Present with the Lord

Gone from this world, from its gloom and its glitter,
Gone from its sin and its sorrow and shame,
The summer, the winter—the sweet and the bitter—
Fancies and follies, its praise and its blame.
Gone to the land where no evil shall enter,
Gone where no pestilence venomed shall smite,
Gone to the sphere of which Jesus is Centre,
Gone to the land of ineffable light.
Gone from a fallen and faithless profession,
Gone from corruption, confusion, debate,
Treason and treachery, trespass, transgression,
Gone from this life and its love and its hate.
Gone to the spirits, for whom have been ended
Desert and danger and failure and fall,
Gone to the Christ, who in mercy descended
Down into death as a ransom for all.
Gone from the home upon earth with its gladness,
Leaving the lonely heart bleeding behind,
Gone from the sobbing and sighing and sadness,
Gone from the vision, but not from the mind.
Gone from this darkness to brightness supernal,
Gone to the peaceful abode of the blest,
Gone to a home and a welcome eternal,
Gone from the turmoil and toil into rest.
Gone from our midst, but we dare not lament thee,
E’en tho’ thy service to sinner and saint
Ended for ever is, Jesus who sent thee
Lives for the feeble and failing and faint.
Long hast thou stood in the front of the battle
True to thy Captain beloved and adored,
When men were flying like dumb driven cattle,
Faithless, alas, to their Saviour and Lord.
Never again shalt thou follow the standard,
Never, tho’ men may thy Master defame,
Tho’ He be slighted, forsaken, and slandered,
Shalt thou draw sword in defence of His name?
Called from the field where the fell foe was raging
Called from the front and the fiery attack,
Where never foeman thy prowess engaging
Saw thee exhibit a cowardly back.
Yet was it grace, and grace only, that made thee
All that thou wast as a servant of Christ,
Grace that had saved thee, subdued thee, and swayed thee,
Sweetly thy soul from transgression enticed.
Grace, for by nature perverse and polluted,
Thou wast like others, nor better nor worse,
Deep in thy bosom rebellion was rooted,
Grace thy proud spirit redeemed from the curse.
Gone to thy Saviour, triumphant thy going,
Bright was thy sky at the set of the sun—
Rather the rising—with deathless love glowing,
Almost the summit of happiness won.
Only one action to perfect the blessing,
Only one touch of the finger of God,
Then that on which the death shadow is pressing
Shall in Christ’s image arise from the sod.
If for a moment the pain of thy parting
Strikes thro’ the mind and the heart and the brain,
Soothed is the soul from its sorrowful smarting
By the bright prospect of meeting again.
Yes, we shall meet when the last trump is sounding,
When falls that Voice so well known on our ear,
When in the clouds our Redeemer surrounding,
Parting no longer His people shall fear.
Oh, to be near Him, to see Him in glory!
Oh, to walk with Him apparelled in white!
Oh, to be hearing His wonderful story
Told by Himself in those regions of light!
This is our prospect! O hasten the day, Lord,
When Thou wilt gather us home to Thy side;
When in Thy likeness Thine eye shall survey, Lord,
Those Thou hast loved, and for whom Thou hast died!