Jane's Poetry Book

Silent Worship

Though glorious, O God! must thy temple have been,
  On the day of its first dedication,
When the cherubim's wings widely waving were seen,
  On high o'er the ark's holy station;

When even the chosen of Levi though skill'd
  To minister, standing before thee
Retir'd from the cloud which the temple there fell'd,
  And thy glory made Israel adore Thee:

Though awfully grand was thy majesty then;
  Yet the worship thy gospel discloses,
Less splendid in pomp to the vision of men,
Far surpasses the ritual of Moses.

And by whom was that ritual forever repeal'd?
  But by Him unto whom it was given
To enter the Oracle, where is reveal'd,
  Not the Cloud, but the brightness of heaven.

Who having once enter'd, hath shown us the way,
  O Lord! how to worship before thee;
Not with shadowy forms of that earlier day;
  But in spirit and truth to adore thee!

This, this is the worship the Saviour made known,
  When she of Samacia found him
By the Patriach's well sitting weary, alone,
  With the stillness of noontide around him.

Now sublime, yet how simple the homage he taught
  To her, who inquired by that fountain,
If Jehovah at Solyma's shrine would be sought?
  Be ador'd on Samacia's mountain?

Woman! believe me, the hour is near,
  When he, if ye rightly would hail him,
Will neither be worship'd exclusively there
Nor yet at the altar of Salecu.

For God is a Spirit! and they, who aright
  Would perform the pure worship he loveth
In the heart's holy temple will seek with delight
  That spirit the father approveth.

And many that prophecy'd truth can declare,
    Whose bosoms have lovingly known it;
Whom God hath instructed to worship him there,
    And convinced that his mercy will own it.

The temple that Solomon built to his name,
    Now lives but in history's story;
Extinguish'd long since is its altar's bright flame,
    And vanished each glimpse of its glory.

But the Christian made wise by a wisdom divine,
    Through all human facrics may falter,
Still finds in his heart a far holier shrine,
    Where the fire burns unquench'd on the altar!

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