Tuesday, March 25, 2014

O! tell me, Thou life and delight of my soul

O! tell me, Thou life and delight of my soul,
Where the flock of Thy pasture are feeding;
I seek Thy protection, I need Thy control,
I would go where my Shepherd is leading.

O! tell me the place where Thy flock are at rest,
Where the noontide will find them reposing?
The tempest now rages, my soul is distress'd,
And the pathway of peace I am losing.

O! why should I stray with the flocks of Thy foes,
'Mid the desert where now they are roving,
Where hunger and thirst, where affliction and woes,
And temptations their ruin are proving?

O! when shall my foes and my wandering cease?
And the follies that fill me with weeping!
Thou Shepherd of Israel, restore me that peace
Thou dost give to the flock Thou art keeping.

A voice from the Shepherd now bids thee return
By the way where the footprints are lying:
No longer to wander, no longer to mourn;
O fair one, now homeward be flying!
                                 T. Hastings 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wearied out with her wanderings

Wearied out with her wanderings, the dove returns
at length to the ark as her only resting-place.  How
heavily she flies-she will drop-she will never reach
the ark!  But she struggles on.  Noah has been looking
out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her.
She has just strength to reach the edge of the ark; she can
hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts
forth his hand and pulls her in unto him.  Mark that:  “pulled
her in unto him."  She did not fly right in herself, but was too
fearful, or too weary, to do so.  She flew as far as she could,
and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in unto him.
This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and
she was not chidden for her wanderings.  Just as she was she
was pulled into the ark.  So you, seeking sinner, with all your
sin, will be received.  "Only return" - these are God's two
gracious words-"only return."  What! nothing else?  No,
"only return."  She had no olive branch in her mouth this
time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings;
but it is "only return," and she does return, and Noah
pulls her in.....                 C. H. Spurgeon

Like Noah's weary dove,
That soar'd the earth around,
But not a resting place above
The cheerless waters found;

O cease, my wandering soul,
On restless wings to roam;
All the wide world, to either pole,
Has not for thee a home.

Behold the Ark of God,
Behold the open door;
Hasten to gain that dear abode,
And rove, my soul, no more.

There, safe thou shalt abide,
There, sweet shall be thy rest,
And every longing satisfied,
With full salvation blest.

And, when the waves of ire
Again the earth shall fill,
The Ark shall ride the sea of fire,
Then rest on Sion's hill.
              William Augustus Muhlenberg

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Live out Thy life within me

Live out Thy life within me,
O Jesus, King of kings!
Be Thou Thyself the answer
To all my questionings;
Live out Thy life within me,
In all things have Thy way!
I, the transparent medium
Thy glory to display.

The temple has been yielded,
And purified of sin;
Let Thy Shekinah glory 
Now shine forth from within,
And all the earth keep silence,
The body henceforth be
Thy silent, gentle servant,
Moved only as by Thee.

Its members ev’ry moment
Held subject to Thy call,
Ready to have Thee use them,
Or not be used at all;
Held without restless longing,
Or strain, or stress, or fret,
Or chafings at Thy dealings,
Or thoughts of vain regret.

But restful, calm and pliant,
From bend and bias free,
Awaiting Thy decision,
When Thou hast need of me.
Live out Thy life within me,
O Jesus, King of kings!
Be Thou the glorious answer
To all my questionings.  
               Frances R. Havergal

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Purer yet and purer

Purer yet and purer
I would be in mind,
Dearer yet and dearer
Ev'ry duty find;
Hoping still and trusting
God without a fear,
Patiently believing
He will make all clear.

Calmer yet and calmer
In the hours of pain,
Surer yet and surer
Peace at last to gain;
Suffring still and doing,
To His will resigned,
And to God subduing
Heart and will and mind.

Higher yet and higher
Out of clouds and night,
Nearer yet and nearer
Rising to the light-
Light serene and holy,
Where my soul may rest,
Purified and lowly,
Sanctified and blest.

Swifter yet and swifter
Ever onward run,
Firmer yet and firmer
Step as I go on;
Oft these earnest longings
Swell within my breast,
Yet their inner meaning
Ne'er can be express'd.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Do not let your Liberty Wound the Cause of Christ

.....The apostle Paul did willingly forego those things that
were in themselves lawful, for the furtherance of the interests
of religion and the good of men..... So it was lawful for the
apostle to take the other course of life, as in eating and drinking,
and freely using all kinds of wholesome food.....But he forbore
those things, because he supposed that in his circumstances,
and in the circumstances of the Church of Christ in that day,
he could more advance the interests of religion and the good
of men without them.  For the gospel's sake, and for the good
of men, he was willing to forego all the outward advantages he
could derive from them.  1 Cor. 8:13. "Wherefore if meat make
my brother to offend, I will eat no meat while the world standeth,
lest I make my brother to offend."  He would not only avoid those
things that were useless in themselves, but those also that gave
any occasion to sin, or which led or exposed either himself or
others to sin.  Then it follows in the next chapter....”Have we not
power to eat and to drink?”.....Let this induce such persons to
consider themselves, whether they act altogether as become
Christians, who look upon it as a sufficient excuse for all the
liberties they take, that the things in which they allow themselves,
are in themselves lawful, that they are nowhere forbidden, though
they cannot deny but that considered in their circumstances, they
are of ill tendency, and expose them to temptation, and really
tend to wound the credit and interest of religion, and to be a
stumbling block to others, or as the apostle expresses it, tend
to cause others to offend.  But they uphold themselves with this,
that the things which they practice are not absolutely unlawful in
themselves, and therefore they will not hearken to any counsels
to avoid them.  They think with themselves that it is unreasonable
they should be tied up so strictly; that they may not take one and
another liberty, and must be so stiff and precise above others.
But why did not the apostle talk after their manner?  Why did not he
say within himself, it is unreasonable that I should deny myself lawful
meat and drink merely to comply with the consciences of a few
weak persons, that are unreasonable in their scruples?.....But
the apostle was of another spirit.  What he aimed at was by any
means to promote the interest of religion, and the good of the church.
And he had rather forego all the common comforts and enjoyments of life,
than that religion should suffer.
                                                                 Jonathan Edwards

Poison to the Soul

But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good. 
                            Romans 2:10

1. There is Light in this pleasure.
.....the peace of a godly man, is a peace that arises from light; when he
sees things most as they are, then he has most peace; and the distress
and trouble which he sometimes feels, arise from clouds and darkness.....

2. There is Rest in this pleasure.
.....But the pleasures of the godly afford rest in the enjoyment, and rest
and sweetness in the reflection; it oftentimes calms and refreshes the soul
to look on past comforts.....

3. There is Life in it.
.....The pleasures of the wicked are poison to the soul, they tend to enfeeble
it, to consume it; and kill it.  But the pleasures of the godly feed the soul,
and do not consume it; they strengthen, and do not weaken it; they exalt,
and do not debase it; they enrich, and do not impoverish it.....

4. There is Substance in it.
.....Worldly pleasures are easily overthrown.....But the joys of the saints are
such as the changes of time cannot overthrow.....

5. There is Holiness in it.
.....these pleasures make the soul more excellent, and more divine, as well
as more happy.....

6. There is sometimes Glory in it.
.....God sometimes unvails his face, and lets in light more plentifully.  This is a
delight and joy, the excellency, and sweetness, and admirableness of which
cannot be expressed.  It is a kind of glory that fills the soul.  So excellent is its
nature, that the sweetest earthly delight vanishes into nothing, and appears as
base and vile as dross and dirt, or as the mere mire of the street.  It is bright
above all that is earthly, as the sun is brighter than the glowworm.....
                                                                            Jonathan Edwards