A LULL IN LIFE
"And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart unto a desert place, and rest awhile; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat". (Mark 6:31)
Oh, for "a desert place" with only the Master's smile!
Oh for the "coming apart" with only His "rest awhile!"
Many are "coming and going" with busy and restless feet,
And the soul is hungering now, with "no leisure so much as to eat."
Dear is my wealth of love from many and valued friends,
Best of the earthly gifts that a bounteous Father sends;
Pleasant the counsel sweet, and the interchange of thought,
Welcome the twilight hour with musical brightness fraught.
Dear is the work He gives in many a varied way,
Little enough in itself, yet something for every day,
Something by pen for the distant, by hand or voice for the near,
Whether to soothe or teach, whether to aid or cheer.
Not that I lightly prize the treasure of valued friends,
Not that I turn aside from the work the Master sends,
Yet I have longed for a pause in the rush and whirl of time,
Longed for silence to fall instead of its merriest chime.
Longed for a hush to group the harmonies of thought
Round each melodious strain that the harp of life hath caught,
And time for the fitful breeze Eolian chords to bring,
Waking the music that slept, mute in the tensionless string:
Longed for a calm to let the circles die away
That tremble over the heart, breaking the heavenly ray,
And to leave its wavering mirror true to the Star above,
Brightened and stilled to its depths with the quiet of "perfect love";
Longed for a sabbath of life, a time of renewing of youth,
For a full-orbed leisure to shine on the fountains of holy truth;
And to fill my chalice anew with its waters fresh and sweet,
While resting in silent love at the Master's glorious feet.
There are songs which only flow in the loneliesth shades of night,
There are flowers which cannot grow in a blaze of tropical light,
There are crystals which cannot form till the vessel be cooled and stilled;
Crystal, and flower, and song, given as God hath willed.
There is work which cannot be done in the swell of a hurring tide,
But my hand is not on the helm to turn my bark aside;
Yet I cast a longing eye on the hidden and waveless pool,
Under the shadowing rock, currentless, clear, and cool.
Well! I will wait in the crowd till He shall call me apart,
Till the silence fall which shall waken the music of mind and heart;
Patiently wait till He give the work of my secret choice,
Blending the song of life with the thrill of the Master's voice.
"MASTER, SAY ON!"
Master, speak! Thy servant heareth,
Waiting for Thy gracious word,
Long for Thy voice that cheereth;
Master! Let it now be heard,
I am listening, Lord, for Thee;
What has Thou to say to me?
Master, speak in love and power:
Crown the mercies of the day.
In this quiet evening hour
Of the moonrise o'er the bay,
With the music of Thy voice;
Speak! and bid Thy child rejoice.
Often through my heart is pealing
Many another voice than Thine,
Many an unwilled echo stealing
From the walls of this Thy shrine:
Let Thy longed-for accents fall;
Master, speak! and silence all.
Master, speak! I do not doubt Thee,
Though so tearfully I plead;
Savior, Shepherd! Oh, without Thee
Life would be a blank indeed!
But I long for a fuller light,
Deeper love, and clearer sight.
Resting on the "faithful saying,"
Trusting what Thy gospel saith,
On Thy written promise staying
All my hope in life and death,
Yet I long for something more
From Thy love's exhaustless store.
Speak to me by name, O Master,
Let me know it is to me;
Speak, that I may follow faster,
With a step more firm and free,
Where the Shepherd leads the flock,
In the shadow of the Rock.
Master, speak! I kneel before Thee,
Listening, longing, waiting still;
Oh, how long shall I implore Thee
This petition to fulfill?
Hast Thou not one word for me?
Must my prayer unanswered be?
Master, speak! Though least and lowest,
Let me not unheard depart;
Master, speak! for oh, Thou knowest
All the yearning of my heart,
Knowest all its truest need;
Speak! and make me blest indeed.
Master, speak! and make me ready,
When Thy voice is truly heard,
With obedience glad and steady
Still to follow every word.
I am listening, Lord, for Thee;
Master, speak, oh, speak to me!
THY WILL BE DONE
"Understanding what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:17
With quivering heart and trembling will
The word hath passed Thy lips,
Within the shadow, cold and still,
Of some fair joy's eclipse.
"Thy will be done!" Thy God hath heard,
And He will crown that faith-framed word.
Thy prayer shall be fulfilled: but how?
His thoughts are not as thine;
While thou wouldst only weep and bow,
He saith, "Arise and shine!"
Thy thoughts were all of grief and night,
But His of boundless joy and light.
Thy Father reigns supreme above:
The glory of His name
Is Grace and Wisdom, Truth and Love,
His will must be the same.
And thou hast asked all joys in one,
In whispering forth, "Thy will be done."
His will--each soul to sanctify
Redeeming might hath won;
His will--that thou shouldst never die,
Believing on His Son;
His will-that thou, through earthly strife,
Shouldst rise to everlasting life.
That one unchanging song of praise
Should from our hearts arise;
That we should know his wondrous ways,
Though hidden from the wise;
That we, so sinful and so base,
Should know the glory of His grace.
His will--to grant the yearning prayer
For dear ones far away,
That they His grace and love may share,
And tread His pleasant way;
That in the Father and the Son
All perfect we may be in one.
His will--the little flock to bring
Into His royal fold,
To reign forever with their King,
His beauty to behold.
Sin's fell dominion crushed for aye,
Sorrow and sighing fled away.
This thou hast asked! And shall the prayer,
Float upward on a sigh
No song were sweet enough to bear
Such glad desires on high!
But God thy Father shall fulfil,
In thee and for thee, all His will.
John 6:40, John 6:39, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Matthew 11:25-26,
Ephesians 1: 5,6,11,12, 1 John 5:14-16, John 17:23-24, Luke 12:32,
THE RIGHT WAY
Lord, is it still the right way, though I cannot see Thy face,
Though I do not feel Thy presence and Thine all-sustaining grace?
Can even this be leading through the bleak and sunless wild
To the City of Thy holy rest, the mansions undefiled?
Lord, is it still the right way? A while ago I passed
Where every step seemed thornier and harder than the last,
Where bitterest disappointment and inly aching sorrow
Carved day by day a weary cross, renewed with every morrow?
The heaviest end of that strange cross I knew was laid on Thee,
So I could still press on, secure of Thy deep sympathy;
Our upward path may well be steep, else how were patience tried!
I know it was the right way, for it led me to Thy side.
But now I wait amid dim shadows dank and chill;
All moves and changes round me, but I seem standing still;
Or every feeble footstep I urge towards the light
Seems but to lead me farther into the silent night.
I cannot hear Thy voice, Lord! dost Thou still hear my cry?
I cling to Thine assurance that Thou art ever
nigh; I know that Thou art faithful; I trust, but cannot see
That it is still the right way by which Thou leadest me.
I think I could go forward with brave and joyful heart,
Though every step should pierce me with unknown fiery smart,
If only I might see Thee, if I might gaze above
On all the cloudless glory of the sunshine of Thy love.
Is it really leading onwards? When the shadows flee away,
Shall I find this path has brought me more near to perfect day?
Or am I left to wander thus that I may stretch my hand
To some still wearier traveller in this same shadow-land?
Is this Thy chosen training for some future task unknown?
Is it that I may learn to rest upon Thy word alone?
Whate'er it be, oh! leave me not, fulfil Thou every hour
The purpose of Thy goodness, and the work of faith with power.
I lay my prayer before Thee, and trusting in Thy word,
Though all is silence in my heart, I know that Thou hast heard.
To that blest City lead me, Lord (still choosing all my way),
Where faith melts into vision as the starlight into day.
"I DID THIS FOR THEE! WHAT HAST THOU DONE FOR ME?"
(Motto placed under a picture of our Saviour in the study of a German Divine)
I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might'st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for thee;
What has thou given for Me?
I spent long years for thee
In weariness and woe,
That an eternity
Of joy thou mighest know.
I spent long years for thee;
Has thou spent one for Me?
My Father's home of light
My rainbow-circled throne,
I left, for earthly night.
For wanderings sad and lone.
I left it all for thee?
Hast thou left aught for Me?
I suffered much for thee,
More than thy tongue may tell,
Of bitterest agony,
To rescue thee from hell.
I suffered much for thee;
What canst thou bear for Me?
And I have brought to thee,
Down from My home above,
Salvation full and free.
My pardon and My love.
Great gifts I brought to thee;
What has thou brought to Me?
Oh, let thy life be given,
Thy years for Him be spent,
World-fetters all be riven,
And joy with suffering blent;
I gave Myself for thee;
Give thou thyself to Me!