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Though Eden bloom no more on earth,
Since forfeited by sin,
Fairer than Eden's flowers have birth
Through grace divine within:
Early give up thy heart in prayer,
To GoD a sacrifice,
And He will for himself prepare
Therein a PARADISE!
The lives by simple patriarchs led,
The lore by prophets taught,
The manna on which Israel fed
When through the desert brought,
The fire which guided them by night,
The cloud that led by day,
Though lost to outward sense and sight,
Instruction still convey.
For us they were on record left,
That we their good might share,
Nor when of earthly aid bereft,
Be tempted to despair;
Think not, by MIRACLES alone,
GOD can HIS power proclaim;
When humbler means he deigns to own,
His blessing is the same.
And great as were the wonders done
For MOSES, DAVID, SAUL,
Salvation through His glorious SON,
In worth surpasses all!
For us, in this our later time,
This marvel was achieved;
By us be this best gift sublime,
With thankful hearts, received.
Yet more, when JESUS rose on high,
THE COMFORTER was given,
Unto His truth to testify,
And point the path to heaven.
While such stupendous themes remain
For wonder, love, and praise,
Who shall ungratefully maintain
THESE are not BIBLE DAYS?
How could I pass in silence by,
On Scripture's sacred page,
One, unto childhood's partial eye,
The heroine of her age?
Still peerless shines her gentle fame
For tenderness and truth;
Who can forget the honour'd name
Of warm, devoted RUTH?
Who can forget, when ORPAH's love
To earlier ties gave way,
How Ruth, with courage from above,
Still held her onward way?
The parting tear, the mute caress,
Her sister fondly gave;
But in that hour of deep distress,
Ruth to their parent CLAVE!
The manners, language, customs, all Familiar habit prized,
By her, at filial duty's call,
Were freely sacrificed:
E'en MOAB'S GODS she could forsake,
Long worshipp'd as her own,
And for her lot and portion, take
Her parent's God alone.
For her, she left the home on earth
In which she had been rear'd,
By living and departed worth
Both hallow'd and endear'd;
For her, she sought a stranger land,
Embrac'd a lot forlorn,
And join'd the humble gleaner band 'Mid sheaves of "alien corn,"
Never did poet's proudest spell,
Or fiction's sweetest art,
On elements more lovely dwell,
To touch and win the heart:
Yet this, the brightest, purest page,
Which Bible lore supplies,
Is linked unto our later age
By truly Christian ties.
Its charm is CHRISTIAN! it appeals
TO LOVE, and LOVE alone;
And every beauty it reveals,
That LAW of CHRIST makes known!
It stands out, 'mid the sterner strife
Of that dark age of dread,
A picture of a Christian's life,
On Christian precepts led.
Nor less, in Ruth's rich recompense,
A watchful eye may trace
An unobtrusive evidence
Of virtue crowned by grace;
Not DAVID'S ancestress, alone,
That recompense we find,
But His who fills a mightier throne,
THE SAVIOUR of MANKIND!