Only a speck in creation,
Only an atom of dust,
Only a generation
Reeking with pride and lust;
Only a race in its blindness
Far from the living God,
Scorning His loving-kindness,
Daring His wrath and rod;
Just a procession of people
Bent on their wilful way,
Boasting a cross and a steeple,
Temple and holy day;
Bent upon money-making,
Grasping at doubtful gain,
Bartering, giving, taking,
Busy with heart and brain;
Death all about them throwing
Arrows that smite and slay,
Time eternally flowing,
Bearing its wrecks away;
Kingdoms rising and falling,
Sceptres trod in the dust,
Horror to horror calling,
Murder, robbery, lust;
Razzia, ruin, ravage,
Pestilence, famine, fear,
Brutes with a nature savage,
Hell in this earthly sphere;
Death in the earth and under,
Death in the sea and air,
Death where they plot and plunder,
Death where the souls despair;
Heaven and earth and ocean,
Thunders, earthquakes and storms,
Continents in commotion,
Faithful and false alarms;
Tempests and waters roaring,
Iron and clay at war,
Men to God’s status soaring:
These are the things that are.
View this infernal tangle!
Hark to these drivelling men!
Mark how they rant and wrangle
Ceaseless with tongue and pen!
Blind is the night they travel,
Blest by nor moon nor star;
For against those who cavil
Light hath placed bolt and bar.
They who God’s revelation
Trample beneath their feet,
Profitless speculation
Must be their mental meat.
Most of them trace existence
Back to the grinning ape,
Therefore with proud persistence
Chatter, jabber and jape.
Few of them caring whither
Life with its sorrow leads,
Bliss and the pathway thither
Veiled is by cavils and creeds.
Yet if their crake we credit
They have the darkness probed,
Yea, they have searched it, sped it,
Light has their minds enrobed.
These are the brainy mortals
Gorged with intelligence,
Gazing thro’ wisdom’s portals
Down on our ignorance.
High in the estimation
Of the admiring throng,
Ornaments of the nation,
Who could suppose them wrong?
Yet are they well persuaded
That we are beasts indeed,
Ape-man grossly degraded,
This is their vaunted creed!
Beasts, if the beast will own us!
He, to his nature true,
Might be inclined to stone us
Seeing the things we do.
Should we with beast compare us,
Should we the contrast scan?
God for the truth prepare us!
He is the gentleman.
We our corruption curtain,
Light we cannot abide;
Openly acts he, certain
He has no shame to hide.
Fearing no reprobation,
Having no curse to flee,
Having no revelation—
Neither, they say, have we!
If we have no unveiling,
If there has come no voice
Us from the shadows hailing,
Whispering woes or joys.
If from the darkness gathered
Into this world of woe,
Back into night unfathered
We must reluctant go;
This may be truly humbling
Back into gloom to pass,
Yet let us minus grumbling
Own to our dullness crass.
If no authentic message
For our enlightenment,
Gloomy or gracious pressage,
Has from the shades been sent.
Vain is all speculation,
Let the plain truth be owned;
Perish our expectation!
Let the blind night be throned.
If we be beasts undoubted,
If this be fact and proved,
Can we be cursed and clouted
Having beasts lived and moved?
Shall we to these men hearken?
Shall we their words respect,
While they the true light darken,
While they God’s Word reject?
Guides in the path of knowledge
They may suppose they are;
Nature their boasted college,
Rock and fossil and star.
What would they with apostles,
Moses and all that throng?
Let them alone with their fossils,
Never suppose them wrong.
Folklore, fable, tradition,
Brew of a boorish age,
They have passed that condition,
Turned to another page.
They have got that which betters,
Betters eternal truth!
Therefore are we their debtors,
Debtors to hell, forsooth!
Who would respect the Bible?
Folly and fog and mist!
Fix on the Maker a libel—
That’s if a Maker exist.
Far are we yet from certain,
Best let the question be;
Some day shall fall the curtain
Then shall we wonders see.
Ay, ye shall witness wonders
When ye have entered where
Ye, for your wilful blunders,
Must the resultance bear.
Is there a soul demanding
Why they should so desire
We should have equal standing
With the wild beast our sire?
Why they should wish to hold us
Kin with the chimpanzee?
This, had they never told us,
People half blind might see?
If with the beast we kin are
Then is the Gospel fraud,
Man is no longer sinner,
God is no longer God.
Hence to no power in creation
Have we account to give,
Gone all consideration
How we should act and live.
Cast to the dogs such drivel,
Be for the Christ heart whole;
Judgment to come shall shrivel
This from the Godless soul.
Back to the revelation
God has been pleased to give,
Let every tribe and nation
Drink of that fount and live.
Give to those Godless sages
Latitude free and wide,
Thro’ them the devil rages,
We in His Word confide.
Dark in their dreaming leave them,
Waking will come one day;
Not with your preaching grieve them—
You may believe—not they.
Let them alone! Why waste ye
Vainly your precious hours?
Unto the thirsty haste ye
With your life-giving showers.
Give not that which is holy
Unto the dogs to eat;
Take to the poor and lowly
Ever enduring meat.
Fools in their folly ever
Shun lest a fool ye be;
Answer a fool, lest clever
In his conceit is he.
Not unto swine be throwing
Pearls for a palace meet,
Lest they, despisal showing,
Tread them beneath their feet.
Garrulous tongues to fetter
Right may be as a rule,
Tho’ it be sometimes better
Fool should be proven fool.
Only by grace be guided,
Wisdom is from above
Liberally divided
In everlasting love.
Pass thro’ this world a stranger,
Meddle not with its ways;
View the Christ in the manger
Then on His gibbet gaze.
There with robbers connected
Bearing both curse and scorn,
Rudely reviled, rejected,
Crowned with a crown of thorn.
Think of the Lord eternal,
Maker, preserver good!
Compassed by powers infernal,
Song of the rabble rude.
Think of Him here to save us,
Seeking our hearts to win!
Think how He died to lave us
White from the stain of sin!
Think how His creatures met Him,
Murder dyeing their breath!
How they like dogs beset Him
Clamouring for His death!
Here you may learn how hollow
Men and their friendships are,
Here you may learn to follow
Him to His home afar.
Right thro’ this blind confusion
Ye may a plain path find;
Yet let no vain delusion
Harbour in heart and mind.
You may expect plain sailing,
Storms shall your course pursue;
Yet shall His grace unfailing
Carry you safely thro’.
Hedged is the path with sorrow
Right to the shining end,
Yet shall the hope of morrow
Courage to tread it lend.
See that your feet are in it,
Patiently be it trod;
Glory invites you, win it,
Finding your strength in God.
Never a wild fowl knows it,
Beast has it never trod,
Wisdom eternal shows it,
Grace provides staff and rod.
Never that highway seemeth
Right to the carnal mind,
No, but with life it teemeth,
This shall the pilgrim find.
Holding to it you may be
Slandered, forsaken, lone,
Natheless, tho’ scorned the way be,
Leads it to crown and throne.
Weigh everlasting pleasures
Gainst the vain joys of earth;
Weighed against durable treasures
What are earth’s vanities worth?
Let the world hear you praising
God in the heights above,
Daily and hourly raising
Carols of grace and love.
Think of the men about you
Bent on a bad career,
Give them no cause to doubt you
Dwell in a sinless sphere.
Let the poor hopeless mortal
Burdened with guilt and shame,
Trembling at death’s dark portal,
Hear of the Saviour’s name.
Wait no convenient season,
This you might one day find
Had against Christ been treason
And to the soul unkind.
Do not put off till morrow
What can be done today;
Plenty of human sorrow
Lies on your pilgrim way.
Not without righteous reason
Be with your neighbour wrath,
Speak a kind word in season
If he a sorrow hath.
Bear with his wilful weakness
Do not impatient be,
Show him a spirit of meekness,
Let him not hardness see.
Not on his woes by heaping
Blame like the breath of hell,
Turn the valley of weeping
Into a springing well.
If a poor friend would borrow,
Present distress to stay,
Bid him not come tomorrow
When you can give today.
Do not put off well doing,
Work while you have the chance,
Spiritless souls renewing,
Make the heart-wounded dance.
Do not be still debating
What you shall eat and drink,
Nor of your wealth be prating,
Nor of apparel think.
Has not the Master told us
Life is much more than meat;
Ermine may now enfold us,
Cometh the winding sheet.
Study the wild fowl flying
High in the heavens above,
Care and despair defying,
Fed by a God of love.
Flowers of the field have glory
Passing royal array,
Even the winter hoary
Vies with the springtide gay.
You shall be surely cared for
Till the dark night is o’er,
You have His faithful word for
This and a great deal more.
Therefore go on rejoicing
Learning His gracious ways,
Ever and ever voicing
His inexhaustible praise.
Leaving the things that base are,
Seeking the best to win;
Riches no sign of grace are,
Poverty is no sin.
Better is grief than laughter,
Better sorrow than joy;
Think of what follows after,
Pleasures too often cloy.
If they were everlasting
They might be worth some thought,
But must they feel death’s blasting?
Then are they worse than naught.
Go to the house of weeping,
Sorrow makes witlings wise,
Good it is to be keeping
Departure before our eyes.
When the salt tears are flowing
Their human woes are rife,
Yea, and the field for sowing
Seeds of eternal life.
Where the east winds are smiting,
Where to the very bone
Merciless frosts are biting,
Where are the poor and lone,
Found are the fields for training.
These are the Master’s schools
Where the elect for reigning
Study the laws and rules.
Fools have their days of pleasure,
Pleasure that fades away,
Misery without measure
Darkens the coming day.
Now is their good ship sailing
Over the blue expanse,
Revel their souls regaling,
Fear they no fell mischance.
Wake up the organ charming,
Dullness today were crime,
Hearts to the music warming,
See that the feet keep time.
God and His Christ! forget them,
Live for the present hour!
Gospel Scaremongers! let them
Pass with their faces sour!
Thus till a danger rising
Breaks amid wrathful waves,
Death, their delights surprising,
Round them in darkness raves.
Now has their boasting finished,
Death and despair draw nigh,
Now is their joyance minished,
Now unto God they cry.
Yet in His grace surprising
He will their prayers respect,
And from the death arising
Surely their lives protect.
Wilful from Him departed
Now will they whine and cry,
Those who are honest-hearted
Live as they hope to die.
Those in their godless revel
Fill their few earthly days
Headlong rushed by the devil
In his accursed ways.
Shall we their footsteps follow?
Far be the wicked thought
In this world’s ways to wallow
Till we to death are brought!
Then to cry from our craven
Hearts in His heavenly ear,
Just for a passport to heaven
Sheltered from danger and fear.
No, let us gladly own Him
Now we are well and strong,
Now in our hearts enthrone Him,
Make Him our joy and song.
Upward we should be soaring,
Man was created so,
Not like the blind worm boring
Into the soil below.
Not for this world be claiment,
Riches with cares are blent;
If you have food and raiment
You may be well content.
Not after wealth be straining,
Why should you covet dross?
Losing has oft been gaining,
Gain has been often loss.
Loving your life you lose it,
Losing it you shall live;
Glory invites you, choose it,
Now for the future give.
Plenty of paradoxes
Here in this life we find,
These, and not heterodoxes,
Study with heart and mind.
What amount would your gain be
Were the wide world made yours?
Will to hold it would vain be,
Not even life endures;
And in the end, supposing
Lost were your deathless soul;
Only the dark night closing
Round you could tell your dole.
Never for fleeting pleasures
Barter eternal bliss;
Life everlasting measure
Wisely and well with this.
Take no thought for your clothing,
Be not concerned about food;
Plague your soul about nothing,
God is both rich and good.
He delights to be trusted,
We should this fact have prized;
But with mind ill adjusted
Men have His grace despised.
Yet tho’ they will not own Him
Tho’ of His grace they wot,
They have most surely shown Him
That they regard Him not.
Nevertheless His kindness
Fills their cup to the brim,
While in their brutal blindness
They have no thanks for Him.
How could He then unheeding
Witness your grievous lot,
When He is clothing, feeding
Souls with their sins besot.
Never will He deny you
Who on His grace depend,
Tho’ He may test and try you
Even to your wit’s end.
Your extremity giving
Him an occasion good,
Who gives to all the living
Mercies in multitude.
Set not your heart on winning
All that your eye can see;
Naked was your beginning,
Naked your end shall be.
Let not earth’s tinsel charm you,
Drink not its noisome springs,
Gainst its allurements arm you,
Seek after heavenly things.
You have been called to glory,
Therefore let seen things go,
Earth is poor, old and hoary,
Barren is all below.
Give, and you shall be given
An overflowing bowl;
Lay up treasures in heaven,
Covetousness control.
He that with others sharing,
Scatters, his treasure grows
He that is mean and sparing
Often poverty knows.
Practise discrimination
When and to whom you give;
Send not to condemnation
Those you would help to live.
Temper all things with kindness,
Never too righteous be;
Practise a little blindness
Lest people’s faults you see.
Not with the poor be waging
War of a ruthless kind,
Nor at the rich be raging
Rashly with covetous mind.
Leave it to the unerring
Evils to settle, you might
Smite when you should be sparing
Spare when you ought to smite.
Do not be self-reliant,
Never imagine you
Are such a moral giant
That you can all things do.
Wait for the day appointed
When in His righteousness
Jesus, the King anointed
Shall human wrongs redress.
Tardy seems its appearing,
Doubted, denied by some
Cause there is none for fearing
That it shall never come.
Keep it ever before you
Spite of your many cares;
Watch for it, I implore you,
Lest it come unawares.
Now is the day for doing,
Cometh the day of rest;
Now are we life pursuing,
Presently endeth the quest.
Now is the time for sowing
Grain in the open field;
Cometh the time of mowing,
What shall the harvest yield?
Now is the north wind chilling,
Cometh the south wind fleet;
Now are the keen frosts killing,
Cometh the summer heat.
Now are your circumstances
Brimful and black with fear;
Cloudless a day advances
Laden with endless cheer.
Now is the time for fasting,
Cometh the merry feast;
Joys that are everlasting,
Full and for ever increased.
Now is the night of weeping,
Cometh the jocund day;
Watch, lest it find you sleeping,
Earnestly watch and pray.
Now is the time for bearing
Sorrows His soul hath known;
Cometh the time for sharing
With Him His kingly throne.
Now is the time for praying,
Praying with confidence,
On our petitions spraying
Odours of penitence;
Cometh the time for singing
Songs in the heavenly sphere,
Praise to the Firstborn bringing,
Sweet in the Father’s ear.
Praise to the Son and Father,
Praise in the Spirit’s might,
Praise when we all shall gather
There in that living light.
Lift the hands that are weary,
Strengthen the feeble knees;
Dark is the night and dreary,
Biting the bitter breeze.
Hark! ’tis the glory calling
Fear not this false world’s frown;
Free from its toils enthralling,
No one let take thy crown.
God not to faith’s defender
Giveth a spirit of fear;
Therefore let No Surrender!
Still be our watchword here.
Be not the least faint-hearted,
Courage the fight shall win;
Better from friend be parted,
Better leave kith and kin,
Than the eternal heaven
Which you have hope to gain,
And for which you have striven
Fervent with might and main.
Put not the least reliance
On your own moral might;
This at complete defiance
Satan could put at sight.
Not to the strong is the battle,
Not to the swift the race,
Not to the people that prattle
Of prowess men give place.
God shall lift up the lowly
Setting the proud aside;
Strength belongs to the holy
Who in the Christ abide.
Cling to the living Father,
Soon shall the goal be won;
When in His house we gather,
Waiting and watching done.
Griefs you expect tomorrow
Carry them not today;
Often the threatened sorrow
Harmless passes away.
Be not the least dejected,
Think not He has forgot,
If when you had expected
His advent, He came not.
Straight is the road to glory,
Keep it ever in sight;
Young, ay, or old and hoary,
Walk in that radiant light.
Not to the left hand turn you,
Turn not once to the right;
Dangers abound, I warn you,
Keep the Forerunner in sight.
He has gone on before you,
He has marked out the way;
Failing, He can restore you,
He is your strength and stay.
See Him ascended, seated
On the right hand of God,
Victor, by glory greeted
Having the pathway trod.
Trod to the Father’s glory,
Trod thro’ the realm of death;
Here let us tell the story
While we have life and breath.
Watch that His footsteps cheering
You may thro’ grace divine
Better discern, as nearing
Daily the border line.
Let us go onward singing
Songs of our country fair,
Blessing Him who is bringing
Sons to His glory there.
We are His sons elected,
Given to Christ alone,
While He is earth-rejected,
While on the Father’s throne.
When at His grand appearing
He shall His kingdom claim,
Gone shall be all our fearing,
Gone the reproach and shame.
Gone the despite distressing,
Gone the things that molest;
Come the eternal blessing,
Come the unending rest.
Therefore let us be living
Here in that prospect bright;
Help to the helpless giving,
Stars thro’ this world’s dark night.
Follow after the Saviour
Meek and lowly in heart,
Courteous in your behaviour,
Kindness to all impart.
People who underrate you
Do not in haste condemn;
There may be those who hate you,
Manifest love to them.
Never with curse be blasting
Ingrates in bitter breath,
Nor be at random casting
Firebrands, arrows and death.
Never lay an obstruction
Basely before the blind;
Sympathy, not destruction,
Such at your hand should find.
Curse not the deaf; thro’ favour
You have got ears to hear,
Therefore by grace endeavour
Always his soul to cheer.
Easy it is to do it
Strengthened by grace divine;
Love never fails, pursue it,
Make of your heart its shrine.
Here so live that when leaving
Earth with its toils and tears,
Cause may not be for grieving
Self had so stained your years.
Do not forget God knoweth
Even your counsels deep;
Surely what each man soweth,
That shall he also reap.
Order your ways as under
His ever watchful eye;
He doth your pathway ponder,
Therefore from evil fly.
He the Omniscient taketh
Note of the doings of men;
When He to judgment waketh,
What of your trespass then?
Watch over every action,
Watch over thought and deed,
Watch over each transaction,
Give to your ways good heed.
Then you shall not be fearing
When the great day draws nigh,
When His august appearing
Bursts upon every eye—
When in despair a wailing
Shall from earth’s tribes arise,
Fruitless and unavailing,
Unto the frowning skies—
When the Lord Christ eternal
Shall on His holy Hill
Sit, and by power supernal
Break every rebel will—
That you so little believed Him,
Little lived to His praise;
That you so sorely grieved Him
With your unholy ways.
But shall be great your greeting,
Mighty your confidence;
Joy unspeakable meeting
Even Omnipotence.
Rulers and kings shall tremble,
Princes shall bow the knee;
What tho’ a few dissemble
Feigning servility?
All must submit, or perish,
He must be Lord confessed,
He shall the lowly cherish,
Wrongs shall be all redressed.
Peace shall flow as a river,
There shall be corn and wine,
Free by the gracious Giver,
Free from the Hand Divine.
Saved by the blood atoning
We shall know no distress;
Ended shall be our groaning,
Endless our blessedness.
Watch for the Earth-Rejected!
Watch till He comes with might!
Watch for the long expected