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O bright! O best abode !
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,
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!
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.
THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.
"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,
They lived, they died, in sin;
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,
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
How can we disbelieve
How Jesus from the grave
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?