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4. PRAYER IS OF NO FORM.
OT all the pomp of rituals, nor the savor
Of gums and spices, can the unseen One
please. As if his ear could bend with childish favor To the poor flattery of the organ-keys ! Not such the service the benignant Father Requireth at his earthly children's hands; Not the poor offering of vain rites; but rather The simple duty man from man demands. For he whom Jesus loved has truly spoken: The holier worship which he deigns to bless Restores the lost, and binds the spirit broken, And feeds the widow and the fatherless. O brother-man! fold to thy heart thy brother. Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there : To worship rightly is to love each other; Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer. Follow with reverent steps the great example Of Him whose holy work was doing good; So shall the wide earth seem our Father's temple, Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.
J. G. Whittier.
5. THE ACCEPTABLE OFFERING.
TO heaven approached a pious saint
From wandering in the darkness late, And, tapping timidly and faint,
Besought admission at the gate.
Said God, “Who seeks to enter here?”
« 'Tis I, dear friend !” the saint replied, Trembling all through with hope and fear.
“ If it be thou, remain outside !”
Sadly to earth the poor saint turned
To bear the scourging of life's rods;
To mix and lose its love in God's.
He roamed alone through weary years,
By cruel men still scorned and mocked;
Again he went, again he knocked.
Said God, “Who now is at the door ?”
“ It is thyself, beloved Lord !”
Alger's Oriental Poetry. 6. THE FORM OF GOD.
All pray in their distress,
Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God our Father dear;
Is man, his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart;
Pity, a human face;
And Peace, the human dress.
Thus every man
every clime, That prays in his distress, Prays to the Human Form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
And all must love the Human Form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew:
William Blike. 7. THE CALL OF NATURE.
THE harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play; The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.
And prayer is made, and praise is given,
By all things near and far: The ocean looketh up to heaven,
And mirrors every star.
Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
As kneels the human knee; Their white locks bowing to the sand,
The priesthood of the sea.
They pour their glittering treasures forth;
Their gifts of pearl they bring ; And all the listening hills of earth
Take up the song they sing.
The green Earth sends her incense up
From many a mountain shrine :
her sacred wine.
The mists above the morning rills
Rise white as wings of prayer; The altar curtains of the hills
Are sunset's purple air.
The winds with hymns of praise are loud,
Or low with sobs of pain,
The dropping tears of rain.
With drooping head, and branches crossed,
The twilight forest grieves,
From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple's arch;
Its transept, earth and air; The music of its starry march,
The chorus of its prayer.
So Nature keeps the reverent frame.
With which her years began, And all her signs and voices shame
The prayerless heart of man.
J. G. Whittier.