Shut in - shut in from the ceaseless din
Of the restless world, and its' wants and sin;
Shut in from its' turmoil, care and strife
And all the wearisome round of life.
Shut in, with tears that are spent in vain,
With the dull companionship of pain;
Shut in with the changeless days and hours,--
And the bitter knowledge of failing powers.
Shut in with a trio of virtues sweet --
Patience and Grace all pain to meet,
With Faith that can suffer and stand and wait,
And lean on the promises strong and great!
Shut in with Christ! Oh, wonderful thought!
Shut in with the peace His suffering brought;
Shut in with the love that wields the rod --
Oh, company blest! Shut in with God!
I was so happy in my lot,
I was so glad of work or play,
I only asked that I might walk
With others on life's common way;
My Father let the sorrows come
That blotted out the sunlit skies,
That stopped the toil of busy hands
And turned my laughter into sighs.
I was so sorrowful, so spent,
I only asked to dwell apart,
And in the silence and the dark
To nurse my bruised and broken heart;
My Father came and took my hand
And led me forth in paths unknown,
He filled my days with crowding cares,
He would not let me weep alone.
But, looking backward now, I know
How wise and kind He was to me,
The clouds all gone, the shadows fled,
His glorious afterward I see;
If He had left me to myself
I know the joys I should have lost,
The good that I had lacked or missed,
How much I gained, how small the cost.
And shall I doubt His love today
Because once more the mists arise,
Because His hand, though leading still,
Is hidden from my blinded eyes?
Nay, help me to remember, Lord,
As 'neath the chastening rod I bow,
Thy wondrous dealing past, and trust
Thine afterward for this dark now.
THE BRIDGE OF THE CROSS
Man fain would build a bridge to God
Across the fathomless abyss
That lies between his earth-bound soul
And heaven's perfect bliss.
He takes his knowledge, small and vague,
The great inventions he has wrought,
His mightiest efforts, finest plans,
And his profoundest thought:
He binds them with his strands of straw,
His strings of tow, his ropes of sand,
With all the power and the skill
Of cunning brain and hand.
Through swirling mists he strains his eye,
Above the unseen torrent's roar
He pushes forth the makeshift thing
And hopes to touch the shore.
But when he seeks to cross the chasm
With eager heart and step elate,
He finds his bridge too short to reach,
Too frail to bear his weight.
Oh, baseless dream! Oh, usless toil!
Oh, utter and eternal loss!
For God has laid, to span the void,
His Son upon the cross.
And when man's broken bridges fall,
And sink into the gulf at last,
Still wide and long and safe and strong,
The bridge of God stands fast.
IN A SMALL PLACE
Fret not because thy place is small,
Thy service need not be,
For thou canst make it all there is
Of joy and ministry.
The dewdrop, as the boundless sea,
In God's great place has part;
And this is all He asks of thee;
Be faithful where thou art.
In thee His mighty hand can show
The wonders of His grace,
And He can make the humblest room
A high and holy place.
Thy life can know the blessedness
Of resting in his will;
His fullness flows unceasingly
Thy cup of need to fill.
His strength upon thy weakness waits,
His power for thy task.
What more, O child of all His care,
Could any great one ask?
In the world, tribulation; but in Jesus -- peace;
The heart of the whirlwind where its roarings cease,
A little home waiting, still and light and warm,
A safe sanctuary from the night and storm.
In the world, tribulation; but in Jesus -- rest;
A sure place of refuge for the sore-opprest,
A guarded pavillion no device can take,
A strong-walled fortress no assault can shake.
In the world tribulation; but in Jesus -- joy;
A full cup of gladness that can never cloy,
A sweet fountain rising out of Marrah's tide,
A spring of rejoicing that is never dried.
In the world tribulation; but in Jesus -- peace;
A deep quiet harbor where the high waves cease,
A long-desired haven on a friendly shore,
Where the wild winds of oceans sweep the soul no more.
God takes the scent of the softening ground
Where the first green blade pricks through,
He takes the reddening maple bough
A slant against the blue.
He takes the cheer of the robin's song
And the flash of the blue-bird's wing
The joy of prisoners set free,
And of these He makes the Spring.
God takes the sheen of the waving wheat
Where the slow cloud-shadows pass,
He takes the brook's soft rippling tune
And the daisied meadow's grass,
He takes the swish of the mower's scythe
In the noontide's hot, white glare,
The joy of labor and growing things,
And makes the Summer fair.
God takes the sound of the dropping nuts,
And the scent of the wine-sweet air
In the twilight time of the year's long day,
When the spent Earth kneels in prayer
He takes a thousand varied hues
Aglow in an opal haze,
The joy of the harvest gathered in,
And makes the Autumn days.
God takes the peace of the snowy fields,
Asleep 'neath the clear, cold moon,
He takes the grace of the leafless trees
That sway to the wind's wild tune,
The frost-made lace on the window pane,
The whirl of the starry flakes,
The joy of rest when the toil is done,
And the quiet Winter makes.
God takes the years - the old, the new,
With their changing scenes and brief
The close-shut bud and the fruiting bough,
Flower and fading leaf,
Grace and glory and lack and loss,
The song, the sigh, the strife
The joy of hope and the hope fulfilled,
And makes of the years a life
God takes our lives and the sum of them,
His will and the will of man
Evil and good and dream and deed,
His purpose and our plan
The thwarted lives and the crippled lives
And the things that give them worth
The joy of life and the pain of life,
And He makes the Heavens and Earth.
In the world tribulation, trials all around,
For on earth no resting and no joys are found;
Let us flee to Jesus where all sorrows cease;
Here alone is gladness, here alone is peace.
For all Thy blessings given there are many to thank Thee, Lord,
But for the gifts withholden I fain would add my word.
For good things I desired that barred me from the best,
The peace at the price of honour, the sloth of a shameful rest;
The poisonous sweets I longed for to my hungering heart denied,
The staff that broke and failed me when I walked in the way of pride;
The tinsel joys withheld that so content might still be mine,
The help refused that might have made me loose my hand from Thine
The light withdrawn that I might now see the dangers of my way;
For what Thou has not given, I thank Thee, Lord today.
THE DOUBLE CLASP
The Saviour's hand - how close its hold,
That none can loosen, none can break,
No powers of heaven or earth or hell
That loving clasp can ever shake.
And over Jesus' wounded hand
The Father's hand of strength is laid,
Omnipotent to save and keep;
Thus is our surely surer made.
So, one beneath and one above,
Father and Son their hands unite.
How safe, how safe the ransomed are
Within that clasp of tender night!
THE WAY TO GOD
No tower man can build him will ever rise to God,
For his foundations crumble ere half the stairs are trod;
No wireless spark, far-flashing its message through the air,
Can bring the seeking sinner an answer to his prayer;
No bridge of his contriving can cross the awful space
Between the guilty spirit and God's forgiving grace;
No airship of his making can be so swiftly driven,
Or plume so bold a pinion as once to soar to heaven;
No lamp of his devising can send one cheering ray
Along death's gloomy vista or through the grave's dark way;
No road of his constructing can ever stretch so far
That he can travel on it to reach the nearest star;
Too weak are man's inventions, too short to reach the goal,
All vain for his salvation and useless to his soul.
Oh, changeless name of Jesus! This is the tower that stands,
It's firm foundation resting below Time's shifting sands;
Oh, precious blood of Jesus! This is the voice that speaks
God's word of love and pardon to every heart that seeks;
Oh, blessed cross of Jesus! This is the bridge that's given
To span the dreadful chasm between man's soul and heaven;
Oh, wondrous wounds of Jesus! His nail-pierced hands alone
Can bear the sinner's ransom up to His Father's throne;
Oh, empty tomb of Jesus! This holds a glory bright
That fills death's shadowed valley with resurrection light;
Oh, mighty love of Jesus! His feet alone have trod
Earth's heights and depths of sorrow and made a way to God.
THE THINGS OF GOD
Oh, wonderful love that takes me,
Though wretched and stained with sin!
Oh, marvellous grace that makes me
All holy and pure within!
Oh, mighty power that holds me,
A helper forever near!
Oh, perfect peace that folds me
In danger and storm and fear!
Oh, jubilant joy sustaining
My faltering steps to the last!
Oh, rapturous rest remaining
When toiling and tears are past!
Oh, matchless mercy that rates me
Joint-heirs with the sinless Son!
Oh, golden glory that waits me
When tempests and clouds are done!
All things are mine, for I am His;
Oh, infinite gifts divine!
God gave His Son, His only one;
And all that He has is mine.
THESE SHALL FIND
The steady hand can never find the deep things of the Lord;
The undimmed eyes can never see the comfort in His Word;
The joyous heart can never know the healing of His love;
The learned mind can never grasp the wisdom from above.
But, oh, the trembling hand clasps His and loses all its fear;
The weeping eyes can search His Word and read His promise clear;
The broken heart rests in His love until its faith prevails;
The childlike mind can reach the source where wisdom never fails.