Miscellaneous Poems

These poems have been collected over the decades. Many have no author, either being lost over time or anonymous.

On the mountain’s top appearing,
Lo, the sacred Herald stands!
Welcome news to Zion bearing,
Zion long in hostile lands.
     Mourning captive!
God Himself shall loose thy bands.

Lo, thy sun is risen in glory!
God Himself appears thy Friend.
All thy foes shall flee before thee;
Here their boasted triumps end.
     Great deliverance,
Zion’s King vouchsafes to send.

Enemies no more shall trouble,
All thy warfare now is past.
For thy shame thou shalt have double.
Days of peace are come at last,
     All thy conflicts
End in everlasting rest.

* * * * *

The Church has waited long her absent Lord to see;
And still in loneliness she waits, a friendless stranger she.
Age after age has gone, sun after sun has set,
And still in weeds of widowhood she weeps a mourner yet.
Come, then, Lord Jesus, come!

Saint after saint on earth has lived, and loved, and died;
And as they left us one by one we laid them side by side.
We laid them down to sleep, but not in hope forlorn;
We laid them but to ripen there till the last glorious morn.
Come, then, Lord Jesus come!

We long to hear Thy voice, to see Thee face to face,
To share Thy crown and glory then as now we share Thy grace.
Should not the loving bride the absent bridegroom mourn?
Should she not wear the weeds of grief until the Lord return?
Come, then, Lord Jesus, come!

The whole creation groans, and waits to hear that voice,
That shall restore her comeliness and make her wastes rejoice.
Come, Lord, and wipe away the curse, the sin, the stain,
And make this blighted world of ours Thine own fair world again.
Come, then, Lord Jesus, come!

H. Bonar

* * * * *

The Christian Mourner

I thank Thee for this heavy loss,
I thank Thee for this bitter cross;
Because it has seemed good to Thee
To send this cross and loss to me.

I know it was no random blow
Which laid thee, my own darling, low.
Not death, but Christ, who said to thee,
“Come hither, oh! my friend, to me.”

Death hides, but he cannot divide;
Thou art but on Christ’s other side.
Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me,
In Christ united still are we.

I know that Christ will never chide
My sorrow, He has wept and sighed.
I feel the pressure of His hand,
I know that He does understand.

And oh! what blessedness, relief,
To tell the Christ of God my grief.
Dear Man of Sorrows, Thou art still
The refuge for all human ill.

And Thou will still be more to me,
For that dear one who is with Thee.
Thus Thou will fill the vacant place
In Thy deep tenderness and grace.

Miss A. E. Hamilton

* * * * *

O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. Isaiah 44:21

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   all other names may pass away,
but thine, my Israel, shall remain
   in everlasting memory.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   inscribed upon my palms thou art;
the name I gave in days of old
   is graven still upon my heart.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   beloved of thy God art thou,
his crown forever on thy head,
   his name forever on thy brow.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   he who upon thee named his name
assures thee of eternal love,
   a love for evermore the same.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   the oath of him that cannot lie
is on thy city and thy land,
   an oath to all eternity.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   the grace of ages deep and broad
is grace without decay, the grace,
   O Israel, of the Lord thy God.

Forgotten! no; that cannot be:
   sun, moon, and stars may cease to shine,
but thou shalt be remembered still,
   for thou art his, and he is thine.

Horatius Bonar

* * * * *

T’was the Night Before Jesus Came

T’was the night before Jesus came, and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were laid on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker, with baby on her lap,
Was watching the late show while I took a nap.

When out of the east there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter!
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be The Day.

The light of His face made me cover my head;
It was Jesus! returning just like He said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without sound,
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late.
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear:
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life, and when comes the last call,
We’ll find that the Bible was true after all.

* * * * *

The Bible

We’ve traveled together, my Bible and I,
Through all kinds of weather, with smile or with sigh;
In sorrow or sunshine, in tempest or calm,
Thy friendship unchanging–my Lamp and my Psalm.

We’ve traveled together, my Bible and I,
When life has grown weary, and death e’en was nigh.
But all through the darkness of mist and of wrong,
I’ve found Thee a solace, a prayer or a song.

Shall I now give thee up, thou revealer of Light?
Thou Sword of the Spirit, put error to flight.
And through my life’s journey, until my last sigh,
We’ll travel together, my Bible and I.

* * * * *

Forgive Me When I Whine

Today upon a bus I saw a lovely girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay, and wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch, but as she passed – a smile!

O God forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs, the world is mine!

And then I stopped to buy some sweets. The lad who sold them had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad; if I were late ‘twould be no harm.
And as I left he said to me, “I thank you, you have been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

O God forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes, the world is mine!

Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.

O God forgive me when I whine,
With feet to take me where I’d go,
With eyes to see the sunsets glow,
With ears to hear what I would know.
O God forgive me when I whine,
I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine.

* * * * *

If Jesus Came to Your House

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.
Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an Honored Guest,
And all the food you’d serve Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

But when you see Him coming, would you meet Him at the door,
With arms outstretched in welcome to your Heavenly Visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hasn’t heard,
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud hasty word?

Would your family conversation keep its usual pace,
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you sing and read the books you read,
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go,
Or would you, maybe, change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends,
Or would you hope they’d stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on,
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that you would do
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

* * * * *

I know not what the future holds of good or ill for me and mine;
I only know that God enfolds me in His loving arms divine.

So I shall walk the earth in trust that He who notes the sparrow’s fall
Will help me bear whate’er I must, and lend an ear whene’er I call.

It matters not if dreams dissolve like mists beneath the morning sun;
For swiftly as the worlds revolve, so swiftly will life’s race be run.

It matters not if hopes depart or life be pressed with toil and care,
If love divine shall fill my heart and all be sanctified with prayer.

Then let me learn submission sweet in every thought, in each desire,
And humbly lay at His dear feet a heart aglow with heavenly fire.

* * * * *

The clouds hang heavy ’round my way, I cannot see;
But through the darkness I believe God leadeth me.

‘Tis sweet to keep my hand in his while all is dim;
To close my weary, aching eyes and follow him.

Through many a thorny path he leads my tired feet;
Through many a path of tears I go, but it is sweet.

To know that he is close to me, my God, my Guide;
He leadeth me, and so I walk quite satisfied.

To my blind eyes he may reveal no light at all;
But while I lean on his strong arm, I cannot fall.

Henry Alford

* * * * *

Call upon Me in the Day of Trouble

When troubles come what must I do? Sit down in dark despair?
No, no, my soul, attend to what the Lord himself declare.

Poor sinner, call on me, says God, when troubles vex thy soul.
I am the sinner’s helper still and can their fears control.

I will deliver! Blessed words, it is the Lord who spake;
Who hears the cries of humble souls and never will forsake.

Poor vexed soul, bowed down with guilt, not knowing what to do.
Ah, go to God and plead his word; there’s nowhere else to go.

God’s promise meets thy wretched case; God hears thy sad complaint.
The man who’s made to mourn his sins, God sets him down a saint.

Then cry, poor soul, the Lord will hear; His promise cannot fail.
The soul that cries shall find relief though hell and sin assail.

Ten thousand thousand souls have cried; the Lord has heard their cry.
He brings salvation to the soul when all their prospects die.

Ye tempted, harassed, sin-plagued souls who mourn, lament and weep;
Cast off your fear, rejoice in God, for ye are chosen sheep.

Daniel Herbert

* * * * *

When I’m afraid of times before, what coming days will bring;
When life’s omissions I deplore and earth-mists round me cling;
O Lord of love, my weakness see,
When I’m afraid I’ll trust in Thee.

When I’m afraid of wily foes, their flattery and hate;
Who seek my progress to oppose, my joys to dissipate;
O Lord of hosts, my weakness see,
When I’m afraid I’ll trust in Thee.

When I’m afraid of dangers near, foreboding future ills;
When rocks and shoals and deeps I fear and gloom my spirit fills;
O Lord of might, my weakness see,
When I’m afraid I’ll trust in Thee.

A. Gardner

* * * * *

Isn’t is strange that princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common folk like you and me
are builders for eternity?

To each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass, a book of rules;
and each must build ere life is flown
a stumbling block or a stepping stone.

R. L. Sharpe

* * * * *

Perhaps the day would not have been so long,
The skies would not have seemed so gray,
If on my knees in humble prayer I had begun the day.

Perhaps the fight would not have been so hard,
Prepared, I might have faced the fray,
If I had been alone with Him upon my knees to pray.

Perhaps I might have cheered a broken heart
Or helped a wand’rer on the way,
If I had asked to be a light to some dark soul today.

I would remember just the pleasant things;
The harsh words that I meant to say
I would forget, if I had prayed when I began the day.

* * * * *

In evil long I took delight, unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight and stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree in agonies and blood.
He fixed His languid eyes on me as near His cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death, though not a word He spoke.

A second look He gave, which said, “I freely all forgive.
This blood is for thy ransom paid; I die that thou mayest live.”

Thus while His death my sin displays in all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace, it seals my pardon too!

John Newton

* * * * *

Oh, long and dark the stairs I trod,
With stumbling feet to find my God:

Gaining a foothold bit by bit,
Then slipping back and losing it:

Never progressing, striving still,
With weakening grasp and fainting will,

Bleeding to climb to God: while He
Serenely smiled, unnoting me.

Then came a certain time when I
Loosened my hold and fell thereby.

Down to the lowest step my fall,
As if I had not climbed at all.

And while I lay despairing there,
I heard a footfall on the stair,

In the same path, where I, dismayed,
Faltered and fell and lay afraid.

And lo! when hope had ceased to be,
My God came down the stairs to me.

* * * * *

As the Twig Is Bent

A little girl with shining eyes, her little face aglow,
Said, “Father, it is almost time for Sunday School, let’s go.
They teach us there of Jesus’ love, of how He died for all
Upon the cruel cross to save all those who on Him call.

“Oh, no,” said Father, “not today, I’ve worked hard all this week.
And I must have one day of rest, I’m going to the creek.
For there I can relax and rest, and fishing’s fine they say.
So run along, don’t bother me, we’ll go to church some day.”

Months and years have passed away, but Father hears that plea no more,
“Let’s go to Sunday School,” those childhood days are o’er.
And now that Father’s growing old, when life is almost through,
He finds the time to go to church, but what does daughter do?

She says, “O Father, not today, I stayed up most all night.
I’ve got to have some sleep, and besides, I look a fright.”

Then Father lifts a trembling hand to brush away his tears,
As again he hears the pleading voice distinctly through the years.
He sees the small girl’s shining face upturned with eyes aglow,
As she says, “It’s time for Sunday School, please Father, won’t you go?”

* * * * *

A Birthday Wish

I wish you joy today!
And to your journey’s end
May Love and Peace go hand in hand,
And Wisdom prove your friend.
These be your guides from day to day,
And burdensome care shall flee away.

Bright may your future be,
But not as cloudless day.
A life which blends both shade and shine
Is that for which I pray.
No cross of grief too much to bear,
No dazzling crown too bright to wear.

Why wish what cannot be?
Why build a false ideal?
Time all our weaknesses will try
And show us what is real.
All wrong, all falsehood then withstand,
And you shall sit at God’s right hand.

Alexander Maclaren

* * * * *

Have you wondered why He led you
By such strange and lonesome ways,
Why the future lay enshrouded
In a dark, mysterious haze?

Wondered why your feet are guided
Where the shadows thickly lie,
Why the storms and why the darkness,
Why that cold and cloudy sky?

Hush! He speaks, He whispers to you,
“By a way you have not known,
I have led you by a pathway
Marked out solely for My own.”

Faithless child, He fain would teach you
What a God of love you have,
Guiding all your steps with wisdom
Leading safely home at last!

M. E. Rae

* * * * *

God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Annie Flint

* * * * *

My Father’s way may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache;
But in my soul I’m glad to know
He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away;
But still I trust my Lord to lead,
For Father knows the way.

There’s so much now I cannot see,
My eye is still so dim;
But come what may I still can trust
And leave it all to Him.

For by-and-by the mist will lift
And darkness turn to day.
Then looking back we’ll praise His name
Who led us all the way.

A. M. Overton

* * * * *

Too often now we’ve stood like this before,
Beside a mound that’s ill-concealed, nothing more.
Bared heads, silent tears, deep inner pain–
The smaller circle gathers closer in.

Alone we each in time have turned away
To face the future of an unknown day.
Wounded hearts, lonely years, then hope again–
As the smaller circle gathers closer in.

Lord, for the bereft and broken here today,
Keep us reminded oft to pray,
Twice kindred, by blood and mutual pain–
Thus we stand nearer as the circle gathers closer in.

Orla Freer

* * * * *

For Vickie

Fond memories of one so dear
Will not fade with passing years,
But are a pledge till we shall meet
To worship at Christ’s mercy seat.
And there in heaven we shall find
Those years were just a wisp of time.

Carol Morgan

* * * * *

Is there some problem in your life to solve,
Some passage seeming full of mystery?
God knows, who brings the hidden things to light,
He keeps the key.

Is there some door closed by the Father’s hand
Which widely opened you had hoped to see?
Trust God and wait, for when He shuts the door
He keeps the key.

Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet,
Or answered not as you had thought ‘twould be?
God will make clear his purpose by-and-by,
He keeps the key.

Have patience with your God, your patient God,
All wise, all knowing, no long tarrier He.
And of the door of all thy future life
He keeps the key.

Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest,
To know of every door He keeps the key;
That He at last, when just He sees ’tis best,
Will give it thee.

* * * * *


Time or distance cannot sever hearts which must be friends forever;
Thought has wings and flowers have meanings to express affection’s leanings.
Such I send to you today, bearing all I fain would say.

Though our hands may fail to reach, still the heart’s unspoken speech,
Through the thought which prompted this may impart a beam of bliss;
Which through cloud or storm may shine like a ray from light divine.

Take this simple, artless token of attachment still unbroken.
Rest assured, affection’s glow never can grow dim below.
Though the space between gets wider, hearts can bridge that great divider.

Alexander Maclaren

* * * * *

The Place of Prayer

There is a place where you can touch the eyes
Of blinded men to instant, perfect sight.

There is a place where you can say “Arise”
To dying captives bound in chains of night.

There is a place where you can reach the store
Of hoarded gold and free it for the Lord.

There is a place upon some distant shore
Where you can send the worker and the Word.

Where is that secret place, do you ask “Where?”
O soul, it is the secret place of prayer!

Alfred Lord Tennyson

* * * * *

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first man held his back;
For of the faces round the fire
He noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes;
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight;
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without,
But from the cold within.

* * * * *


There is never a day so dreary
But God can make it bright,
And unto the soul that trusts Him
He giveth songs in the night.

There is never a path so hidden
But God can lead the way,
If we seek for the Spirit’s guidance
And patiently wait and pray.

There is never a cross so heavy
But the nail-scarred hands are there,
Outstretched in tender compassion,
The burden to help us bear.

There is never a heart so broken
But the loving Lord can heal.
The heart that was pierced on Calvary
Does still for his loved ones feel.

There is never a life so darkened,
So hopeless and unblessed,
But may be filled with the light of God
And enter His promised rest.

There is never a sin or sorrow,
There is never a care or loss,
But that we may bring to Jesus
And leave at the foot of the cross.

* * * * *

God Knows Best

Our Father knows what’s best for us,
So why should we complain?
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain.

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer;
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear.

Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow.
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow.

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of the chisel
Gives the marble grace and form.

God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain;
For every loss He sends to us
Is followed by rich gain.

And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament.

For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain;
So he never sends us pleasure
When the soul’s deep need is pain.

So whenever we are troubled
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirit strong.

* * * * *


Gloomy clouds o’er Calvary creep,
Kindly veils to shade His woe;
As the figures crowd the steep
Waiting for the final throe.
Crowned with thorns instead of bays,
Torn with dreadful agony,
Need we wonder that he says,
“Why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Where are those that wooed His smile,
Ate the bread and drank the wine?
Some deny him, some revile,
Watch from far his life decline.
Yet for such the Christ would die,
Drink that cup of agony,
Suffer pangs which forced that cry,
“Why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Who would blame a moment’s doubt
When the iron hand appears,
While insatiate demons shout,
Nail or thorn the soft flesh tears?
Listen! While the Master bleeds,
While night shrouds the land and sea,
Oh, “My God, my God!” he pleads,
“Why has Thou forsaken me?”

God shall judge those fellowmen,
Those who left their Lord to die;
He who watches now as then
With an all observant eye.
Unto us who read the page,
Vivid as in years gone by,
O’er the tumult and the rage
Sharply rings that piercing cry!

Jesus, was Thy life in vain?
Must each heart repeat Thy cry,
Bear Thy cross and writhe in pain,
Like Thee fight for truth and die?
Father, though Thy chastening rod
Smites for good, we fail to see;
In Thy dwelling place, O God,
We shall not forsaken be.

Alexander Maclaren

* * * * *

He Was Not Willing

“He was not willing that any should perish;”
Jesus enthroned in the glory above,
Saw our poor fallen world, pitied our sorrows,
Poured out His life for us – wonderful love!
Perishing, perishing! Thronging our pathway,
Hearts break with burdens too heavy to bear.
Jesus would save, but there’s no one to tell them,
No one to lift them from sin and despair.

“He was not willing that any should perish;”
Clothed in our flesh with its sorrow and pain,
Came He to seek the lost, comfort the mourner,
Heal the heart broken by sorrow and shame.
Perishing, perishing! Harvest is passing,
Reapers are few and the night draweth near.
Jesus is calling you, haste to the reaping,
You shall have souls, precious souls for your hire.

Plenty for pleasure but little for Jesus,
Time for the world with its troubles and toys.
No time for Jesus’ work, feeding the hungry,
Lifting lost souls to eternity’s joys.
Perishing, perishing! Hark, how they call us:
“Bring us your Saviour, oh, tell us of Him!
We are so weary, so heavily laden,
And with long weeping our eyes have grown dim.”

“He was not willing that any should perish;”
Am I His follower, and can I live
Longer at ease with a soul going downward,
Lost for the lack of the help I might give?
Perishing, perishing! Thou wast not willing;
Master, forgive and inspire us anew.
Banish our worldliness, help us to ever
Live with eternity’s values in view.

Lucy R. Meyer

* * * * *

As if I, too, had been there,
I stand in speechless, awesome wonder
As salvation’s gift is given–
The manger Babe, the opening sky, the angel chorus,
The quest of shepherds in the night!

No gift I have for the God-man, infant King.
No words are born within my heart,
Or formed upon my tongue to tell my love–
I behold, I believe, I bow,
And with the shepherds I hasten to go and tell!

Orla Freer

* * * * *

What Then?

When the great plants of our cities have turned out their last finished work;
When our merchants have sold their last yard of silk and dismissed the last tired clerk;
When our banks have raked in their last dollar and paid out the last dividend;
When the Judge of the earth says, “Close for the night,” and asks for a balance — what then?

When the choir has sung its last anthem and the preacher has made his last prayer;
When the people have heard their last sermon and the sound has died out on the air;
When the Bible lies closed on the altar and the pews are all empty of men,
And each one stands facing his record, and the great Book is opened — what then?

When the actors have played their last drama and the mimic has made his last fun;
When the film has flashed its last picture and the billboard displayed its last run;
When the crowds seeking pleasure have vanished and gone out in the darkness again;
When the trumpet of ages is sounded, and we stand before Him — what then?

* * * * *

Beyond the Stars

At evening when the stars set out,
Their silvery lamps to burn,
I stand in awe at such a sight,
And then my spirit yearns.

Beyond those stars there rests my hope
Of heaven, Christ, and God.
It makes my pilgrimage on earth
A brighter path to plod.

Because of mansions in the sky
My home so humble here,
Needs only thoughts of life beyond
To bring a wealth of cheer.

My Saviour has gone on ahead
Preparing there for me,
A mansion, though unmerited,
It’s mine eternally.

And so on quiet starlit nights
I walk outdoors to gaze
Upon those starry velvet skies
And sing a song of praise.

Georgia B. Adams

* * * * *

Knowledge Through Suffering

I knew thee not, thou wounded son of God,
Till I with Thee the path of suffering trod;
Till in the valley, through the gloom of night,
I walked with thee and turned to thee for light.
I did not know the mystery of love,
The love that doth the fruitless branch remove;
The love that spares not e’en the fruitful tree,
But prunes, that it may yet more fruitful be.
I did not know the meaning of the cross;
I counted it but bitterness and loss.
Till in thy gracious discipline of pain,
I found the loss I dreaded purest gain.
And shall I cry, e’en on the darkest day,
“Lord of all mercy, take my cross away”?
Nay, in the cross I saw thine open face,
And found therein the fulness of thy grace.

George Wallace Briggs

* * * * *

God Give Us Men

God, give us men.
A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands.

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor and who will not lie.
Men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking.

For while the rabble with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, Lo, freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps.

Josiah Gilbert Holland

* * * * *


Content? How can I be
When all earth’s kindred tribes do plea
That God perchance in His great plan
Would heed their cry to send a man,
That the Saviour they might see.

Content? How can I be
While Satan gloats and laughs with glee,
And ushers countless souls to hell,
Many because I did not tell
Christ gives the victory.

Content? How can I say
I’ve done my best for Christ today,
When not one soul to Him I’ve led
Nor to a sinking sinner said,
“Jesus has paid the way.”

Content? How can I be
When Jesus gave His all for me.
Smitten and scorned, was crucified,
Naked and bleeding freely died
To set the sinner free.

Content? One day I’ll be
When I at last my Saviour see,
As He in stately splendor stands
To welcome me with outstretched hand,
“Praise God for Calvary.”

Jim Cooper, Missionary to Turks and Bahama Islands

* * * * *

Rules for Daily Life

Begin the day with God, kneel down to Him in prayer,
Lift up your heart to His abode and seek His love to share.

Open the Book of God and read a portion there,
That it may hallow all your thoughts and sweeten all your care.

Go through the day with God, whate’er your work may be.
Where’er you are–at home, abroad–He still is near to thee.

Converse in mind with God, your spirit heavenward raise.
Acknowledge every good bestowed and offer grateful praise.

Conclude the day with God, your sins to Him confess.
Trust in the Lord’s atoning blood and plead His righteousness.

Lie down at night with God, who gives His servants sleep.
And when you tread the vale of death, He will you guard and keep.

* * * * *

The Mercy Seat

What various hindrances we meet in coming to a mercy-seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer but wishes to be often there?
Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw, prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love, brings every blessing from above.

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight; prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright.
And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide, success was found on Israel’s side.
But when through weariness they failed, that moment Amalek prevailed.

Have you no words! Ah, think again, words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow-creature’s ear with the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent to heaven in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oft’ner be, “Hear what the LORD has done for me!”

William Cowper

* * * * *

Peace After a Storm

When darkness long has veiled my mind and smiling day once more appears,
Then, my Redeemer, then I find the folly of my doubts and fears.

Straight I upbraid my wandering heart and blush that I should ever be
Thus prone to act so base a part or harbor one hard thought of thee!

Oh! let me then at length be taught what I am still so slow to learn,
That God is love, and changes not, nor knows the shadow of a turn.

Sweet truth, and easy to repeat! But when my faith is sharply tried,
I find myself a learner yet, unskillful, weak, and apt to slide.

But, O my Lord, one look from thee subdues the disobedient will;
Drives doubt and discontent away, and thy rebellious worm is still.

Thou art as ready to forgive as I am ready to repine.
Thou, therefore, all the praise receive; be shame and self-abhorrence mine.

William Cowper

* * * * *

Jesus of Nazareth

What means this eager, anxious throng
Which moves with busy haste along,
These wondrous gatherings day by day,
What means this strange commotion, pray?
In accents hushed the throng reply,
“Jesus of Nazareth passes by!”

Who is this Jesus? why should he
The city move so mightily?
A passing stranger, has he skill
To charm the multitude at will?
Again the stirring tongues reply,
“Jesus of Nazareth passes by!”

Jesus! ’tis he who once below
Man’s pathway trod, ‘mid pain and woe.
And burdened ones where’er he came
Brought out their sick and deaf and lame.
The blind rejoiced to hear the cry,
“Jesus of Nazareth passes by!”

Again he comes! from place to place
His holy footsteps we can trace.
He pauses at our threshold, nay,
He enters, condescends to stay.
Shall we not gladly raise the cry?
“Jesus of Nazareth passes by!”

Ho! all ye heavy-laden, come!
Here’s pardon, comfort, rest, and home.
Ye wanderers from a father’s face
Return, accept his proffered grace.
Ye tempted, there’s a refuge nigh,
“Jesus of Nazareth passes by!”

But if you still his call refuse
And all his wondrous love abuse,
Soon will he sadly from you turn,
Your bitter prayer for pardon spurn.
“Too late, too late!” will be your cry,
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by.

Charles Wesley

* * * * *

The Rose Beyond the Wall

Near shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shown a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength,
With never a thought of fear or pride.
It followed the light through the crevice length
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before.
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint or fall?
Nay, let us by faith and hope receive,
The rose still grows beyond the wall.

Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.

A. L. Frink

* * * * *


Disappointment–His appointment! Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose is God’s better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing, though it may come in disguise,
For the end from the beginning open to His vision lies.

Disappointment–His appointment! Whose? The Lord’s, who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully, who my faith and love would test.
For, like loving earthly parents, He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts unquestioned all that from His wisdom flows.

Disappointment–His appointment! No good thing will He withhold;
From denials oft we gather treasures of His love untold.
Well He knows each broken purpose leads to fuller, deeper trust.
And the end of all His dealings proves our God is wise and just.

Disappointment–His appointment! Lord, I take it then as such;
Like clay in the hands of potters, yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life’s plan is Thy molding, not one single choice be mine.
Let me answer, unrepining, “Father, not my will but Thine.”

* * * * *

My Hiding Place

Hail, sovereign love, which first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace
That gave my soul a Hiding Place!

Against the God who built the sky
I fought with hands uplifted high;
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a Hiding Place.

Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race
Secure without a Hiding Place.

But thus the eternal counsel ran:
“Almighty love, arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.

Indignant justice stood aview;
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew.
But justice cried, with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hiding place.”

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel soon appeared.
He led me at a placid pace
To Jesus, as a Hiding Place.

On Him almighty vengeance fell,
Which must have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a sinful race,
And thus became their Hiding Place.

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this globe from pole to pole,
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face,
For Jesus is my Hiding Place.

A few more setting suns at most
Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast,
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious Hiding Place.

Major John Andre was an English officer during the American Revolution. As aid to General Sir Henry Clinton, the British Commander in Chief, Andre was in charge of intelligence.

In September, 1780, he met with American General Benedict Arnold behind American lines to make arrangements for Arnold to join the British and surrender the garrison at West Point. Due to unexpected complications, Andre was forced to return to British territory in civilian clothes. When stopped by American militiamen, word was innocently sent to Arnold, allowing him time to escape. Andre became the scapegoat, was tried, and hanged as a spy October 2, 1780. While under guard, Andre was converted to Christ two days before his execution and composed this poem.

* * * * *

Awake My Soul

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run.
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Redeem thy misspent moments past
And live this day, as if thy last.
Thy talents to improve, take care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

Let all thy converse be sincere,
Thy conscience as the noon-day clear.
For God’s all-seeing eye surveys
Thy secret thoughts, thy words and ways.

Wake and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels take thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to thee, who safe has kept
And has refreshed me while I slept.
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless light partake!

Lord, I my vows to thee renew,
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers with all their might
In thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him, all creatures here below.
Praise him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Charles Wesley

* * * * *

Man Honored Above Angels

Now let us join with hearts and tongue
s And emulate the angels’ songs.
Yea, sinners may address their King
In songs that angels cannot sing.

They praise the Lamb who once was slain,
But we can add a higher strain.
Not only say, “He suffered thus,
But that he suffered all for us.”

When angels by transgression fell,
Justice consigned them all to hell.
But Mercy formed a wondrous plan
To save and honor fallen man.

Jesus, who passed the angels by,
Assumed our flesh to bleed and die.
And still he makes it his abode;
As man he fills the throne of God.

Our next of kin, our Brother now,
Is he to whom the angels bow.
They join with us to praise his name,
But we the nearest interest claim.

But, ah! how faint our praises rise!
Sure, ’tis the wonder of the skies
That we, who share his richest love,
So cold and unconcerned should prove.

Oh, glorious hour, it comes with speed!
When we, from sin and darkness freed
Shall see the God who died for man,
And praise him more than angels can.

John Newton

* * * * *

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin, but held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three—” But no.
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer with a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?” and he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice, and going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply, “The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a “glass of wine,” a game, and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice, he’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.

Myra Welch

* * * * *

A Sure Way to a Happy Day

Happiness is something we create in our mind,
It’s not something you search for and so seldom find.
It’s just waking up and beginning the day
By counting our blessings and kneeling to pray.
It’s giving up thoughts that breed discontent
And accepting what comes as a “gift heaven-sent”.
It’s giving up wishing for things we have not
And making the best of whatever we’ve got.
It’s knowing that life is determined for us
And pursuing our tasks without fret, fume or fuss.
For it’s by completing what God gives us to do
That we find real contentment and happiness too.

Helen Rice

* * * * *


When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour!–remembered well–
I learned Thy love, IMMANUEL.

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name — IMMANUEL.

When for the truth I suffer shame,
When foes pour scandal on my name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace — IMMANUEL.

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry — IMMANUEL.

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deepening flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell
Thy lovely name — IMMANUEL.

When tears are banished from my eye,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When heaven shall fill my ravished sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel–
To see Thy face, IMMANUEL.

Charles H. Spurgeon

* * * * *

The Mercy Seat

From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sweet retreat,
‘Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where mercy sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads,
A place than all besides more sweet,
It is the heavenly mercy seat.

There is a place where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend,
Though sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

Ah, whither could we flee for aid
When tempted, desolate, dismayed?
Or how the hosts of hell defeat
Had suffering saints no mercy seat?

There, there, on eagles’ wings we soar,
And time and sense seem all no more.
And heaven comes down, our souls to greet,
And glory crowns the mercy seat.

Oh, let my hand forget her skill,
My tongue be silent, cold, and still,
This bounding heart forget to beat
If I forget the mercy seat!

Hugh Stowell/Thomas Hastings

* * * * *

The Fountain of Grace

All my soul was dry and dead
till I learned that Jesus bled.
Bled and suffered in my place,
bearing sin in matchless grace.

Then a drop of heavenly love
fell upon me from above.
And by secret, mystic art
reached the center of my heart.

Glad the story I recount,
how that drop became a fount.
Bubbled up a living well,
made my heart begin to swell.

All within my soul was praise,
praise increasing all my days.
Praise which could not silent be,
floods were struggling to be free.

More and more the waters grew,
open wide the flood-gates flew.
Leaping forth in streams of song
flowed my happy life along.

Lo, a river clear and sweet
laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
and I praised and prayed with ease.

Now my soul in praises swims,
bathes in songs, and psalms, and hymns.
Plunges down into the deeps,
all her powers in worship steeps.

Hallelujah! O my Lord,
torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away,
praising, praising all the day.

In an ocean of delight,
praising God with all my might.
Self is drowned, so let it be,
only Christ remains to me.

Charles Spurgeon

* * * * *

Prayers Answered By Crosses

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace,
Might more of his salvation know
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray
And he, I trust has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once he’d answer my request;
And by his love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried.
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set thee free.
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou may seek thy all in me.”

John Newton

* * * * *

Before the cathedral in grandeur rose
At Ingelburg where the Danube goes;
Before its forest of silver spires
Went airily up to the clouds and fires;
Before the oak had ready a beam,
While yet the arch was stone and dream,
There where the altar was later laid
Conrad, the cobbler, plied his trade.

It happened one day at the year’s white end,
Two neighbors called on their old-time friend.
And they found the shop, so meager and mean,
Made gay with a hundred boughs of green.
Conrad was stitching with face ashine,
But suddenly stopped as he twitched a twine:
“Old friends, good news! At dawn today,
As the cocks were scaring the night away,
The Lord appeared in a dream to me
And said, ‘I am coming your Guest to be!’
So I’ve been busy with feet astir,
Strewing the floor with branches of fir.
The wall is washed and the shelf is shined,
And over the rafter the holly twined.
He comes today, and the table is spread
With milk and honey and wheaten bread.”

His friends went home, and his face grew still
As he watched for the shadow across the sill.
He lived all the moments o’er and o’er
When the Lord should enter the lowly door.
The knock, the call, the latch pulled up,
The lighted face, the offered cup.
He would wash the feet where the spikes had been,
He would kiss the hands where the nails went in.
And then at the last would set with Him
And break the bread as the day grew dim.

While the cobbler mused there passed his pane
A beggar drenched by the driving rain.
He called him in from the stony street
And gave him shoes for his bruised feet.
The beggar went and there came a crone,
Her face with wrinkles of sorrow sown.
A bundle of fagots bowed her back,
And she was spent with the wrench and rack.
He gave her his loaf and steadied her load
As she took her way on the weary road.
Then to his door came a little child,
Lost and afraid in the world so wild,
In the big dark world. Catching it up
He gave it the milk in the waiting cup,
And led it home to its mother’s arms
Out of the reach of the world’s alarms.

The day went down in the crimson west
And with it the hope of the blessed Guest.
And Conrad sighed, as the world turned gray,
“Why is it, Lord, that your feet delay?
Did You forget that this was the day?”
Then soft in the silence a Voice he heard:
“Lift up your heart, for I kept my word.
Three times I came to your friendly door,
Three times my shadow was on your floor.
I was the beggar with bruised feet,
I was the woman you gave to eat,
I was the child on the homeless street!”