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SPIRIT answers:

O bright! O best abode !

To rest at last with God!

Expected long,

Much sought in prayer, in song,

Days, nights, and years, how long!

Exceeding expectation! far above

Where fancy in her highest flight could rove! Well worth the toil! God's gift of love!


It is as thou hast said,
And well art thou repaid

All thou did'st dare

Bravely to do and bear:

Answered in full thy prayer;

But not one millionth part dost thou yet know Of what Almighty goodness will bestow

On thee-on all who loved below.


Great love! transcending thought!
Who first us sinners bought

With Jesus' blood,

Then made us like to God,

Now gives us this abode,

Where, were we endless ages to remain

Just as we are, what lack? who could complain, Seeing with God, as kings, we reign?


'Tis so supremely blest

Whose lot is here to rest;

And now farewell:

What God shall will, is well;

It is not mine to tell

The countless worlds, where countless myriads raise To the great Father everlasting praise

For all his great and wondrous ways.


"He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah."

Alas the lost-the dear,
We long since laid upon their bier,
Then saw no more!

They lived, they died, in sin;
How could God's holy angels take them in
The eternal door?

For them a dreadful doom

Their bodies in the silent tomb

Crumbled to dust:

And in a place below

The avenging angels did their souls bestow :

Their doom was just.

Alas! we mourned them sore, While lasted yet their life's brief hour; They would not hear:

Have we no tears to shed,

Now they are suffering in that prison dread? They still are dear.

What may we sympathize With those who dying closed their eyes Foes of God's power?

Is it not now too late?

Must we not own the justice of their fate,
And love no more?

O God, tis hard to break, E'en when we do it for thy sake,

With those we love :

Such love for thee below

We feeble creatures cannot fully show

We may above

What if we see again

Those sinners dear without a stain

Of sin and death!

O God, thy mighty power After their prison-penance can restore The living breath.

How can we disbelieve
What thou, who never canst deceive,
Thyself hast said,

How Jesus from the grave
The word of life to deluged sinners gave,
Our King and Head?

Then may not ours be glad,

As, musing in their chambers sad,

They think of One,

Who went himself to Hell,

And did of old the cheering tidings tell Of victory won?

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