declining day,
And bring the hour my pensive spirit loves;
When o'er the mountain slow descends the ray
That gives to silence and to night the groves.
Ah, let the happy court the morning still,
When, in her blooming loveliness arrayed,
She bids fresh beauty light the vale or hill,
And rapture warble in the vocal shade.
Sweet is the odour of the morning's flower,
And rich in melody her accents rise;
Yet dearer to my soul the shadowy hour
At which her blossoms close, her music dies:
For then, while languid Nature droops her head,
She wakes the tear 'tis luxury to shed.

by Helen Maria Williams.

Lines To A Lady

YES! heaven protect thee, thou gem of the ocean;
Dear land of my sires, though distant thy shores;
Ere my heart cease to love thee, its latest emotion,
The last dying throbs of its pulse must be o'er.

And dark were the bosom, and cold and unfeeling,
That tamely could listen unmoved at the call,
When woman, the warm soul of melody stealing,
Laments for her country and sighs o'er its fall.

Sing on, gentle warbler, the tear-drop appearing
Shall fall for the woes of the queen of the sea;
And the spirit that breathes in the harp of green Erin,
Descending, shall hail thee her 'Cushlamachree.'

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

My Soul Is Dark

My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet Xxxviii.

FROM THE NOVEL OF EMMELINE.
WHEN welcome slumber sets my spirit free,
Forth to fictitious happiness it flies,
And where Elysian bowers of bliss arise,
I seem, my Emmeline--to meet with thee!
Ah! Fancy then, dissolving human ties,
Gives me the wishes of my soul to see;
Tears of fond pity fill thy soften'd eyes:
In heavenly harmony--our hearts agree.
Alas! these joys are mine in dreams alone,
When cruel Reason abdicates her throne!
Her harsh return condemns me to complain
Through life unpitied, unrelieved, unknown.
And as the dear delusions leave my brain,
She bids the truth recur--with aggravated pain.

by Charlotte Smith.

Lines To A Lady, On Hearing Her Sing

Yes! heaven protect thee, thou gem of the ocean;
Dear land of my sires, though distant thy shores;
Ere my heart cease to love thee, its latest emotion,
The last dying throbs of its pulse must be o'er.

And dark were the bosom, and cold and unfeeling,
That tamely could listen unmoved at the call,
When woman, the warm soul of melody stealing,
Laments for her country and sighs o'er its fall.

Sing on, gentle warbler, the tear-drop appearing
Shall fall for the woes of the queen of the sea;
And the spirit that breathes in the harp of green Erin,
Descending, shall hail thee her "Cushlamachree."

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

The Dying Christian To His Soul

Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?

by Alexander Pope.

Sonnet To Simplicity

NYMPH of the desert! on this lonely shore,
Simplicity, thy blessings still are mine,
And all thou canst not give I pleas'd resign,
For all beside can soothe my soul no more.
I ask no lavish heaps to swell my store,
And purchase pleasures far remote from thine:
Ye joys, for which the race of Europe pine,
Ah, not for me your studied grandeur pour;
Let me where yon tall cliffs are rudely pil'd,
Where towers the Palm amidst the mountain trees,
Where pendant from the steep, with graces wild,
The blue Liana floats upon the breeze,
Still haunt those bold recesses, Nature's child,
Where thy majestic charms my spirit seize!

by Helen Maria Williams.

The Spirit Of Prayer

Wouldst thou have that good, that blessed mind,
That is so much to heavenly things inclin'd

That it aloft will soar, and always be
Contemplating on blest eternity.

That mind that never thinks itself at rest,
But when it knows it is for ever blest;

That mind that can be here no more content,
Than he that in the prison doth lament;

That blessed mind that counts itself then free
When it can at the throne with Jesus be,

There to behold the mansions he prepares
For such as be with him and his co-heirs.

This mind is in the covenant of grace,
And shall be theirs that truly seek his face.

by John Bunyan.

Sit Down, Sad Soul

SIT down, sad soul, and count
The moments flying:
Come,—tell the sweet amount
That ’s lost by sighing!
How many smiles?—a score?
Then laugh, and count no more;
For day is dying.

Lie down, sad soul, and sleep,
And no more measure
The flight of Time, nor weep
The loss of leisure;
But here, by this lone stream,
Lie down with us, and dream
Of starry treasure.

We dream: do thou the same:
We love—for ever;
We laugh; yet few we shame,
The gentle, never.
Stay, then, till Sorrow dies;
Then—hope and happy skies
Are thine for ever!

by Barry Cornwall.

Sincerity and hypocrisy; or, formality in worship.

John 4:24; Ps. 139:23,24.

God is a Spirit, just and wise,
He sees our inmost mind;
In vain to heav'n we raise our cries,
And leave our souls behind.

Nothing but truth before his throne
With honor can appear;
The painted hypocrites are known
Through the disguise they wear.

Their lifted eyes salute the skies,
Their bending knees the ground;
But God abhors the sacrifice,
Where not the heart is found.

Lord, search my thoughts, and try my ways,
And make my soul sincere
Then shall I stand before thy face,
And find acceptance there.

by Isaac Watts.

My God and King! to Thee
I bow my knee;
I bow my troubled soul, and greet
With my foul heart thy holy feet.
Cast it, or tread it! it shall do
Even what thou wilt, and praise thee too.

My God, could I weep blood,
Gladly I would,
Or if thou wilt give me that art,
Which through the eyes pours out the heart,
I will exhaust it all, and make
Myself all tears, a weeping lake.

O! 'tis an easy thing
To write and sing;
But to write true, unfeigned verse
Is very hard! O God, disperse
These weights, and give my spirit leave
To act as well as to conceive!

O my God, hear my cry;
Or let me die!

by Henry Vaughan.

How Precious Are Thy Thoughts Of Peace

How precious are thy thoughts of peace,
O God! to me; how great their sum!
New every morn, they never cease;
They were, they are, and yet shall come,
In number and in compass more
Than ocean's sand, or ocean's shore.

How from thy presence should I go
Or whither from thy spirit flee,
Since all above, around, below,
Exists in thine immensity?
I feel thine all-controlling will,
And thy right hand upholds me still.

Search me, O God! and know my heart;
Try me; my secret soul survey;
And warn thy servant to depart
From every false and evil way:
So shall thy truth my guidance be
To life and immortality.

by James Montgomery.

Sonnet To Expression

Expression, child of soul! I fondly trace
Thy strong enchantments, when the poet's lyre,
The painter's pencil catch thy sacred fire,
And beauty wakes for thee her touching grace-
But from this frighted glance thy form avert
When horrors check thy tear, thy struggling sigh,
When frenzy rolls in thy impassion'd eye,
Or guilt sits heavy on thy lab'ring heart-
Nor ever let my shudd'ring fancy bear
The wasting groan, or view the pallid look
Of him[A] the Muses lov'd-when hope forsook
His spirit, vainly to the Muses dear!
For charm'd with heav'nly song, this bleeding breast,
Mourns the blest power of verse could give despair no rest.-

by Helen Maria Williams.

Flight Of The Spirit

Whither, oh! whither wilt thou wing thy way?
What solemn region first upon thy sight
Shall break, unveiled for terror or delight?
What hosts, magnificent in dread array,
My spirit! when thy prison-house of clay
After long strife is rent? Fond, fruitless quest!
The unfledged bird, within his narrow nest,
Sees but a few green branches oer him play,
And through their parting leaves, by fits revealed,
A glimpse of summer sky; nor knows the field
Wherein his dormant powers must yet be tried.
Thou art that bird! - of what beyond thee lies
Far in the untracked immeasurable skies
Knowing but this- that thou shalt find thy guide!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

Sonnet Xxxv. To Fortitude

NYMPH of the rock! whose dauntless spirit braves
The beating storm, and bitter winds that howl
Round thy cold breast; and hear'st the bursting waves
And the deep thunder with unshaken soul;
Oh come!--and show how vain the cares that press
On my weak bosom--and how little worth
Is the false fleeting meteor, Happiness,
That still misleads the wanderers of the earth!
Strengthen'd by thee, this heart shall cease to melt
O'er ills that poor humanity must bear;
Nor friends estranged, or ties dissolved be felt
To leave regret, and fruitless anguish there:
And when at length it heaves its latest sigh,
Thou and mild Hope shall teach me how to die.

by Charlotte Smith.

Supposed to have been written in America.

ILL-omen'd bird! whose cries portentous float
O'er yon savannah with the mournful wind;
While, as the Indian hears your piercing note,
Dark dread of future evil fills his mind;
Wherefore with early lamentation break
The dear delusive visions of repose?
Why from so short felicity awake
My wounded senses to substantial woes?
O'er my sick soul thus rous'd from transient rest,
Pale Superstition sheds her influence drear,
And to my shuddering fancy would suggest
Thou com'st to speak of ev'ry woe I fear,
Ah! Reason little o'er the soul prevails,
When, from ideal ill, the enfeebled spirit fails!

by Charlotte Smith.

Psalm 32 Part 2

A guilty conscience eased by confession and pardon.

While I keep silence, and conceal
My heavy guilt within my heart,
What torments doth my conscience feel!
What agonies of inward smart!

I spread my sins before the Lord,
And all my secret faults confess;
Thy gospel speaks a pard'ning word,
Thine Holy Spirit seals the grace.

For this shall every humble soul
Make swift addresses to thy seat;
When floods of huge temptations roll,
There shall they find a bless'd retreat.

How safe beneath thy wings I lie,
When days grow dark and storms appear;
And when I walk, thy watchful eye
Shall guide me safe from every snare.

by Isaac Watts.

Love and hatred.

Phil. 2:2; Eph. 4:30,etc.

Now by the bowels of my God,
His sharp distress, his sore complaints,
By his last groans, his dying blood,
I charge my soul to love the saints.

Clamor, and wrath, and war, begone,
Envy and spite, for ever cease;
Let bitter words no more be known
Amongst the saints, the sons of peace.

The Spirit, like a peaceful dove,
Flies from the realms of noise and strife:
Why should we vex and grieve his love
Who seals our souls to heav'nly life?

Tender and kind be all our thoughts,
Through all our lives let mercy run;
So God forgives our num'rous faults,
For the dear sake of Christ his Son.

by Isaac Watts.

ALL the air was tranced and the sea was stilled,
And we stood and dreamed of a world to be.
When it seemed to me that our souls were thrilled
With a sudden sympathy.
My life's long riddle at last I read,
And the spirit-face I had sought I knew;
All the Past's far years to this hour had led
On the sands alone with you!
And you—you thought that the skies were fair.
And such twilight peace you had seldom known;
And you never guessed that a soul was there
That hungered for your own!
You never knew—there was just the lack
Of a passioned look that would thrill me through,
But the night swept down, with its shroud of black,
And you never, never knew!

by Arthur Henry Adams.

Lord God, the Holy Ghost,
In this accepted hour,
As on the day of Pentecost,
Descend in all thy power.
We meet with one accord
Within this hallowed place,
And wait the promise of our Lord,
The Spirit of all grace.

Like mighty rushing wind
Upon the waves beneath,
Move with one impulse every mind;
One soul, one feeling breathe;
The young, the old inspire
With wisdom from above;
And give us hearts and tongues of fire,
To pray, and praise, and love.

Spirit of light, explore
And chase our gloom away,
With lustre shining more and more
Unto the perfect day.
Spirit of truth, be Thou,
In life and death, our guide:
O Spirit of adoption, now
May we be sanctified.

by James Montgomery.

Death and immediate glory.

2 Cor. 5:1,5-8.

There is a house not made with hands,
Eternal and on high;
And here my spirit waiting stands,
Till God shall bid it fly.

Shortly this prison of my clay
Must be dissolved and fall;
Then, O my soul! with joy obey
Thy heav'nly Father's call.

'Tis he, by his almighty grace,
That forms thee fit for heav'n;
And, as an earnest of the place,
Has his own Spirit giv'n.

We walk by faith of joys to come,
Faith lives upon his word;
But while the body is our home,
We're absent from the Lord.

'Tis pleasant to believe thy grace,
But we had rather see;
We would be absent from the flesh,
And present, Lord, with thee.

by Isaac Watts.

Psalm 27 Part 2

v.8,9,13,14
C. M.
Prayer and hope.

Soon as I heard my Father say,
"Ye children, seek my grace,"
My heart replied without delay,
"I'll seek my Father's face."

Let not thy face be hid from me,
Nor frown my soul away;
God of my life, I fly to thee
In a distressing day.

Should friends and kindred near and dear
Leave me to want or die,
My God would make my life his care,
And all my need supply.

My fainting flesh had died with grief
Had not my soul believed,
To see thy grace provide relief;
Nor was my hope deceived.

Wait on the Lord, ye trembling saints,
And keep your courage up;
He'll raise your spirit when it faints,
And far exceed your hope.

by Isaac Watts.

People Of The Living God

People of the living God,
I have sought the world around;
Paths of sin and sorrow trod,
Peace and comfort nowhere found:
Now to you my spirit turns—
Turns a fugitive unblest;
Brethren, where your altar burns,
Oh, receive me into rest.

Lonely I no longer roam
Like the cloud, the wind, the wave;
Where you dwell shall be my home,
Where you die shall be my grave;
Mine the God Whom you adore;
Your Redeemer shall be mine;
Earth can fill my soul no more—
Every idol I resign.

Tell me not of gain and loss,
Ease, enjoyment, pomp, and pow’r;
Welcome poverty and cross,
Shame reproach, affliction’s hour.
“Follow Me”—I know Thy voice;
Jesus, Lord, Thy steps I see;
Now I take Thy yoke by choice,
Light Thy burden now to me.

by James Montgomery.

The Harp The Monarch Minstrel Swept

The harp the monarch minstrel swept,
The King of men, the loved of Heaven,
Which Music hallow'd while she wept
O'er tones her heart of hearts had given,
Redoubled be her tears, its chords are riven!
It soften'd men of iron mould,
It gave them virtues not their own;
No ear so dull, no soul so cold,
That felt not, fired not to the tone,
Till David's lyre grew mightier than his throne!

It told the triumphs of our King,
It wafted glory to our God;
It made our gladden'd valleys ring,
The cedars bow, the mountains nod;
Its sound aspired to heaven and there abode!
Since then, though heard on earth no more,
Devotion and her daughter Love
Still bid the bursting spirit soar
To sounds that seem as from above,
In dreams that day's broad light can not remove.

by George Gordon Byron.

The Lord Is My Portion

From pole to pole let others roam,
And search in vain for bliss;
My soul is satisfied at home,
The Lord my portion is.

Jesus, who on his glorious throne
Rules heav'n and earth and sea;
Is pleased to claim me for his own,
And give himself to me.

His person fixes all my love,
His blood removes my fear;
And while he pleads for me above,
His arm preserves me here.

His word of promise is my food,
His Spirit is my guide;
Thus daily is my strength renewed
And all my wants supplied.

For him I count as gain each loss,
Disgrace, for him, renown;
Well may I glory in his cross,
While he prepares my crown!

Let worldlings then indulge their boast,
How much they gain or spend!
Their joys must soon give up the ghost,
But mine shall know no end.

by John Newton.

Almighty Spirit, Now Behold

Almighty Spirit, now behold
A world by sin destroyed:
Creating Spirit, as of old,
Move on the formless void,
Move on the formless void.

Give Thou the Word: that healing sound
Shall quell the deadly strife;
And earth again, like Eden crowned,
Bring forth the tree of life,
Bring forth the tree of life.

If sang the morning stars for joy,
When nature rose to view,
What strains will angel harps employ,
When Thou shalt all renew,
When Thou shalt all renew!

And if the sons of God rejoice
To hear a Savior’s Name,
How will the ransomed raise their voice
To whom that Savior came,
To whom that Savior came!

Lo, every kindred, every tribe,
Assembling round the throne,
The new creation shall ascribe
To sovereign love alone,
To sovereign love alone!

by James Montgomery.

The inward witness to Christianity.

1 Jn. 5:10.

Questions and doubts be heard no more,
Let Christ and joy be all our theme;
His Spirit seals his gospel sure,
To every soul that trusts in him.

Jesus, thy witness speaks within;
The mercy which thy words reveal
Refines the heart from sense and sin,
And stamps its own celestial seal.

'Tis God's inimitable hand
That molds and forms the heart anew;
Blasphemers can no more withstand,
But bow, and own thy doctrine true.

The guilty wretch that trusts thy blood
Finds peace and pardon at the cross;
The sinful soul, averse to God,
Believes and loves his Maker's laws.

Learning and wit may cease their strife,
When miracles with glory shine;
The voice that calls the dead to life
Must be almighty and divine.

by Isaac Watts.

Psalm Xxxii: Happy The Man

Happy the man to whom his God
No more imputes his sin,
But, washed in the Redeemer's blood,
Hath made his garments clean.

Happy beyond expression he
Who debts are thus discharged;
And from the guilty bondage free,
He feels his soul enlarged.

His spirit hates deceit and lies,
His words are all sincere;
He guards his heart, he guards his eyes,
To keep his conscience clear.

While I my inward guilt suppressed,
No quiet could I find;
Thy wrath lay burning in my breast,
And racked my tortured mind.

Then I confessed my troubled thoughts,
My secret sins revealed;
Thy pard'ning grace forgave my faults,
Thy grace my pardon sealed.

This shall invite thy saints to pray;
When like a raging flood
Temptations rise, our strength and stay
Is a forgiving God.

by Isaac Watts.

God dwells with the humble and penitent.

Isa. 47:15,16.

Thus saith the high and lofty One:
"I sit upon my holy throne;
My name is God, I dwell on high,
Dwell in my own eternity.

"But I descend to worlds below,
On earth I have a mansion too;
The humble spirit and contrite
Is an abode of my delight.

"The humble soul my words revive,
I bid the mourning sinner live,
Heal all the broken hearts I find,
And ease the sorrows of the mind.

["When I contend against their sin,
I make them know how vile they've been;
But should my wrath for ever smoke,
Their souls would sink beneath my stroke."]

O may thy pard'ning grace be nigh,
Lest we should faint, despair, and die!
Thus shall our better thoughts approve
The methods of thy chast'ning love.

by Isaac Watts.

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