« AnteriorContinuar »
In the recesses of the north ; 14 I will mount above the height of the clouds,
I will be like the most high.” 15 But, to Hades hast thou come down,
To the recesses of the pit.
They shall attentively view thee, (and say,]
Who made kingdoms to tremble ? 17 Who made the world a desert,
And laid waste its cities?
Who dismissed not his prisoners to their home ?" 18 All the kings of the nations,
Yea all of them, repose in glory,
Each in his own place.
Like a loathsome branch;
For thou hast destroyed thy country,
The seed of evil doers shall never more be named. 21 Prepare ye* slaughter for his children,
Because of the iniquity of their fathers ;
Saith Jehovah of hosts ;
Posterity and offspring, saith Jehovah.
And [turn it] to pools of water ;
* To the Medes,
103. Eternity of God. If all who live and breathe around us are the creatures of yesterday, and destined to see destruction to-morrow; if the same condition is our own, and the same sentence
is written against us; if the solid forms of inanimate na5 ture and laborious art are fading and falling, if we look
in vain for durability to the very roots of the mountains, where shall we turn, and on what can we rely? Can no support be offered ; can no source of confidence be
named? Oh yes ! there is one Being to whom we can 10 look with a perfect conviction of finding that security,
which nothing about us can give, and which nothing about us can take away. To this Being we can lift up our souls, and on him we may rest them, exclaiming in
the language of the monarch of Israel, “Before the 15 mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst form
ed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God." Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work
of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure, 20 yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, as a ves
ture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."
The eternity of God is a subject of contemplation, 25 which, at the same time that it overwhelms us with as
tonishment and awe, affords us an immoveable ground of confidence in the midst of a changing world. All things which surround us, all these dying, mouldering
inhabitants of time, must have had a Creator, for the plain 30 reason, that they could not have created themselves.
And their Creator must have existed from all eternity, for the plain reason, that the first cause must necessarily be uncaused. As we cannot suppose a beginning
without a cause of existence, that which is the cause of 35 all existence, must be self-existent, and could have had
no beginning. And, as it had no beginning, so also, as it is beyond the reach of all influence and control, as it is independent and almighty, it will have no end.
Here then is a support, which will never fail ; here is 40 a foundation which can never be moved—the everlast
ing Creator of countless worlds, "the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” What a sublime conception ! He inhabits eternity, occupies this inconceiva
ble duration, pervades and fills throughout this boundless 45 dwelling. Ages on ages before even the dust of which we
are formed was created, he had existed in infinite majesty, and ages on ages will roll away after we have all returned to the dust whence we were taken, and still
he will exist in infinite majesty, living in the eternity 50 of his own nature, reigning in the plenitude of his own
omnipotence, for ever sending forth the word, which forms, supports, and governs all things, commanding new created light to shine on new created worlds, and rais
ing up new created generations to inhabit them. 55 The contemplation of this glorious attribute of God,
is fitted to excite in our minds the most animating and consoling reflections. Standing, as we are, amid the ruins of time, and the wrecks of mortality, where every
thing about us is created and dependent, proceeding 60 from nothing, and hastening to destruction, we rejoice
that something is presented to our view which has stood from everlasting, and will remain forever. When we have looked on the pleasures of life, and they have van
ished away; when we have looked on the works of na65 ture, and perceived that they were changing; on the
monuments of art, and seen that they would not stand ; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gazing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as
they; when we have looked on every object to which 70 we could turn our anxious eyes, and they have all told
us that they could give us no hope nor support, because they were so feeble themselves ; we can look to the throne of God : change and decay have never reached
that; the revolution of ages has never moved it; the 75 waves of an eternity have been rushing past it, but it
has remained unshaken; the waves of another eternity are rushing toward it, but it is fixed, and can never be disturbed.
Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear;
Take that best gift, which heav'n so lately gave; To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form ;--She bow'd to taste the wave, 5 And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line ?
Does sympathetic fear their breast alarm ?
Ev’n from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee; 10 Bid them in duty's sphere, as meekly move ;
And, if as fair, from vanity as free,
('Twas even to thee) yet, the dread path once trod, 15 Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,
And bids the “pure in heart behold their God."
O! lives there heaven ! beneath thy dread expanse, One hopeless, dark idolator of Chance, Content to feed with pleasures unrefined,
The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind;
In joyless union wedded to the dust,
There live, alas ! of heaven directed mien, 10 Of cultured soul, and sapient eye serene,
Who hail thee, man ! the pilgrim of a day,
Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower! 15 A friendless slave, a child without a sire,
Whose mortal life, and momentary fire,
And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er, 20 To night and silence sink for evermore!
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim,
Children of Truth, and champions of her cause ? 25 For this hath Science search’d, on weary wing,
By shore and sea--each mute and living thing ?
Or round the cope her living chariot driven, 30 And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven?
Oh! star-eyed Science, hast thou wandered there,
Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit !
Blood-nursed, and watered by the widow's tears,
What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain? 45 I smile on death, if heaven-ward hope remain!
But, if the warring winds of Nature's strife
This frail and feverish being of an hour, 50 Doomed o'er the world's precarious scene to sweep,
Swift as the tempest travels on the deep,
Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain 55 This troubled pulse, and visionary brain !
Fade, ye wild flowers, memorials of my doom!
The foe of tyrants and the friend of man,-
Reposing Virtue, pillowed on the heart !