"Canst thou by searching find out God?"
Henry Wilson, Inkongo.
CANST thou by searching find
The Almighty God? Can puny man
Take in the One who was ere time began,
With his own finite mind?
I use a microscope, and scan
A tiny parasite,
Brought to the light
Of my research and vision as a man;
Yet is that tiny mite
To understand that I not only see
And know it, but control its destiny.
So it would seem that puny finite man
Can never scan
Or know the mighty God, who fills eternity.
Some say God can be found
In Nature; and 'tis true indeed
We there His wisdom and His might can read,
And see His skill abound.
The tiny animalculae,
More wonderful by far
Than man's inventions are,
Display His handiwork with certainty.
Each plant that grows
Most plainly shows
The imprint of a wise Creator's hand,
On viewing which amazed and awed I stand.
But 'tis His work, not God Himself I see,
Nor can it be
That viewing Nature only I shall understand.
Behold the starry sky!
What human mind can comprehend
Where the beginning is or where the end
Of such immensity?
What do the many names convey?
The 'Serpent' shining bright,
The 'Cross,' emblazed in light,
The 'Crown,' the 'Wounded Conqueror,' what are they?
Again I stand amazed;
The mind is dazed
Before the sky's expanse, so great, so wide:
And yet one's longing rests ungratified;
And life's hard problems and its deepest need
Unsolved, unmet. The heart is not thus satisfied.
Turn now and view with me
A group of humble men gathered around
A central One, for in that One are found
A lofty majesty,
Surpassing wisdom, gentleness,
A knowledge of men's needs,
A tenderness that heeds
The faintest cry of sorrow or distress.
Then Philip speaks this word-
'Show us the Father, Lord,'
And thus the Lord replies with voice serene
'He that hath seen Me, hath the Father seen.'
O wondrous, glorious mystery, that God,
The eternal God,
Has revealed Himself in this our earthly scene.
Then onward to the Cross,
Displaying God's great love to you and me,
Behold the Lord, advance unflinchingly,
Unmoved by shame or loss.
But, risen now at God's right hand,
Upon His glorious face
God's glory we can trace,
And seeing Him, our hearts can understand.
He knows our every need,
And He can read
Even the longing we can scarce express,
And knowing, 'tis His great delight to bless,
The weary heart can find in Him its rest,
And, fully blest,
Be filled with heavenly peace and joy and happiness.
While He is still away,
His people here are left to set Him forth,
And show His glory and His matchless worth,
And God Himself display.
We well may own with grief and shame
How much we fail to show
God's nature here below,
And how we do dishonour to His Name.
Yet let us fix our gaze
On Him, whose rays
Will brighten, change us, cause us now to be
More like Him, so that all around may see
In us a little of that radiant light,
And glory bright,
Which we shall bear throughout a glad eternity.