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OF

POETICAL ILLUSTRATIONS,

SPECIALLY SELECTED WITH A VIEW TO THE NEEDS OF

THE PULPIT AND PLATFORM,

BY THE

REV. R. A. BERTRAM.

HAD 1878 ·

*Things of deep sense we may in prose untold, Foy
But they move more in lofty numbers told;
By the loud trumpet which our courage aids,
We learn that sound, as well as sense, persuades.'—Waller.

Well-sounding verses are the charms we use
Heroic thoughts and virtue to infuse.'-Roscommon.

LONDON:
RICHARD D. DICKINSON, FARRINGDON STREET.

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CLAY AND TAYLOR, BUNGAY.

DICTIONARY

POETICAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

1. AARON: and Christ.

SEE Aaron, God's anointed priest,

Within the veil appear,
In robes of mystic meaning dress’d,

Presenting Israel's prayer.
Through him the eye of faith descries

A greater priest than he--
Thus Jesus pleads above the skies

For you, my friends, and me.
He bears the names of all the saints,

Deep on His heart engraved ;
Attentive to the state and wants

Of all His love has saved.
In Him a holiness complete,

Light and perfection shine ;
And wisdom, grace, and glory meet-

A Saviour all Divine.
The blood which, as a priest, He bears,

For sinners, is His own;
The incense of His prayers and tears

Perfumes the holy throne.
In Him my weary soul has rest,

Though I am weak and vile ;
I read my name upon His breast,

And see the Father smile.-Yohn Newton.

Jehovah had so oft His will reveald,
Unto the chosen tribe whom Aaron loved
In all their wandering—but whose promised land
He might not look upon-he sadly laid
His head upon the mountain's turfy breast,
And with one prayer, half wrapp'd in stifled groans,
Gave up the ghost.–Lydia Huntley Sigourney.
3. ABEL: entering heaven.

Ten thousand times ten thousand sung

Loud anthems round the throne,
When lo ! a solitary tongue

Took up a song unknown ;
A song unknown to angel ears,
A song that spoke of vanish'd fears,
Of pardon'd sins and dried-up tears.
Not one of all the heavenly host

Could those high notes attain,
But spirits from a distant coast

United in the strain,
Till he who first began the song,
To sing alone not suffer'd long,
Was mingled with a countless throng.
And still as years are fleeting by,

The angels ever bear
Some newly ransom'd soul on high,

To swell the chorus there ;
And still the song shall louder grow,
Till all, redeem'd from sin and woe,
To that fair world of rapture go.
Oh grant me, Lord, a golden harp,

And tune my broken voice,
That I may sing of troubles sharp

Exchanged for endless joys !
The song that ne'er was heard before
A sinner reach'd the heavenly shore,
But now shall sound for evermore!

2. AARON: his death.

With trembling hand He hasted to unclasp the priestly robe, And cast it o'er his son, and on his head The mitre place ; while with a feeble voice, He bless'd, and bade him keep his garments pure From blood of souls. But then, as Moses raised The mystic breastplate, and that dying eye Caught the radiance of those precious stones, By whose oracular and fearful light

4. ABIDING IN CHRIST. Prayer for Christ's One half hath not been told me presence.

Of all Thy power and grace; That mystic word of Thine, O sovereign Lord,

Thy beauty, Lord, and glory, Is all too pure, too high, too deep for me;

The wonders of Thy love, Weary of striving, and with longing faint,

Shall be the endless story I breathe it back again in prayer to Thee.

Of all Thy saints above. Abide in me, I pray, and I in Thee !

6. ABILITIES. Development of From this good hour, 0, leave me nevermore! Then shall the discord cease, the wound be heal'd,

Call now to mind what high capacious powers

Lie folded up in man; how far beyond The life-long bleeding of the soul be o'er.

The praise of mortals may the eternal growth Abide in me ; o'ershadow by Thy love

Of Nature, to perfection half Divine, Each half-form'd purpose and dark thought of sin; Expand the blooming soul! What pity, then, Quench, e'er it rise, each selfish, low desire,

Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth And keep my soul as Thine, calm and divine. Her tender blossom, choke the streams of life, As some rare perfume in a vase of clay

And blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd Pervades it with a fragrance not its own,

Almighty wisdom ; Nature's happy cares So, when Thou dwellest in a mortal soul,

The obedient heart far otherwise incline. All heaven's own sweetness seems around it thrown.

Witness the sprightly joy when aught unknown

Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active power The soul alone, like a neglected harp,

To brisker measures : witness the neglect Grows out of tune, and needs that Hand Divine :

Of all familiar prospects, though beheld Dwell Thou within it, tune and touch the chords,

With transport once ; the fond attentive gaze Till every note and string shall answer Thine.

Of young astonishment; the sober zeal Abide in me : there have been moments blest, Of age, commenting on prodigious things; When I have heard Thy voice and felt Thy power ;

For such the bounteous providence of Heaven, Then evil lost its grasp ; and passion, hush'd, In every breast implanting this desire Own'd the divine enchantment of the hour.

Of objects new and strange, to urge us on

With unremitting labour to pursue These were but seasons, beautiful and rare ;

Those sacred stores that wait the ripening soul, Abide in me, and they shall ever be ;

In Truth's exhaustless bosom.---Mark Akenside. Fulfil at once Thy precept and my prayer, Come, and abide in me, and I in Thee.

7. ABILITIES. Difference of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

ALAS! what differs more than man from man? 5. ABIDING IN CHRIST : our only safety. And whence this difference?—whence but from himO LAMB of God! still keep me

self? Near to Thy wounded side;

For, see the universal race endow'd 'Tis only then in safety

With the same upright form! The sun is fix'd,
And peace I can abide.

And the infinite magnificence of heaven,
What foes and snares surround me!

Within the reach of every human eye :
What doubts and fears within !

The sleepless ocean murmurs in all ears;
The grace that sought and found me,

The vernal field infuses fresh delight
Alone can keep me clean.

Into all hearts. Throughout the world of sense,

Even as an object is sublime or fair,
'Tis only in Thee hiding,

That object is laid open to the view
I feel my life secure, -

Without reserve or veil ; and as a power
Only in Thee abiding,

Is salutary, or its influence sweet,
The conflict can endure :

Are each and all enabled to perceive
Thine arm the vict'ry gaineth

That power, that influence, by impartial law.
O’er every hateful foe;

Gifts nobler are vouchsafed alike to all ;-
Thy love my heart sustaineth

Reason,-and, with that reason, smiles and tears ;
In all its cares and woe.

Imagination, freedom of the will,
Soon shall my eyes behold Thee

Conscience to guide and check ; and death
With rapture, face to face :

| To be foretasted-immortality presumed.

And worship now the God who rules
These lesser lights, and bids them burn!'

Helen Hunt, from the Koran.'

9. ABRAHAM. The Sacrifice of

Strange then, nor less than monstrous, might be

deem'd The failure, if the Almighty, to this point Liberal and undistinguishing, should hide The excellence of moral qualities From common understanding ; leaving truth And virtue, difficult, abstruse, and dark ; Hard to be won, and only by a few : Strange, should He deal herein with nice respects, And frustrate all the rest! Believe it not : The primal duties shine aloft like stars; The charities, that soothe, and heal, and bless, Are scatter'd at the feet of man, like flowers. The generous inclination, the just rule, Kind wishes, and good actions, and pure thoughtsNo mystery is here; no special boon For high and not for low-for proudly graced And not for meek in heart.- Wordsworth.

It was noonAnd Abraham on Moriah bow'd himself And buried up his face and pray'd for strength. He could not look upon his son, and pray ; But with his hand upon the clustering curls Of the fair, kneeling boy he pray'd that God Would nerve him for that hour. ... ...... He rose up and laid The wood upon the altar. All was done. He stood a moment-and a deep, quick flash Pass'd o'er his countenance; and then he nerved His spirit with a bitter strength and spoke :

Isaac ! my only son !'-The boy look'd up : * Where is the lamb, my father?' Oh the tones, The sweet, familiar voice of a loved child !-What would its music seem at such an hour ! It was the last deep struggle. Abraham held His loved, his beautiful, his only son, And lifted up his arms and callid on GodAnd lo! God's angel stay'd him and he fell Upon his face and wept.

Nathaniel Parker Willis.

8. ABRAHAM. A Legend of

At night, upon the silent plain,
Knelt Abraham and watch'd the sky;
When the bright evening star arose
He lifted up a joyful cry:
• This is the Lord! This light shall shine
To mark the path for me and mine.'
But suddenly the star's fair face
Sank down and left its darken'd place.
Then Abraham cried, in sore dismay,
• The Lord is not discover'd yet;
I cannot worship gods which set.'
Then rose the moon, full orb'd and clear,
And flooded all the plain with light,
And Abraham's heart again with joy
O'erflow'd at the transcendent sight.
* This surely is the Lord,' he cried ;
"That other light was pale beside
This glorious one.' But, like the star,
The moon in the horizon far
Sank low and vanish'd. Then again
Said Abraham: “This cannot be
My Lord. I am but lost, astray,
Unless one changeless guideth me.'

10. ABSENCE. Effects of All flowers will droop in absence of the sun That waked their sweets.—Dryden. Love reckons hours for months, and days for years ; And every little absence is an age.-Dryden.

11. ABSENCE. Improvement of

What shall I do with all the days and hours

That must be counted ere I see thy face? How shall I charm the interval that lowers

Between this time and that sweet time of grace?

Then came, unheralded, the dawn,
Rosy and swift from east to west ;
High rode the great triumphant sun,
And Abraham cried, 'O last and best
And sovereign light! Now I believe
This Lord will change not, nor deceive.'
Each moment robb'd the day's fair grace;
The reddening sun went down apace;
And Abraham, left in rayless night,
Cried, O my people, let us turn

Shall I in slumber steep each weary sense,

Weary with longing ? Shall I flee away Into past days, and with some fond pretence

Cheat myself to forget the present day? Shall love for thee lay on my soul the sin

Of casting from me God's great gift of time? Shall I, these mists of memory lock'd within,

Leave and forget life's purposes sublime? Oh, how or by what means may I contrive

To bring the hour that brings thee back more near? How may I teach my drooping hope to live

Until that blessed time, and thou art here?

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