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Christian Poems

Table of Contents

  1. George Muller by Anonymous
  2. Our Seven Wonders by Anonymous
  3. Turning Back by Anonymous
  4. A Hymn of Turning by Anonymous
  5. The Two Pits by Anonymous
  6. "Abide In Me, And I In You." by Anonymous
  7. In the Wilderness by Amos Russel Wells
  8. "The Kingdom of Heaven Is Near You." by Anonymous
  9. Preach to Them by Amos Russel Wells
  10. "Dead Unto Sin" by Anonymous
  11. "It Is I: Be Not Afraid." by Anonymous
  12. My Promise by Anonymous
  13. A Song of Young Christians by Anonymous
  14. The Thorn in the Flesh by Anonymous
  15. The Castle of Christian Endeavor by Anonymous
  16. Have You Found the Bible by Anonymous
  17. One Day's Service by Anonymous
  18. My New Birthday by Amos Russel Wells
  19. Good, Better, Best by Amos Russel Wells
  20. What is a Revival? by Anonymous
  21. No Escape by Amos Russel Wells
  22. Nearer by Amos Russel Wells
  23. I Waited Patiently For The Lord by Anonymous
  24. The Gates of Zion by Anonymous
  25. The Mystery by Anonymous
  26. Chain Prayers by Anonymous
  27. The Prayer Meeting by Anonymous
  28. Lilies of the Valley by by Amos Russel Wells
  29. "The Lord is a Shield" by Anonymous
  30. The Living Temple by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  31. He Shall Save His People From Their Sins by ENS
  32. The Guiding Star by ENS
  33. Encouragement by ENS
  34. Confession by ENS
  35. Mercy and Pardon by Traditional Yom Kippur hymn
  36. When at Thy Footstool, Lord, I Bend by Henry Frances Lyte
  37. There Is a Safe and Secret Place by Henry Frances Lyte
  38. Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven by Henry Frances Lyte
  39. Praise the Lord, God's Glories Show by Henry Frances Lyte
  40. Praise For Thee, Lord, in Zion Waits by Henry Frances Lyte
  41. Pleasant Are Thy Courts Above by Henry Frances Lyte
  42. Bread—And Butter by Anonymous
  43. O That the Lord's Salvation by Henry Frances Lyte
  44. My Spirit on Thy Care by Henry Frances Lyte
  45. My God, My King, Thy Praise I Sing by Henry Frances Lyte
  46. Long Did I Toil by Henry Frances Lyte
  47. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken by Henry Frances Lyte
  48. God of Mercy, God of Grace by Henry Frances Lyte
  49. The Carpenter's Shop by Anonymous
  50. The Sermon of St. Francis by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  51. The Nightingale and the Glow-worm by William Cowper
  52. Like by Amos Russel Wells
  53. Roots by Amos Russel Wells
  54. False Signals by Amos Russel Wells
  55. Home Heroism by Amos Russel Wells
  56. Abide With Me by Henry Frances Lyte
  57. Upon A Penny Loaf by John Bunyan
  58. Upon A Snail by John Bunyan
  1. Praise for God by Anonymous
  2. The Story of Two Speeches by Anonymous
  3. On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature by Philip Freneau
  4. Blind by Anonymous
  5. Just a Nail by Amos Russel Wells
  6. Hunt a Busy Man by Amos Russel Wells
  7. Clothed Upon by Anonymous
  8. The Thumb by Amos Russel Wells
  9. A Troubled Day by Anonymous
  10. God Pity the Poor by Anonymous
  11. The Gift of Time by Amos Russel Wells
  12. The Pulley by George Herbert
  13. Man by Henry Vaughan
  14. Holy Thursday by William Blake
  15. Mount Olivet by Hannah Flagg Gould
  16. To A ****** by Hannah Flagg Gould
  17. A Hymn at Sea by Hannah Flagg Gould
  18. The Release by Hannah Flagg Gould
  19. The Voice by Hannah Flagg Gould
  20. Echo by Hannah Flagg Gould
  21. Hymn of the Reapers by Hannah Flagg Gould
  22. The Great Refiner by Hannah Flagg Gould
  23. Through the Needle's Eye by Anonymous
  24. His Coming by Amos Russel Wells
  25. My Burden by Anonymous
  26. The Little Dog Barked at the Buggy by Anonymous
  27. Wages by Anonymous
  28. Asphalt: A Parable by Anonymous
  29. Insomnia by Amos Russel Wells
  30. A New Year by Amos Russel Wells
  31. "The Stars at Set of Sun" by Anonymous
  32. This Beautiful Earth by Anonymous
  33. Problems by Emily Dickinson
  34. Given in marriage unto thee by Emily Dickinson
  35. I think just how my shape will rise by Emily Dickinson
  36. The Book of Martyrs by Emily Dickinson
  37. Father, I bring thee not myself, — by Emily Dickinson
  38. Renunciation by Emily Dickinson
  39. The Martyrs by Emily Dickinson
  40. Lost Faith by Emily Dickinson
  41. Who has not found the heaven below by Emily Dickinson
  42. Death And Life by Anonymous
  43. Vanity of Life by Johann Gottfried von Herder
  44. "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  45. By Their Fruits by William Henry Venable
  46. The Pilgrim by Lydia Howard Sigourney
  47. The River's Lesson by William Osborn Stoddard
  48. A Picture by William Osborn Stoddard
  49. Crown Him With Many Crowns by Matthew Bridges
  50. Like a River Glorious by Frances Ridley Havergal
  51. To God be the Glory by Fanny Crosby
  52. What a Wonderful Savior! by Elisha Hoffman
  53. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Joachim Neander
  54. Just As I Am by Charlotte Elliott
  55. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen Howarth Lemmel
  56. What a Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph Scriven
  57. Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby
  58. Have Thine Own Way, LORD by Adelaide Addison Pollard
  59. Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis
  60. I Surrender All by Judson W. Van de Venter
  61. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley, Altered by George Whitefield
  62. All Creatures of Our God and King by
  63. Be Thou My Vision by Dallan Forgaill
  64. Jesus Lover of My Soul by Charles Wesley
  65. Rock of Ages by Augustus Montague Toplady
  66. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts
  67. The Old Rugged Cross by
  68. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God by Martin Luther
  69. Abide With Me by Henry Francis Lyte
  70. Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber
  71. Fairest Lord Jesus by Anonymous
  72. Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Obediah Chisholm
  73. 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus by Louisa M. R. Stead
  74. "It is Finished." by Christina Georgina Rossetti
  75. The Graces by Kate Louise Wheeler
  76. How Can I Keep From Giving? by Robert Franklin Skillings
  77. Life's Knitting-Work by Harriet Selden Baker
  78. The Bargain by Henry Van Dyke

  1. O Worship the King

    by Robert Grant

    O worship the King
    All glorious above,
    O gratefully sing
    His power and his love—
    Our shield and defender,
    The ancient of days,
    Pavilion'd in splendour,
    And girded with praise.

    Oh tell of his might,
    O sing of his grace,
    Whose robe is the light,
    Whose canopy space.
    His chariots of wrath
    Deep thunder-clouds form,
    And dark is his path
    On the wings of the storm.

    This earth, with its store
    Of wonders untold,
    Almighty! thy power
    Hath founded of old;
    Hath stablish'd it fast
    By a changeless decree,
    And round it hath cast,
    Like a mantle, the sea.

    Thy bountiful care
    What tongue can recite?
    It breathes in the air,
    It shines in the light:
    It streams from the hills,
    It descends to the plain,
    And sweetly distils
    In the dew and the rain.

    Frail children of dust,
    And feeble as frail,
    In thee do we trust,
    Nor find thee to fail:
    Thy mercies how tender!
    How firm to the end!
    Our Maker, Defender,
    Redeemer, and Friend!

    O measureless might!
    Ineffable Love!
    While angels delight
    To hymn thee above,
    The humbler creation,
    Tho' feeble their lays,
    With true adoration
    Shall lisp to thy praise

  2. Take My Life, and Let it Be

    by Frances Ridley Havergal

    Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

    Take my moments and my days;
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

    Take my hands, and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.

    Take my feet, and let them be
    Swift and 'beautiful' for Thee.

    Take my voice, and let me sing
    Always, only, for my King.

    Take my lips, and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.

    Take my silver and my gold;
    Not a mite would I withhold.

    Take my intellect, and use
    Every power as Thou shalt choose.

    Take my will, and make it Thine;
    It shall be no longer mine.

    Take my heart, it is Thine own;
    It shall be Thy royal throne.

    Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure-store.

    Take myself, and I will be
    Ever, only, ALL for Thee.

  3. Inspirational Christian Poems

    Good Works


  4. My New Birthday

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I will have a new birthday to-day,
    A birth from the dark to the light,
    From the sad to the jubilant way,
    From weakness to masterful might.

    What matters the time I was born?
    New birth I now can attain;
    New life in this wakening morn,
    New hope, new heart, and new brain!

    Good-by to the outworn fears,
    Good-by to the ancient strife,
    Farewell to the doubts of hesitant years
    And the failure of olden life.

    I am done, this day I am done
    With the folly of cherished sin.
    I will stand upright, I will face the sun,
    And the angels may look within!

    For I do not stand alone.
    With thee, O Creator Christ.
    I seize the crown and I mount the throne,
    And assume the wealth unpriced.

    With thee, O Lord of all good!
    With thee, Inspirer of cheer!
    I dare and I grasp all that man ever could,
    And I enter my pristine year.

    New birth, imperial birth,
    New kingship of body and time,
    A fresh-made soul for a fresh-made earth,
    And joy in its blossoming prime!

    Irrevocably I go
    Forth, forth on the opening way,
    To achieve, to enjoy, to discover, to grow,
    For I take a new birthday—to-day!

  5. Trust & Obey

  6. The Carpenter's Shop

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I am a tool in the Carpenter's hand,
    And obedience only is mine.
    Never a whit may I understand
    The Carpenter's vast design.

    Mine to stay if He bids me stay,
    And go if He bids me go;
    Mine to plod in the same dull way
    Steadily to and fro.

    Mine to present a handle firm,
    And an edge that is sharp and true;
    Mine to achieve in my destined term,
    Just what He would have me do.

    The Nazareth shop in the centuries dead
    Has sunk from the sight of men.
    O joy if my life by the Carpenter led,
    May restore that shop again!

  7. Life Sculpture

    by George Washington Doane

    Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy
    With his marble block before him,
    And his eyes lit up with a smile of joy,
    As an angel-dream passed o’er him.

    He carved the dream on that shapeless stone,
    With many a sharp incision;
    With heaven’s own flight the sculpture shone,—
    He’d caught that angel-vision.

    Children of life are we, as we stand
    With our lives uncarved before us,
    Waiting the hour when, at God’s command,
    Our life-dream shall pass o’er us.

    If we carve it then on the yielding stone,
    With many a sharp incision,
    Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,—
    Our lives, that angel-vision.

    Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

    – Isaiah 64:8
    The Bible, NIV
  8. "Abide In Me, And I In You."

    by Amos Russel Wells

    My heart lies open to Thy sun
    As roses to the day;
    Thy flooding graces overrun
    Along the shining way.
    I yield my weary life to Thee
    With passive lowliness,
    As empty channels to the sea
    Where eager surges press.
    As waiting wires are strangely filled
    By swift electric force;
    As wintry, barren fields are thrilled
    From life's triumphant source;
    As air, and light, and heat rush in
    Where doors are open wide,
    O Saviour, to my soul of sin
    Come, enter, and abide!
    And now with strengthening mercy fed,
    O Thou creative Christ!
    Not all Thy meat nor all Thy bread
    Has happily sufficed.
    Transported by Thy graciousness,
    That Thou wilt dwell in me,
    My wakened powers boldly press
    Henceforth to dwell in Thee!
    For Thou art more than I can know
    Within my narrow bound
    And I to Thy far heights would go,
    Thy deepest depths would sound
    With kindling eye and fervent heart
    I leave my little home
    In all Thy deeds to have a part,
    On all Thy ways to roam.
    Out on the largeness of Thy mind
    My daring thoughts expand;
    In Thy wide reaches unconfined
    I compass sea and land,
    I do not faint, I do not fear,
    On tireless wings I glide,
    And height is home, and far is near,
    When I with Thee abide!

  9. Our Savior's Call

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    We are call'd, when fatigued, to the banquet prepar'd,
    And to cast all our care on the Lord;
    We are call'd by His cross, and His passion declar'd,
    To taste the rich joys of his word.

    When sickness, or danger, or grief, brings us low,
    And friends are all falling around,
    O, then to His word for relief we may go,
    Sweet balm for the heaviest wound.

    'Tis there the rich promise of durable grace,
    Stands seal'd with His own precious blood;
    Words of pardon and peace, we thither may trace,
    And feast on the spiritual food.

    We come, blessed Lord, we rejoice at thy call,
    We are weary with sin's heavy load;
    O, be our protector, our fortress, our wall,
    Conduct us safe home to our God.

    Thy shadow is peace, thy spirit is good,
    Thy judgments more precious than gold;
    We are bought with the price of thine own precious blood,
    By this let our names be enroll'd.

  10. Rest in Him

  11. Sundown

    by John Charles McNeill

    Hills wrapped in gray, standing along the west;
    Clouds, dimly lighted, gathering slowly;
    The star of peace at watch above the crest—
    Oh, holy, holy, holy!

    We know, O Lord, so little what is best;
    Wingless, we move so lowly;
    But in thy calm all-knowledge let us rest—
    Oh, holy, holy, holy!

  12. Christ-like Love

  13. Mail of Grace

    by Ruby Archer

    Take notice how the farmer
    Rounds off a stack of hay.
    The storm no opposition finds,
    The wind no sharp delay.

    A tender heart in mail of grace
    Invulnerably armed;
    The tempest by, the patient hay
    Inscrutable, unharmed.

  14. Trials

  15. The Sifting of Peter

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    In St. Luke's Gospel we are told
    How Peter in the days of old
    Was sifted;
    And now, though ages intervene,
    Sin is the same, while time and scene
    Are shifted.

    Satan desires us, great and small,
    As wheat to sift us, and we all
    Are tempted;
    Not one, however rich or great,
    Is by his station or estate

    No house so safely guarded is
    But he, by some device of his,
    Can enter;
    No heart hath armor so complete
    But he can pierce with arrows fleet
    Its centre.

    For all at last the cock will crow,
    Who hear the warning voice, but go
    Till thrice and more they have denied
    The Man of Sorrows, crucified
    And bleeding.

    One look of that pale, suffering face
    Will make us feel the deep disgrace
    Of weakness;
    We shall be sifted till the strength
    Of self-conceit be changed at length
    To meekness.

    Wounds of the soul, though healed, will ache;
    The reddening scars remain, and make
    Lost innocence returns no more;
    We are not what we were before

    But noble souls, through dust and heat,
    Rise from disaster and defeat
    The stronger,
    And conscious still of the divine
    Within them, lie on earth supine
    No longer.

  16. "It is Finished."

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Dear Lord, let me recount to Thee
    Some of the great things thou hast done
    For me, even me
    Thy little one.

    It was not I that cared for Thee,—
    But Thou didst set Thy heart upon
    Me, even me
    Thy little one.

    And therefore was it sweet to Thee
    To leave Thy Majesty and Throne,
    And grow like me
    A Little One,

    A swaddled Baby on the knee
    Of a dear Mother of Thine own,
    Quite weak like me
    Thy little one.

    Thou didst assume my misery,
    And reap the harvest I had sown,
    Comforting me
    Thy little one.

    Jerusalem and Galilee,—
    Thy love embraced not those alone,
    But also me
    Thy little one.

    Thy unblemished Body on the Tree
    Was bared and broken to atone
    For me, for me
    Thy little one.

    Thou lovedst me upon the Tree,—
    Still me, hid by the ponderous stone,—
    Me always,—me
    Thy little one.

    And love of me arose with Thee
    When death and hell lay overthrown:
    Thou lovedst me
    Thy little one.

    And love of me went up with Thee
    To sit upon Thy Father’s Throne:
    Thou lovedst me
    Thy little one:

    Lord, as Thou me, so would I Thee
    Love in pure love’s communion,
    For Thou lov’st me
    Thy little one:

    Which love of me brings back with Thee
    To Judgment when the Trump is blown,
    Still loving me
    Thy little one.

  17. Good Seed

    by Dudley Hughes Davis

    Good seed sown on the earth
    Shall ever bloom in heaven;
    And while eternity rolls on
    Grow more beautiful and lovely,
    Variegating its tints
    With the golden skies
    Of the heavenly world,
    While the everlasting fountain,
    Which flows from the throne of God,
    Shall lift its golden spray
    In heavenly clouds,
    To fall like dew-drops
    On the never withering bloom
    Which shall live forever and ever.

  18. Salt and Light

  19. If I Were A Sunbeam

    by Alice Cary

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know what I'd do;
    I would seek white lilies,
    Roaming woodlands through.
    I would steal among them,
    Softest light I'd shed,
    Until every lily
    Raised its drooping head.

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know where I'd go;
    Into lowly hovels,
    Dark with want and woe:
    Till sad hearts looked upward,
    I would shine and shine;
    Then they'd think of heaven,
    Their sweet home and mine."

    Are you not a sunbeam,
    Child, whose life is glad
    With an inner brightness
    Sunshine never had?
    Oh, as God has blessed you,
    Scatter light divine!
    For there is no sunbeam
    But must die or shine.

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    – Matthew 5:16
    The Bible, KJV
  20. All for the Glory of God

  21. The Two Pits

    by Anonymous

    A toiler bent a patient back
    Above a yawning pit
    And time, and strength and love, and wealth,
    He shovelled into it.
    And still, though many years he toiled,
    And bitterly he cursed,
    The pit remained a hollow hole,
    As empty as at first.

    A second workman bent his back
    Above a second pit,
    And time, and strength, and love, and wealth,
    He shovelled into it.
    And lo! before the sun was set,
    The pit was brimming o'er
    With ruddy gold and jewels rare,
    A vast, exhaustless store!

    Oh! toiler in the fleld of life,
    "Tis not the work you do,
    But where you do it, and for what,
    Means bane or bliss for you.
    Alike into a yawning pit,
    May go your strength, your pelf
    But one pit is the church of God
    The other is—your SELF.

  22. In the Wilderness

    by Amos Russel Wells

    When temptations throng and press
    Through a lonely wilderness,
    In my doubt and deadly fear,
    Jesus, Saviour, be Thou near;
    Thou hast all temptation known,
    All temptations overthrown.

    When the sky is brass o'erhead,
    And I fear for daily bread,
    With the fulness of thy peace
    Bid my fainting folly cease;
    Though the wilderness is bare
    Thou wilt spread a table there.

    When ambitions bid me stray
    From the straight and narrow way,
    Thou, the Lord of all the earth,
    Teach me what is better worth.
    Show the gain of loving loss
    And the glory of the cross.

    When the very work I do
    Brings a subtle danger too.
    And I fain would speed alone
    In a pathway of my own,
    Then, O self-denying Son,
    Not my will, but Thine, be done!

  23. "It Is I: Be Not Afraid."

    by Anonymous

    How shall I know Thee, Master, when the night
    Falls black about the way,
    When earth is void, and heaven has no light,
    And wild winds hunt their prey?

    How shall I know 'tis Thee, or fiends of hell
    In forms that image Thee?
    They throng with mockeries, and can I tell
    When Thou art come to me?

    Yes, by the proof of peace! Oh, Saviour dear,
    However sore dismayed,
    When once Thy least low whispering I hear,
    I shall not be afraid!

  24. Nearer

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Closer is the Lord's protection
    Than a near investing wall;
    Closer than a moat around me;
    Closer than a tower tall;
    Closer than a suit of armor,
    Or my hands and feet can be;
    For against my own assailing
    His protection keepeth me!

  25. Just a Nail

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Once a captain, homeward bound,
    In a startled moment found
    He was running on to land,
    And the shoals were close at hand:
    Sudden sight and sudden shout,
    And the ship was turned about.

    Steering by the compass, he
    Thought himself far out at sea;
    But the astonished captain learned
    That the needle had been turned
    By a nail some carpenter
    Heedless drove, and left it there.

    So with many a gallant ship
    On our life-long ocean trip;
    Ah, what fatal wreck has been
    Where a single tiny sin
    With its steady, sure control
    Turned the compass of the soul!

  26. A Troubled Day

    by Anonymous

    Thus built I my day,— with a beam at the base,
    Some windows turned sidewise, a chimney, a door,
    A cellar half finished, a roof out of place.
    And all the foundation heaped up on the floor!

    I wished it to rise in an orderly way,
    In symmetry fashioned, in beauty designed;
    And this is the product, this wilderness day,
    This riot and jumble of work and of mind!

    I thought of itself it would grow as it should,
    Part springing from part as a blossom unrolls,
    The stone and the brick and the neat-jointed wood,
    No jar or confusion, no cracks and no holes.

    O Architect, Master of days and of me.
    Thou Builder of homes where all ravishments dwell,
    No more will I venture to build without Thee!
    Plan Thou my to-morrow, and all will be well.

  27. The Gift of Time

    by Amos Russel Wells

    The gift of time, God's freest boon to men,
    So steadily outpoured through days and years!
    Thus ever let us yield it back again
    ln liberal lives and consecrate careers.

    The gift of time, for which no gold is weighed,
    Nor least petition offered to the Lord,—
    Shall He not still by gratitude be paid,
    And all our thankful days be His reward?

    The gift of time, fit measure of the heart
    Wherewith our Father wholly loves His own,—
    Be it a symbol of our lesser part,
    Just to be wholly His, and His alone!

  28. Worry

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Worry—a petty madness, weak and crude;
    A treason to the universal love;
    A passion for the nethermost; a rude,
    Sullen defiance of the God above!

    A torturing woe that is not worth a name;
    A bitter grief that never wins a tear;
    A misery that hides behind a shame;
    A blasphemy that calls itself a fear!

    A passion more intense than all but hate;
    A sin uncensured in our clumsy creeds;
    A dread disease forlorn and desolate
    That sorely some benign physician needs.

    How shall we conquer thee, thou empty shape?
    With what austerest weapon on thee full
    And pierce thy filmy folds of horrid crape,
    And find thy life, that hast no heart at all?

    Father of Love and Light, to Thee we turn!
    Beset by powers of gloom, we turn to Thee!
    With souls that faint, with souls that weakly yearn,
    With souls that drag their chains and would be free!

    Yea, Father, we are like a frightened child
    Waked in the night and groping for a hand;
    So lay Thy touch upon our terrors wild,
    And, in all darkness, we shall understand.

    6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

    – 1 Peter 5:6-7
    The Bible, ESV
  29. Wages

    by Amos Russel Wells

    The Great Employer pays not by the day,
    Or by the piece, but only by the will,—
    The loving purpose longing to fulfll,
    The glad response that hastens to obey;
    And when the Great Employer comes to pay,
    He bids the worker take all that he will,
    The heavenly gold of joy, and larger skill,
    And sweet content, and songs upon the way.

    When will the stupid cruelties of man
    Learn God's high art of wages? pay desire?
    Pay faithfuiness that does the best it can?
    Pay eager loyalties that never tire?
    Adopt the one superbly prudent plan,
    And throw their brutal bargainings in the fire?

  30. "The Stars at Set of Sun"

    by Anonymous

    When the stars at set of sun
    Watch you from on high
    When the morning has begun
    Think the Lord is nigh.

    All you do and all you say,
    He can see and hear:
    When you work and when you play,
    Think the Lord is near.

    All your joys and griefs He knows
    Counts each falling tear.
    When to Him you tell your woes,
    Know the Lord is near.

  31. "Dust Thou Art And Unto Dust Shalt Thou Return."

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    Heav'ns just demand,—let mortals bow
    In justice to their King;—
    Pride is our curse and sin below,
    The sting of death is sin.

    Sin the great enemy of souls,
    Blights all our hopes of heaven,
    Till grace with power the heart controls,
    And mercy free is given.

    When mercy hides our sins, we view
    A home beyond the grave,
    Grace triumphs over death, to show
    That Christ hath power to save.

    O Jesus, wash us clean from sin,
    With thy most precious blood;
    Then shall our faith fresh courage win,
    To appear before our God.

  32. Come Ye Thankful People Come

    by Henry Alford

    Come ye thankful people come,
    Raise the song of harvest home!
    All is safely gathered in,
    Ere the winter storms begin;
    God our Maker, doth provide
    For our wants to be supplied:
    Come to God's own temple, come,
    Raise the song of harvest home.

    All the world is God's own field
    Fruit unto his praise to yield;
    Wheat and tares together sown
    Unto joy or sorrow grown;
    First the blade, and then the ear,
    Then the full corn shall appear;
    Lord of the harvest! grant that we
    Wholesome grain and pure may be.

    For the Lord our God shall come,
    And shall take his harvest home;
    From his field shall in that day
    All offenses purge away,
    Give his angels charge at last
    In the fire the tares to cast;
    But the fruitful ears to store
    In his garner evermore.

    Even so, Lord, quickly come,
    Bring thy final harvest home;
    Gather thou thy people in,
    Free from sorrow, free from sin,
    There, forever purified,
    in thy presence to abide;
    Come, with all thine angels, come,
    Raise the glorious harvest home.

  33. Turning Back

    by Amos Russel Wells

    When the blossom from the sun
    Turns its head away,
    Not for it do sunbeams run
    Through the shining day.

    When the blossom turns again
    To the sun's bright face,
    The forgiving sunlight then
    Pours its golden grace.

    When the round earth turns aside
    Into winter's cold,
    How the merry blossoms hide,
    How the world grows old!

    When the earth again in spring
    To the sun returns,
    How all heaven's pardoning
    Leaps and laughs and yearns!

    So when hearts of human kind
    Turn from God away,
    Gloom and misery they find
    Darkening the day.

    But if they will turn again
    And their God adore,
    As in nature, so in men,
    All is well once more.

  34. A Hymn of Turning

    by Anonymous

    God of law, whose mighty form
    Rears the mountain, sways the storm,
    Bowed beneath Thy just decree,
    Whither shall I turn from Thee?

    I will turn, O Crucified,
    To the refuge of Thy side.
    From my sins that bleed and burn,
    To Thy bleeding cross I turn.

    I have tested human skill,
    Human love and human will,
    All devices of the brain,
    Reason, honor—all are vain.

    From my self with all its woes,
    Shameful prey of shameful foes,
    Lo. I turn—how eagerly!—
    Christ, my better self, to Thee.

    Field and forest, sea and air,—
    All the earth is very fair.
    Keen ambition's crafty art
    Binds the world upon my heart.

    But in Thee, O Christ! I find
    All ennoblings of the mind;
    Fount of all for which I yearn,
    Christ, O Christ, to Thee I turn.

  35. Given in marriage unto thee

    by Emily Dickinson

    Given in marriage unto thee,
    Oh, thou celestial host!
    Bride of the Father and the Son,
    Bride of the Holy Ghost!

    Other betrothal shall dissolve,
    Wedlock of will decay;
    Only the keeper of this seal
    Conquers mortality.

  36. I think just how my shape will rise

    by Emily Dickinson

    I think just how my shape will rise
    When I shall be forgiven,
    Till hair and eyes and timid head
    Are out of sight, in heaven.

    I think just how my lips will weigh
    With shapeless, quivering prayer
    That you, so late, consider me,
    The sparrow of your care.

    I mind me that of anguish sent,
    Some drifts were moved away
    Before my simple bosom broke, —
    And why not this, if they?

    And so, until delirious borne
    I con that thing, — "forgiven," —
    Till with long fright and longer trust
    I drop my heart, unshriven!

    6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[a] And not one of them is forgotten before God.

    – Luke 12:6
    The Bible, ESV
  37. The Book of Martyrs

    by Emily Dickinson

    Read, sweet, how others strove,
    Till we are stouter;
    What they renounced,
    Till we are less afraid;
    How many times they bore
    The faithful witness,
    Till we are helped,
    As if a kingdom cared!

    Read then of faith
    That shone above the fagot;
    Clear strains of hymn
    The river could not drown;
    Brave names of men
    And celestial women,
    Passed out of record
    Into renown!

  38. O for a heart to grow in grace,
    To live for Christ alone;
    To muse on heaven, that resting place,
    To know as we are known.

    – Eliza Wolcott
    The Time Is Short
    Great People of Faith
  39. George Muller

    by Amos Russel Wells

    While others taught a race to thrust and fence
    And shaped new nations with their measuring rod,
    Thou didst lay hold of heaven's omnipotence,
    O Caesar of the promises of God!

    While other hands grew large to grasp and hold
    What slipped, and left them like an empty pod,
    Thou wert a millionaire of heaven's gold,
    O Croesus of the promises of God!

    While others through the maze of seen and heard,
    Conjectures, fancies, all unsteady trod,
    Thou hadst one lore: that God would keep His word,
    O Solon of the promises of God!

  40. General/Life - General poems about living the Christian Life
  41. Our Seven Wonders

    by Amos Russel Wells

    John Mason, tinker of watches,
    Became a soldier one day,
    And carried his instruments with him,
    As he sturdily marched away.

    "For surely," he chuckled in secret,
    "My tools will be useful still,
    And bring me in many a shilling,
    When the army discovers my skill."

    It happened the way he expected,
    And soon he had all he could do
    Repairing the renegade watches
    Of privates and officers too.

    He forgot that he was a soldier,
    And when ordered against the foe,
    He said, "I've a dozen watches
    To mend, sir, and how can I go?"

    Ah, thus we also are busy
    With tasks that we greedily take,
    And not for the good of the army,
    And not for the Kingdom's sake.

    And then when the foe is attacking,
    And our Captain seeks soldiers to send
    We answer: "It's out of the question!
    I've a dozen watches to mend!"

  42. "The Kingdom of Heaven Is Near You."

    by Anonymous

    All power is near. The sun flings everywhere
    Its energetic treasures through the air.
    The sea's impulsion beats around the world,
    Through all the sky electric force is hurled,
    And close by every trembling human fear
    The undefeated might of God is near.

    All loveliness is near. The common eye
    Drinks beauty from the bowl of every sky.
    There's not a weed, there's not a dusty clod,
    But shines with all the radiance of God.
    There's not a human heart, however drear,
    But all celestial fairnesses are near.

    All good is near. The bird-songs are not far,
    To all horizons circles every star,
    The sea, the air, the mountain, field, and wood
    Are packed with providence and crammed with food,
    And wheresoe'er an eyelid holds a tear
    The unimagined peace of God is near.

    But we are far. Alas, what bridge can span
    The dark withdrawal of the heart of man?
    What lavish infinites suffice to fill
    The awful chasms and gulfs of human will?
    Yet even here--thank God! yes, even here
    The reaching Cross of Calvary is near.

  43. Preach to Them

    by Amos Russel Wells

    [Versifying a sentence by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan.]

    Preacher, facing needy souls,
    Do not dare ignore them,
    While God's fateful thunder rolls,
    And you preach—before them;
    Rather, finding out their need,
    Piercing through and through them,
    Though they shrink and though they bleed,
    Preach your sermons—to them.

    It is easy to parade.
    Fling your knowledge o'er them,
    Preaching sermons study-made
    Pompously—before them;
    But the sermons that will bless
    Through and through and through them,
    From your heart to theirs,—no less,—
    Are the ones preached—to them.

  44. "Dead Unto Sin"

    by Anonymous

    I have buried me out of the land of sin,
    I have straightened my limbs in its last sad light.
    I have dug me a grave its desert within,
    I have lowered my being out of its sight.

    I have said the last prayers above the tomb
    Prayers of penitence, prayers of peace;
    And out of the land of sin I have come,
    Bathed in the joy of a full release.

    It was not I that was left behind,
    It is not my past that is huried there;
    I am a soul of another kind,
    And it is another name I bear.

    I am the man who is standing here,
    Glad and alert for an opening way;
    I am the soul with its record clear,
    I am the man who was born to-day.

  45. My Promise

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Since I have promised, I am more than one;
    My promise is a portion of my soul,
    A loved or hated yet authentic son;
    And I without his wholeness am not whole.

    If I deny him, I deny my own;
    If I neglect him, I myself am wronged;
    When I walk forth, no more am I alone,
    And his is all that once to me belonged.

    In his dishonor, what is my disgrace!
    And in his glory, how am I renowned!
    Ah, when the King shall bow and kiss his face,
    May I with him he honored, kissed, and crowned!

  46. The Thorn in the Flesh

    by Anonymous

    A fragment of the Saviour's crown of thorns
    I carry, buried deep within my brain;
    At noons and nights and dull, foreboding morns
    It beats, the heart of pain.

    And ever, in my agonies of prayer.
    Gazing on Calvary I chide my soul;
    "Be still! the merest fragment thou dost bear,
    And He endured the whole!"

    As creatures crude, ungraced with any thought,
    Lost in the ocean's least considered swirl,
    Around some festering grain of sand have wrought
    That miracle, a pearl.

    So I will press my life-blood's patient flow
    Against my thorn, and seal the layers down
    Till all its surfaces with splendor glow,
    A ruby, for a crown!

  47. The Castle of Christian Endeavor

    by Anonymous

    The castle is built with a lordly design,
    It is massive and stately and tall;
    Its towers and battlements glitter and shine,
    And fair is its compassing wall.

    Firm-founded it rests on the ultimate rock,—
    The church and the life of the Lord;
    No tempest may shake it, no thunderbolt shock,
    Uncouquered by cannon or sword.

    Its turrets leap high with the purpose of prayer,
    Its banner is jubilant ever;
    Its casements are wide to the sweet, common air—
    Our Castle of Christian Endeavor,

    The pledge is a drawbridge we sturdily pass,
    Portcullised with firmness and truth;
    Ah, gay are the ballads of laddie and lass,
    But dearer the darings of youth!

    And all the great castle with work is alive,
    With labor unselfishiy kind;
    How easy the task as together we strive,
    One Master, one aim, and one mind!

    Oh, radiant promise! oh, heartening sight!
    Oh, hope to be nullified never!
    For Christ is the hope, and the joy, and the light
    Of our Castle of Christian Endeavor.

  48. One Day's Service

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Oh, to serve God for a day!
    From jubilant morn to the peace and the calm of the night
    To tread no path but His happy and blossoming way
    To seek no delight
    But the joy that is one with the joy at heaven's heart;
    Only to go where Thou art.
    O God of all blessing and beauty! to love, to obey.
    With obedience sweetened by love, and love made strong by the right;
    Not once, not once to be drunken with self,
    Or to play the hypocrite's poisoned part,
    Or to bend the knee of my soul to the passion for self,
    Or the glittering gods of the mart;
    Through each glad hour to lay on the wings of its flight
    Some flower for the angels' sight.
    Some fragrant fashion of service, scarlet and white.
    White for the pure intent, and red where the pulses start:
    Oh, if I thus could serve Him, could perfectly serve Him one day.
    I think I could perfectly serve Him forever—forever and aye.

  49. Good, Better, Best

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Lord of workers, endless wise,
    It would be a wondrous prize
    If our work so firmly stood
    Thou couldst praise and call it good.

    Lord of workers, whose design
    Finer grows and yet more fine,
    All our work with purpose fill,
    Help us make it better still.

    Lord of workers, pointing far
    To ideal's perfect star,
    Leave us no ignoble rest,
    Lift our better up to best.

    Lord of workers, joined with Thee
    In endeavor's ecstasy,
    Let Thy words that cheer and bless
    Be our goal and our success.

  50. What is a Revival?

    by Anonymous

    Revival? When the atmosphere
    Grows tense, like air around a bier?
    When deacons pray in awful tones,
    And not a hymn but ends with groans?
    When children go to church in fright?
    When meetings last through half the night?
    When wild sensations overlap,
    And no one knows what next may hap?
    Revival? No! Such signs as these
    Have vanished with dead centuries.

    But this is a revival now:
    When Christian hearts in longing bow;
    When Christian voices boldly dare
    The frank appeal, the fervent prayer;
    When Christian hands are quick to greet
    The first non-Christian man they meet;
    When songs in earnest pleading rise,
    And hope is shining in our eyes;
    When thoughtful spirits look within
    And cleanse their hearts from secret sin;
    When love is eager to relieve
    The souls that tremble, doubt, or grieve;
    When homes, with happiness aglow,
    Are like a bit of heaven below
    When business men deal honestly
    And lives are lived in purity;
    'Tis then, O Christ of God! 'tis then
    Thy Spirit moves the souls of men;
    'Tis then revivals come, and bless
    The sin-sick world with righteousness.

    For not in angry thunder-blast
    Or crashing wave that bends the mast,
    Or earthquake shock that rends the ground
    Are nature's mightiest forces found;
    But where the sunshine pours its grace,
    And rain makes glad some thirsty place,
    And little seeds all silently
    Expand to grass and flower and tree.

  51. No Escape

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I threw my mantle over my head,
    But my sin had dyed the mantle red,
    So I hid my face in my hands instead.

    But my hands with sin's leprosy were white,
    So I closed my eyes; and that inward sight
    Showed the sin enthroned in my spirit's night!

  52. I Waited Patiently For The Lord

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Why should I not be patient? Thou hast been
    So patient, endless patient, with my sin;
    Hast waited long, hast kept Thy lamp alight,
    Piercing with love my reckless, wandering night;
    Hast pitied me, forgiven me, forborne,
    With not a word and not a look of scorn;
    So eager hast Thou been to come to me,
    And I have fled in folly far from Thee,

    Why should I not be patient? Why not wait
    However long Thy coming, slow and late?
    So long was I in turning, late and slow
    In calling to Thee from my depth of woe,
    So did I try Thy patience, surely now
    I must await Thee with a peaceful brow,
    Must bide Thy coming with a heart serene,
    And know the Father whom I have not seen.

    Nay, in my patient waiting for Thy grace,
    I see, my God, the smiling of Thy face,
    I hear Thy voice, I feel Thy loving arm
    Enfolding me protecting from harm;
    The silences are vocal with delight,
    The empty air reveals a radiant sight,
    And earth and heaven are in one accord
    As I am waiting, patient, for the Lord.

  53. Heaven / Zion
  54. The Gates of Zion

    by Anonymous

    The beautiful gates of Zion,
    The portals of love and delight,
    They call me, they beckon me to them,
    But shut are they day and night.

    Closed and silent and solemn,
    Shut, and no porter near;
    Still by their beauty they call me,
    And I cannot choose but hear.

    I cannot choose but approach them,
    Alone and wistful and slow,
    With no one to bid me welcome
    And show me the way to go.

    For no one can choose them for me.
    And no one but I can knock
    And no one can handle for me
    The key in the golden lock

    But lo! at the gentlest pressure,
    The least faint tap at the gate,
    Bright in the glow of morning
    Or at midnight drearily late.

    At the merest, timidest trial
    The gates are flung open wide,
    And oh! the glory of welcome
    One finds on the other side!

  55. Cross of Calvary
  56. The Mystery

    by Anonymous

    One mystery there is, and one alone,
    Baffles the human spirit with despair,
    Filches the very sunlight from the air.
    And wrenches every breath into a groan.
    Oh, it is when our loved, our very own,
    The good,—so good! the fair,—so dearly fair!
    Are doomed some awful agony to bear.
    And all their sweet, pure life becomes a moan.
    Send us, O God! amid our aching tears
    The memory of Thine accepted fate,—
    Thy Son, Thy best beloved, torn with spears
    Of all our mortal woes disconsolate;
    So that our mystery of pain appears
    A mystery of love and not of hate.

  57. Lilies of the Valley

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Bells of a music softly spoken,
    Valley music hushed in the air,
    Purity-white is its theme and token,
    Fair, O fair!

    Cups of a fragrance freely healing,
    Cups turned downward but full for aye,
    Purity sacrament,—souls a-kneeling,
    Pray, O pray!

  58. "The Lord is a Shield"

    by Anonymous

    Is God the Lord to be your shield?
    Then keep Him aye before you,
    And follow Him to any field,
    His banner ever o'er you.

    No shield is He to those who fall
    Fainthearted far behind Him;
    But hold Him firmly over all,
    And to their bosom bind Him.

    Nor shield is He to those who tread
    Presumptuously before Him,
    By proud and idle fancy led
    All heedless to ignore Him.

    But follow where He leads the way
    And bind Him closely to you;
    And God will be your shield for aye,
    Nor mightiest foe undo you.

  59. The Living Temple

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Not in the world of light alone,
    Where God has built his blazing throne,
    Nor yet alone in earth below,
    With belted seas that come and go,
    And endless isles of sunlit green,
    Is all thy Maker's glory seen:
    Look in upon thy wondrous frame,—
    Eternal wisdom still the same!

    The smooth, soft air with pulse-like waves
    Flows murmuring through its hidden caves,
    Whose streams of brightening purple rush,
    Fired with a new and livelier blush,
    While all their burden of decay
    The ebbing current steals away,
    And red with Nature's flame they start
    From the warm fountains of the heart.

    No rest that throbbing slave may ask,
    Forever quivering o'er his task,
    While far and wide a crimson jet
    Leaps forth to fill the woven net
    Which in unnumbered crossing tides
    The flood of burning life divides,
    Then, kindling each decaying part,
    Creeps back to find the throbbing heart.

    But warmed with that unchanging flame
    Behold the outward moving frame,
    Its living marbles jointed strong
    With glistening band and silvery thong,
    And linked to reason's guiding reins
    By myriad rings in trembling chains,
    Each graven with the threaded zone
    Which claims it as the master's own.

    See how yon beam of seeming white
    Is braided out of seven-hued light,
    Yet in those lucid globes no ray
    By any chance shall break astray.
    Hark how the rolling surge of sound,
    Arches and spirals circling round,
    Wakes the hushed spirit through thine ear
    With music it is heaven to hear.

    Then mark the cloven sphere that holds
    All thought in its mysterious folds;
    That feels sensation's faintest thrill,
    And flashes forth the sovereign will;
    Think on the stormy world that dwells
    Locked in its dim and clustering cells!
    The lightning gleams of power it sheds
    Along its hollow glassy threads!

    O Father! grant thy love divine
    To make these mystic temples thine!
    When wasting age and wearying strife
    Have sapped the leaning walls of life,
    When darkness gathers over all,
    And the last tottering pillars fall,
    Take the poor dust thy mercy warms,
    And mould it into heavenly forms!

  60. He Shall Save His People From Their Sins

    by ENS

    Matthew 1:21

    What my heart again backsliding,
    Why wilt thou from Jesus flee?
    Still deceitful still deceiving!
    Why forsake the narrow way?
    Does the Saviour's cross alarm thee?
    Is the yoke too much to bear?
    Or does smiling pleasure hire thee,
    With her baneful gilded snare?
    Shun oh shun the vain deceiver,
    Look not on the glitt ring bait;
    Remorse and sorrow chaseth ever
    Those who dwell within her gates;
    But return to Jesus mourning,
    Humbly to His foot stool flee;
    He will pardon thee returning,
    Graciously He ll pardon thee.
    Now take up the cross with pleasure,
    'Tis an easy yoke to bear!
    This the christian's greatest treasure,
    We are His peculiar care.

  61. The Guiding Star

    by ENS

    Star of the east arise and shine
    On this benighted soul of mine;
    And lead me from the haunts of men,
    To view the child of Bethelehem.

    Let me adore the heavenly babe,
    Tho in a manger lowly laid;
    And own Him as my Saviour Lord,
    The Son of the eternal God.

    What grateful off ring can I bring
    To lay before the eternal King?
    More sweet than incense can impart
    Is an obedient contrite heart.

    Oh may the day spring from on high
    Dart through my soul his quick ning ray,
    And make my heart a saerifiee,
    Accepted in my Saviour's eyes.

  62. Encouragement

    by ENS

    I had fainted unless I had believed Psalm xxvii 13

    My fainting soul had well nigh droop'd
    When sorrow's heavy hand was near;
    But to the throne of grace I look'd,
    And mercy soon dispel'd my fear.

    "I'll never leave thee, nor forsake,"
    Came sweetly to my tremb'ling heart;
    His word I know He will not break,
    He cannot from His oath depart.

    Now cheerfully I onward speed,
    His promises forbid my fear;
    He will supply my every need,
    And in distress be ever near.

  63. Confession

    by ENS

    "Enter not into judgment with thy servant oh Lord for in thy sight shall no man living be justified Psalm cxliii 2

    Humbled before thy lofty throne,
    Almighty God I stand;
    My aggravated sins I own
    Thy fiercest wrath demand.

    But, Lord in pity look on me,
    To my request give ear;
    From justice I to mercy flee,
    With penitence and prayer.

    My sins, I own are numberless,
    Innumerably great;
    But, Lord, thy mercies them surpass,
    Thy love is infinite.

    In judgment enter not with me,
    For I've done nothing right;
    And justified I cannot be
    In thy all righteous sight.

    But, through the merits of thy Son,
    My pardon I request;
    And in thy presence hope to stand,
    Clothed in His righteousness.

  64. Mercy and Pardon

    Traditional Yom Kippur hymn

    Come, let us bow and bend the knee,
    And seek with souls contrite
    And hearts uplifted, ceaselessly
    God's mercy infinite.

    All we like sheep have gone astray,
    But He will hear us when we pray,
    So that we yet may find to-day
    Mercy and pardon.

    For though our sins are numberless,
    And daily we His law transgress,
    Yet hope inspires the prayerful song :
    "Unto the Lord our God belong
    Mercy and pardon."

    God's loving mercies far exceed
    The measure of our sin :
    Then let us seek them in our need,
    Our shelter there to win.
    For though the wrath of God be just,
    Yet, bending humbly to the dust,
    We still may gain, in loving trust,
    Mercy and pardon.

    Come, we will hasten penitent
    To pray to Him Omniscient,
    To raise again the prayerful song :
    "Unto the Lord our God belong
    Mercy and pardon."

    Man cannot by his works alone
    His load of guilt annul.
    Let him with prayers besiege the throne
    Of Heaven most merciful.
    To those who seek Him earnestly,
    In penitent humility,
    The Lord our God will multiply
    Mercy and pardon.

    O'er heaven above, o'er earth below,
    His wide extended blessings flow,
    Then raise with joy the prayerful song :
    "Yea to the Lord our God belong
    Mercy and pardon."

  65. Bread—And Butter

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "The gospel is the bread of life,"
    I heard a preacher mutter;
    "The gospel is the bread of life,
    And bread is served with—butter.

    "Yet some men preach the living word
    With hem and haw and stutter;
    And grace have they sans graciousness,
    The bread without the butter.

    "And others while they preach the truth,
    That truth half-hearted utter;
    Their faith is lacking confidence,
    Their bread is lacking butter.

    "The truth that saves a sinful man
    From brothel, bar, and gutter,
    Is truth that loves and truth that dares;
    The bread and also butter."

  66. The Sermon of St. Francis

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Up soared the lark into the air,
    A shaft of song, a wingéd prayer,
    As if a soul released from pain
    Were flying back to heaven again.

    St. Francis heard: it was to him
    An emblem of the Seraphim;
    The upward motion of the fire,
    The light, the heat, the heart's desire.

    Around Assisi's convent gate
    The birds, God's poor who cannot wait,
    From moor and mere and darksome wood
    Come flocking for their dole of food.

    "O brother birds," St. Francis said,
    "Ye come to me and ask for bread,
    But not with bread alone to-day
    Shall ye be fed and sent away.

    "Ye shall be fed, ye happy birds,
    With manna of celestial words;
    Not mine, though mine they seem to be,
    Not mine, though they be spoken through me.

    "Oh, doubly are ye bound to praise
    The great Creator in your lays;
    He giveth you your plumes of down,
    Your crimson hoods, your cloaks of brown.

    "He giveth you your wings to fly
    And breathe a purer air on high,
    And careth for you everywhere,
    Who for yourselves so little care!"

    With flutter of swift wings and songs
    Together rose the feathered throngs,
    And singing scattered far apart;
    Deep peace was in St. Francis' heart.

    He knew not if the brotherhood
    His homily had understood;
    He only knew that to one ear
    The meaning of his words was clear.

  67. The Nightingale and the Glow-worm

    by William Cowper.

    A Nightingale, that all day long
    Had cheer'd the village with his song,
    Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
    Nor yet when eventide was ended,
    Began to feel, as well he might,
    The keen demands of appetite;
    When, looking eagerly around,
    He spied far off, upon the ground,
    A something shining in the dark,
    And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
    So stooping down from hawthorn top,
    He thought to put him in his crop.
    The worm, aware of his intent,
    Harangu'd him thus, right eloquent —

    Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
    As much as I your minstrelsy,
    You would abhor to do me wrong,
    As much as I to spoil your song;
    For 'twas the self-same pow'r divine
    Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
    That you with music, I with light,
    Might beautify and cheer the night.
    The songster heard his short oration,
    And, warbling out his approbation,
    Releas'd him, as my story tells,
    And found a supper somewhere else.

    Hence jarring sectaries may learn
    Their real int'rest to discern;
    That brother should not war with brother,
    And worry and devour each other;
    But sing and shine by sweet consent,
    Till life's poor transient night is spent,
    Respecting in each other's case
    The gifts of nature and of grace.

    Those Christians best deserve the name
    Who studiously make peace their aim;
    Peace, both the duty and the prize
    Of him that creeps and him that flies.

  68. Like

    by Amos Russel Wells

    My sins are like an arrow-flight
    That hurtles o'er the field.—
    Like arrows from an ambuscade;
    But God is like a shield.

    My sins are like a wintry frost,
    And slowly, one by one,
    My joys and powers they seal in death;
    But God is like a sun.

    My sins are like a malady
    Increasing through the years;
    But like a good physician, He,
    The healing God, appears.

    My sins are like the ocean waves
    That surge with angry shock.—
    The treacherous, inconstant waves;
    But God is like a rock.

    My sins are like a parched land
    With thirst and hunger dead;
    But like the living waters, God,
    And like the living bread.

    My sins are like a wandering
    In deserts drear and cold;
    But God is like a shepherd kind,
    And God is like a fold.

    Like all things hurtful, harsh, and foul,
    Are these my ravening sins;
    But God is like all graciousness
    That helps and heals and wins.

    And yet without the loving Christ
    And His compelling rod,
    My heart would leap to follow sin
    And disavow my God.

  69. Roots

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Brother of toil! what nobler theme
    Could Homer, Dante, Milton dream
    Than just this homely commonplace
    That weaves the substance of our days?

    Aloft the stately headed pines
    May lift their proud serrated lines
    Far to the face of heaven, and mock
    The lightning's flash, the tempest's shock.

    Unless, deep grubbing in the ground,
    The toughly crawling roots were found;
    Unless those miners in the dark
    Dug food for fibre, leaf, and bark;
    Unless those tendrils all unknown
    Kept a good grip on soil and stone—
    Where would the pompous branches be
    That silly poets solely see?

    Ours be the grubbing in the dirt,
    The strain that wears, the tasks that hurt.
    Ours be the part of pallid roots,
    While others pose as purple fruits.

    Last shall be first, in God's great plan,
    O humble working artisan!
    In heaven the happy roots behold
    Treasured in soil of shining gold;
    After the stress and the strain of their strife,
    Set in the bank of the River of Life!

  70. False Signals

    by Amos Russel Wells

    In the days of piracy
    What a cursed knave was he
    Who, to draw his victim near,
    Clothed his ship with garb of fear,—
    Sails in tattered wretchedness,
    Flying signals of distress.
    Then, as unsuspecting ruth
    Lured a ship to that untruth
    Sabre stroke and musket shot
    Were the thanks the saviors got.

    Thus, O God of eager love,
    Would my prayers Thy pity move;
    This my signal of distress:
    "Save me, Lord from guiltiness!"
    Thus, my secret heart within
    Cleaving still to deadly sin,
    So do I, a cursed knave,
    Stab the God who comes to save.

  71. Home Heroism

    by Amos Russel Wells

    John 21:1-8

    That barren night in Galilee
    It found a fruitful morning,
    For Jesus stood beside the sea
    And drew the fishes swarming

    "The Lord!"--and Peter leaped to swim.
    (How very like him this is!)
    The others labored after him,
    Pulling the net with fishes.

    And both were fine and hoth were true,
    And both rejoiced the Master,—
    That frugal, plodding, faithful crew,
    The one that hurried faster.

    O ye who long for brilliant deeds
    Tied down to washing dishes,
    Scorn not the lowly household needs,—
    They are the Master's fishes.

  72. Upon A Penny Loaf

    by John Bunyan

    Thy price one penny is in time of plenty,
    In famine doubled, 'tis from one to twenty.
    Yea, no man knows what price on thee to set
    When there is but one penny loaf to get.


    This loaf's an emblem of the Word of God,
    A thing of low esteem before the rod
    Of famine smites the soul with fear of death,
    But then it is our all, our life, our breath.

  73. Upon A Snail

    by John Bunyan

    She goes but softly, but she goeth sure,
    She stumbles not, as stronger creatures do.
    Her journey's shorter, so she may endure
    Better than they which do much farther go.
    She makes no noise, but stilly seizeth on
    The flower or herb appointed for her food,
    The which she quietly doth feed upon
    While others range and glare, but find no good.
    And though she doth but very softly go,
    However, 'tis not fast nor slow, but sure;
    And certainly they that do travel so,
    The prize they do aim at they do procure.


    Although they seem not much to stir, less go,
    For Christ that hunger, or from wrath that flee,
    Yet what they seek for quickly they come to,
    Though it doth seem the farthest off to be.
    One act of faith doth bring them to that flower
    They so long for, that they may eat and live,
    Which, to attain, is not in others power,
    Though for it a king's ransom they would give.
    Then let none faint, nor be at all dismayed
    That life by Christ do seek, they shall not fail
    To have it; let them nothing be afraid;
    The herb and flower are eaten by the snail.

  74. Praise for God

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I thank Thee for the stars that shine
    Supreme among the heavenly host;
    But Thou dost lead the golden line,
    And for Thyself I thank Thee most.

    I thank Thee for the loveliness
    That decks the wood the field the coast;
    But Thou of all that Thou dost bless,
    Art fairest and I praise Thee most.

    I thank Thee for majestic mind,
    The thought that seers and sages boast;
    But Thou dost lead Thy creatures blind,
    And for Thyself I thank Thee most.

    I praise Thee for man's mastery,
    Each gain another starting post;
    But all he finds in finding Thee,
    And for Thyself I praise Thee most.

  75. The Story of Two Speeches

    by Anonymous

    An eloquent word—for the Master,
    Yet half for the speaker, too;
    For he sought as his gain the praises of men
    And not the good he might do.

    So the angels sadly left it,
    And for all of its lofty sound,
    Men tossed it awhile to and fro with a smile,
    And then let it fall to the ground,

    A stammering word for the Master,—
    Blundering, timid, and slow;
    But the best he could do, for his purpose was true,
    But his heart was a-thumping so.

    Yet the angels seized it and bore it
    On pinions happy and strong,
    And made it a sword in the war of the Lord,
    The struggle of right against wrong.

    For the battle is not to the giant,
    The race is not to the fleet,
    And an armor of might for the bitterest fight
    Is found at the Saviour's feet.

    And thrones in the highest heaven,
    And the laud of the seraphim.
    Are for weak ones that dare follow Christ anywhere,
    Yea, venture to fall—for Him.

  76. On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature

    by Philip Freneau

    All that we see, about, abroad,
    What is it all, but nature's God?
    In meaner works discovered here
    No less than in the starry sphere.

    In seas, on earth, this God is seen;
    All that exist, upon Him lean;
    He lives in all, and never strayed
    A moment from the works He made:

    His system fixed on general laws
    Bespeaks a wise creating cause;
    Impartially He rules mankind
    And all that on this globe we find.

    Unchanged in all that seems to change,
    Unbounded space is His great range;
    To one vast purpose always true,
    No time, with Him, is old or new.

    In all the attributes divine
    Unlimited perfectings shine;
    In these enwrapt, in these complete,
    All virtues in that centre meet.

    This power doth all powers transcend,
    To all intelligence a friend,
    Exists, the greatest and the best
    Throughout all the worlds, to make them blest.

    All that He did He first approved,
    He all things into being loved;
    O'er all He made He still presides,
    For them in life, or death provides.

  77. Blind

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Blind! Dear sun, I dreamed that I was blind!
    Dear green of grass and shining blue of sky,
    That ye were one, and nothing! That my eye
    Was dungeoned in with massy black, behind,
    Before; that all my reaching could not find
    With outstretched, sickened nerves one cord whereby
    To the bright, loving world, so far, so nigh,
    My strange world of blank horror I could bind.
    And still the terror of it stays with me,
    And in that dread the spirit bids me read
    How closely I am knit to what I see,
    And how the senses tyrannize my need.
    O light, true light of heaven! Can it be
    That my clear-seeing eyes are blind indeed?

  78. Clothed Upon

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Within and over and around
    This dancing swirl of human sound
    Are tones that we can never hear
    With our dull range of mortal ear.

    Amid, encircling, and above
    The sights we loathe, the scenes we love,
    Sunbeams of dearest beauty die
    In darkness on our sluggish eye.

    Into that sound was rapt the Word
    The common people gladly heard;
    Into that light, from mortal view
    The Light of all the world withdrew.

    Some day will crash, on land and sea,
    The parting clouds of mystery;
    Some day a mighty light be lit,
    Disclosure of the Infinite.

    Then, flashing on new ears and eyes,
    The sights and sounds of paradise
    Will come, exalting in their train
    The Man of Nazareth again.

    For that great day we fashion here
    The heart and hand, the eye and ear.
    Within these clay-bound bodies grow
    The bodies heaven or hell shall know.

    May I my lasting casement find
    Not halt or crippled, deaf or blind,
    But meet for all that heaven is,
    A perfect cup for perfect bliss!

    Within these hands, outstretched to aid,
    Be hands of power and beauty made;
    Within these feet that Christ's ways go,
    May feet swift-winged for heaven grow;

    Be ears, with loving listening warmed,
    To angel-hearing ears transformed,
    While looks of human sympathy
    Form eyes for all eternity.

  79. The Thumb

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Hail to the thumb, the useful thumb,
    The grasper, the holder, the doer of deeds,
    Where fingers are futile and tools succumb,
    Stolid, ungainly, the thumb succeeds.

    Hail to the thumb the homely thumb;
    Rings and jewels are not for it,
    Compliments, dainty and frolicsome,
    For fingers are suited, for thumbs unfit

    Hail to the thumb, the modest thumb;
    Gently und calmly it hides away,
    Never for it a banner and drum,
    Or praise at the end of a strenuous day.

    And hail to the men who are like the thumb;
    Men who are never sung by a bard,
    Men who are laboring, modestly dumb,
    Faithfully doing the work that is hard

    Some day, men of the toiling thumb,
    Men of the modest, invincible worth,
    Some day your high reward will come
    From the Hand of the Lord of heaven and earth!

  80. God Pity the Poor

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "God pity the poor!" I cry.
    And I feel a virtuous glow;
    Not many so tender as I
    To the weight of the sad world's woe.

    "God pity the poor!" I shout,
    And draw back my garment's hem.
    God pities the poor, no doubt;
    But how am I pitying them?

  81. The Pulley

    by George Herbert

    When God at first made Man,
    Having a glass of blessings standing by—
    Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
    Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
    Contract into a span.

    So strength first made a way,
    Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure:
    When almost all was out, God made a stay,
    Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure,
    Rest in the bottom lay.

    For if I should (said He)
    Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
    He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
    And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
    So both should losers be.

    Yet let him keep the rest,
    But keep them with repining restlessness;
    Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
    If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
    May toss him to My breast.

  82. Man

    by Henry Vaughan

    Weighing the steadfastness and state
    Of some mean things which here below reside,
    Where birds, like watchful clocks, the noiseless date
    And intercourse of times divide.
    Where bees at night get home and hive, and flowers,
    Early as well as late,
    Rise with the sun, and set in the same bowers;

    I would, said I, my God would give
    The staidness of these things to man! for these
    To His divine appointments ever cleave,
    And no new business breaks their peace;
    The birds nor sow nor reap, yet sup and dine,
    The flowers without clothes live,
    Yet Solomon was never dressed so fine.

    Man hath still either toys, or care;
    He hath no root, nor to one place is tied,
    But ever restless and irregular
    About this earth doth run and ride;
    He knows he hath a home, but scarce knows where;
    He says it is so far,
    That he hath quite forgot how to go there.

    He knocks at all doors, strays and roams;
    Nay, hath not so much wit as some stones have,
    Which in the darkest nights point to their homes
    By some hid sense their Maker gave;
    Man is the shuttle, to whose winding quest
    And passage through these looms
    God ordered motion, but ordained no rest.

  83. Holy Thursday

    by William Blake

    'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
    Came children walking two and two, in red, and blue, and green;
    Gray-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow,
    Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames waters flow.

    Oh what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London town!
    Seated in companies they sit, with radiance all their own.
    The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
    Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.

    Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,
    Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among:
    Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor.
    Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.

    Store up treasure in heaven

    Children, Time is a fleeting day,
    The brighter its scenes, the sooner away!
    Look to the mansion, and seek the crown
    That shall not decay when the sun goes down!

    – Hannah Flagg Gould
    The Young Artist
  84. Mount Olivet

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Thou sacred mount, on whose pale forehead now
    A desert quiet reigneth, ere the soul
    Goes up to sit in meditation there,
    She shall put off this world, with all its cares
    And fading glory, to commune alone
    With God, and with herself, on themes divine!
    Thought, on swift wing, darts o'er the dubious waves
    Where things promiscuous, by three thousand years,
    Are swept together in one shadowy deep,
    And rests on Olivet!

    She here beholds,
    Fleeing from refuge from a wicked son,
    And with a wounded spirit bowed to earth,
    The minstrel king, in bitter anguish come,
    Showering the mountain with a father's tears
    For his rebellious child!

    But richer drops,
    From purer eyes, and by a mightier One,
    For thousands sunk in sin, have since been shed,
    Where David mourned the guilt of Absalom!
    The King of kings stood here; and looking down,
    Wept o'er Jerusalem! Here, too, he led,
    From the last supper, when the hymn was sung,
    His few grieved followers out, in that drear night,

    When, in the garden, on the mountain's slope,
    His agony wrung forth the crimson drops!
    While these sad pictures, hung upon thy sides,
    Thou consecrated height, dissolve the heart
    In pious sorrow; yet thy brow is crowned
    With a bright, glorious scene!

    Now, O my soul,
    On the blest summit light a holy flame!
    From the last foot-print of the Prince of peace,
    The Conqueror of death, let incense rise,
    And enter heaven with thine ascending Lord!
    Shake off the chains and all the dust of earth!
    Go up and breathe in the sweet atmosphere
    His presence purified, as he arose!
    Come! from the Mount of Olives pluck thy branch,
    And bear it, like a dove, to yon bright ark
    Of rest and safety!

  85. To A ******

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Thy parents, boy, are on the deep,
    The wide and pathless sea;
    But He, who wafts their sail, will keep
    A father's eye on thee.

    For He hath seen what they have done;
    And He hath heard their prayer,—
    He knows they've left their darling son
    Beneath His guardian care.

    The tenderness thy mother felt,
    When to her breast she drew
    Her child, and at His altar knelt,
    His love will still outdo.

    And He will guard thy parents too,
    Upon a foreign shore;
    For His the eye, at single view,
    To look creation o'er.

    He'll let thy little image cling
    To all their thoughts by day;
    And nightly, like a cherub thing,
    About their slumbers play.

    In many a bright and blissful dream
    They'll kiss thy rosy cheek;
    Thy laughing, sparkling eye will beam—
    Thy prattling tongue will speak.

    Thy tender arms, so warm and fair,
    Around their necks will twine;
    They'll feel thy silken, sunny hair,
    That ruby lip of thine.

    While oft they dwell on scenes behind
    Of dear domestic joy,
    The loveliest object brought to mind
    Will be their smiling boy.

  86. A Hymn at Sea

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    O thou, who hast spread out the skies
    And measured the depths of the sea,
    'Twixt the heavens and the ocean shall rise,
    Our incense of praises to thee!

    We know that thy presence is near,
    While our bark tosses far from the land;
    And we ride o'er the deep without fear;
    For, the waters are held in thy hand.

    Though not since the morn when the flood
    Poured in, this vast cavern to fill,
    Has the sea ever motionless stood,
    Or the pulse of its bosom been still.

    Inscribed on its face, from that hour
    Thy name has indelibly shone,
    Where man, while he worships thy power,
    Can leave not a trace of his own!

    Eternity comes in the sound
    Of the billows, that never can sleep!
    There's Deity circling us round—
    Omnipotence walks o'er the deep!

    O Father, our eye is to thee,
    As on for the haven we roll;
    And faith in our Pilot shall be
    An anchor to steady the soul!

  87. The Release

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison."

    Behold, amid the prison's gloom profound,
    While Herod's guards the massive doors are keeping,
    By soldiers watched, in iron fetters bound,
    The man of God, serene and sweetly sleeping.

    And thus the loved disciple of the Lord
    Can sink to rest, defying pain and sorrow,
    While persecution points the glittering sword
    To mark him as her victim ere the morrow.

    For, what is there in death for him to fear,
    Though he no more may see earth's morning breaking?
    He feels 't is but salvation drawing near;
    That Heaven's bright dawn shall follow his awaking!

    But who is this, that suddenly appears,
    With light effulgent round the prison beaming?
    The captive feels his touch—awakes, and hears
    A voice, whose sound hath more than earthly seeming!

    "Rise! gird thyself and bind thy sandals on,
    And follow me without the yielding portals!
    Thy chains are broken and the power is gone,
    That armed awhile these blind and erring mortals!"

    It was thine angel, O! thou Holy One,
    That hovered o'er thy servant, in his slumber!
    His labors in thy cause were not yet done—
    His days of service had not gained their number.

    Like him, the man whose trust is fixed on thee
    May ever rest, mid threatening foes and danger.
    But where, O Lord, can hope or safety be,
    For him, who treads life's path, to thee a stranger?

  88. The Voice

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The voice—its melody touched the ear,
    As a sound we should look toward heaven, to hear;
    As the soft, rich light of the western sky,
    Where the sun went down, will meet the eye.
    And it made me think of a world afar,
    Above the sun, and the evening star—
    Of the odors of flowers that freight the air
    With the notes of the bright ones warbling there.

    Methinks, when the world looks void and dark—
    When the waves of trouble ingulf my bark—
    When the sky above me is black with wrath,
    And the lightning is all that illumes my path;
    While I set my feet but with doubt and dread;
    When the friend that I loved is false or dead;
    In fear, in sorrow, in pain or care,
    I would hear that voice poured out in prayer.

    When the storm is past, and the heavens look bright,
    While the clouds that I feared are dissolved in light—
    When I smoothly glide o'er a peaceful sea,
    With a breeze all fragrance and purity;
    When the friend that I chose is the true one still,
    Who adds to good, and who takes from ill;
    In every joy that may gild my days,
    I would hear that voice sent up in praise.

    It was tuned for a rare and holy gift;
    To pour in prayer, and in praise to lift;
    And through the ear, as it took control,
    And wrought its charm o'er the spell-bound soul,
    It came in a sound so sweet and deep,
    It could soothe the heart, though the eye must weep.
    But it was not made for the thoughtless mirth
    Whose light is a blaze from the chaff of earth!

  89. Echo

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "Father! father! come with me
    Down among the rocks!
    Softly! for I long to see
    Who it is that mocks.
    When I laugh, or sing, or call,
    Some one there repeats it all."

    "Ah! my child, thou dost not know
    All that 's dear and true,
    In this world of noise and show,
    Has its semblance too.
    E'en a sound with joy in it
    Will draw forth its counterfeit.

    "Mid the dissonance of earth
    We so oft must hear,
    Sweet the voice of infant mirth
    Falls upon the ear.
    Mingled innocence and joy!
    Blessed harmony, my boy.

    "And, in heartless mockery,
    Echo now has caught
    Tones of gladness sent from thee;
    While herself is nought
    But the shadow of a sound,
    Thrown from rocks and hills around.

    "Be thou cautioned from to-day;
    For thou yet must meet,
    Here and there on life's rude way,
    Many a fair deceit.
    No illusion seek to trace
    To her seeming dwelling place.

    "Here, while snares and pit-falls lie
    Round on every part,
    One is calling from on high,
    "Son, give me thy heart!"
    He will ne'er deceive nor mock,
    Fly to Him, the LIVING ROCK!"

  90. Hymn of the Reapers

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Our Father, to fields that are white,
    Rejoicing, the sickle we bear,
    In praises our voices unite
    To thee, who hast made them thy care.

    The seed, that was dropped in the soil,
    We left, with a holy belief
    In One, who, beholding the toil,
    Would crown it at length with the sheaf.

    And ever our faith shall be firm
    In thee, who hast nourished the root;
    Whose finger has led up the germ,
    And finished the blade and the fruit!

    The heads, that are heavy with grain,
    Are bowing and asking to fall;
    Thy hand is on mountain and plain,
    Thou Maker and Giver of all!

    Thy blessings shine bright from the hills,
    The valleys thy goodness repeat;
    And, Lord, 't is thy bounty that fills
    The arms of the reaper with wheat!

    Oh! when with the sickle in hand,
    The angel thy mandate receives,
    To come to the field with his band
    To bind up, and bear off thy sheaves, —

    May we be as free from the blight,
    As ripe to be taken away,
    As full in the ear, to thy sight,
    As that which we gather to-day!

    Our Father, the heart and the voice
    Flow out our fresh off'rings to yield.
    The Reapers! the Reapers rejoice,
    And send up their song from the field!

  91. The Great Refiner

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

    'T is sweet to feel that he, who tries
    The silver, takes his seat
    Beside the fire that purifies;
    Lest too intense a heat,
    Raised to consume the base alloy,
    The precious metal too destroy.

    'T is good to think how well he knows
    The silver's power to bear
    The ordeal to which it goes;
    And that, with skill and care,
    He'll take it from the fire, when fit
    For his own hand to polish it.

    'T is blessedness to know that he
    The piece he has begun
    Will not forsake, till he can see,
    To prove the work well done,
    An image, by its brightness shown,
    The perfect likeness of his own.

    But ah! how much of earthly mould,
    Dark relics of the mine,
    Lost from the ore must he behold,
    How long must he refine,
    Ere in the silver he can trace
    The first faint semblance to his face.

    Thou great Refiner! sit thou by
    Thy promise to fulfil,
    Moved by thy hand, beneath thine eye,
    And melted at thy will,
    O, may thy work for ever shine,
    Reflecting beauty pure as thine!

  92. Through the Needle's Eye

    by Anonymous

    Tall was my camel and laden high,
    And small the gate as a needle's eye.

    The city within was very fair,
    And I and my camel would enter there.

    "You must lower your load," the porter cried,
    "You must throw away that bundle of pride."

    This I did, but the load was great,
    Far too wide for the narrow gate.

    "Now," said the porter, "to make it less,
    Discard that hamper of selfishness."

    I obeyed, though with much ado,
    Yet still nor camel nor I got through.

    "Ah," said the porter, "your load must hold
    Some little package of trust-in-gold."

    The merest handful was all I had,
    Yet, "Throw it away," the porter bade.

    Then, lo, a marvel! the camel tall
    Shrank to the size of the portal small,

    And all my riches, a vast estate,
    Easily passed through the narrow gate!

  93. His Coming

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Were a king to come to my lowly home,
    Or a prince or a duke or an earl,
    What a cleansing would furbish the whole of the house,
    Till it shone as pure as a pearl!

    How the best that I had, on the floor and the bed,
    On table and mantel and wall,
    Would gladly be lavished and eagerly spread,
    And I be ashamed of it all!

    Yet the Monarch of monarchs, the Only Supreme,
    The Lord whom the heavens obey,
    The Splendor that passes the height of a dream,
    Will visit my household to-day;

    And the shutters are closed, and the cobwebs are thick,
    And a hinge is off of the door,
    And I, in a garment of wretchedness clad,
    Am down in the dirt on the floor!

  94. My Burden

    by Amos Russel Wells

    God laid upon my back a grievous load,
    A heavy cross to bear along the road.

    I staggered on, and lo! one weary day,
    An angry lion sprang across my way.

    I prayed to God, and swift at His command
    The cross became a weapon in my hand.

    It slew my raging enemy, and then
    Became a cross upon my back again.

    I faltered many a league, until at length,
    Groaning, I fell, and had no further strength.

    "O God," I cried, "I am so weak and lame!"
    Then straight my cross a winged staff became.

    It swept me on till I regained the loss,
    Then leaped upon my back, again a cross.

    I reached a desert. O'er the burning track
    I persevered, the cross upon my back.

    No shade was there, and in the cruel sun
    I sank at last, and thought my days were done.

    But lo! the Lord works many a blest surprise—
    The cross became a tree before my eyes!

    I slept; I woke, to feel the strength of ten.
    I found the cross upon my back again.

    And thus through all my days, from that to this,
    The cross, my burden has become my bliss

    Nor ever shall I lay the burden down,
    For God some day will make the cross a crown!

  95. Asphalt: A Parable

    by Amos Russel Wells

    A Christian substance this,
    Whose sacrificial bliss
    Is firmly to outspread
    A path for men to tread
    Whose joy it is to know
    The way the many go,
    And make the footing there
    Enduring, smooth, and fair.

    Doubtless the asphalt feels
    Those myriad grinding heels,
    The pounding horses' feet,
    The traffic of the street,
    The picks of fickle men
    That tear it up again,—

    The cruel frosts that crack
    Its winter-stiffened back,
    The furnace of the sun
    When winter's days are done;
    Yet hears a cheerful heart
    For that inferior part,
    And heals the winter's woe
    With summer's tarry flow!

    Right is your rede to us,
    Brother bituminous!
    Where human sharks contend
    Each for a glutton's end,
    Where men ignoble fight
    Each for his petty right,
    Where men like leeches live
    Only to get, not give,—

  96. Insomnia

    by Amos Russel Wells

    My soul is shipwrecked in the night
    Upon a black and vacant shore;
    A flood of murky air before,
    Of surging air to left and right.

    The waves roll in, the waves roll in,
    And each a sombre spectre bears,
    The writhing forms of many cares,
    The coiling forms of many a sin;

    Neglected tasks that frown austere,
    Glimpses of old friends angry, gleams
    Of dead delights and drifting dreams
    And gibbering ghosts of empty fear

    Out on the flood, the faces pale
    Of drowning hopes, so fair, so fair;
    Or, tossing here and floating there,
    The tattered rags of fortune's sail;

    And, wrenched from out that midnight grave,
    The white corpse of a passion sweet,
    Rolled by the darkness to my feet,
    And then snatched back into the wave.

    My eyes are straining through the deep,
    This surging night that has no end;
    Make haste, O pitying Christ, and send
    Thy blessed rescue bark of sleep!

    * * *

    The ship came not but, in its stead
    Its Master stood upon the shore;
    And lo! the waves were black no more;
    And lo! a gleam from overhead.

    He touched my hot and throbbing eyes,
    The Master, with His loving hand,
    And softly on that midnight strand
    There grew the light of paradise.

    Those hateful forms of sin and care
    Flung at me by that ghostly sea,—
    I know not if they ceased to be,—
    I saw them not, for Christ was there.

    Still sleepless stretched the night away,
    But joyfully, for Christ and I
    Together read the opening sky,
    And watched the dawning of the day.

  97. A New Year

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I want a new year. New things are not patched.
    So would I start my year all finely whole,
    No gaps of dull omissions meanly closed
    With poorly fitting fragments of dispatch,
    No mendings of ignoble after-thought,
    But all one piece of steady warp and woof,
    A year entire, as all my years should be.

    I want a new year. New things are not worn.
    Not thin in places, ragged here and there,
    And loose bits hanging down; no year all frayed,
    With fears and worries bare before its time;
    But firm and confident, a brave new year.

    I want a new year. Do not new things shine?
    Do they not shimmer in the dancing light?
    Are they not smooth and gracious to the touch?
    Is it not joy to take them from the box?
    And shake them out in tumbling, happy folds,
    And hold them up for all men to admire?
    So, with a burst of joy, my glad new year.

    I want a new year. Ah, but new things cost!
    Well, I will pay the price of this new year:
    The price of patience, and the price of time;
    The price of prayers ascending to the God
    Who was before all years began to be,
    And will be through the new years as the old;
    The price of partings from the lower aims,
    Of stanch adhesion to the rugged best;
    The price of life!

    I cannot pay the price.
    Pay Thou for me, O Christ, my brother Christ!
    Be Thou my Patience, and be Thou my Prayer;
    Be Thou my Strength of hard, laborious will.
    From out Thine endless ages with my God
    Bring newness to this little year of mine.
    So shall it be Thy year and not my own,
    Yet doubly mine, as I shall dwell with Thee;
    Yes, doubly mine, as through it I shall pass
    To Thine eternity forever new.

  98. This Beautiful Earth

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Oh, the beauty I have seen,
    On the earth and in the sky!
    Oh, the sunshine in between
    As the shadows floated by!
    Oh, the faces sweet and fair,
    And the bird-notes in the air,
    And the grace the blossoms hear
    Dearly nigh!

    Where the sunrise glory gleams,
    Where the twilight hushes fall,
    In the laughter of the streams,
    In the ivy on the wall.
    Where the thoughts of love arise
    In a maiden's happy eyes—
    What a dream of beauty lies
    Over all!

    There are terrors of the storm,
    There is winter's chilly woe,
    But the Father-love is warm,
    And His wisdom has it so;
    All the world's the Father's kiss,
    Just a glimmer of the bliss
    In the region after this
    Where we go!

  99. Father, I bring thee not myself, —

    by Emily Dickinson

    Father, I bring thee not myself, —
    That were the little load;
    I bring thee the imperial heart
    I had not strength to hold.

    The heart I cherished in my own
    Till mine too heavy grew,
    Yet strangest, heavier since it went,
    Is it too large for you?

  100. Renunciation

    by Emily Dickinson

    There came a day at summer's full
    Entirely for me;
    I thought that such were for the saints,
    Where revelations be.

    The sun, as common, went abroad,
    The flowers, accustomed, blew,
    As if no soul the solstice passed
    That maketh all things new.

    The time was scarce profaned by speech;
    The symbol of a word
    Was needless, as at sacrament
    The wardrobe of our Lord.

    Each was to each the sealed church,
    Permitted to commune this time,
    Lest we too awkward show
    At supper of the Lamb.

    The hours slid fast, as hours will,
    Clutched tight by greedy hands;
    So faces on two decks look back,
    Bound to opposing lands.

    And so, when all the time had failed,
    Without external sound,
    Each bound the other's crucifix,
    We gave no other bond.

    Sufficient troth that we shall rise —
    Deposed, at length, the grave —
    To that new marriage, justified
    Through Calvaries of Love!

  101. The Martyrs

    by Emily Dickinson

    Through the straight pass of suffering
    The martyrs even trod,
    Their feet upon temptation,
    Their faces upon God.

    A stately, shriven company;
    Convulsion playing round,
    Harmless as streaks of meteor
    Upon a planet's bound.

    Their faith the everlasting troth;
    Their expectation fair;
    The needle to the north degree
    Wades so, through polar air.

  102. Lost Faith

    by Emily Dickinson

    To lose one's faith surpasses
    The loss of an estate,
    Because estates can be
    Replenished, — faith cannot.

    Inherited with life,
    Belief but once can be;
    Annihilate a single clause,
    And Being's beggary.

  103. Who has not found the heaven below

    by Emily Dickinson

    Who has not found the heaven below
    Will fail of it above.
    God's residence is next to mine,
    His furniture is love.

  104. Death And Life

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Still the heart and stay the breath—
    There's a deeper death than death!
    This is death, when living soul
    Yields to deadly sin's control;
    When, beneath the devil's arts,
    Love, the light of life, departs;
    When the body, moving still,
    Bears about a lifeless will,
    And the spirit, formed to rise
    Ever-growing in the skies,
    Is a dead and empty seed:
    This, ah, this is death indeed!

    Rich the years, with fruitage rife—
    There's a higher life than life!
    This is life, when spirits press
    Into every nobleness;
    When on failure and defeat
    Power sets his lordly seat;
    When, although the body fail,
    Spirit energies prevail,
    And the world beholds a man
    After the Creator's plan,
    Soul from all its bondage freed;
    This, ah, this is life indeed!

    Hear the resurrection cry:
    Dying, yet you shall not die!
    Christ is He that conquereth
    All this deeper death than death;
    Christ, from out of mortal strife,
    Won this higher life than life—
    Wins it through eternity,
    Just for you and just for me.

  105. Vanity of Life

    Johann Gottfried von Herder. Note.—Compare with the translation of the same as given in the ordinary version of the Bible. Job xiv.

    Man, born of woman,
    Is of a few days,
    And full of trouble;
    He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down;
    He fleeth also as a shadow,
    And continueth not.

    Upon such dost thou open thine eye,
    And bring me unto judgment with thee?
    Among the impure is there none pure?
    Not one.

    Are his days so determined?
    Hast thou numbered his months,
    And set fast his bounds for him
    Which he can never pass?
    Turn then from him that he may rest,
    And enjoy, as an hireling, his day.

    The tree hath hope, if it be cut down,
    It becometh green again,
    And new shoots are put forth.
    If even the root is old in the earth,
    And its stock die in the ground,
    From vapor of water it will bud,
    And bring forth boughs as a young plant.

    But man dieth, and his power is gone;
    He is taken away, and where is he?

    Till the waters waste from the sea,
    Till the river faileth and is dry land,
    Man lieth low, and riseth not again.
    Till the heavens are old, he shall not awake,
    Nor be aroused from his sleep.

    Oh, that thou wouldest conceal me
    In the realm of departed souls!
    Hide me in secret, till thy wrath be past;
    Appoint me then a new term,
    And remember me again.
    But alas! if a man die
    Shall he live again?

    So long, then, as my toil endureth,
    Will I wait till a change come to me.
    Thou wilt call me, and I shall answer;
    Thou wilt pity the work of thy hands.
    Though now thou numberest my steps,
    Thou shalt then not watch for my sin.
    My transgression will be sealed in a bag,
    Thou wilt bind up and remove my iniquity.

    Yet alas! the mountain falleth and is swallowed up,
    The rock is removed out of its place,
    The waters hollow out the stones,
    The floods overflow the dust of the earth,
    And thus, thou destroyest the hope of man.

    Thou contendest with him, till he faileth,
    Thou changest his countenance, and sendeth him away.
    Though his sons become great and happy,
    Yet he knoweth it not;
    If they come to shame and dishonor,
    He perceiveth it not.

  106. "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep"

    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. "He Giveth his Beloved Sleep" is one of the most beautiful of Browning's minor poems. The thought is an amplification of verse 2d of Psalm cxxvii.

    Of all the thoughts of God that are
    Borne inward unto souls afar,
    Along the Psalmist's music deep,
    Now tell me if that any is,
    For gift or grace, surpassing this,—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep!"

    What would we give to our beloved?
    The hero's heart to be unmoved,
    The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep,
    The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse,
    The monarch's crown, to light the brows?—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    What do we give to our beloved?
    A little faith all undisproved,
    A little dust to overweep,
    And bitter memories to make
    The whole earth blasted for our sake,—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    "Sleep soft, beloved!" we sometimes say,
    But have no tune to charm away
    Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep.
    But never doleful dream again
    Shall break his happy slumber when
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    O earth, so full of dreary noises!
    O men, with wailing in your voices!
    O delve'd gold, the wailers heap!
    O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
    God strikes a silence through you all,
    And "giveth his beloved, sleep."

    His dews drop mutely on the hill;
    His cloud above it saileth still,
    Though on its slope men sow and reap.
    More softly than the dew is shed,
    Or cloud is floated overhead,
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    Ay, men may wonder while they scan
    A living, thinking, feeing man,
    Confirmed in such a rest to keep;
    But angels say—and through the word
    I think their happy smile is heard—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    For me my heart, that erst did go
    Most like a tired child at a show,
    That sees through tears the mummers leap,
    Would now its wearied vision close,
    Would childlike on his love repose
    Who "giveth his beloved, sleep."

    And friends, dear friends,—when it shall be
    That this low breath is gone from me,
    And round my bier ye come to weep,
    Let one most loving of you all
    Say, "Not a tear must o'er her fall;
    'He giveth his beloved, sleep.'"

  107. By Their Fruits

    by William Henry Venable

    Above the clash of counter creeds
    These gospel accents swell:
    Whoever doeth righteous deeds
    Hath read his Bible well.

    Like fragrant blooms of lavish spring
    Are adoration's vows;
    The tree that pleases God will bring
    Fair fruitage on its boughs.

  108. The Christian

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    The christian hath a noble soul,
    A soul that's pure and even;—
    A principle, which crowns the whole,
    For know, his hope is heaven.

    Afflictions here, may be his lot,
    Through life's uneven way;
    But storms of sorrow damp him not—
    The promise is his stay.

    A christian, has a noble mind,
    'Though in the humblest cot;
    Though poor and maim d though halt and blind
    Angels surround the spot.

    His garb may be a mean attire,—
    His food the coarsest fare;
    Yet God, his all, his chief desire,
    Descends to bless him there.

  109. See That Ye Refuse Not Him That Speaketh

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    Can any refuse, when Jesus is near,
    With light, love, and victory, crown'd;
    O, who would not listen to music, more dear
    Than the song of the angels around.

    He stands all night long, still knocking for you,—
    Rise up, and his visit prolong;
    His robe, and his locks, are all dropping with dew—
    Then open the door with this song.

    We praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee Lord,—
    All the earth doth rejoice in her King;
    While seraphs and angels obey the blest word,
    O teach us the song which they sing.

    The glorious band of apostles, praise thee,—
    The army of martyrs all share;—
    The fellowship of the good prophets agree,
    While the church doth rejoice in thy care.

    Now we sing to the Lamb, who taketh away
    The sins of our poor fallen race;
    We bless the good Spirit, who teaches to pray
    For constant outpourings of grace.

  110. Unawares

    by Emma A. Lent

    They said, "The Master is coming
    To honor the town to-day,
    And none can tell at what house or home
    The Master will choose to stay."
    And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
    What if He should come to mine,
    How would I strive to entertain
    And honor the Guest Divine!

    And straight I turned to toiling
    To make my house more neat;
    I swept, and polished, and garnished.
    And decked it with blossoms sweet.
    I was troubled for fear the Master
    Might come ere my work was done,
    And I hasted and worked the faster,
    And watched the hurrying sun.

    But right in the midst of my duties
    A woman came to my door;
    She had come to tell me her sorrows
    And my comfort and aid to implore,
    And I said, "I cannot listen
    Nor help you any, to-day;
    I have greater things to attend to."
    And the pleader turned away.

    But soon there came another—
    A cripple, thin, pale and gray—
    And said, "Oh, let me stop and rest
    A while in your house, I pray!
    I have traveled far since morning,
    I am hungry, and faint, and weak;
    My heart is full of misery,
    And comfort and help I seek."

    And I cried, "I am grieved and sorry,
    But I cannot help you to-day.
    I look for a great and noble Guest,"
    And the cripple went away;
    And the day wore onward swiftly—
    And my task was nearly done,
    And a prayer was ever in my heart
    That the Master to me might come.

    And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
    And serve him with utmost care,
    When a little child stood by me
    With a face so sweet and fair—
    Sweet, but with marks of teardrops—
    And his clothes were tattered and old;
    A finger was bruised and bleeding,
    And his little bare feet were cold.

    And I said, "I'm sorry for you—
    You are sorely in need of care;
    But I cannot stop to give it,
    You must hasten otherwhere."
    And at the words, a shadow
    Swept o'er his blue-veined brow,—
    "Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
    But I am too busy now."

    At last the day was ended,
    And my toil was over and done;
    My house was swept and garnished—
    And I watched in the dark—alone.
    Watched—but no footfall sounded,
    No one paused at my gate;
    No one entered my cottage door;
    I could only pray—and wait.

    I waited till night had deepened,
    And the Master had not come.
    "He has entered some other door," I said,
    "And gladdened some other home!"
    My labor had been for nothing,
    And I bowed my head and I wept,
    My heart was sore with longing—
    Yet—in spite of it all—I slept.

    Then the Master stood before me,
    And his face was grave and fair;
    "Three times to-day I came to your door,
    And craved your pity and care;
    Three times you sent me onward,
    Unhelped and uncomforted;
    And the blessing you might have had was lost,
    And your chance to serve has fled."

    "O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me!
    How could I know it was Thee?"
    My very soul was shamed and bowed
    In the depths of humility.
    And He said, "The sin is pardoned,
    But the blessing is lost to thee;
    For comforting not the least of Mine
    You have failed to comfort Me."

    "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 25:40
    The Bible, NIV
  111. God Will Count Your Honest Try

    by William Henry Dawson

    If in life's great, onward battle
    You have done your best and lost,
    If amid the din and rattle
    You regarded not the cost,
    If you met your foeman bravely,
    If you dared to do or die,
    God will credit you, most surely,
    For your fearless, honest try.

    Have you sometimes felt discouraged,
    Felt that life had lost its charm,
    And that every effort failed you,
    Bringing to you only harm?
    Look within and ask this question:
    "Have I done my level best?"
    If you answer, without guessing,
    "Yes," then God will do the rest.

    Has this neighbor won more glory?
    That one more of earthly store?
    Though your hair is thin and hoary,
    Are you poorer than before?
    Have you helped, with hands quite willing?
    Have you heard the orphan's cry?
    Given part of your last shilling?
    God will count your honest try.

  112. Fraternity

    by William Henry Dawson

    Fraternity is that feeling toward mankind—
    Without regard to rank, or wealth, or place—
    Which makes a brother easy quite to find,
    And sees God's image in that brother's face.

    Sometimes the image is so badly scarred;
    Almost beyond the recognition mark;
    Its life by sinfulness so badly marred
    That all the good combined is but a spark,

    Yet the sweet spirit of fraternity,
    Acknowledging the fatherhood of God,
    Fails not His likeness in that soul to see,
    And lifts it from beneath the chastening rod.

    The man who thinks himself without a friend;
    Who bitterest dregs from sorrow's cup has drained;
    Who'd gladly welcome death if 'twould but end
    The hell on earth which sinfulness has gained—

    To him fraternity extends its hand
    And says "my fellow trav'ler, look above;
    Let me assist you on your feet to stand.
    You are God's child, and God is love."

  113. New Songs

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Sing unto the Lord a new song.— Isa. 42:10
    And they sung a new song.— Rev 5:9

    How weary must Jehovah be
    Of our unchanging minstrelsy,
    The dull, repeated monotone
    That falters upward to the Throne!

    How must Jehovah, though the spheres
    Make heavenly music for His ears
    Amid their soulless rhythm long
    To hear a new, a human, song!

    Our filmy fashions flit and fly
    Like drifting clouds across the sky;
    Dress, manners, language, customs, range
    Through endless, fascinating change.

    But still in routine, heartless ways,
    The Giver of all life we praise.
    And while His varying seasons roll
    We offer Him a stolid soul.

    Bestir thee, grateful human heart,
    And learn thanksgiving's happy art!
    Cease the unmeaning, careless song
    Thy slothful lips have used so long!

    For each new gift of heaven, strive
    Some novel praises to contrive,
    Some paean of the life or tongue
    As prompt, as personal, as young!

    With no stale words of yesterday
    Thy formal obligations pay,
    But let thy hallelujahs rise
    New-fledged to greet the morning skies!

    Be all thy life, in word and deed,
    A vital hymn, a present creed,
    Until, amid the angel throng,
    You sing for aye the new New Song!

  114. A Gentle Man

    by William Henry Venable

    I knew a gentle Man;—
    Alas! his soul has flown;
    Now that his tender heart is still,
    Pale anguish haunts my own.
    His eye, in pity's tear,
    Would often saintly swim;
    He did to others as he would
    That they should do to him.

    He suffered many things,—
    Renounced, forgave, forbore;
    And sorrow's crown of thorny stings,
    Like Christ, he meekly wore;
    At rural toils he strove;
    In beauty, joy he sought;
    His solace was in children's words
    And wise men's pondered thought.

    He was both meek and brave,
    Not haughty, and yet proud;
    He daily died his soul to save,
    And ne'er to Mammon bowed.
    E'en as a little child
    He entered Heaven's Gate;
    I caught his parting smile, which said,
    "Be reconciled, and wait."

  115. Pilgrims on the Earth

  116. The Pilgrim

    by Lydia Howard Sigourney. "I am not far from home therefore I need not make much provision for the way."

    I hear the rising tempest moan,
    My failing limbs have weary grown;
    The flowers are shut, the streams are dried,
    The arid sands spread drear and wide,
    The night dews fall, the winds are high,
    How far from home, O Lord, am I?

    I would not come with hoards of gold,
    With glittering gems or cumbrous mould,
    Nor dim my eyes with gather'd dust
    Of empty fame or earthly trust,
    But hourly ask, as lone I roam,
    How far from home? how far from home?

    Not far! not far! the way is dark,
    Fair hope hath quench'd her glow-worm spark;
    The trees are dead beneath whose shade
    My youth reclined, my childhood play'd;
    Red lightning streaks the troubled sky,
    How far from home, my God, am I?

    Oh, find me in that home a place
    Beneath the footstool of thy grace;
    Though sometimes mid the husks I fed,
    And turn'd me from the children's bread,
    Still bid thine angel-harps resound,
    The dead doth live, the lost is found.

    Reach forth thy hand with pitying care,
    And guide me through the latest snare;
    Methinks, even now, in bursting beams
    The radiance from thy casement streams;
    No more I shed the pilgrim tear;
    I hear thy voice; my home is near.

  117. Treasures in Heaven

  118. Wrought Into Gold

    by Anonymous

    "I saw a smile,—to a poor man 'twas given,
    And he was old.
    The sun broke forth; I saw that smile in heaven
    Wrought into gold.
    Gold of such lustre never was vouchsafed to us;
    It made the very light of day more luminous.

    "I saw a toiling woman sinking down
    Footsore and cold.
    A soft hand covered her—the humble gown,
    Wrought into gold,
    Grew straight imperishable, and will be shown
    To smiling angels gathered round the judgment throne.

    "Wrought into gold! We that pass down life's hours
    So carelessly,
    Might make the dusty way a path of flowers
    If we would try.
    Then every gentle deed we've done or kind word given,
    Wrought into gold, would make us wondrous rich in heaven."

  119. Faithfulness in Small Things

  120. Home Heroism

    O ye who long for brilliant deeds
    Tied down to washing dishes,
    Scorn not the lowly household needs,—
    They are the Master's fishes.

    - Amos R. Wells
    Home Heroism
    by Amos Russel Wells. See John 21:1-8.

    That barren night in Galilee
    It found a fruitful morning,
    For Jesus stood beside the sea
    And drew the fishes swarming

    "The Lord!"—and Peter leaped to swim.
    (How very like him this is!)
    The others labored after him,
    Pulling the net with fishes.

    And both were fine and hoth were true,
    And both rejoiced the Master,—
    That frugal, plodding, faithful crew,
    The one that hurried faster.

    O ye who long for brilliant deeds
    Tied down to washing dishes,
    Scorn not the lowly household needs,—
    They are the Master's fishes.

    Act well your part, there all the honor lies.

    – Alexander Pope
  121. Overcoming Sin

  122. The River's Lesson

    by William Osborn Stoddard

    Under the canopied bank we lie,
    And the muddy river is rushing by,
    Yellow and foul from its eddying stray
    Through a thousand miles of wandering way,
    Gross and turbid;—and yet, I know
    That this same troubled and mingled flow
    Shall one day clear as the crystal be,
    After it dies in the deep, far sea.

    I have watched it long, with an aching brow,
    Bending above it, and wonder now
    If the river, so full of grime and strife,
    May not be an emblem of human life,
    And if many a soul that has wandered and toiled,
    All corrupted and gross and soiled,
    At the end may not calmly glide
    Into that last great swallowing tide,
    And clear and pure as the crystal be,
    After it dies in that deep, far sea.

  123. Begin a Year To-Day!

    by Amos Russel Wells

    On New Year's day you started in
    With heart of grace absolved from sin,
    With forward look, with purpose true,
    And all the world was fair to you.

    But soon the devil found a crack
    And pierced your armor, front or back;
    And soon, your conduct past excuse,
    You sadly cried, "Oh, what's the use?"

    Brother! the wheelings of the sun
    In endless hopeful circles run;
    They sweep serenely through the air,
    And you may start from anywhere.

    For common use we count the year
    From one sole point in its career;
    But you, adopt a lordly tone,
    And fix a year that's all your own!

    Adopt this very day and hour
    As genesis of hope and power.
    Forget the failures left behind,
    And on the future fix your mind.

    Break with the follies of the past!
    Master your weaknesses at last!
    Stiffen your muscles! Watch and pray!
    Stoutly begin a year to-day!

  124. The Graces

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    Faith, the angel of my prayer,
    Hope, to lighten every care,
    Love, to lift life's heavy yoke,
    These the graces I invoke;
    But the greatest of the three
    Is the last-sweet charity.

  125. How Can I Keep From Giving?

    by Robert Franklin Skillings

    Over against the treasury
    Emmanuel was sitting;
    The rich cast in of their great wealth
    What seemed to them befitting.
    A widow came and gave two mites,
    Which then was all her living;
    She did the most of all the host—
    How can I keep from giving?

    How blest the man who knows Thy word,
    "Give and it shall be given;"
    His all he brings unto the Lord,
    His treasure! is in heaven.
    Help me, dear Lord, that I may give
    Thus even all my living;
    Since of Thy bounty I receive,
    How can I keep from giving?

    I have received a precious gift,
    No mortal tongue can speak it;
    The like is ready now for all
    Who diligently seek it.
    I can but sing the praise of Him
    From whom I am receiving;
    And as He gives Himself to me,
    How can I keep from giving?

    To love the Lord with all the heart,
    And as myself my neighbor,
    I mean to strive with all my might,
    And to this end will labor.
    And may I never faithless prove,
    But always be believing;
    For while I think of Thy great love,
    How can I keep from giving?

  126. Life's Knitting-Work

    by Harriet Selden Baker

    My knitting-work I laid aside
    When the week was done;
    But I took it up again
    With Monday's rising sun.

    Stitch by stitch, hour by hour,
    Through the live-long day,
    Do I go the many rounds
    Of life's busy way.

    But I find that I oft drop
    Stitches, here and there,
    From my tired hands that are
    Burdened so with care.

    But each stitch I patiently
    Through the meshes draw:
    Till my work is once again
    Whole, without a flaw!

    O that when my life shall close,
    And all its acts laid bare,
    It might all be found complete—
    Perfect everywhere,—

    A well-rounded life that should
    Receive our Lord's bequest:
    "Well done, Faithful, enter in
    To my promised rest!"

  127. The Bargain

    by Henry Van Dyke

    What shall I give for thee,
    Thou Pearl of greatest price?
    For all the treasures I possess
    Would not suffice.

    I give my store of gold;
    It is but earthly dross:
    But thou shalt make me rich, beyond
    All fear of loss.

    Mine honours I resign;
    They are but small at best:
    Thou like a royal star shalt shine
    Upon my breast.

    My worldly joys I give,
    The flowers with which I played;
    Thy beauty, far more heavenly fair,
    Shall never fade.

    Dear Lord, is that enough?
    Nay, not a thousandth part.
    Well, then, I have but one thing more:
    Take Thou my heart.

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