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And chearful something to the wretch dispense,
What thou superfl'ous hast from Providence!
As to the city Nain our Lord drew near,
He saw a youth upon his fun'ral bier ;
Cropt like an early flow'r he lay thereon, IIO
A lonely, weeping widow's only son.
A gen'rous pity fill'd his sacred breast,
Which ever rose for virtue when distrest.
Ah! do not thus, he said, in anguish grieve,
Woman, I come thy sorrows to relieve. 115
Then with that voice which winds and waves obey'd,
He call’d to instant life the prostrate dead;
Gave to the mother's fond embrace once more,
The new-rais'd child whom she had lov'd before,
of Christianity, which might afford them consolation. A sketch of this institution may be seen in the Edinburgh Magazine for March 1792. A proposal for the adoption of the scheme in Edinburgh may be seen in the Edinburgh Magazine for June 1792. A society for the relief of Blind Persons has since been instituted in Edinburgh, Bristol, and in London.
Wonder and joy possest the gazing crowd, 120
Who glorified the Lord with praises loud;
Saying, A mighty prophet hath appear’d,
And God in love his potent arm declar'd.
Fame with her thousand busy tongues in speed,
Throughall the land proclaim’d the splendid deed. 125
Which in remoter countries soon was known,
And not confin'd to Palestine alone.
But he the resurrection's potent Lord,
To all the dead will future life afford;
Will ev'ry sorrow cure, and ev'ry pain, 130
And give each widow her lost son again.
As the fair gifts of health and life he gave,
Endu'd with more than mortal pow'r to save,
A wretched father brought a son possest,
With a mad spirit, which disturbid his rest.
135. When Jesus told that faith relief would gain, If but that faith he truly could obtain.
Line 136. There are some good observations in Dr. Mead's Mediea Sacra to shew that those who are said in Scripture to be possessed with devils
This when with melting tears he had averr’d,
His poor imperfect son both spake and heard.
For he was joy incapable to give,
By interchange of thoughts, or to receive;
But would amid society appear
A solitary monument of care.
O conversation, dear and sweet relief,
To hours, estrang'd from thee, of pining grief! 145
Thou, if propriety thy dross refine,
Can rouse and animate like gen'rous wine,
Without its danger, give to life new zest,
And ope a paradise within the breast.
And when the crowd, incited by his fame,
With all their sick to his retirement came;
And staid, enwrapt in wonder and in thought,
Till they were helpless as the sick they brought;
He pitied them, and hungry thousands fed,
With a few fishes and a little bread!
were only afflicted with natural diseases.- See also Farmer on the denroniacs and on our Saviour's temptation.
O vast delight! O feast of extacy!
O foretaste of the joys above to see !
Thus his lov'd flock the heav'nly shepherd feed,
And smile serenely in the gracious deed !
O wonderful! O envied happiness!
But wherefore envied ? does he never bless?
Does he not o'er our temp'rate meals preside?
Our chcarful hours ? our harmless pleasures guide ?
And add to this, that in his life we find,
A bright example of the tend'rest mind. 165
For as the friends of Lazarus, diştrest
At his decease, his loss in tears confest,
His soul soon took th' impression of their grief,
He wept, though conscious that he brought relief;
Though conscious that he purpos’d to restore 170
Their friend to life by supernat'ral pow'r.
(For with a voice that shook the rocky tomb,
He cried, Forth, Lazarus, awaken'd come!
And as he spake, the dead man issued forth,
A type of all our future promis'd birth; 175
His body with a winding sheet was bound,
His head was cover'd with a napkin round.)
He wept not, therefore, that their friend was dead,
But a soft sympathizing tear he shed
At their affliction, for his feeling heart
In sighs of others always bore a part.
From whence we learn the tear that gently flows,
Ín kind compassion to another's woes,
A spirit indicates subliine and great,
And is of highest characters a brilliant trait. 185
Hard is the little and contracted mind,
Great souls melt easily, relent, are kind.
To be dissolv'd in pity's tender care,
Makes man superior e'en to man appear.
But to be melted by the charms of sense, 190
T'immortal reason is a gross offence;
And sinks him than the bestial herd more low,
Who were not fram'd sublimer joys to know.
And sweet compassion, though at first it grieves,
Yet in reward an heav'nly pleasure leaves. 195.