A Little Nearer

To S.R. on his sixty-fifth year.
A little nearer to the pearly portal,
A little nearer to the priceless prize,
A little nearer putting off the mortal,
A little nearer seeing with the eyes,
A little nearer to the journey’s ending,
A little nearer to the grand ascending.
Another milestone on the highway counted,
How many more remain are all unknown,
Before thy weary feet, belov’d, have mounted
The golden stairway leading to the throne,
When with the multitude of God’s election
Thou hast arrived at infinite perfection.
The weary wilderness that lies behind thee
Bears powerful witness to His ceaseless care,
And in the glory oft shall it remind thee
Of grace unfailing manifested there;
Grace patient, boundless from thy first beginning,
Grace thine affections for thy Saviour winning.
How could that love one moment brief forget thee?
That love that at such cost has made thee His.
Can never rest till it hath safely set thee
Along with Him, made like Him where He is.
Has He not died His very own to make thee?
How then could He forget thee, or forsake thee?
By sorrows great, yea, by His blood He bought thee,
God’s wrath He suffered, for He loved thee so,
Back from the grave triumphantly He brought thee
That thou His faithful heart might learn and know,
And that with all the ransomed He might gather
Thee to the bosom of the living Father.
May thy remaining days, beloved brother,
Be infinitely brighter than the past,
And may Himself alone, and not another,
Fill thy soul’s vision till the very last.
That last that shall be on the cloud to meet Him,
When all His saints with songs shall gladly greet Him.