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Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 2 Kings v. 26.

Is this a time to plant and build,

Add house to house, and field to field,

When round our walls the battle lowers,

When mines are hid beneath our towers,

And watchful foes are stealing round

To search and spoil the holy ground?

Is this a time for moonlight dreams

Of love and home by mazy streams,

For Fancy with her shadowy toys,

Aerial hopes and pensive joys,

While souls are wandering far and wide,

And curses swarm on every side?

No — rather steel thy melting heart

To act the martyr’s sternest part,

To watch, with firm unshrinking eye,

Thy darling visions as thy die,

Till all bright hopes, and hues of day,

Have faded into twilight gray.

Yes — let them pass without a sigh,

And if the world seem dull and dry,

If long and sad thy lonely hours,

And winds have rent thy sheltering bowers,

Bethink thee what thou art and where,

A sinner in a life of care.

The fire of God is soon to fall

(Thou know’st it) on this earthly ball;

Full many a soul, the price of blood,

Mark’d by th’ Almighty’s hand for good,

To utter death that hour shall sweep —

And will the saints in Heaven dare weep?

Then in His wrath shall GOD uproot

The trees He set, for lack of fruit,

And drown in rude tempestuous blaze

The towers His hand had deign’d to raise;

In silence, ere that storm begin,

Count o’er His mercies and thy sin.

Pray only that thine aching heart,

From visions vain content to part,

Strong for Love’s sake its woe to hide

May cheerful wait the Cross beside,

Too happy if, that dreadful day,

Thy life be given thee for a prey.8282The Lord saith thus: Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest. Jeremiah xlv. 4, 5.

Snatch’d sudden from th’ avenging rod,

Safe in the bosom of thy GOD,

How wilt thou then look back, and smile

On thoughts that bitterest seem’d erewhile,

And bless the pangs that made thee see

This was no world of rest for thee!

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