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'T was the last watch of night. Gethsemane, With its bath'd leaves of silver, seem'd dissolv'd In visible stillness, and as Jesus' voice
With its bewildering sweetness met the ear
Of his disciples, it vibrated on
Like the first whisper in a silent world.
They came on slowly. Heaviness oppress'd
The Saviour's heart, and when the kindnesses
Of his deep love were pour'd, he felt the need
Of near communion, for his gift of strength
Was wasted by the spirit's weariness.
He left them there, and went a little on,
And in the depth of that hush'd silentness,
Alone with God, he fell upon his face,
And as his heart was broken with the rush
Of his surpassing agony, and death,
Wrung to him from a dying universe,
Were mightier than the Son of man could bear,
his sorrows way, and in the deep
Prostration of his soul, breathed out the prayer,
"Father, if it be possible with thee,
Let this cup pass from me." Oh, how a word,
Like the forc'd drop before the fountain breaks,
Stilleth the press of human agony !
The Saviour felt its quiet in his soul;
And tho' his strength was weakness, and the light
Which led him on till now was sorely dim,
He breathed a new submission "Not my will,
But thine be done, oh Father!" As he spoke,
Voices were heard in Heaven, and music stole
Out from the chambers of the vaulted sky
As if the stars were swept like instruments.
No cloud was visible, but radiant wings
Were coming with a silvery rush to earth,
And as the Saviour rose, a glorious one,
With an illumin'd forehead, and the light
Whose fountain is the mystery of God,
Encalm'd within his eye, bow'd down to him,
And nerved him with a ministry of strength.
It was enough and with his godlike brow
Rewritten of his Father's messenger,
With meekness, whose divinity is more
Than power and glory, he return'd again
To his disciples, and awak'd their sleep,
For "he that should betray him was at hand.”
"Then all the disciples forsook him and fled."- Matthew xxvi. 56.
FLED!—and from whom? The Man of woe Who in Gethsemane had felt
Such pangs as bade the blood drops flow
And the crushed heart with anguish melt?
They who were gathered round his board,
Partook his love, beheld his power,
Saw the sick healed, the dead restored,
Fail'd they to watch one fearful hour?
All fled? Yet one there was who laid
His head upon that sacred breast,
By Friendship's holy ardor made
A cherished, an illustrious guest;
One too, who walked with Christ the wave
When the mad sea confessed his sway,
And strangely sealed her gaping grave,-
Fled these forgetfully away?
Yes. - All forsook the Master's side When foes and dangers clustered round, And when in bitterness he cried,
'Mid the dread garden's awful bound, Yet knew they not how near him stood
The host of Heaven, a guardian train, Deploring man's ingratitude.
And wondering at his Saviour's pain.
Oh! ye, whose hearts in secret bleed
O'er transient Hope, like morning dew,
O'er friendship faithless in your need,
Or love to all its vows untrue,
Who shrink from Persecution's rod
Or Slander's fang, or Treachery's tone, Look merely to the Son of God,
And in his griefs forget your own.
Forsaken are ye?
so was he,
Reviled? yet check the vengeful word, Rejected?should the servant be
Exalted o'er his suffering Lord?
Nor dream that Heaven's omniscient eye
Is e'er regardless of your lot,-
Deluded man from God may fly,
But when was man by God forgot?
"Behold the man."- John xix. 5.
BEHOLD the man! how glorious he!
Before his foes he stands unawed,
And, without wrong or blasphemy,
He claims to be the Son of God.
Behold the man! by all condemned,
Assaulted by a host of foes;
His person and his claims contemned,
A man of sufferings and of woes.
Behold the man! so weak he seems,
His awful word inspires no fear;
But soon must he who now blasphemes,
Before his judgment seat appear.
Behold the man! though scorned below,
He bears the greatest name above;
The angels at his footstool bow,
And all his royal claims approve.
"Weep for yourselves, and for your children." - Luke xxiii. 28.
WE mourn for those who toil,
The slave who ploughs the main,
Or him who hopeless tills the soil
Beneath the stripe and chain;
For those who in the world's hard race
O'erwearied and unblest,
A host of restless phantoms chase,—
Why mourn for those who rest?
We mourn for those who sin,
Bound in the tempter's snare,