Mirth

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If you are merry, sing away,
And touch the organs sweet;
This is the Lord’s triumphant day,
Ye children in the gall’ries gay,
Shout from each goodly seat.

It shall be May to-morrow’s morn,
A field then let us run,
And deck us in the blooming thorn,
Soon as the cock begins to warn,
And long before the sun.

-I give the praise to Christ alone,
My pinks already show;
And my streak’d roses fully blown,
The sweetness of the Lord make known,
And to His glory grow.

Ye little prattlers that repair
For cowslips in the mead,
Of those exulting colts beware,
But blythe security is there,
Where skipping lambkins feed.

With white and crimson laughs the sky,
With birds the hedge-rows ring;
To give the praise to God most high,
And all the sulky fiends defy,
Is a most joyful thing.       – Christopher Smart

Trintas

At morn I prayed, “I fain would see
How Three are One, and One is Three;
Read the dark riddle unto me.”

I wandered forth, the sun and air
I saw bestowed with equal care
On good and evil, foul and fair.

No partial favor dropped the rain;
Alike the righteous and profane
Rejoiced above their heading grain.

And my heart murmured, “Is it meet
That blindfold Nature thus should treat
With equal hand the tares and wheat?”

A presence melted through my mood,–
A warmth, a light, a sense of good,
Like sunshine through a winter wood.

I saw that presence, mailed complete
In her white innocence, pause to greet
A fallen sister of the street.

Upon her bosom snowy pure
The lost one clung, as if secure
From inward guilt or outward lure.

“Beware!” I said; “in this I see
No gain to her, but loss to thee
Who touches pitch defiled must be.”

I passed the haunts of shame and sin,
And a voice whispered, “Who therein
Shall these lost souls to Heaven’s peace win?

“Who there shall hope and health dispense,
And lift the ladder up from thence
Whose rounds are prayers of penitence?”

I said, “No higher life they know;
These earth-worms love to have it so.
Who stoops to raise them sinks as low.”

That night with painful care I read
What Hippo’s saint and Calvin said;
The living seeking to the dead!

In vain I turned, in weary quest,
Old pages, where (God give them rest!)
The poor creed-mongers dreamed and guessed.

And still I prayed, “Lord, let me see
How Three are One, and One is Three;
Read the dark riddle unto me!”

Then something whispered, “Dost thou pray
For what thou hast? This very day
The Holy Three have crossed thy way.

“Did not the gifts of sun and air
To good and ill alike declare
The all-compassionate Father’s care?

“In the white soul that stooped to raise
The lost one from her evil ways,
Thou saw’st the Christ, whom angels praise!

“A bodiless Divinity,
The still small Voice that spake to thee
Was the Holy Spirit’s mystery!

“O blind of sight, of faith how small!
Father, and Son, and Holy Call
This day thou hast denied them all!

“Revealed in love and sacrifice,
The Holiest passed before thine eyes,
One and the same, in threefold guise.

“The equal Father in rain and sun,
His Christ in the good to evil done,
His Voice in thy soul;–and the Three are One!”

I shut my grave Aquinas fast;
The monkish gloss of ages past,
The schoolman’s creed aside I cast.

And my heart answered, “Lord, I see
How Three are One, and One is Three;
Thy riddle hath been read to me!”       – John Greenleaf Whittier

Did You say Count It ALL Joy?

 

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“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rom. 8:18

The world has often wondered at the calmness of the Lord’s humble little ones under circumstances which would cause the stoutest heart to quail. But to follow the course in life which will glorify our God and magnify His grace, to be able to meet wisely and courageously the trials and difficulties as they come to us as Christians, representatives of the King of heaven, and to meet them in the spirit of rejoicing, counting our tribulations all joy, it is necessary that our hearts be in attune with the Lord, that we have no will but His, and that the fear of man, which bringeth a snare, shall be overcome. We cannot accomplish this in our own strength, but in the strength of God alone.

Be Encouraged, Tea Friends

Peace and Blessings

Twice

hand

I took my heart in my hand
(O my love, O my love),
I said: Let me fall or stand,
Let me live or die,
But this once hear me speak
(O my love, O my love);
Yet a woman’s words are weak:
You should speak, not I.

You took my heart in your hand
With a friendly smile,
With a critical eye you scanned,
Then set it down,
And said: It is still unripe,
Better wait awhile;
Wait while the skylarks pipe,
Till the corn grows brown.

As you set it down it broke,–
Broke, but I did not wince;
I smiled at the speech you spoke,
At your judgment that I heard:
But I have not often smiled
Since then, nor questioned since,
Nor cared for corn-flowers wild,
Nor sung with the singing bird.

I take my heart in my hand,
O my God, O my God,
My broken heart in my hand:
Thou hast seen, judge Thou.
My hope was written on sand,
O my God, O my God;
Now let Thy judgment stand,–
Yea, judge me now.

This contemned of a man,
This marred one heedless day,
This heart take Thou to scan
Both within and without:
Refine with fire its gold,
Purge Thou its dross away,–
Yea, hold it in Thy hold,
Whence none can pluck it out.

I take my heart in my hand,–
I shall not die, but live,–
Before Thy face I stand;
I, for Thou callest such:
All that I have I bring,
All that I am I give,
Smile Thou and I shall sing,
But shall not question much.

– Christina G. Rossetti

The Least of These

poor

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Matthew 25: 34-40

Come, Ye Disconsolate

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er you languish,
Come, at God’s altar fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish–
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,
Hope, when all others die, fadeless and pure,
Here speaks the Comforter, in GOD’S name saying–
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.”

Go, ask the infidel, what boon he brings us
What charm for aching hearts he can reveal,
Sweet as that heavenly promise Hope sings us–
“Earth has no sorrow that GOD cannot heal.”       – Sir Thomas Moore

Song of Innocence

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

“Pipe a song about a Lamb!”
So I piped with merry cheer.
“Piper, pipe that song again;”
So I piped: he wept to hear.

“Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer!”
So I sang the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

“Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.”
So he vanish’d from my sight;
And I pluck’d a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain’d the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

– William Blake

children

Astonished Reverence

tozer In my own being, I could not exist very long as a Christian without the inner consciousness of the Presence and nearness of God! I can only keep right by keeping the fear of God on my soul and delighting in the fascinating rapture of worship. I am sorry that the powerful sense of godly fear is a missing quality in churches today. The fear of God is that “astonished reverence” of which the saintly Faber wrote. I would say that it may grade anywhere from its basic element-the terror of the guilty soul before a holy God-to the fascinated rapture of the worshiping saint. There are few unqualified things in our lives but I believe that the reverential fear of God, mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and adoration, is the most enjoyable state and the most purifying emotion the human soul can know. A true fear of God is a beautiful thing, for it is worship, it is love, it is veneration. It is a high moral happiness because God is!

Tozer

The Names of Jesus

    I SING the NAMES of JESUS!–matchless names!
Highest and holiest Earth or Heaven claims!
By which alone we may approach to Him
Before whose faintest ray the sun grows dim,
And all the brightest glory of the skies
Like twilight’s feeble glimmer fades and dies.

MESSIAH, CHRIST!–God’s high, Anointed One!
The Eternal Father’s well-beloved Son!
On whom the mystic oil of Heaven was shed,
What time, descending on His sacred head,
The Consecrating Spirit from above
Set Him apart to holiest deeds of love;
Anointed Prophet, from that favored hour
To teach His Father’s will, to wield His power,–
Anointed Priest, for His own people’s sake,
Himself a sacrifice for sin to make,–
Anointed King, unrivalled and alone
To reign on universal Empire’s throne,–
To whose high majesty and regal worth
All crowns shall bend in Heaven and in Earth,–
All Powers to Him their cheerful tribute bring,
And all above, below, confess Him King.

OUR PASSOVER! ‘Twas night on Egypt’s coast,
And all were hushed to rest save Israel’s host;–
They, silent, wakeful, harnessed as for flight,
Each in his own hushed dwelling watched that night
Through the slow, fateful hours of deepening gloom,
The coming of God’s Messenger of doom,
Whose piercing eye, through the deep, awful shade
By Judgment’s stern uplifted pinions made,
The blood-mark on each dwelling should descry
Of the slain lamb, and, seeing, pass it by.

Thus, thus, O Soul! in that more awful hour
When the last Judgment’s darker shadows lower,
And, swift and stern, God’s messengers go forth
To reap the harvest of this fated Earth,–
If then, on thee is found no crimson stain
Of God’s own Lamb on bloody Calvary slain,–
If thou art resting not beneath the blood
Of that one sacrifice ordained of God,
Where wilt thou fly?–where hide thyself away
From the dread reck’ning of the Judgment day?–
If resting ‘neath the blood for sinners spilt,
Look up!–the judge Himself has borne thy guilt’
Justice and Judgement claim thy life in vain,
Since Christ, thy Passover, Himself is slain!

IMMANUEL!–God with us. With us, O Soul!
Of this brief utt’rance canst thou grasp the whole?–
Nay, comprehend one attribute of God,
The Maker, Sovereign, Him who at a nod
Can hurl all worlds to wreck, and with a breath
Can wake a Universe from night and death,
And clothe in Beauty’s robes of richest bloom
Ten thousand worlds snatched from chaotic gloom?

If not, couldst grasp the thought that such as He,
Clothed in frail, human flesh, a man should be?
Of us and with us, veiled his dazzling ray
Of awful Godhead, and at home in clay,
A living, dying man? Heaven, Earth, and Hell
The mystery fail to solve, Immanuel!–
And yet, Faith lays her hand in thine,
And whispers low,–“Immanuel is mine!”

But He has other Names, it may be less
Bewildering in their deep mysteriousness,
O’er which we oftener linger, which we bear
Oftener to Heaven upon the breath of prayer,–
Sweet, hallowed home-names,–dearer, it may be,
Because first learned beside a mother’s knee;–
The tender names of Father, Brother, Friend,–
Names that with all sweet recollections blend,–
Names full of high significancy, given
To Him who intercedes for us in Heaven.

FATHER!–dear name, to thought and feeling dear
Thrice-precious ever in the Christian’s ear!
An earthly father, trials may estrange;
THE EVERLASTING FATHER knows no change!–
With tireless patience and unslumbering care,
Watching wherever His earth-children are,
Nor failing e’en the faintest cry to hear,
By His weak children breathed into His ear.

BROTHER!–our Eldest, FIRST-BORN FROM THE DEAD,
Of all the glorified the Living HEAD!
Yet condescending to the youngest child,
With tenderest looks and accents sweet and mild;–
Who feels a wrong done to the feeblest one,
Keenly, as though unto Himself ’twere done;–
Who, sees no kindness to the humblest shown,
But ‘lisas though ’twere to Himself alone;–
And who will judge the wrong, the kindness bless,
With all a brother’s truth and tenderness;–
Nay, more: an earthly brother faints and dies,
Or faithless oft, forgets affections ties;–
His love, enduring as the eternal throne,
No change, decay, or loss have ever known.

FRIEND!–there is music in that simple word,
Which through all time the human heart has stirred.
Earth cannot be a desert, joy-bereft,
To any heart, if but one friend is left;–
Yet friends oft change, and friendship proves a name,
And death at last must ever quench its flame.

Yet He’s a friend, than brother closer far;–
One whose affection changes cannot mar;–
One tempted, tried, and grieved, as you have been;–
Long a lone wanderer through this world of sin;–
Himself without a friend whose steadfast heart
In His deep cup of anguish shared a part.

Friendless He knelt in dark Gethsamane;–
Unfriended hung on Calvary’s bloody tree;–
And all for what?–His matchless love to prove
For man, His enemy! O, matchless love!–
O, wondrous Friendship!–O, unchanging Friend!–
Who, loving thus, should love unto the end,
That, evermore, the ransomed soul might rest
Its weary head upon His faithful breast,
And feel, ‘mid all vicissitudes and pains,
That one, true, constant, loving friend remains.

Friend, Brother, Father!–Could we ask for more?
Yet these dear names exhaust not half the store.
REDEEMER!–SAVIOUR!–Lo! a captive, bound
With chains and fetters, wrapped in night profound,
In helpless, hopeless bondage, dark I lay,
When He, in pitying mercy, passed that way.
He saw me hugging close my heavy chain,
Loving my bonds, despite their bitter pain,
Deaf to the music of the songs of Heaven,
Blind to the light His pitying love had given,
Sick unto death, yet boastful of my health,
Clothed in foul rags, yet vaunting of my wealth.

Was that a thing to love or pity?–Nay!–
Yet He did stoop, on me, His hand to lay;
Touched my dark eyes, and lo! the light was mine;
Ope’d my dull ears to harmony divine;
Showed me my rags, my wretchedness, my grief,
My deadly sickness, and then gave relief;
Paid my full ransom-price, warmed, cleansed, and red,
And clothed in spotless raiment, me He led
Forth from the dungeon of impurity,
To the pure air of heaven, made whole, set free!
Henceforth my all in life or death is thine,
And thou, Redeemer, Saviour,–thou art mine!

Nor yet, with these, the exultant song should cease;
for this Redeemer is the PRINCE OF PEACE!
To be redeemed by earthly Prince, would be
High honor, lasting joy to him set free;
Yet earthly princes, emulous of fame,
Oft win their way to power by sword and flame,
And leave the path by which they reach a throne,
Red with slain victims in their rage o’erthrown,
And rudely crushed beneath the maddened tread
Of fiery Conquest, reckless of his dead.

But oh, how diff’rent is the Prince of Peace!
He comes to bid the rage of conflict cease;
He lifts His hand above the stormy sea
Of human passion, surging wrathfully,
And lo! its maddened waves in peace subside,–
Hushed is the tempest-roar of power and pride,–
The desert and the wilderness rejoice,
And life awakes at His creative voice,–
Peace spans with rainbow arch the weeping sky,
And angels smile from their pure homes on high!

And yet our Prince is more. He is a PRIEST,
In whom signs, symbols, offrings all have ceased;
For, more than Priest, a SACRIFICE He stands,
With streaming side, and bloody feet and hands,
Bearing to Heaven, not blood of bullocks slain,
Nor victims’ ashes sprinkling the unclean,
But His own blood, an offering to Heaven
That God might thus be just and man forgiven,
Himself, at once, Prince, Priest, and Sacrifice,
Man mediatorial, Lord of Earth and Skies,–
Angels in vain the myst’ry would explore,
And men and angels mutually adore!
Yet, as though these were not enough, we find
Him stooping still, to meet the human mind,
Under still other names His boundless grace
And love to symbolize for Adams race.

See yonder flock upon the mountain bare
Is there no hand to guide or tend them there?
When the wild beast comes prowling from his den,
Who will protect the helpless creatures then?
Who, when the pastures fail, and springs are dry,
Will lead them forth where greener pastures lie?

What pitiest thou the helpless flock?–so He,
Thy watchful friend, in pity thinks of thee
“I the GOOD SHEPHERD am, and ye the sheep,
With tenderest care my little flock I keep,
No ravenous beast shall prey upon my own,
They know my voice, and follow me alone”

Is yonder sun a welcome sight to thee,
As up the east he rides exultingly?–
Do the hills wake to beauty as he comes,
And valleys blush with countless opening blooms?
Do the streams sparkle, and the woodlands ring
With the sweet lays the happy warblers sing?
He is a SUN, and where His radiance streams
Beauty and gladness waken in His beams,
The soul expands to perfect leaf and flower,
And ripening fruitage waits the vintage hour,–
Songs of rejoicing float upon the air,
And ‘neath His rays ’tis Summer everywhere.

Is yonder vine a pleasant, goodly thing,
As upward still its laden branches spring,
As its ripe clusters woo the longing sight
To linger still with ever new delight?
“I’m the TRUE VINE,” saith Christ, “the branches ye,–
The living Vine, abide ye still in me;
Thus shall my life to every branch be given,
Thus shall each branch bring forth the fruit of Heaven!”

See, yonder traveller in a desert land,
Toils day by day o’er tracks of burning sand,
A lurid sky above–beneath, around,
The dreary desert spreads its wastes profound.
With blistered feet, and aching, blood-shot eye,
Long dimly strained some fountain to descry,
Onward he toils, while hope, as days depart,
Grows feebler, fainter, at his weary heart

On the horizon’s verge he sees at length
A shadowy line, and lo, his failing strength
In a full tide returns!–His weary feet
Speed gladly on, by courage rendered fleet:
He gains the fount, he drinks, and toil and care,
And dread and danger, all forgotten are!

So, to life’s weary pilgrim, Christ is made
In the drear desert a refreshing SHADE!
A FOUNT OF LIVING WATER, never dry,
To all the thirsty yielding full supply,–
A WELL OF WATER ever springing up
To Life Eternal–fount of joy and hope!

Student of nature! dost thou love, at morn,
To tread where earliest flowers the wild adorn?–
To view the lowly blossoms of the field,
In shady nooks half-hidden, half-revealed–
The wild rose, scenting all the dewy air,
The graceful lily bending meekly there?

Then think as with admiring eye you trace
Those meek, sweet dwellers in each lonely place,
That He, of whom I sing well knowing how
The heart to Natures lovely gifts, would bow,
Would lead your thoughts with gentle, winning force
Up from created Beauty to its Source

He is the ROSE OF SHARON–fairest flower
That perfume breathed through Eden’s hallowed bower
The LILY OF THE VALLEY, pensive, fair,
With heavenly sweetness flooding all the air,–
Thrice sacred symbol, breathing evermore
Of Him whom angels cease not to adore!

Thou man of Science, who, with practised eye
And glance untiring sweep’st the starry sky,
Speeding in thought along those trackless ways,
Where planets burn and constellations blaze,
Leaving uncounted worlds behind thee far,–
Listen–“I am THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR !”
He says–and does not thought more gladly stray,
Where the meek herald of the rising day
Sits like a peaceful vestal bearing high
Her radiant urn on the soft eastern sky?–
Thence, rising, seek the Morning Star of Heaven,
Who to Night’s myriad suns their light has given,
And, bowing low Light’s sacred Fount before,
In wondering, reverential awe adore?

Soul, ever groping through the mists of time,
To find the path which leads to the sublime,
Still heights of God!–weak are thy steps and slow,
Yet there’s a path no fowl of heaven doth know,–
No lion’s whelp that secret way hath found,–
No eagle marked it from the heights profound,–
No human art, unhelped, discerned the road
That leadeth up to happiness and God!

Yet, anxious Soul! dost thou not hear Him say,
“Cease thy vain groping,–lo, I am the WAY,–
The way to God,–the one unerring Way?
All other paths will lend thy feet astray,
I only, WISDOM, am the path that lies
‘Twixt man and God the Sovereign of the skies!”

Seeker of Truth !–long hast thou striven to find
This only boon that satisfies the mind
Through Nature’s stores the treasure hast thou sought;
Hast traversed all the boundless fields of thought,
Questioned the lonely night, the laughing day,
The ocean-depths, the founts that ceaseless play,
Old hoary mountains, cliffs, and caverns lone,
Earth’s secret depths–mysterious, unknown,
Asked of the past, the present, future, striven
To pierce the mysteries unrevealed of Heaven,
Yet weary and unsatisfied remained,
Longing for Truth, still far off, unattained,–
That truth which satisfies the anxious quest,
And with the attainment, bringeth perfect rest.

“I am the TRUTH!”–saith Christ,–O, wearied one!
Tired of thy fruitless search beneath the sun,
Accept this boon, so sacred, so divine,
In simple trust, and all thou seek’st is thine–
Truth that makes free,–that falsehood cannot dim,–
In full completeness all made thine in Him!

Lover of life! say, what wouldst thou not give,
To know that thou eternally shouldst live?
Is Death a thing from which to shrink with dread?
The dreary valley dost thou fear to tread?
What wouldst thou give to pierce the unknown Dark
That lies before thy feebly tossing bark.
And know what anchor in that unknown sea,
Or wreck disastrous, there awaiteth thee?

Dost trembling cling to this frail thread of life,
Through pain, and doubt, and weariness, and strife,
Rather than trust thy dimly groping hand
Its hold to fasten on that unknown land
Whence none return, its secrets to declare,
And tell what bliss or rum waits thee there?

Well mayst thou cling to Earth, unless thy ear
Opened has been, the voice from Heaven to hear,–
To hear the Christ, amid Earth’s wearying strife,
Its toil and tumult, say “I am the LIFE!”
I am THE LIFE!”–oh, then, undo thy clasp
On this frail-being, and with deathless grasp
Lay hold on Him, in whom, by whom alone,
The bliss of Life Eternal may be known!–
Failing in this, how deep must be the gloom–
The unpierced darkness of the lonely tomb!–
In this succeeding, what exultant day
O’er all thy future pours its blissful ray!

Is light a blessing?–He’s the soul’s clear LIGHT–
The blessed DAY-STAR, scattering the night!
Is peace the sweetest boon to mortals given?–
Jesus is PEACE made manifest from Heaven!
Is love the bond of life, beneath, above,
In Earth, or Heaven?–His highest name is LOVE!

ROCK, REFUGE, REST. a SHIELD in conflict dire,
Around His saints A WALL OF LIVING FIRE,
STRENGTH, HOPE, REDEMPTION, RIGHTEOUSNESS divine;
FAIREST AMONG TEN THOUSAND fair that shine
On hills Of light by high archangels trod,
Judah’s stern LION, spotless LAMB OF GOD;
THE SON OF GOD, THE SON OF MAN, THE BREAD
OF LIFE, with which each heir of Heaven is fed;
THE RESURRECTION from the dust of death;
AUTHOR AND FINISHER of all our Faith;
God’s manifested thought–Eternal WORD
By whom creation’s eldest depths were stirred;
ALPHA, OMEGA, FIRST, LAST, JEHOVAH, MAN!
So ends my song just where my song began!
JESUS!–“He saves His people from their sins!”
Thus end all praises, where all praise begins!       – Mrs. J. C. Yule

The Father’s Service

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” Rom. 6:8

The requirements or conditions attached to the invitation to share with Christ the coming glories and dignities, are plainly stated: Such must share His death, be immersed or buried into His death….To be sharers in His death means that as our Redeemer spent His life, not in self gratification (even lawful), but consumed it in the interest of truth and righteousness, in opposing sin and doing the work and executing the plan of the Father, so we must use our time, talents, energies, rights, and privileges.

Redeemed by Him and given to us, we not only consecrate these all to the Father’s service, but we must use them faithfully even unto death–as He has set us the example–walking in His footsteps as nearly as possible.

If thus we be dead with Jesus Christ, we shall in due time live with Him

Manna