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Isaac Watts

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Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
--
Psalm 90 "Our God, our help in ages past" st. 1 (1719).

 
Isaac Watts

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May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession. May it not be, I say, that all souls grow without ceasing, some in a greater measure than others, but all having to pass some time through the same degree of growth, whatever that degree may be, and yet without ever arriving at the infinite, at God, to whom they continually approach? Is not eternal happiness an eternal hope, with its eternal nucleus of sorrow in order that happiness shall not be swallowed up in nothingness?

 
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The stormy March has come at last,
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Were the destiny of woman thus exactly marked out, did she invariably retain the shelter of a parentís or guardianís roof till she married, did marriage give her a sure home and a protector, were she never liable to be made a widow, or, if so, sure of finding immediate protection from a brother or new husband, so that she might never be forced to stand alone one moment, and were her mind given for this world only, with no faculties capable of eternal growth and infinite improvement, we would still demand of her a far wider and more generous culture than is proposed by those who so anxiously define her sphere.

 
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