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“Yea! thy foundation's in the dust,
Thy mansions fashioned of the clay, Sinful thy heart, --'mid sin thy birth,
Crushed by the moth--thy date a day. How shalt thou in his sight abide?
Naked and frail, how shalt thou stand Before Him,
thy forehead hide, Deep seared with shame's consuming brand? “Behold,—thy brethren disappear,
Like insects in the wintry storm ; The rainbow honours of his year,
Forgotten with each faded form. Thine excellence a shining cloud,
From morn to eve they faint and fail; Apd well may’st thou thy glory shroud,
And 'neath the wrath of Heaven look pale."
ALL IS VANITY.
PROM “CONTEMPLATION, A POEM, BY WIL
LIAM VIVIAN; AUTHOR OF "THE CAKE OF BARLEY BREAD,” “ "ESSAYS ON PROPHECY,” &c.
Full well the preacher cries That “All is vanity,” and asks, “What gain Hath mán in toil and restlessness ? He dies;
His generations fail; till He ordain
Their quick return, who bids the hills remain Unchanged and changeless. High the glowing
Stretches his circuit oder this seat of pain, And hastens onward till' his course be run, Then seeks again the place where first his course
“The wild wind from the wintry cloud springs
And southward rushes; thence returning wide His shifting tempest seeks the chilly north;
Turning to turn again. The thirsty tide
Drinks in the river's strength unsatisfied, While ocean rolls unfilled: the streams return
And spring afresh from out the mountain side; Wearing again the course their waves have
worn, And plunging o'er the rocks, which erst their
weight have borne.
“All things roll on in their accustomed round
Of ceaseless motion. Man may not express Creation's wonderful design; unfound,
Unknown its limits, boundless, fathomless,
It sets at nought his mole-eyed nothingness, And mocks his empty ear. What eye may see
That which before was not? Time's sable dress May shroud, but that which hath been still
shall be, Till mouldering ages sink in vast eternity.
Hours steal away; unheeded as they pass,
But closely reckoned when their flight is o'er. Though motionless appear Time's ebbing glass,
Yet leave its sạnds a while, the form they bore,
Though short the interval, is seen no more. Say twenty years are gone, our youthful day
Bears well the loss; mark off another score, It alters much; another, where are they? A broken remnant lives, the rest are mouldering
clay. Yet not devoid of happiness these hours, But for ourselves, would be. The child un
grown Pursues the painted fly, nor heeds the flowers Which die beneath its feet; but, when 'tis
shone In fragrant bloom: so he of riper years On some vain scheme intent, some hope which
disappearsBefore 'tis reached, neglects life's truest joys,
Nor heeds the happiness which may be won: Man, the vain child whom every fly decoys,
Still follows shadows which but draw him on
Till the true pleasure of his life is
Though visible in all that it has done,
Is disregarded; the great Power which planned This wondrous globe, none see, none fear, none
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF A FUTURE
If we admit that this life is the whole of our being, what a strange and unaccountable scene of things presents itself !
We have in that case an active principle within us, which has every imaginable appearance of being distinct from the body, immaterial, indiscerptible, and indissoluble; yet it turns out to be nothing more than mere matter, endued with qualities diametrically opposite to its most essential properties; it is dissolved with the body, and loses all sensation, consciousness, and reflection, for ever in the grave.
We are evidently distinguished from, and raised above, the brutes, by a variety of astonishing faculties and powers, which seem plainly designed for some nobler scene of action than this; yet, with the brutes we perish, and all the rich endowments of our minds are wasted on us to no purpose.
We are daily making advances both in knowledge and virtue; we have a large field of improvement, both moral and intellectual, before our eyes; yet, in the very midst of our progress, we are stopped short by the hand of death, and never reach that state of perfection, of which we seem capable, and which we ardently desire.
We are formed with ideas and expectations of happiness, which are everlastingly disappointed; with a thirst of future fame, of which we shall never be conscious; with a passionate longing for immortality, which was never meant to be gratified.
Every part of our constitution shews that we are accountable for our conduct, every remorse of conscience is a proof that we are so: there is a Superior, who has given us a rule to walk by, who has a right to enquire whether we have conformed to that rule; yet that enquiry is never made,
The world in which we are placed, is one continued scene of probation. We appear to be sent into it with no other view but to shew how we can behave, under all that variety of difficult and distressful circumstances into which, by one means or other, we are continually thrown ; yet our behaviour passes totally unregarded. We perform our parts, but the Judge who has tried us forgets to perform his. Our trial is finished, and no consequences follow; no sentence is pronounced; we are neither rewarded for having acted well, nor punished for having acted ill.
We conceive ourselves to be the subjects of an Almighty Governor, who has given us a system of laws for our direction; yet he appears to be per