Hymns and Poems by A. L. O. E.
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Hymns and Poems.
_By A. L. O. E._,
_Author of “The Triumph over Midian,” “Rescued from Egypt,” “The Shepherd of Bethlehem,” &c., &c._
LONDON: T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW; EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. 1868.
If there be any distinctive peculiarity in this little volume, it is one that would naturally expose it to literary censure; the verses are very unequal, some of the hymns are avowedly written for the very poor. To admit rhymes for ragged children, needlewomen, and paupers into a book of sacred song, may—in the opinion of some critics—deprive it of all claim to the name of poetry. Yet I venture to hope that those who love to labour in God’s vineyard, will not be sorry to bear to their poorer brethren verses intended to meet their peculiar trials, and cheer them under their peculiar sorrows; while the subjects of many of the hymns are such as are of equal interest to the prince as to the peasant. Humbly I commend my little work to Him whose blessing can alone make it useful in strengthening the tempted, in cheering the sad, or in lifting up the hearts of the happy in joyful adoration and praise.
A. L. O. E.
HYMNS. The Willing Sacrifice, 11 The Resurrection, 13 Hymn for the Communion, 15 The Beacon, 16 The Blossoming Rod, 18 Hymn for the Penitent Convict, 21 Hymn for the Blind, 23 The House not made with Hands, 25 Sexton’s Hymn, 27 The Second Advent, 29 Hopes that Abide, 31 Soldier’s Hymn, 32 Hymn for Night, 34 Song of Joy, 35 The Retrospect, 37 The Supplicant, 39 Weaver’s Hymn, 41 Emigrant’s Hymn, 43 Fishermen’s Hymn, 45 Teacher’s Hymn, 47 Workman’s Hymn, 49 Sempstress’s Hymn, 51 Ragged Boy’s Hymn, 53 Ragged Girl’s Hymn, 55 Policeman’s Hymn, 57 Pauper’s Hymn, 59 Postman’s Hymn, 61 Servant’s Hymn, 63 Miner’s Hymn, 65 Gardener’s Hymn, 67 Labourer’s Hymn, 69 Wife’s Hymn, 71 Hymn of Industry, 73 Social Hymn, 75 National Hymn, 77 Soldier’s Hymn, 79 The Wise Men from the East, 81 Song of Hope, 85 The Fearful Heart, 88 Conviction of Sin, 90 The Sacred Guest, 92 The Mourner, 95 The Christian Bond, 97 The Cure at Gethsemane, 100 Hymn for the Communion, 102 Hymn for the Dying, 104 Death is not Dreadful, 106 Never Forsaken, 109 Thy Father’s Friend, 111 Fear of God and Fear of Man, 113 The Sinners’ Portion, 115 Death-Bed Hymn, 117 Save One! 119 New Year’s Hymn, 121
POEMS. The Indian Maid, 125 Blanche, 136 Pride, 149 A Dream of the Second Advent, 153
I. THE WILLING SACRIFICE.
The precious blood of Christ my Lord, The Saviour all-divine, Was shed to cleanse men’s souls from guilt; That blood has flowed for mine! But what return can sinners make For love so great, so free? All is too little, oh! my God, To sacrifice to Thee.
If all that I possessed on earth, Before thy feet were laid, Light as the dust the gift would prove In heaven’s balance weighed. The costly treasures of the skies Thou didst resign for me; All is too little, oh! my God, To sacrifice to Thee.
But Thou wilt not disdain a heart That would Thy word obey, That loves to own the mighty debt It never hopes to pay. For were each hair upon my head A separate life to be, All were too little, oh! my God, To sacrifice to Thee.
II. THE RESURRECTION.
The Summer blossoms fast decay Beneath the Autumn’s chilling breath, And man is passing thus away, Touched by the silent hand of Death. Still fading—falling—day by day The withered petals strew the plain, They never more shall deck the spray— But man shall rise again!
Behold the bare and leafless tree Blushes in spring to beauty bright; Where the dark root was buried—see The eager floweret springs to light! The sun his gentle influence shed To break cold winter’s icy chain— So God shall wake us from the dead, We all shall rise again!
As beauteous day succeeds to night, So glory dawns upon the grave— Praise to the Sun of life and light, Who lived to bless, and died to save! We calmly gaze on life’s dark close, The tomb shall not our forms retain— E’en as our God and Saviour rose His own shall rise again!
III. HYMN FOR THE COMMUNION.
I do not dare, O holy Lord, Approach Thy sacred shrine Trusting in mine own righteousness, For nought but sins are mine, But in the merits of Thy Son, The Saviour all-divine.
Unworthy as I own I am Christ’s feast of love to share, In His name hear my humble cry, For His sake grant my prayer, And let Thy mercy cleanse my soul, And shed Thy Spirit there!
Oh, make me one with my dear Lord In His appointed rite, A branch of the Eternal Vine Not fruitless in His sight; His own on earth, His own in heaven Through ages infinite!
IV. THE BEACON.
When shades of night around him close, The lighthouse guard has charge to keep, And trim the beacon-fire, which glows Like a red star above the deep. Still calm and bright Must shine that light That guides the seaman on his way, Till morning gleam And lighthouse beam Fade in the rosy blush of day.
Like charge is to the Christian given In grief or joy, in storm or strife, To glorify the God of heaven Both by his lips and by his life. Still pure and bright Must shine his light, And shed around a holy ray, A flame of love Lit from above, And shining on to perfect day.
Pride, discontent, mistrustful fear, Too oft, alas! the beacon hide; The sinner must be humbled here That Jesus may be glorified. So pure and bright Shall shine his light, To other hearts a beam convey, A flame of love Lit from above, Still shining on to perfect day.
Lord, feed our lamps with heavenly grace, And let them to Thy glory shine, Nor let our weakness e’er disgrace The holy faith which seals us Thine! Then pure and bright Shall shine our light, Our heavenly Father’s grace display, A flame of love Lit from above, Still shining on to perfect day!
V. THE BLOSSOMING ROD.
An angel of comfort from heaven sped— All nature brightened as he drew near Where a poor man toiled in his lowly shed And thanked the Lord for his scanty bread; The angel breathed in the Christian’s ear, “Thy God beholds, and will not forget; Have patience—the rod will blossom yet!”
He spread his pinions, then paused again Where prayer from a sick man’s couch was heard; In weary weakness, in restless pain, For tedious months had the sufferer lain, But his pale face beamed at the whispered word: “Thy God beholds, and will not forget; Have patience—the rod will blossom yet!”
Then the angel flew where a mother prayed For a son on a course of evil bent; She wept—half trustful and half afraid, Beseeching Him who alone could aid; And to her was the message of comfort sent— “Thy God beholds, and will not forget; Have patience—the rod will blossom yet!”
With cares depressed, and with trials worn, A persecuted believer knelt; With drooping heart she had meekly borne The unkind taunt and the look of scorn, Till the angel’s smile was like sunshine felt. “Thy God beholds, and will not forget; Have patience—the rod will blossom yet!”
Then the seraph hovered where death had been, In its little coffin an infant lay; The parents wept, but a calm serene Stole over their souls, as a hand unseen Gently wiped the trickling tears away. “Your God beholds, and will not forget; Your bud shall blossom in glory yet!”
Happy such to whom griefs come not in vain, Though afflictions bow, or the world contemn, Thrice blest in sorrow, thrice blest in pain, Reproach is honour, and loss is gain, For the angel of peace shall visit them— Their God beholds, and will not forget; Their rod shall blossom in glory yet!
VI. HYMN FOR THE PENITENT CONVICT.
I dare not raise my guilty eye The gaze of man to meet, A helpless sentenced wretch I lie, Lord Jesus! at Thy feet. Too justly scorned by all beside, I trembling come to Thee; If Thou for _chief of sinners_ died, Is there not hope for me?
The dying thief in torments hung While sinners scoffed around; With feeble breath and faltering tongue He mercy sought—and found. There flowed before his eyesight dim The blood which made him free; If Jesus heard and pitied him Is there not hope for me?
The weeping prodigal returned His father’s house to seek; His supplication was not spurned— Love still could welcome speak. Like him, in grief and penitence, To mercy’s door I flee, O Father, wilt thou spurn me thence; Is there not hope for me?
Yes, there is hope! while He, once crowned With thorns, now pleads in heaven, Rejoices o’er the lost one found, The wanderer forgiven; To those who mourn and turn from sin He offers mercy free; I feel another life begin— There yet is hope for me!
VII. HYMN FOR THE BLIND.
I cannot see the sunny gleam Which gladdens every eye but mine, But I can feel the warming beam, And bless the God who made it shine. O Lord, each murmuring thought control, Let no repining tear-drop fall, Pour holy light upon my soul, That I may own Thy love in all!
I cannot see the flow’rets blow, All sparkling from the summer showers, But I can breathe their sweet perfume, And bless the God who made the flowers. O Lord, each murmuring thought control, Let no repining tear-drop fall, Pour holy light upon my soul, That I may own Thy love in all!
I cannot see the pages where Thy holy will is written, Lord; But I can seek Thy house of prayer, And humbly listen to Thy word, Which bears my thoughts to that bright place Where I at Thy dear feet may fall, Behold my Saviour face to face, And see and own His love in all!
VIII. THE HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS.
The stately mansion riseth beneath the builder’s hand, When our children sleep in dust that mansion still may stand; But a nobler and more lasting dwelling to the saints is given, In a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heaven.
The poor in spirit and the meek, the merciful and pure, On them the Saviour blessings breathed, for ever to endure; Those persecuted for His sake, from friends or kindred driven, Share a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heaven.
And those who deeply mourn their sins shall find there yet is room, For such the Lord endured the cross, descended to the tomb; He ready stands to welcome those whose contrite hearts are riven, To a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heaven.
What matter, then, how lowly be the roof above our head, What matter then how soon the stranger o’er our graves may tread, If we are pressing on with hearts renewed and sins forgiven, To a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heaven!
IX. SEXTON’S HYMN.
I’ve laid the earth above the child Whose life was but a summer’s day; I knew that God, in mercy mild, Had called his happy soul away. Then therefore weep O’er those who sleep? Their precious dust the Lord will keep, Till He appear In glory here, The harvest of the earth to reap.
I’ve laid the earth above the youth Whose early days to God were given, Whose end bore witness to this truth, None die too soon who live for Heaven! Then wherefore weep O’er those who sleep? Their precious dust the Lord will keep, Till He appear In glory here, The harvest of the earth to reap.
I’ve laid the earth o’er reverend age, Whose hoary hairs were glory’s crown, The saint had closed his pilgrimage, And gently laid life’s burden down. Then wherefore weep O’er those who sleep? Their precious dust the Lord will keep, Till He appear In glory here, The harvest of the earth to reap.
And soon the earth will close o’er me, Yet mourn I not my life’s decline, Lord! pardoned—ransomed—saved by Thee, Living or dying—I am Thine! Oh! wherefore sigh For those who die In Christ? the forms that mouldering lie Shall burst the sod To meet their God. And mount with seraph wings on high!
X. THE SECOND ADVENT.
Now in the East Hope’s trembling light Proclaims a brighter dawning, Though woe endureth for a night, Joy cometh in the morning.
For many weary ages past Hath sin’s dark night prevailing, A gloom o’er all the nations cast, Whence rose the sound of wailing. The idol-gods have many a shrine Where, bound in chains of error, Myriads shut out from light divine Crouch down in shame and terror. But in the East Hope’s rosy light Proclaims a brighter dawning; Though woe endureth for a night, Joy cometh in the morning.
Pleasure has thrown her torches’ glare Upon a world benighted, And Science in the murky air Her glimmering tapers lighted; Some joys, like fireflies, played and glanced To mock our vain pursuing, And Folly’s meteors wildly danced Above the gulf of ruin! But in the East Hope’s purer light Proclaims a brighter dawning; Though woe endureth for a night, Joy cometh in the morning!
Like Cynthia from her silver car, The Church could darkness brighten; Each high example, like a star, Shone forth to cheer and lighten. But I shall need nor star nor moon In that clear day before me, The Sun of Righteousness shall soon Burst forth in cloudless glory! Yes, in the East Hope’s kindling light Proclaims a brighter dawning; Though woe endureth for a night, Joy cometh in the morning!
XI. HOPES THAT ABIDE.
Earth’s bright hopes must fade, Not those which grace hath given; Joys were fleeting made, But not the joys of Heaven! Stars that shine above, And flowers that cannot wither, These are types of peace and love That shall abide for ever.
Who that seeks the skies Would mourn earth’s pleasures blighted, Weep o’er broken ties Soon to be re-united? Blest e’en awhile to be In darkness and in sorrow, Assured we soon the dawn shall see Of an eternal morrow!
XII. SOLDIER’S HYMN.
There is a sword of glittering sheen,— All unite to defend the right! Its blade is bright and its edge is keen, But the wound it gives is a wound unseen,— And who would flinch in the glorious fight!
There is a foe—a ruthless foe— Such unite to oppose the right; In secret ambush he croucheth low, And the blow he strikes is a deadly blow,— But flinch not we in the glorious fight!
There is a banner floating wide,— All unite to defend the right! The blood of martyrs its folds has dyed, When the best and bravest fought side by side,— Who would not flinch in the glorious fight!
There is a Leader exalted high,— All unite to defend the right! Through Him His followers hosts defy, Through Him they learn to do and to die, And scorn to flinch in the glorious fight!
There is a palm—a victor’s palm,— All unite to defend the right! ’Twill be given in realms of peace and calm To the steadfast spirit, the stalwart arm, That never flinched in the glorious fight.
Then shall lips touched with living flame In song unite, in the world of light;— In our Leader’s strength, in our Leader’s name, We fought—we struggled—we overcame, And victors stood in the glorious fight!
XIII. HYMN FOR NIGHT.
After labour sweet is rest, Gently the wearied eyelids close; As an infant sleeps on his mother’s breast, The child of God may in peace repose. Whether we sleep, or whether we wake, We are His who gave His life for our sake.
He to whom darkness is as light, Tenderly guards his slumbering sheep; The Shepherd watches His flock by night, The feeble lambs He will safely keep. Whether we sleep, or whether we wake, We are His who gave His life for our sake.
Death’s night comes,—it may now be near,— Lord! if our faith be fixed on Thee, Oh! how calm will that rest appear, Oh! how sweet will the waking be! Whether we sleep, or whether we wake, We are His who gave His life for our sake.
XIV. SONG OF JOY.
The balmy Spring awakes the flowers That long had slept in Winter’s night, Her light green robe adorns the bowers, And all is beauty, all delight. With joy I view earth’s smiling frame, And bless, O Lord, and bless Thy name!
Thou hast vouchsafed me buoyant health, A cheerful, light, and bounding heart; Contentment—better far than wealth, And Hope—that rests when joys depart. What gratitude such gifts should claim,— For these, O Lord, I bless thy name!
Surrounded from my earliest days By those who loved—who love me still, My grateful heart I humbly raise To Him, by whose Almighty will To me earth’s sweetest blessings came; I praise and magnify His name!
But more than all I thank Thee, Lord, For sins through Thy dear blood forgiven, The comforts of Thy precious Word, And hopes of endless bliss in Heaven; Bought by Thy suffering and Thy shame,— For these, O Lord, I bless Thy name!
Lord! should it be Thy sovereign will To blast my earthly happiness, Yet give me grace to praise Thee still, With trembling lips Thy wisdom bless; Crushed or exalted—still the same, To bless, with fervour bless Thy name!
Should all life’s pleasures disappear, Support me with Thy heavenly love,— And when my course is ended here, Oh, raise my soul to bliss above, With saints to magnify Thy fame, And bless, for ever bless Thy name!
XV. THE RETROSPECT.
When on Zion’s hill we rest In the mansions of the blest, What a strange and fleeting dream All life’s hopes and fears will seem?
What will all our pleasures here— Titles—honours—then appear? Like a bubble on the river, Bright awhile—then lost for ever!
Things that now employ each thought, Warmly wished for, fondly sought— We may smile, and wonder much Heirs of Heaven could stoop to such!
Will the petty wrongs of earth Seem one moment’s anger worth; Or a friend’s depart—the sorrow Felt by those so soon to follow?
All that time bestowed will be Lost in bright eternity; Save the harvest Christian Love Sowed on earth—to reap above!
XVI. THE SUPPLICANT.
A helpless sinner in Thy sight, At mercy’s threshold, Lord, I wait; Inscribed in characters of light, Thy promise shines upon the gate. “Ask—ye shall receive; Seek—and ye shall find; Knock—and enter in, but leave All sins and doubts behind.”
I _ask_ Thy boundless grace to share, I _seek_ for pardon through Thy blood, I _knock_ by earnest, fervent prayer,— Lord, hear and answer me for good! “Ask—ye shall receive; Seek—and ye shall find; Knock—and enter in, but leave All sins and doubts behind.”
Yes; each mistrustful doubt of Thee, Each long-indulged, besetting sin, Repented and renounced must be By those who dare to venture in. Then asking—we receive, And seeking—we shall find, Till, entering Heaven’s gate, we leave Earth, sin, and death behind!
XVII. WEAVER’S HYMN.
How swiftly flies man’s mortal thread Within the mighty loom of Time; What brilliant hues on some are shed, While some are stained with woe or crime! But they bright webs are weaving, Who, trusting and believing, Through scenes of sorrow, scenes of joy, God’s grace are still receiving.
’Tis thus the Christian we behold In sickness and in want resigned, Because religion’s thread of gold Is in his gloomy lot entwined. A bright web he is weaving When, trusting and believing, He from a loving Father’s hand Each trial is receiving.
Death soon will break our thread in twain, Time’s busy loom itself must rest; Nought but a winding-sheet remain Of all that mortals here possest. Then every trial leaving, No more o’er sorrows grieving, How blest the Christian, from his Lord The crown of life receiving!
XVIII. EMIGRANT’S HYMN.
Father of Heaven, Thy guidance we implore Where’er Thy providence our steps may send; With drooping hearts we leave our native shore, Do Thou be with us always—to the end!
Protect and guard us on the lonely sea, Though angry storms our flutt’ring canvas rend, The anchor of our hope is fixed on Thee, Do Thou be with us always—to the end!
Prepare for us a home beyond the wave, Where we in honest toil our days may spend, Till gently sinking to a peaceful grave; And be Thou with us always—to the end!
Oh! bless the dear ones whom we leave behind! Though severed now from parent—brother—friend— In Thee the parted yet may union find, With them and us be always—to the end!
Nor time nor space can from Thy love divide; For ever near to bless and to defend, Our lives—our all—we to Thy care confide, Be with us always—even to the end!
XIX. FISHERMEN’S HYMN.
There were fishermen once by the blue Galilee, Whose lives were as toilsome and hard as our own, They launched in the morning their boats in the sea, Their nets in the soft heaving waters were thrown.
A plentiful blessing rewarded their toil, Though all the night long they had laboured in vain, Their vessels were filled with the glittering spoil, And slowly, deep-laden, they moved o’er the main.
’Twas the presence of Christ that a miracle wrought, The richly filled net was cast forth at His word, And the draught far surpassing their hopes or their thought, Was the least of the blessings bestowed by the Lord.
Be with us, O Lord! when we launch forth alone, Be with us when toiling our bread to obtain, Though Thy presence no more be by miracles known, Who labour in faith, will not labour in vain.
But we ask Thee for blessings more precious by far Than the depths of the earth or the ocean can yield, Make us feel, like Thy Peter, what sinners we are, Make us know that, though sinners, our pardon is sealed.
Make us willing to quit all that keep us from Thee, Like the chosen disciples in ages long past, Like them, throughout life, Thy true followers be, And anchor in Heaven’s safe haven at last!
XX. TEACHER’S HYMN.
“Feed thou My lambs,” the Saviour said To one whose spirit burned to prove By toils endured, or life-blood shed, The strength of his devoted love.
“Feed thou My lambs;” oh! sacred trust E’en for a great apostle meet, To raise the feeble from the dust, And guide them to the Saviour’s feet.
“Feed thou My lambs.” And ever thus His flock the heavenly Shepherd tends; His mild command He breathes to us, And to our care His sheep commends.
“Feed thou My lambs;” despised on earth The friendless little one may be, But who can tell the priceless worth Of one soul, Lord, redeemed by Thee!
May we pursue the blest employ Endowed with wisdom from above, And count it privilege and joy To feed the lambs whom Thou dost love!
XXI. WORKMAN’S HYMN.
Before the morning’s toil begin, We thank Thee, Giver of all good, For needful health and strength to win, By daily labour, daily food.
The seeing eye, the skilful hand, The powerful arm, are gifts from Thee; Thou for our comfort all hast planned, Used to Thy glory all should be.
When Thou didst come to visit man, A lowly lot, O Lord, was Thine; In poverty Thy life began, Shall we at poverty repine?
Thou who dost all our trials know, Thou who didst all our sorrows share, The comforts of Thy grace bestow, And make us rich in faith and prayer.
Soon will the hours of toil be past, And calm repose at night be given; So life’s short day is closing fast, And sweet will be the rest of Heaven!
XXII. SEMPSTRESS’S HYMN.
Day after day my weary task I ply, And half the night to ceaseless toil is given; When weary is my heart and dim mine eye, I seem to hear the Saviour’s voice from Heaven: “Come unto Me, all ye by toil opprest, Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”
When all my labour scarce can bread procure, And weak with want my feeble fingers move; When dear ones round me hunger’s pangs endure, My drooping spirit hears that voice of love: “Come unto Me, all ye by grief opprest, Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”
O Lord, how shall I come? my sinful heart Is prone to murmur, and Thy truth forget; Dare I approach Thee, holy as Thou art? Methinks I hear that gentle whisper yet: “Come unto Me, all ye by sin opprest, Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”
Oh, let me patiently await the day When Christ my Lord in glory shall appear, When tears shall be for ever wiped away, And those who trust Him now His voice shall hear: “Come, faithful servants, of My Father blessed, And I will give you everlasting rest.”
XXIII. RAGGED BOY’S HYMN.
I would not take what is not mine, for hoards of wealth untold,— Far better grasp the red-hot steel, than touch another’s gold; The love of money, God hath said, of evil is the root, And if dishonesty thence spring, destruction is the fruit.
I would not take what is not mine, though none were near to see, Conscience would my accuser stand, and God my judge would be; The covetous desire, the wicked thought I would control,— What shall it profit man to gain the world, and lose his soul?
I would not take another’s goods,—the loser might repine, His loss might heavy seem to him, but small compared to _mine_; For oh! more precious far than all the wealth to nobles given, An honest name, a quiet conscience, and the hope of Heaven!
I would not take what is not mine, but treasure seek above, Gained without money, without price, from our Redeemer’s love; Time cannot change it, moth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal, And all eternity will but its boundless worth reveal!
XXIV. RAGGED GIRL’S HYMN.
The Sabbath sun has risen high, And sweetly sounds the Sabbath bell, My basket now untouched must lie, This day I neither buy nor sell. The Sabbath rest I will not break, But God’s commands my study make, And trust the word Of my dear Lord, “I will not leave thee, nor forsake.”
But I am poor, with none to aid, And Satan sore is tempting me, “If thou give up the Sabbath trade, The Sabbath meal is not for thee.” My God, oh, let me never break The least command that Thou didst make, But trust the word Of my dear Lord, “I will not leave thee, nor forsake.”
When Christ was faint with hunger’s pain, The Tempter urged God’s blessed Son In way unmeet relief to gain; But steadfast stood the Holy One, His perfect faith no doubt could shake, The least command He would not break, He knew the love Of God above, Would never leave Him, nor forsake.
Now, high in heaven, He hears and grants The prayers of those in faith who pray; My earthly cares, my earthly wants, O Saviour, at Thy feet I lay: Supply Thy servant’s need, and make Her soul of heavenly food partake, For still, O Lord, I trust Thy word, “I’ll never leave thee, nor forsake.”
XXV. POLICEMAN’S HYMN.
In the silence of night when the stars glimmer o’er me, The sound of my tread breaks the stillness alone, I think of the far-distant mansions of glory, Where angels keep watch round the Holy One’s throne.
Then, when clock after clock tells the hours that are fleeting, I think how each brings the day near and more near, When around the dread judgment-seat multitudes meeting, The last solemn verdict of justice shall hear.
On the right hand will stand Christ’s redeemed ones, possessing Robes washed in His blood, with His righteousness crowned; On the left the lost souls that rejected the blessing; O God, in which number shall _I_ then be found?
Am I resting my hopes on His infinite merit, Who suffered our pardon and peace to procure; Am I seeking the aid of His life-giving Spirit To make my heart penitent, humble, and pure?
Oh! for those who believe there is “no condemnation,” The Judge shall Himself be their Saviour and Friend, His voice shall award them eternal salvation, And bliss, in His presence, which never shall end.
XXVI. PAUPER’S HYMN.
Far from the friends to me most dear, Within the crowded ward I lie, Destined, perhaps, mid strangers here To suffer and to die. Time may all other joys remove Yet leaves he still Faith, Hope, and Love.
_Faith_ to the cross my spirit leads, And tells of One now glorified, Who at the Father’s right hand pleads For those for whom He died. What trials can too bitter prove While yet there rest Faith, Hope, and Love?
_Hope_ whispers of that happy place Where I my Saviour shall behold, And sing the wonders of His grace To harp of shining gold. What sorrows can our patience move While still remain Faith, Hope, and Love?
_Love_ draws my heart towards my kind, Makes me in each a brother (or sister) see, To cheer the sad, to help the blind, Are joys still left to me. Bless my companions, heavenly Dove, Fill them with Faith, and Hope, and Love.
There is no pain or sorrow here, For those who will God’s lesson learn, But _Faith_ may brighten, _Hope_ may cheer, And _Love_ to blessing turn; Then Peace descending from above Unites with Faith, and Hope, and Love.
XXVII. POSTMAN’S HYMN.
In daily rounds my constant course I keep, Expected oft, but never asked to stay, Nor know I who may laugh, or who may weep When gazing at the tidings I convey. So is there one who comes to rich and poor, Expected long, unwelcome though he be; When death’s loud knock is sounding at my door, What are the tidings he will bring to me?
The haughty man to great possessions heir, The selfish man, whose treasure is below, The selfish man all full of worldly care— To them his message is of fear and woe. Bold Sabbath-breakers, scoffers at God’s word, Who rush on paths which conscience must condemn, When death’s loud knock is at their dwellings heard, Oh! fearful tidings must he bring to them.
The contrite, mourning o’er repented sin, The meek in heart, whose treasure is above, The faithful, who a heavenly crown would win— To such his message is of peace and love. He comes to tell them that their griefs are o’er, That Christ from sin and sorrow sets them free; Oh! when death’s knock is sounding at my door, Such blessed tidings may he bring to me!
XXVIII. SERVANT’S HYMN.
To whom do I obedience owe, Who should my willing service claim? One master dwelling here below, And One above the starry frame. Oh! may the thought of Him above, Each Christian servant’s zeal awake, To serve with faithfulness and love— For Christ, our heavenly Master’s sake.
The earnest follower of the Lord, Must by the badge of truth be known, Integrity that shrinks from fraud, And needs no eye—save God’s alone The cheerful heart, the ready mind That can in labour pleasure take, To every kindly act inclined, For Christ, our heavenly Master’s sake.
Though our best service is, we own, To God “unprofitable” still, The Lord, to whom the heart is known, Rewards the attempt to do His will. Oh! through His mercy may we rise, When the last trump our sleep shall break, And find a welcome in the skies, For Christ, our heavenly Master’s sake!
XXIX. MINER’S HYMN.
When verdant fields are seen no more, Where Heaven’s beams can never shine, Earth’s hidden treasures to explore We labour in the gloomy mine. But bright the torches’ yellow rays That light us on our darksome way, And sweet the voice of Hope that says, “We soon shall see the light of day.”
And thus awhile must all mankind Toil on and labour here below, Poor sinful mortals, weak and blind, And subject all to pain and woe. But brightly shines God’s holy Word Which lights us on our darksome way, And sweet the hope its leaves afford, “We soon shall see a heavenly day.”
The Lord of Angels deigned to come To bear our punishment and pain, He made our dark abode His home, That we might rise, that we might reign. And those who in His Word delight, Who trust His love, His will obey, Shall shine in robes of spotless white In Heaven’s everlasting day!
XXX. GARDENER’S HYMN.
Ere our first parents fell, the ground All beauty and abundance crowned; But now the soil our labour needs,— The _earth_ produces thorns and weeds.
And trials on our pathway grow, The prickly care, the stinging woe, How oft the wounded spirit bleeds,— Our _life_ produces thorns and weeds.
But—worse than all—we find within, The poisoned roots of pride and sin, From them our misery proceeds,— The _heart_ produces thorns and weeds.
But, Lord, Thou bidst Thy sunbeams glow, Thy gentle raindrops fall below; When industry has dressed the bowers, The _earth_ produces fruits and flowers.
So when Thy love its radiance lends, Thy Spirit like the dew descends, When Faith, and Hope, and Peace are ours, Our _life_ produces fruits and flowers.
Oh! lead us to that blissful shore, Where thorns and weeds are known no more, Where Death can never reach the bowers, To blast the fruit or blight the flowers!
XXXI. LABOURER’S HYMN.
I bless Thee, Lord, in early spring, When first the daisy decks the mead, And in the furrowed ground we fling, With hope and prayer, the golden seed. Let children in life’s spring-time days Lift up their hearts in prayer and praise!
I bless Thee in the summer heat, When cattle seek the cooling streams, And o’er green fields of waving wheat The sun pours down his ripening beams. Let man in life’s bright summer days Lift up his heart in prayer and praise!
I bless Thee in the autumn morn, When varied tints are on the leaves, When gaily sounds the hunter’s horn, Where reapers bind the golden sheaves. Let man in life’s declining days Lift up his heart in prayer and praise!
I’ll bless my God in winter’s gloom, When Nature sleeps beneath the snow; Oh! grant that when, beneath the tomb, My body lies in slumber low, Thou wilt my soul to Heaven raise, Where all is joy and all is praise!
XXXII. WIFE’S HYMN.
Help me, Lord Jesus, to fulfil The duties of a wedded wife, Obedient to my husband’s will, The joy and sunshine of his life.
Upon my brow no angry cloud, Upon my lips no hasty word, Not one rebellious thought allowed, His wishes to my own preferred.
Help me to make my husband’s home The calm abode of peace and love, Where strife and discord ne’er may come, A type of that we seek above.
To walk together in Thy sight, To share each other’s joys and woes, Together pray at dawn of light, Together praise at evening’s close;
Each ready, when temptation lowers, With gentle counsel, kindly aid; Lord Jesus! let such lot be ours, Oh, bless the tie which Thou hast made!
United “until death us part,” Not death the Christian bond can sever; Who love Thee here with faithful heart, With Thee shall live, and love for ever!
XXXIII. HYMN OF INDUSTRY.
Not alone in God’s house, or in seasons of prayer, Must the power of a Christian’s religion be shown, At his home, at his counter, and everywhere Must the strength of his faith by his actions be known; For the clear path of duty is marked in God’s Word, “Be not slothful in business, but serving the Lord.”
Not slothful in business! God wills that we toil, From the claims of our calling permits no retreat, Though indolence may from the sentence recoil, “If the hand will not labour, the mouth should not eat;” Faith to industry must but new motive afford, “Be not slothful in business, but serving the Lord.”
Yes, _serving the Lord_; ’mid our toils and our cares May we never forget the great Master we serve, Who the mansions of light for His people prepares; For though man from his Maker can nothing _deserve_, God hath graciously promised Himself to reward Their labours of love who are “serving the Lord.”
To the hand ever prompt in the business of life, But which never would close over fraudulent gain, To the heart firm and strong in the world’s busy strife, Which can holy, and humble, and faithful remain, God in life and in death will His blessing accord, “Be not slothful in business, but serving the Lord.”
XXXIV. SOCIAL HYMN.
How beautiful is Nature’s face! God made all things so fair, Each keeps its own allotted place, Nor hate, nor strife are there. The hill and the plain, The grass and forest tree, The mighty waters of the main, The lily on the lea,— The sunny sky is over all, And all is harmony.
So in the social world we stand In God’s appointed way, And some He destines to command, And others to obey. The rich and the poor, The lowly and the great, The peasant at his cottage door, The Sovereign in her state,— One holy tie uniteth all Who on one Master wait.
How glorious is the mountain height, Whence kindly streamlets flow To bless the peaceful valleys, bright With bending corn below! The fair mountain-crown Shall envy assail, Or pride trample down The harvest of the vale?— The unity in Nature’s world In Man’s world should prevail.
Oh! let not Satan overthrow The order God designed; The seeds of bitter envy sow, And pride, among mankind. Let rich love the poor, The humble bless the great, The servant guard the master’s store, The monarch serve the state,— Each—in his separate sphere—to God His talents consecrate.
XXXV. NATIONAL HYMN.
O God of Hosts, our fathers’ God, Thy blessing on our country shed, Watch o’er the land our sires have trod, Watch o’er the land our sons will tread.
We pray for our Jerusalem, Keep discord from her homes afar, Let thy strong arm deliver them From famine, pestilence, and war.
Though Britain spurns th’ invader’s sword As her white cliffs repulse the tide, We would our grateful hearts, O Lord! Lift up in praise, and not in pride.
The race is not unto the swift, Nor is the battle to the strong; Success and safety are Thy gift, The glory must to Thee belong.
Let our dear land in safety rest, Her people happy, loyal, free, Blest amongst nations—still most blest In that pure faith which leads to Thee!
XXXVI. SOLDIER’S HYMN.
Holy warfare, Lord, is mine Against a foe I cannot see,— Oh! aid me with Thy grace divine, Thy faithful soldier let me be.
Thy armour—faith and righteousness, Thy holy Word within my hand, When fierce temptations round me press Let me thy faithful soldier stand.
Should false shame lure me to deny The truth, or waver in the right, Let me the insidious foe defy, And as Thy faithful soldier fight.
And oh! when death’s keen shafts descend, And failing pulse, and glazing eye, Warn that the conflict soon must end, Thy faithful soldier let me die!
Washed in Thy blood, let me appear Where crowns are to the conquerors given,— Through Christ alone we triumph here, Or wear the victor’s wreath in Heaven!
XXXVII. THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST.
“Where is thy new-born Lord, O Judah? Zion—where thy King? The treasures of our distant land to Him we tribute bring; Lo! in the East we saw His star, the day-spring from on high, And we have come to worship Him enthroned in majesty!”
Thus spake the Eastern sages, thus the pious Gentiles spake, But Judah would not know her Lord, His people would not wake; The earth’s Creator was on earth, unnoticed or forgot, The Saviour came unto His own, His own received Him not.
The Gentile world that lay in darkness, they have seen the light, Wherefore doth Zion turn away on whom it rose so bright! Oh! thou that bearest joyful tidings, why so mute art thou? Lift up thy voice, Jerusalem, behold thy Saviour now!
Oh! joy to those who seek Messiah while He may be found; Again the heavenly harbinger sheds its soft lustre round, Not on proud tower or stately palace streams the radiance mild, But where the carpenter’s meek wife bends o’er her blessed Child.
Hail, Mary, highly-favoured, hail! God’s power o’ershadoweth thee, Blessed amongst all women thou in thy humility! Yea, rather blessed they who seek Christ’s precepts to fulfil,— His mother, brethren, sisters, they who know and do His will.
The sages to the infant Saviour bring their offerings meet, Rich odours fill the perfumed air, gold glitters at His feet; Oh! happy thus His poverty’s sharp trial to defer, To minister to Him who came to all to minister!
May we not deem when He in glory comes, th’ eternal Lord Will all those offerings of faith remember and reward,— That richer than the wealth of worlds that hallowed gold will be, Those sacred odours fragrance breathe through all eternity?
But now the Saviour sits enthroned above the Seraphim; When all creation owns his sway, and angels worship Him, Can _our_ poor gifts acceptance find before His glorious throne? The earth is His and all therein, not e’en our lives our own.
Lo! here the “Man of sorrows” representatives hath left, The sick, the prisoners, the poor, of all but hope bereft; Aid to “the least of these His brethren” to the Lord is given, Off’rings of love to those He loves, He will accept in Heaven.
But still the noblest gift that man can lay before God’s throne Is the rich tribute of a heart that trusts in Him alone; The poorest—least—this gift may bring, but oh! it will outweigh The treasures of the universe upon the judgment-day!
XXXVIII. SONG OF HOPE.
How highly blest were those who saw On earth their gracious Lord, Who dared approach His sacred form, Who listened to His word, Whose faith the Son of God approved,— Whom the Redeemer saw, and loved!
Disciples hearkening to the voice Which reached the inmost soul, That voice which could awake the dead, The winds and waves control; Who heard—oh! more than happiness— Those accents pardon, praise, or bless!
Who gazed on that soul-searching eye, Which every thought foresaw, From whose calm power the hypocrite Shrank with instinctive awe,— Yet saw on _them_ its glances fixed With tender mercy—love unmixed!
And may not such ecstatic bliss Be granted e’en to me? Though death destroy this mortal flesh, These eyes my God shall see, When coming in the clouds of light His glory bursts upon my sight!
To hear the Saviour’s voice of love Pronounce the gracious word, “Come, blessed of My Father, come, Enter the kingdom of your Lord;” To meet the smile in eyes divine— Oh! can such rapture e’er be mine!
It may, it may, it is prepared For all who love Him here, Who humbly search His written word, And serve with faith and fear; They all shall see Messiah’s face Radiant with glory, love, and grace!
The hand that guides their course on earth Shall wipe all tears away, The light which cheers their thorny path Shall flash to perfect day; Where Jesus reigns His saints shall be, With Him through all eternity!
XXXIX. THE FEARFUL HEART.
“Lord, carest Thou not that we perish!” Cried his followers in agonized fear, When the black stormy sky, And the waves dashing high, Made death with its terrors seem near.
The Saviour awoke from His slumber— He spake, and rebuked the rude main; Though the wild cry for aid Feeble faith had betrayed, E’en that cry was not uttered in vain.
“Lord, careth Thou not that we perish!” This oft is the cry of despair, When affliction’s waves roll, And the agonized soul Scarce can breathe forth her anguish in prayer.
Yet the Saviour is watching beside us, His eye cannot slumber or sleep, The bark which he guides Where His Presence abides Can never be wrecked on the deep.
Oh! how soon would our inward griefs vanish, Our souls fear no perils without, Could we hear His mild love Thus our terrors reprove, “Ye of little faith, why did ye doubt?”
XL. CONVICTION OF SIN.
When Peter by the miracle Knew his celestial guest, At the Redeemer’s feet he fell By sense of guilt opprest; “Depart!” he cried, subdued and awed, “I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
So must the wisest, holiest, best, Their past transgressions own, And on the Saviour’s mercy rest Their hopes of heaven alone; To all applies the suppliant word, “Have mercy on a sinner, Lord!”
Can vain thoughts, covetous desires, And proud presumptuous hearts, Endure the pure eye that requires Truth in the inward parts? Self-righteousness, deluding sin, Would shrink if light but streamed within.
Nor deem we good deeds can atone For one—the smallest—sin; That virtues, in the balance thrown, May God’s acceptance win,— On tainted works man dare not rest, “Unprofitable” at the best.
Ne’er be the impious hope allowed; No more let mortals aim From God, or from themselves, to shroud Their helplessness and shame, But at Thy feet, Lord Jesus, fall, Like Peter, and confess it all!
The spotted leprosy of guilt Within we must have seen, Ere we in faith cry, “If Thou wilt, Lord! Thou canst make me clean!” Oh! let us first our frailty see Then find our cure, our all in Thee!
XLI. THE SACRED GUEST.
When from the branches’ leafy screen Zaccheus on his Master gazed, What must his glad surprise have been When the Lord’s eye to him was raised! Christ singled out that one frail man From all the throng that round Him pressed, And to the slighted publican These gracious words the Lord addressed.
“Make haste, descend, this day will I With thee abide.” Zaccheus heard, Received his Master joyfully, And reaped the blessing of that word: “This day salvation to this home Is come,” thus Christ the blessing gave; “For lo! the Son of man is come That which was lost to seek and save!”
Mortal, on earth though low-esteemed, Thou, like the publican, mayst be; The eye that on Zaccheus beamed May now be, _is_ now fixed on thee. From Him retirement is no screen, Thy insignificance no shroud; And still all cold as thou hast been To thee the Saviour speaks aloud.
“Lo! at the door I stand and knock, If any open unto Me, The portals of his heart unlock, I, even I, his Guest will be.” Oh! can that sacred Guest in vain Crave entrance to a sinner’s heart; Can pride itself unmoved remain, Or madness pray Him to depart?
No; sure with grateful joy alone Thou wilt thy Lord and Saviour meet, Within thy heart prepare His throne, And pour thy treasures at His feet! For think not Christ thy Guest can be Unless thy works His presence prove, As in Zaccheus, God in thee See acts of justice, deeds of love.
Pure is the heart if God be there, That shrine no second lord receives; Christ suffers not His “house of prayer” To be the shameful “den of thieves.” Far from the temple that He loves He drives base passions, selfish care, With His own blood each stain removes, Then comes and dwells for ever there!
XLII. THE MOURNER.
Forth from the city gate of Nain Slow wends the funeral array, And friends by love or pity led Swell the procession on its way. There from one closely shrouded form The deep low sobs convulsive burst— The widow mourns her only son, And grief for her has done its worst.
The Saviour meets the sorrowing one, And they that bear the bier stand still, The voice of grief is hushed in awe, And all in silence wait His will. The “Man of Sorrows” sees her woe, He who knew grief, for grief can feel; Weep not, thou mourner, Christ is near, As Man to pity, God to heal.
He speaks the word, and death obeys: Is it the breeze that stirs the shroud? The stiffened limbs relax, they move With new and wondrous life endowed. Life dawns upon the ashen cheek, Through each cold vein life’s currents run, The dead man rises from his bier— The widow clasps her living son!
Oh! ye bereaved ones, whose sad tears Some loved and lifeless form bedew, The Eye that saw and pitied her Looks in compassion down on you; Although no miracle at once Your loved one to your arms restore, That voice which waked the widow’s son Shall bid him live, to die no more.
XLIII. THE CHRISTIAN BOND.
When in our breasts we feel the flame of love, Kindled by heaven, becoming dim and low, When cold our feelings are to God above, Unsympathizing to His poor below, When kindness seems a task, and words impatient flow; How shall we cherish love’s declining light? By drawing forth from memory’s treasure-cave The recollection of that mournful night When Jesus to the flock He died to save Gave His last mild commands, His parting blessing gave.
Muse on the solemn scene, till faith have power The inspired narrative to realize; And round the board at evening’s silent hour The chosen twelve appear, their anxious eyes Fixed on the Lamb of God, the spotless Sacrifice. Lo! on the bread His sacred hand he lays, That hand so soon transfixed for them to be; See the Redeemer’s sad uplifted gaze, And hear the accents breathing mournfully, “This do ye in remembrance still of Me!”
Nor this the sole command by Christ then given To His disciples, loved unto the last, At that sad meeting, when the Lord of Heaven Beheld death’s awful hour approaching fast, The cross—the anguish which all mortal woe surpassed; When He surveyed His small devoted band, And all that He for them would suffer knew, The Saviour breathed that heavenly command, That bond of union to His faithful few, “Love one another e’en as I have loved you.”
_As I have loved you._ Oh! more than love,— Language can breathe, and thought conceive no more; It is not “as thyself”—_this_ mounts above All human feeling, bids us higher soar, Gaze on the cross, and feel the love a Saviour bore! And can we ever rudely tear aside The band Messiah twined around His own? Envy, resentment, petulance, or pride, Erase the mark by which His flock are known? Hath Christ ne’er loved _us_, to us no mercy shown?
XLIV. THE CURE AT GETHSEMANE.
The awful night hath passed, the day Soon o’er the mountains will be breaking, And from their sleep of sorrow now The Saviour’s followers are waking; The Lord hath risen from His knees, His soul resigned on God relies, The cup of vengeance now is full, The Victim waits the sacrifice.
Hark! hark! what sounds the stillness break,— The clouds of danger darken o’er Him, The traitor bands surround their Lord, And His betrayer stands before Him. Then love bursts through the bonds of fear— Forth from the scabbard leaps the sword, The apostle strikes the hasty blow To save—or to avenge his Lord!
Oh! many a miracle of love The Lord had wrought for souls believing, Now stilling storms, now by His power The wants of multitudes relieving; But the last miracle of Christ, Ere to His fearful trial brought, Was wrought when captive and betrayed— And for His persecutor wrought.
He touched the wound—and it was healed; Oh! deed, unmeasured love revealing; Ere it was nailed upon the cross That gracious hand’s last touch was healing! And when the lighter wrongs we bear Rouse in our hearts vindictive fire, Shall not remembrance of that deed Thrill on our souls, and calm our ire?
Sweet are the thoughts that wondrous cure Wrought at Gethsemane may yield us; We, too, were rebels to our King, And He, though rebels, touched and healed us. Let us to all men mercy show, As we through only mercy live; Rejoice, like Christ, the poor to bless, Like Christ, the guilty to forgive!
XLV. HYMN FOR THE COMMUNION.
At the foot of the Cross where my Saviour is bleeding, By faith let me now with His followers bend; Let me hear for my pardon His voice interceding, And see, for my sins, these dear life-drops descend.
As when His fierce murderers mocked and defied Him, The Maries still clung to their Master adored, Nor for thrones would have quitted their station beside Him, Their long mournful watch by their crucified Lord;
So, unmoved by the scoffs of the foe and blasphemer, I would muse upon all that my Saviour hath borne; Permitted to watch by the dying Redeemer, And gaze on that pale brow encircled with thorn.
Oh! let such remembrance be present before me When called on the feast of His love to partake, Let my spirit commune with her Lord now in glory, And trembling behold what He bore for our sake!
XLVI. HYMN FOR THE DYING.
The day of life is closing, Its last faint beam has fled; Yet faith, on Christ reposing, Can Death’s cold waters tread; The dark sea spreads before me, Upon the brink I stand; Oh, guide me, Lord of Glory, To Heaven’s blissful strand! To Thee, Lord, I flee, My trust is in Thee; “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, thy victory?”
No longer here detain me, I hear my Saviour’s voice, I feel His arm sustain me, I triumph and rejoice! The Lord will bless for ever Those who His love have known, Nor life, nor death shall sever The Saviour from His own! Victorious and free His people shall be; “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, thy victory?”
XLVIL DEATH IS NOT DREADFUL.
Death is not dreadful, no! Though sad affection weeps, The grave is but the cradle where The future seraph sleeps, And smiling Faith her watch above The peaceful slumberer keeps.
Death is not dreadful, no! ’Twere terrible to die, E’en to the best, if called to stand Before the Deity Bare in their guilt,—without a friend To meet the Judge’s eye.
But oh! the weakest saint May fearless pass the flood, His robe shall shine as white as light Washed in his Saviour’s blood; The Judge Himself shall plead his cause, Who as his Surety stood.
Death is not dreadful, no! It bids us reap at last The joyful harvest of our tears, Our toils and trials past; It gives us our inheritance, How glorious and how vast!
Death is not dreadful, no! It is the Saviour’s voice Calling His lambs unto the fold; They hear it, and rejoice: In life or death “to be with Christ” This is His servants’ choice.
So, when the long night comes, In peace they close their eyes, Humbly confiding in His care Whose love all change defies,— Bowing to His Almighty will, All-merciful, All-wise.
Then welcome be the night Preceding endless day, Thrice blessed the Gospel’s glorious light, That chased its gloom away, And showed us life beyond the tomb In Christ, the sinner’s Stay.
XLVIII. NEVER FORSAKEN.
Why dread the future, trembling one, Since whatsoe’er the griefs it bring, A Father’s voice pronounced the fate It bears upon its rapid wing? Canst thou not trust thy earthly hopes To Him in whom thy soul confides; Nor cast thy cares upon thy Lord When angels whisper “God provides.”
“Why for the morrow take ye thought?” The God of truth and mercy said; His gracious arm supports thee now, His sheltering wing is o’er thee spread; He ne’er forgets His human pangs— The stricken soul, the tortured limb— Nor gives a moment’s needless pain To those who love and trust in Him!
What dost thou fear, what dost thou dread? The rushing wind—the billow’s roar? The gale, though rude, by love is sent To speed thy course to Heaven’s shore. More fatal were a death-like calm; The stormy voyage not long can last, The Saviour’s welcome overpays A thousand-fold the perils past.
Fear not,—what should God’s children fear? The dreaded clouds may roll away; Unnumbered mercies oft received Should strengthen faith to trust to-day. Enough—without the Lord’s consent None from thy head one hair can sever; Enough—thou art the Almighty’s care; Afflicted, but forsaken never!
XLIX. THY FATHER’S FRIEND.
Forsake not thou thy father’s friend, Forsake not thou thine own; Though care and grief his form may bow, And frosts of age be on his brow, And like a leafless willow now He stand on earth alone.
Forsake not thou thy father’s friend, Revere the hoary head; Thou may’st have little to bestow To lessen want, or lighten woe, But who does not the solace know Which kindly words can shed!
Forsake not thou thy father’s friend; So when thy strength is o’er, May’st thou ne’er want a friend in need, Thy age to cheer, thy footsteps lead, But he who is a “Friend indeed” Be thine for evermore!
L. FEAR OF GOD AND FEAR OF MAN.
The fear of God most high— It is a holy fear; It makes us pass through life as those Who know their Lord is near. The fear of sinful man— ’Tis a debasing fear, Shame will be theirs who dare not brave A censure or a sneer.
It was the fear of God By which the Hebrews three Undaunted met the tyrant’s frown— Unmoved the flames could see. It was the fear of man Weak Pilate’s breast within, That stained his hands with guiltless blood, His soul with blackest sin.
No courage is like that Which steadfast faith bestows; With God our Friend, we would be safe Were all the world our foes! Faith but the _duty_ sees Where doubt would danger scan; ’Tis through the fear of God alone We crush the fear of man.
LI. THE SINNERS’ PORTION.
Who Wisdom’s path forsakes Leaves all true joy behind; He who the peace of others breaks, No peace himself shall find. Flowers above and thorns below, Little pleasure, lasting woe, Such is the fate that sinners know.
The drunkard gaily sings Above his foaming glass, But shame and pain the revel brings Ere many hours can pass. Flowers above and thorns below, Little pleasure, lasting woe, Such is the fate that sinners know.
The thief may count his gains;— If he the sum could see Of future punishment and pains, Sad would his reckoning be. Flowers above and thorns below, Little pleasure, lasting woe, Such is the fate that sinners know.
The Sabbath-breaker spurns What Wisdom did ordain; God’s rest to Satan’s use he turns, A blessing to a bane. Flowers above and thorns below, Little pleasure, lasting woe, Such is the fate that sinners know.
O Lord, to Thee we pray, Do Thou our faith increase, Make us to walk in Wisdom’s way, The only way of peace! For flowers above and thorns below, Little pleasure, lasting woe, Such is the fate that sinners know.
LII. DEATH-BED HYMN.
Standing upon the awful brink, Almost too faint to pray or think, Thou who canst pain and fear control, My God, have mercy on my soul!
A chilling gloom I feel within, A trembling consciousness of sin; I cannot to my mind recall What sins—but Thou hast marked them all.
Oh, let my soul some promise hear From Thy blest Word to calm her fear; Oh, bid this doubt, this anguish cease— My Saviour say, “Depart in peace!”
Thou know’st I loved Thee,—weak might be My faith—but it was fixed on Thee; Thou didst a gracious promise make— Oh, save me for Thy mercy’s sake!
Methinks I hear my Lord reply: “Fear not, for I am ever nigh; In life—in death—beyond the grave— My arm shall guide, support, and save.
“Thy ransom hath been paid by love, Thy mansion is prepared above; No power of death, or hell, or sin, From Me one pardoned soul shall win!”
LIII. SAVE ONE!
Souls are perishing before thee, Save—save one! It may be thy crown of glory, Save—save one! From the waves that would devour, From the raging lion’s power, From destruction’s fiery shower, Save—save one!
Not in thine own strength confiding, Save—save one; Faith and prayer thy efforts guiding, Save—save one! None can e’er, unless possessing Heavenly aid and heavenly blessing, To the work of mercy pressing, Save e’en one.
Who the worth of souls can measure? Save—save one! Who can count the priceless treasure? Save—save one! Like the stars shall shine, for ever They who faithfully endeavour Dying sinners to deliver, Save—save one!
LIV. NEW YEAR’S HYMN, WRITTEN AT THE TIME OF THE INDIAN MUTINY, 1857.
In the year that hath passed o’er us, Many suffered woe and pain; Time can ne’er the brave restore us, Far in distant India slain. Praying, praising, Saints have joined the martyr-train.
But another year is dawning, We are spared its light to see; May each blessing, may each warning, Draw us nearer, Lord, to Thee— Like Thy martyrs Faithful unto death to be!
May Thy Word, salvation bringing, Shine where darkness now appears; Plenteous be the harvest springing, That was sown in blood and tears;— Light from darkness, Joy from sorrow, hope from fears!
Blessed hope now set before us, Satan’s slaves shall burst their thrall, All the nations join the chorus To the Lord who died for all;— Ransomed millions At the Saviour’s feet shall fall!
1. THE INDIAN MAID.
The leading incidents in this poem are historical. The descendants of Pocahontas are still to be found, I believe, in the United States.
Through the majestic forest shade The light of morn is faintly shining, Scarce straggling through the twilight made By leafy boughs entwining; As Nature, from the birth of Time, Deep in this lone sequestered wood, Had formed herself a bower sublime, Where she might dwell with solitude, And list the wild bird’s note, nor fear Man’s guilty foot could wander here, Or war’s unhallowed trumpet wake The slumbering echoes, rudely break The solemn, deep, unearthly still, Which to a stranger’s soul must thrill A sense of awe—as though he trod A temple consecrate to God!
Yet war can penetrate e’en here To blight the beauties of creation, Till Nature’s calmest scenes appear Dark haunts of desolation. The murderer’s sword hath left the sheath, When from the bright pure heaven above, And smiling earth, there seemed to breathe But peace, and joy, and love. And even now, when blushing morn, On rosy clouds by zephyrs borne, Comes in her laughing loveliness The world to brighten and to bless, It were more meet that heaven should shroud Her radiant brow in some dark cloud, And dewy tears of morning flow For scenes of blood on earth below!
See, in the forest’s thickest maze The dark-eyed Indian tribes assembling, Free as the pure fresh breeze that plays On leaves around them trembling. Wild Nature’s wilder sons,—each brow The radiant sun of western lands Hath kindled to a redder glow; In painted pride the savage stands, So differing in garb—in skin— In mien—he scarce might seem akin To Europe’s sons, did we not trace In the dark features of his face The same fierce passions, which declare The race of Adam here and there, And prove, alas! we share with all One common origin, and fall!
But what white-bosomed victim here Stands bound, a cruel death awaiting, The dreadful preparations near Now firmly contemplating,— Now raising calm his thoughtful eye Where, through the boughs that intervene Of Nature’s verdant canopy, Bright glimpses are of heaven seen? Reflects he on the murderous doom Which destines him a bloody tomb, Sudden cut off, before his time, In honour’s course, in manhood’s prime,— On projects that with him must die, Hopes ripening to reality, But blasted ere their fruits afford To science its well-earned reward?
Or thinks he on the distant land To which life’s earliest ties have bound him, Where last he grasped his father’s hand, And felt his mother’s arms around him? Above these savage yells of death Does memory hear the low deep prayer Her trembling lips could scarcely breathe, That God might shield him everywhere? ’Tis answered, yes, that prayer of love, Scarce heard on earth, has reached above! Though fixed his doom, though Death e’en now Stands prompt—he may not strike the blow! Twice did the trembling compass give A respite,—wonder bade him live; But other succour now must save The hero from untimely grave.
For lo! behold, with savage joy His foes their victim now surrounding, Eager to smite and to destroy, The woods with yells resounding! Calm and resigned he kneels in dust, Lays on the stone his manly head, And waits the crushing blows, that must Number him with the dead; When, like the bright celestial bow Which, when the angry tempests blow, And heaven’s bolts from high are hurled— Speaks peace and mercy to the world— Forward here springs an Indian maid, As light as fawn in forest glade, Her cheek with generous ardour glowing, O’er her slight form the dark hair flowing, While firm resolve, and feeling high, Sparkle in her soul-speaking eye.
“O Father, spare the chief!” she cries, Before her parent interceding, Her claspèd hands, and eloquent eyes, More than her accents pleading; “Was he not brave in war, and kind And true in peace? did he e’er break The solemn wampum league, or bind The captive to the stake? For him a wife afar may sigh, A lonely mother mourning die, For who shall now with sounding bow Bring down for them the elk or roe, Whose hatchet shall defend their home When hostile tribes with war-cries come! Oh! spare the white chief, that his voice His wife’s sad bosom may rejoice; Oh! spare him, that his hand may dry The teardrop in his mother’s eye!”
But stern the Indian’s answer; vain Her pleading words, her warm endeavour, The murderers’ clubs are raised again To crush the brave for ever! Lo! from her knees the maiden springs, Rapid as lightning’s flash above, As guardian angels spread their wings O’er mortals that they love, Around the Doomed her arms are thrown, His form protected by her own, With him will she the worst await, And save his life, or share his fate! “Strike him!” she cries, “but ’neath the blow His blood and mine shall mingled flow; Strike him! but in the spirit-land With him shall Pocahontas stand, Nor live to say her tribe hath slain The chief for whom she prayed in vain!”
There is a spell in woman’s eye When, injured Virtue’s cause defending, Her soul is roused to energy, Vigour with sweetness blending! Soft plumes that tremble in the air Have formed a breastplate strong to save, And woman’s heart will oft-times dare What might appal the brave! E’en the rude Indians feel the power Of courage equal to the hour, Catch virtues warm inspiring glow And more than mercy asked, bestow. Rise, Briton, rise, both safe and free, With life receive back liberty; Spring from the spot of sacrifice From which thou ne’er didst hope to rise; Or rather, once more prostrate fall To bless the God who saved from all!
Not long the dark-eyed maiden hears His grateful words of deep devotion, They part—to meet in future years Beyond the heaving ocean. “Go, stranger, to thy distant home,” Thus flowed her simple, wild farewell, “When thy pale tribes to greet thee come, Then of the Red man’s mercy tell! And when the round sun leaves the sky To light the Indian forests high, Say thou hast left a daughter there, And bid him here thy greetings bear! And oh! if e’er a Red man be Thy captive, then remember me; If weary-footed Indian pray For shelter, turn not thou away, But to my race a father be, As thou hast found a child in me!”
Sweet maid! she little dreamed how near The hour when she—a captive mourning— A Briton’s voice her grief would cheer, The White man’s debt returning; When Rolfe with tenderest care essayed The maiden’s flowing tears to dry, Until captivity he made More sweet than liberty! Amidst her grief, amidst her fear, Love’s melting tones first reached her ear, And oh! has life one dark distress That sweet voice cannot soothe or bless! It was as though the raging blast Had o’er some silent harp-strings past, And waked so soft, so wild a strain (As joy still owes its zest to pain), The spirit of the storm drew near, Closed his dark wings, and paused to hear!
And with Rolfe’s heart she learned to share His hopes, on heavenward pinion soaring, And with him knelt in humble prayer, The Christian’s God adoring. The sacred tie has made them one, That tie which death alone can part, Love’s circlet on her hand hath shone, Love’s torch within her heart; And she hath quitted that wild shore Her tearful eyes shall view no more, And, wafted by the western wind, Left all that once she loved behind. Honours in Albion’s isle attend The Indian bride, the captive’s friend; From royal lips her praises sound, Her generous deed with fame is crowned. But precious to her soul, above All fame, her husband’s smile of love, Or Smith’s proud glance, when she would claim Once more a daughter’s cherished name.
But oh! how close the sacred ties That to our native country bind us, In foreign scenes the heart still sighs For dearer left behind us! She longed to see the waving woods, Her dark-haired sire, her Indian shore, Her spirit yearned to cross the floods And view her native soil once more. But ere the vessel left the strand, Sickness, with damp and heavy hand Stayed the fair wanderer, like a spell Unseen, but irresistible, For death in his pale bark had come To waft her to a brighter home. Brief was the passage, but how vast The space in those short seconds past! One moment Rolfe in wild distress Hung o’er her fading loveliness, Met her long dying gaze of love, Saw her pale lips in blessing move, The next—and her immortal soul Had crossed the floods, and reached the goal, And he was left to mourn its flight, Till death, that severed them, should reunite!
Life’s deep afflictions not alone demand Devout submission to th’ Almighty’s will, The flower nursed by dew, by breezes fanned, Yet may the slow-corroding canker kill, While all around it smiles, it fadeth still; Such is the thankless heart which—pleasure-cloyed— Turns from surrounding good to fancied ill, And forms within itself a cheerless void ’Mid blessings unacknowledged, pleasures unenjoyed.
Oh! deem ye not them sufferers alone Whom poverty consumes, or cares oppress, Who mourn o’er health departed, hopes o’erthrown, Or—severed from a parent’s fond caress— Find the world changed into a wilderness; As deep the desolation of a mind (With all to cheer it, and with all to bless) That, to its own self-fostered gloom resigned, Rejects the happiness God bade it seek and find.
My parents, faithful soldiers of the Cross, Had o’er successive offspring closed the tomb, And—ere my infant heart could know its loss— They too had sunk beneath the mortal doom,— My life, in sorrow passed, commenced in gloom. Yet friends were left; the patriarch of our line For my sake would a parent’s cares resume, And his mild consort, then in life’s decline, As she had watched my father’s youth would watch o’er mine.
With tenderness did they their charge fulfil, In the retirement of a peaceful spot; But ah! not theirs the strength to curb the will, To train Christ’s soldier for a trying lot. Offences gently chidden—and forgot, The wavering denial, weak delay, And threat—by punishment succeeded not, Marred in the morn the promise of the day, The Christian child’s first lesson should be to _obey_.
Cruel, misjudging tenderness! how soon The plant by weakness nursed bore fruit in woe! The branch which love with gentle hand might prune, Reserved to fall ’neath God’s chastising blow! Can they the toils of warfare undergo Whose childhood knows no wish ungratified? Oh! check the first advances of the foe, Stay at the source the quickly-swelling tide,— From reason’s dawn must thou for good or ill decide.
Time fleeted by,—I was a child no more, But with my growth, alas! the evil grew. I loved creation’s wonders to explore, But on the world within ne’er fixed my view. Eager the paths of science to pursue, By praise encouraged, and by pride impelled, The charmèd task each day would I renew, And, while my bosom with vainglory swelled, Measured myself by those I deemed that I excelled.
And was I happy? no, the unbridled mind May soar too freely through the fields of air, In its own liberty a bondage find; My spirits were not bound by earthly care, No loss had I to weep, no frowns to bear. My own enjoyment was my single aim, I sought it upon earth, nor found it there, Satiety and disappointment came,— “Oh, that I were a man to win the meed of fame!”
I longed for something lofty—undefined— A kindred soul to mingle with my own, A destiny more worthy of a mind Now amidst uncongenial spirits thrown. By friends surrounded—yet I stood alone: Self was the gilded idol I adored; Had I Christ’s strength and my own weakness known, Soon had that idol felt the gospel sword, Low levelled in the dust before my conquering Lord!
Yet was I ardent in religious cause, Impiety I scorned—denounced—despised; No warrior his holy weapon draws With zeal more fervent than I exercised When faithlessness in others I chastised; My spirit kindled at the martyr’s tale, There were my dreams of glory realized; Oh! where their faith prevailed would mine prevail, Could soul so ardent in the fiery trial fail?
I felt not then that in life’s loneliest way A glorious warfare may the Christian wage; Humbly to honour, meekly to obey, In charity’s mild duties to engage, And gently soothe the fretfulness of age,— Such is the sacred post to woman given; Home is her battle-field; the strife must rage Till sin and self are from their empire driven: Will not the victor rest with martyr-saints in heaven?
With weariness I viewed my rural life, Hid from a world in which I hoped to shine,— Better the press of care, the toil of strife, Than thus in an insipid calm to pine, Watching my aged guardian’s slow decline; Youth was, I deemed, the season for delight, E’en should its sorrows with its joys be mine, The deepest shadows mark the brightest light, Dim is the hour when both in one dull hue unite!
Sin may invite the soul; by discontent The wayward soul herself inviteth sin; I sought a trial—God the trial sent. One formed a colder heart than mine to win, Lighted the soul-consuming torch within: Montoro sought my hand, his lips revealed His love; I felt another life begin,— To fervent love must self his empire yield,— No, for that love itself was selfishness concealed!
What though Montoro’s highborn parents frowned Upon his union with a lowly maid; Though upon means already slender found, A second burden thus would now be laid,— Although with darkened sight, and strength decayed, My widowed grandsire claimed a daughter’s care,— What was it to a soul by passion swayed? His lonely dwelling now must strangers share, No daughter’s voice to raise the hymn, or join the prayer.
’Twas on a summer morn I left my home, Buoyant with hope and long-sought happiness, Yet did a feeling of misgiving come When, folded in the old man’s last caress, He in his trembling accents strove to bless The child who left him lonely, aged, and blind E’en then my bosom would the thought oppress, “Deserter from the post by God assigned, Wilt thou again on earth a love so faithful find?”
’Twas but a transitory thought; my soul Exulted in an earthly paradise; Impetuous hope had reached its wished-for goal, And I could bear to see the tear-drops rise Within those dear and venerable eyes, Could joyous from my childhood’s home depart; For him I loved too great no sacrifice, Care had no weight, and poverty no smart; He was the treasure of my soul, the idol of my heart!
Time roused me slowly from my golden dream, Love, born in smiles, survived to mourn in tears; Earth’s brightest blessings are not what they seem; Beneath the sober influence of years Fancy’s gay blossoms fade, and truth appears. When word or frown impatient care betrayed, My wounded soul could not disguise her fears That now my lord with colder feelings weighed And felt the sacrifice which blinded love had made.
And what I felt I spoke; my untamed soul The task of patient love had yet to learn, Each word, each look, each feeling to control, Harshness with meek submission to return, By charms more lasting, love more lasting earn, This to my spirit was a task unknown; My lip would quiver, and my cheek would burn, By glance reproachful and upbraiding tone I marred Montoro’s happiness—and crushed my own.
Hardships and cares, by eager love defied, Heavy upon my weary spirit pressed,— The struggle between poverty and pride,— Ill could my temper bear the bitter test, Exhausted hope could find no place of rest; I, for the love of one, had all resigned, And now my heart in bitterness confessed, Though faithful love might yet remain behind, It was no more the light of joy, the sunbeam of the mind.
Yet I content, nay, happy might have proved, Could I have meekly stooped the yoke to bear, Nor sought perfection in the man I loved; But I had hoped a heaven on earth to share,— Too ardent hope rebounds into despair. When pride or passion fix the nuptial chain, Time must the gilding from the fetters wear,— Love’s golden links alone unchanged remain, Hallowed by faith, to be renewed in Heaven again.
I now approach the crisis of my woes. One, known in early life, again I met;— With proud disdain I had regarded those Who—low by birth, by nature lower—yet Their upstart confidence in riches set; And could I calmly Agnes now behold Her brow encircled with a coronet, Endure her haughty smile, her greeting cold, Who owed her triumph solely to the power of gold?
I felt the press of poverty, and she Had only to desire—and to possess; Yet why should sight of her prosperity Add to my cup one drop of bitterness? Her luxuries made not my comforts less. I know it now, though my deluded heart Would then have scorned its weakness to confess; Envy had fixed within his venomed dart, And love had no sweet balm to heal the wounded part.
Hate’s ready weapon, ridicule, I sought, The lightest word may give the deepest wound,— Montoro’s sparkling wit the impulse caught, His jests, by malice circulated round, Too soon a fatal destination found. Words are but breath, but breath may kindle flame Destined to level cities with the ground! My God, from Thy dread wrath the judgment came, But oh! my guilt, my wretchedness were still the same!
A fatal sword hung o’er my head unknown, Yawned at my feet a precipice unseen! One morn Montoro had gone forth alone, Methought there was a sadness in his mien, And tender had his words at parting been; A long fond kiss upon our babe he prest, Still in her cradle slumbering serene; The tide of love gushed warmer in my breast, His glance recalled the hours when first that love was blest.
Thrice the accumulating mound of sand Marked in my glass the hours that passed away, I turned it listlessly with weary hand, And marvelled at Montoro’s long delay: Heavy with mist and rain advanced the day; My babe awoke and wept, her cry of fear I strove to soothe with melancholy lay, And bore her, sobbing, to the casement near, And bade her infant accents call her father dear.
Upon the dreary prospect forth I gazed; Poured from the lowering sky incessant rain, The trees their dark and dripping branches raised, Reflected dimly on the flooded plain, Trickled the raindrops down the misty pane; The wind in sudden gusts our dwelling shook, Then sank, in mournful murmurs to complain; With heavy heart the casement I forsook, While to my early home her flight sad memory took.
“Where is the happiness I thought to find When forth I went, a young rejoicing bride? Springs grief from earthly trials, or a mind For ever restless and dissatisfied? Montoro’s love outweighed the world beside,— Is it his wife’s misfortune or her sin That petty cares so oft our hearts divide? Oh, that another era might begin, And life’s storms but enhance the holy peace within!
“My childhood’s friend I in his age forsook,— The old man sleeps beneath the grassy sod! To frown of care is changed the joyous look With which Montoro once life’s garden trod; God gave me life,—I have not lived to God! My threefold duties I neglected see,— Great God! suspend awhile thy chastening rod! Oh, come, my husband, life henceforth shall be Devoted unto piety and thee!”
He came—but oh! _how_ did Montoro come? Why did I live to look on his return? Bleeding and pale they bore him to his home. Life glimmered faintly,—I had yet to learn The hopeless grief that must for ever burn Within the widow’s desolated breast: Enough—mine eyes have seen Montoro’s urn; One tie is left—one treasure still possest,— The shadow of despair is cast on all the rest!
There is no wretchedness where sin is not,— Religion may relieve the darkest woes, All—save remorse—be softened or forgot— But where can she—the guilty—find repose, Whose anguish from her own transgression flows? _My_ pride—_my_ envy bade Montoro die, His life embittered, stained with blood its close! Aye, weep ye who _can_ weep—but I—but I My heart weeps tears of blood, and yet mine eyes are dry!
Proud—and of what! poor vain and helpless worm Crawling in weakness through thy life’s brief term, Yet filled with thoughts presumptuous, bold, and high, As though thy grovelling soul could scan the sky, As though thy wisdom, which can not foreshow What _one_ day brings of coming weal or woe, Could pierce the depths of far futurity, And all the wingèd shafts of fate defy!
Art proud of riches? of the glittering dust Each day _may_ rob thee of, and one day _must_, When mines of wealth will purchase no delay, When dust to dust must turn, and clay to clay, And nought remain to thee of all possest, Save one dark cell in earth’s unconscious breast! Or proud of power? on this little ball Some petty tract may thee its master call, Some fellow-mortals, bending lowly down, Bask in thy smile, or tremble at thy frown; Great in the world’s eyes, in thine own how great, How swells thy breast with conscious pride elate!
And art thou great? lift up—lift up thine eyes, Survey the heavens, gaze into the skies,— View the fair worlds that glitter o’er thy head, Orb above orb in bright succession spread, Beyond the reach of sight, the power of thought,— Then turn thy gaze to earth, and thou art—_nought_; The globe itself a speck—an atom thou! Oh, child of dust, shall pride exalt thee now? In one thing only thou mayst glory still, And let exulting joy thy bosom fill,— Glory in this—and what is all beside,— That for this worm—this atom—Christ hath died!
Does conscious genius fire thy haughty mind, Genius, that raises man above his kind, The lofty soul that soars on wing of fire, While crowds at distance marvel and admire? Oh! while the charmed world pays her homage just, Remember _every talent is a trust_, A treasure God doth to thy care confide, A cause for gratitude, but none for pride. If thou that precious talent misapply, To spread the flood of infidelity, To strew with flowers the paths which sinners tread, To hide one treacherous snare by Satan spread,— How blest, how great, compared to thee, the man Whose life obscurely ends as it began, To whose meek soul no knowledge ere was given Save that—of all most high—that lifts the soul to Heaven. For, as the sun’s pure radiance, streaming bright, Transcends the glow-worm’s dim and fading light, The wisdom to that man vouchsafed from high Excells the earth-born fires that flash—and die!
Oh! where shall pride securely harbour then, Where urge his claims to rule the minds of men? Blest Eden knew him not,—where all was fair, Where all was faultless,—pride abode not there. The glorious angels are above his sway, Their bliss to minister—to serve—obey; We—only we—poor children of a day, Tread haughtily the ground for our sakes curst, And wear with pride the chains our Surety burst!
Would that the world could know and truly prize That which is great in the Creator’s eyes! The poor man, bending o’er his scanty store, Who, with God’s presence blest, desires no more; Who feels his sins, his weakness, though his ways Be just and pure beyond all _human_ praise; Whose humble thoughts well with his prayer accord, “Have mercy upon me, a sinner, Lord!” Who, heir of an eternal, heavenly throne, Rests all his hopes on Christ, and Christ _alone_! Wisest of men—for he alone is wise; Richest of men—secure his treasure lies; Greatest of men—his mansion is on high; His Father—God; his portion—immortality!
IV. A DREAM OF THE SECOND ADVENT.
I dreamed that in the stilly hush of night— Deep midnight—I was startled from my sleep By a clear sound as of a trumpet! Loud It swelled, and louder, thrilling every nerve, Making the heart beat wildly, strangely, till All other senses seemed in hearing lost. Up from my couch I sprang in trembling haste, Cast on my garments, wondering to behold Through half-closed shutters sudden radiance gleam, More clear, more vivid than the glare of day! What marvel, then, that with a breathless hope That gave me wings, forth from my home I rushed, Though heaved the earth as if instinct with life, Its very dust awakening! Can it be— Is this the call, “Behold the Bridegroom comes!” Comes He, the long-expected—long-desired? Crowds thronged the street, with every face upturned, Gazing into the sky—the flaming sky— Where every cloud was like a throne of light. None could look back, not even to behold If those beloved were nigh; one thrilling thought Rapt all the multitude—“Can He be near!”
Then cries of terror rose—I scarcely heard; And buildings shook, and rocked, and crashing fell— I scarcely marked their fall; the trembling ground Rose like the billowy sea—I scarcely felt The motion, such intensity of hope— Joy—expectation—flooded all my soul, A tide of living light, o’erwhelming all The hopes and fears, the cares and woes of earth! Could any doubt remain? Lo! from afar A sound of “Hallelujah!” ne’er before Had mortal ear drunk in such heavenly strain, Save when on Bethlehem’s plain the shepherds heard The music of the skies! Behold! behold! Like white-winged angels rise the radiant throng That from yon cemetery’s gloomy verge Have burst, immortal—glorious—undefiled! Bright as the sun their crowns celestial shine, Yet I behold them with undazzled eye! Oh! that yon glittering canopy of light Would burst asunder, that I might behold Him whom so long, not seeing, I have loved! It parted—lo! it opened—as I stood With clasped hands stretched towards heav’n, my eager gaze Fixed on the widening glory! Suddenly, As if the burden of the flesh no more Could fetter down the aspiring soul to earth, As if the fleshly nature were consumed— Lost in the glowing ecstasy of love— I soared aloft, I mounted through the air Free as a spirit, rose to meet my Lord With such a cry of rapture—that I woke!
Oh! misery, to wake in darkness, wake From vision of unutterable joy, Instead of trumpet-sound and song of heaven, To hear the dull clock measuring out time, When I had seemed to touch eternity! In the first pang of disappointed hope, I wept that I could wake from such a dream. Until Faith gently whispered, “Wherefore weep To lose the faint dim shadow of a joy Of which the substance shall one day be thine? Live in the hope,—that hope shall brighten life And sanctify it to its highest end.”
Fast roll the chariot wheels of time. He comes! The Spirit and the Bride expectant wait,— Even so come, Lord Jesus! Saviour—come!
The expression used by one who now rests in Christ.
Captain Smith, the captive here mentioned, twice diverted the Indians from their murderous intentions, by drawing their attention to the marvels of the needle.
Pocahontas was presented to James I.
Index to First Lines.
HYMNS. A Page After labour sweet is rest 34 A helpless sinner in Thy sight 39 A holy warfare, Lord, is mine 79 An angel of comfort from heaven sped 18 At the foot of the Cross where my Saviour is bleeding 102
B Before the morning’s toil begin 49
D Day after day my weary task I ply 51 Death is not dreadful, no! 106
E Earth’s bright hopes must fade 31 Ere our first parents fell, the ground 67
F Far from the friends to me most dear 59 Father of Heaven, Thy guidance we implore 43 “Feed thou My lambs,” the Saviour said 47 Forsake not thou thy father’s friend 111 Forth from the city gate of Nain 95
H Help me, Lord Jesus, to fulfil 71 How beautiful is Nature’s face! 75 How highly blest were those who saw 85 How swiftly flies man’s mortal thread 41
I I bless Thee, Lord, in early spring 69 I cannot see the sunny gleam 23 I dare not raise my guilty eye 21 I do not dare, O holy Lord 15 In daily rounds my constant course I keep 61 In the silence of night when the stars glimmer o’er me 57 In the year that hath passed o’er us 121 I’ve laid the earth above the child 27 I would not take what is not mine, for hoards of wealth untold 53
L “Lord! carest Thou not that we perish!” 88
N Not alone in God’s house, or in seasons of prayer 73 Now in the East Hope’s trembling light 29
O O God of Hosts, our fathers’ God 77
S Souls are perishing before thee 119 Standing upon the awful brink 117
T The awful night hath passed, the day 100 The balmy spring awakes the flowers 35 The day of life is closing 104 The fear of God most high 113 The precious blood of Christ my Lord 11 There is a sword of glittering sheen 32 There were fishermen once by the blue Galilee 45 The Sabbath sun has risen high 55 The stately mansion riseth beneath the builder’s hand 25 The summer blossoms fast decay 13 To whom do I obedience owe 63
W When from the branches’ leafy screen 92 When in our breasts we feel the flame of love 97 When on Zion’s hill we rest 37 When Peter by the miracle 90 When shades of night around him close 16 When verdant fields are seen no more 65 Where is thy new-born Lord, O Judah? Zion—where thy King? 81 Who wisdom’s path forsakes 115 Why dread the future, trembling one 109
POEMS. I dreamed that in the stilly hush of night 153 Life’s deep afflictions not alone demand 136 Proud—and of what! poor vain and helpless worm 149 Through the majestic forest shade 125
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