Sidebilder
PDF
[table]

A beam of day, that shines for me,
To save me from despair.

Forerunner of the sun,

It marks the pilgrim's way;

I'll gaze upon it while I ran,
And watch the rising day.

XXXIII.—THE WAITING SOUL.l

Breathe from the gentle south, O Lord,
And cheer me from the north;

Blow on the treasures of thy word,
And call the spices forth!

I wish, Thou knowest, to be resigned,
And wait with patient hope;

But hope delayed fatigues the mind,
And drinks the spirits up.

Help me to reach the distant goal;

Confirm my feeble knee;
Pity the sickness of a soul

That faints for love of thee!

Cold as I feel this heart of mine,

Yet, since I feel it so,
It yields some hope of life divine

Within, however low.

I seem forsaken and alone,

I hear the lion roar;
And every door is shut but one,

And that is mercy's door.

There, till the dear Deliverer come,
I'll wait with humble prayer;

And when he calls his exile home,
The Lord shall find him there.

XXXIV.-SEEKING THE BELOVED.

To those who love the Lord I speak;

Is my beloved near?
The bridegroom of my soul I seek,

Oh, when will he appear?

Though once a man of grief and shame,

Yet now he fills a throne,
And bears the greatest, sweetest name,

That earth or heaven have known.

1 This Hymn, which has not been marked as Cowper's in the Olney Collection and consequently not included in any edition of his works, is here restored to him on the authority of Mrs. Johnson, the widow of his excellent kinsman.

Grace flies before, and love attends

His steps where'er he goes;
Though none can see him but his friends,

And they were once his foes.

He speaks ;—obedient to his call

Our warm affections move:
Did he but shine alike on all,

Then all alike would love.

Then love in every heart would reign,
And war would cease to roar;

And cruel and blootl-thirsty men
Would thirst for blood no more.

Such Jesus is, and such his grace;

Oh, may he shine on you!
And tell him, when you see his face,

I long to see him too.

XXXV.-LIGHT SHINING OUT OF DARKNESS.
God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,

And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,

And He will make it plain.

XXXVI. -WELCOME CROSS.
'Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross,

But the Saviour's power to know,

Sanctifying every loss:
Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all,

This is happiness to me.

God in Israel sows the seeds

Of affliction, pain, and toil;
These spring up and choke the weeds

Which would else o'erspread the soil:
Trials make the promise sweet,

Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to his feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there.

Did I meet no trials here,

No chastisement by the way,
Might I not with reason fear

I should prove a cast-away?
Bastards may escape the rod,

Sunk in earthly vain delight;
But the true-born child of God

Must not,—would not, if he might.

XXXVII.—AFFLICTIONS SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD.

Oh, how I love thy holy word,
Thy gracious covenant, O Lord!
It guides me in the peaceful way;
I think upon it all the day.

What are the mines of shining wealth,
The strength of youth, the bloom of health I
What are all joys compared with those
Thine everlasting Word bestows!

Long unafflicted, undismayed,
In pleasure's path secure I strayed;
Thou madest me feel thy chastening rod,
And straight I turned unto my God.

What though it pierced my fainting heart,
I blessed thine hand that caused the smart:
It taught my tears awhile to flow,
But saved me from eternal woe.

Oh ! hadst thou left me unchastised,
Thy precepts I had still despised;
And still the snare in secret laid
Had my unwary feet betrayed.

I love thee, therefore, O my God,
And breathe towards thy drear abode;
Where, in thy presence fully blest,
Thy chosen saints for ever rest.

XXXVIII.—TEMPTATION.

ThE billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wintry sky;
Out of the depths to thee I call,—
My fears are great, my strength is small.

O Lord, the pilot's part perform,
And guard and guide me through the storm;
Defend me from each threatening ill,
Control the waves,—say, "Peace! be still."

Amidst the roaring of the sea
My soul still hangs her hope on thee;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.

Dangers of every shape and name
Attend the followers of the Lamb,
Who leave the world's deceitful shore,
And leave it to return no more.

Though tempest-tossed and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek;
Let neither winds nor stormy main
Force back my shattered bark again.

XXXIX.-LOOKING UPWARDS IN A STORM.

God of my life, to thee I call,
Afflicted at thy feet I fall;
When the great water-floods prevail,
Leave not my trembling heart to fail!

Friend of the friendless and the faint,
Where should I lodge my deep complaint,
Where but with Thee, whose open door
Invites the helpless and the poor!

Did ever mourner plead with thee,
And Thou refuse that mourner's plea?
Does not the word still fixed remain,
That none shall seek thy face in vain?

That were a grief I could not bear,
Didst thou not hear and answer prayer;
But a prayer-hearing answering God
Supports me under every load.

Fair is the lot that's cast for me;
I have an Advocate with thee;

« ForrigeFortsett »