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upon the myriads of the just; when there shall be no more curse, no more death, and no more night; when the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; when they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away; and by all the felicity which it is possible for God to bestow, or which, through the ages of eternity, it is possible for the glorified spirit of man to enjoy, I would persuade thee to be a Christian.

Brethren, the time is short. “He that testifieth " these things saith, Behold, I come quickly, and

my reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be.”

SERMON XXV.

Reflections on Spring,

SONG OF SOLOMON ii. 11, 12, 13.

For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers

appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

WHAT a delightful assemblage of images is here! The passing off of surly winter, with its retinue of clouds and storms, the ceasing of the rain, and the springing up of the flowers from the refreshed and renovated earth, the melody of the feathered choirs, the voice of the turtle dove, long hushed, re-visiting its former haunts, the putting forth of the green fig-tree, with the promise of its early fruits, and the fragrance exhaled on the soft and balmy air from the springing vines and the tender grape, all speak of this inspiring season in allusions which, though particularly descriptive of an eastern clime, must awaken a feeling of joy in every bosom in

every

land.

These are the charms of spring, bringing pleasures for every varied sense. The eye, roving in delight over the new born face of nature, rejoices in the serenity and magnificence of heaven's blue arch, in the verdant earth arrayed in all the freshness of its glorious promise, or in the broad expanse of ocean or of lake, once more placid and undisturbed, and resting in stillness beneath the glittering beam of the bright sun. The ear is regaled by the warbling notes of the wild songsters, carolling forth their joy, by the voice of the gentle dove responding, almost in sadness, to the awakened breeze, or the plaintive murmurs of the brooks and streams, released from their icy fetters; while, to complete the pleasurable feelings, the air, filled with odours from the opening flowers, the springing grass, and the expanding leaves, strikes gratefully upon the sense, prompting the language, as of one escaping from a dungeon, where he had been long “ a prisoner chained,"

" But here I feel amends, " The breath of heaven, fresh blowing, pure and sweet, “ With day-spring born." In this annual renovation of the earth, man himself is as if renewed; he partakes of the transition which he beholds; the thoughts and feelings of his youth are revived; the dreams of hope, and visions of long forgotten joy, re-animate his spirit; and he participates, with a twofold Vol. II.

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relish, the glory and promise of the grateful season, as being so closely brought in contrast with the rigour and deformity of that which has passed away.

This enthusiasm, produced by the return of spring, is universal. Poets have exemplified and moralists have remarked it. “Nor has the most “ luxuriant imagination,” says one, “ been able to “ describe the serenity and happiness of the

golden age, otherwise than by giving a perpetual spring, as the highest reward of uncorrupted innocence."*

But among all the emotions which spring has power to excite, I know not how it is possible that those of devotion should be unknown or unawakened. Nor can I enter into the sensibilities of that bosom which, at this animating season, is not lifted up with feelings of piety to God; or which does not long to speak the praise of him whose are “ these glorious works;" of him, “ Pa“ rent of good, whose is this universal frame, 6 thus wondrous fair."

Reflecting on the darkness and the gloom of winter, as it rolls away, and looking out upon the glorious change which this season brings, comparing the dejection and fear which the severities of the former have power to cause, with the lightheartedness, animation, and hope, which this im

* Rambler, No. 5.

parts, nothing would seem more natural than to be led from the contemplation of these varied aspects of creation, to that of him who is creation's Lord, who wields the elements of nature at his will, and who has power to spread over our future destiny, as around our present path, clouds and darkness, tempests and desolating storms, or to irradiate and enliven both with cheerful scenes and smiling prospects.

Who has not often connected with these transitions of nature, such thoughts of higher things ! Who has not been reminded, when some temporary cloud, which had covered the night with its blackness, vailing the stars, and hiding the lustres of the midnight sky, has wasted itself in refreshing showers, and the joyful morning being risen upon the world, the sun, sending forth his rays through a pure and transparent atmosphere, has cheered and animated all things, who has not been reminded of divine ,and, celestial themes, and seen, in this, the image of that hope which rises in the soul, when the tears of penitence and sorrow have been succeeded by the calm assurance of forgiveness, and the realized experienee of a Saviour's peace !

Especially at this season, and on this hallowed day—the day which tells of mercy and reconciliation-the bright, the soul-refreshing day of the Lord, on the morning of this joyful day, and on the return of this reviving season, when all the

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