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XXXIII. SEEKING THE BELOVED.
To those who know the Lord I speak,
beloved near ?
The bridegroom of my soul I seek,
Oh! when will he appear? Though once a man of grief and shame,
Yet now he fills a throne, And bears the greatest, sweetest name,
That earth or heaven has known. Grace flies before, and love attends
His steps where'er he goes ; Though none can see him but his friends,
And they were once his foes. He speaks—obedient to his call
Our warm affections move :
Did he but shine alike on all,
Then all alike would love.
Then love in every heart would reign,
And war would cease to roar ;
And cruel and blood-thirsty men
Would thirst for blood no more.
Such Jesus is, and such his grace,
Oh, may he shine on you !
And tell him, when you see his face,
I long to see him too.*
Cant. y. 8.
BREATHE from the gentle south, O Lord,
And cheer me from the north ;
Blow on the treasures of thy word,
And call the spices forth !
I wish, thou know'st, to be resign’d,
And wait with patient hope ;
But hope delay'd fatigues the mind,
And drinks the spirit up.
Help me to reach the distant goal,
feeble knee; Pity the sickness of a soul
That faints for love of thee.
Cold as I feel this heart of mine,
Yet since I feel it so;
It yields some hope of life divine
Within, however low.
I seem forsaken and alone,
I hear the lion roar ;
And ev'ry door is shut but one,
And that is mercy's door.
There, till the dear Deliv'rer come,
I'll wait with humble pray’r;
And when he calls his exile home,
The Lord shall find me there.
'Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross, But the Saviour's power to know,
Sanctifying every loss : Trials must and will befall;
But with humble faith to see Love inscribed upon them all,
This is happiness to me.
God in Israel sows the seeds
Of affliction, pain, and toil;
These spring up and choke the weeds
Which would else o'erspread the soil : Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give new life to prayer ; Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.
Did I meet no trials here,
No chastisement by the way : Might I not, with reason, fear
I should prove a castaway.
Bastards may escape the rod,*
Sunk in earthly, vain delight;
But the trueborn child of God
Must not, would not, if he might.
Hebrews xii, 8.
XXXVI. AFFLICTIONS SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD.
O how I love thy holy word,
Thy gracious covenant, O Lord !
It guides me in the peaceful way;
I think upon it all the day.
What are the mines of shining wealth,
The strength of youth, the bloom of health!
What are all joys compared with those
Thine everlasting word bestows!
Long unafflicted, undismay’d,
In pleasure's path secure I stray'd ;
Thou madest me feel thy chastening rod, *
And straight I turn'd unto my God.
What though it pierced my fainting heart,
I bless thine hand that caused the smart ;
It taught my tears awhile to flow,
But saved me from eternal woe.
Oh! hadst thou left me unchastised,
Thy precept I had still despised ;
And still the snare in secret laid
Had my unwary feet betray’d.
I love thee, therefore, O my God,
And breathe towards thy dear abode ;
Where, in thy presence fully blest,
Thy chosen saints for ever rest.
The billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wintry sky;
Out of the depths to thee I call,-
My fears are great, my strength is small.
O Lord, the pilot's part perform,
And guard and guide me through the storm,
Defend me from each threatening ill,
Control the waves, -say, “ Peace, be still.”
Amidst the roaring of the sea
My soul still hangs her hope on thee;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.
Dangers of every shape and name
Attend the followers of the Lamb,
Who leave the world's deceitful shore,
And leave it to return no more.
Though tempest-toss'd and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek ;
Let neither winds nor stormy main
Force back my shatter'd bark again.
XXXVIII. LOOKING UPWARDS IN A STORM.
God of my life, to thee I call,
Afflicted at thy feet I fall ;
When the great water-floods prevail,*
Leave not my trembling heart to fail !