The Power, Goodness, and Love of God.
The following Poem is an attempt to lead the mind to the contemplation of some of the wondrous works of God, as displayed in creation; and also to the consideration of His goodness and tender mercies, which are unceasingly shown to His erring, sinful creatures. It also treats of the manifestation of His love to the world, in the gift of "His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." May He deign to make it instrumental to the bringing of some soul to the knowledge of HIMSELF, "the only true God," and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.
Part 1. THE POWER OF GOD IN CREATION.
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead."
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
WILT thou, O man, in pride presume to boast
Against thy Maker, and profane His name?
A creature weak as thou! — a worm at most!
Thy primal image lost through sin and shame!
Within thy bosom burns no fervent flame
To Him, thy God, thy being's end and source,
Whose attributes thy deepest homage claim,
Whose mercy guards thee with a gentle force,
And whose rich bounty flows in full, unceasing course?
Lift up thine eyes! His wondrous works behold!
The broad expanse of heaven's ethereal blue
Those million worlds, within their orbits rolled,
That with unwearied speed their course pursue,
Like fiery steeds, with progress swift and true.
Age rolls on age o'er man's brief, fleeting race
Quick generations still his race renew;
But yonder whirling worlds sustain their place,
And nought of mortal change affects their path or pace.
Who dare defy the glorious midday sun,
When he shines forth with bright and dazzling rays?
Of mortal men, oh name him, if there's one
That can, with eagle eye, unflinching gaze
On him when he his majesty displays.
Yet is he but a ball, an orb of light,
A shining atom in this mighty maze,
A speck in the vast universe, a mite,
The fettered slave of Him who dwells beyond our sight.
Sublime beyond expression is the arch
That spans the heavens in the slimmer rain,
Before the sun hath closed his daily march,
To sink in splendour o'er the western main.
To paint its beauties, art attempts in vain.
'Tis God's remembrancer, the shining token
That o'er the hills shall floods ne'er flow again — Genesis 9:12-17.
The world-wide witness of what He hath spoken,
Whose word, when once declared, can ne'er be changed nor broken.
Terrific is the tempest's rage and force,
As through the sky it sweeps with fearful power,
Pursuing full the current of its course,
Unchecked the anger of its wrathful hour,
When stoutest hearts, without reproach, may cower.
The lightning runs — the clouds are rent asunder;
Surcharged, they burst in one o'erwhelming shower;
While peal on peal of loud and deaf'ning thunder
O'erawe and fill the soul with thoughts of fear and wonder.
To do their Maker's will the storms rejoice,
They but obey His great Almighty word;
The thunders are the echoes of His voice;
The lightnings, the swift arrows of the Lord
His arm of strength that wings them from their cord. Psalm 18:13-14.
While all His works His glorious power declare,
And His great name by angels is adored,
Shall man alone, chief object of His care,
His word presume to doubt, His power and greatness dare?
If we descend to this sublunar globe,
What glorious wonders all around we see
There we behold the ocean, like a robe,
Enwrap the earth with waters wild and free,
Yet held in bounds fixed by divine decree. Job 38:8-11.
When roused by winds, its billows rage and roar,
Its mighty waters fiercely flow; but flee
The instant they approach the shielded shore,
'Gainst which they dash and beat, but dare not venture o'er.
Man builds and launches his leviathan,
The monster vessel made to plough the deep,
And proudly says, "Behold the work of man!
"Safe o'er the billows shall she swiftly sweep,
"While feebler craft along the shore may creep."
With steam and sail, 'mid loud huzzas, she starts;
Her owners look a rich reward to reap
From her choice stores consigned to foreign marts,
And her return with wares and wealth from distant parts.
She speeds her course; soft blows the summer breeze;
The sun looks smiling on; the sea is calm;
The vessel glides with pleasantness and ease,
And all on board are free from fear and qualm;
While souls devout in silence raise a psalm
To God, the Author of all earthly bliss,
Of heavenly love, and soul-refreshing balm.
Sweet, tranquil scene! And, in accord this,
The whole horizon round the sky and ocean kiss.
But oft, alas! a calm forebodes a storm,
The night succeeds the best and brightest days,
And hearts that in the morn with hope were warm,
May clasp despair with sun's declining rays:
And so this ship, man's confidence and praise,
Which left the shore in majesty and pride,
This trite, but oft-forgotten, truth displays
For to her port she did not safely ride,
But in a tempest wrecked, she sunk beneath the tide.
O man, how frail! his utmost skill, how vain
When God lets loose a fierce, tempestuous gale,
To raging wrath bestirs the mighty main,
And bids them some devoted ship assail.
Man's puny strength is then of no avail.
Almighty power he, then, perforce must own,
The proof too plain that human efforts fail;
For, his last struggle o'er, with heavy moan
He sinks beneath the waves, as lifeless as a stone.
The earth itself survey — thy native dust! Genesis 2:7.
Its hidden depths thou never could'st explore
Thou canst but break, as with a spade, its crust,
With all thine engines, but its surface bore;
Still leaving, all untouched, its central core.
So vain a creature thou! a narrow cell
Beneath its sod is all thy want — no more
When thou upon its face shall cease to dwell,
And friends for thee, perchance, may sound the doleful knell.
Behold the mountains, soaring to the skies,
Their summits crowned with everlasting snow
Alike unmoved by April's weeping eyes,
And fierce July's intense and fervent glow;
Like heavenly peace, untouched by weal or woe.
Yet by His word, who made the mountains tower,
O'er loftiest peaks were waters made to flow,
When heavenly founts poured forth their ceaseless shower,
And depths were all unlocked, by their Creator's power. Genesis 7, 8.
But why these items of His might recount?
For who can all
His wondrous works detail,
Or trace each streamlet to its sacred Fount?
At such a task the strongest mind must quail,
And in the attempt angelic hosts would fail.
The world around His power and greatness shows;
His voice is heard in every sighing gale, Psalm 29.
When tempests rage, or fierce tornado blows,
In hot volcanic fire, and earthquake's fearful throes.
The whole creation hangs upon His word;
It breathed not with existence till He spoke
But when His all-commanding voice was heard,
From still, eternal silence it awoke,
And at His bidding into being broke, Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; John 1:3; Heb. 1:2-3; 11:3.
And while the heavens and the earth shall stand,
Shall they be subject to their Maker's yoke,
Make known the power of His mighty hand,
And show how great His name!
His varied works, how grand!
When His Almighty word had formed the earth,
And shed abroad the beaming rays of light,
To grass and fruitful trees had given birth,
The sun decreed for day, the moon for night,
And all was good, and beautiful, and bright;
Then beings breathed at His, their Maker's, call.
First made He fish, — then birds for song and flight:
Majestic beasts; and cattle, great and small;
Yea, all of every kind; and things that creep and crawl.
His last, the chief and greatest work, was man;
Who, God-inspired, became a living soul
In God's own image — thus the race began.
To him He gave dominion and control
O'er creatures all, and earth, from pole to pole. Genesis 1:26-27, 28.
Alas! that man, so honoured, and so blessed,
Should thro' the fall so soon have marred the whole
His sin, the tasting of that tree, the test Genesis 3.
To prove if he would keep his Maker's one behest.
Say, Is not life a marvel? Who but He
That ne'er beginning knew, nor end can know,
Who is, who was, and evermore shall be,
Could this surpassing, blessed gift bestow
On hosts above, on beings here below?
To Him alone creative power belongs;
To Him, then, should unceasing praises flow
In joyous strains, in glad and grateful songs,
From hosts above the sky, and earth's unnumbered throngs.
But man, alas! is to his God a traitor,
And falls to own the wonders He has wrought
He gives not glory to the great Creator,
Nor honours Him as he, the creature, ought,
With all his strength of heart, and soul, and thought.
Nay, sadder still; when God His love has proved,
And tidings sends, with richest mercy fraught,
Of full salvation in His well-beloved,
Man's heart is so estranged, he hears it all unmoved.
If thou His grace refuse, His love reject,
His strong beseechings of thy soul withstand,
Will He, who heaven with starry gems hath decked,
Who works His wonders both by sea and land,
Who holds the worlds and guides them with His hand,
Not bring the scorner to His righteous throne?
Then will thy soul be wrecked, like ship a-strand;
And in thine anguish and despairing moan,
The undying worm will be, the fault was all thine own.
Against thy God no longer then rebel.
If glory shines in His great work, creation,
What bright effulgence, and what glories dwell
In His blessed image, Christ, in exaltation;
His power, and wisdom, Son, and great salvation! Heb. 1.
There's mercy, peace, and blessing, Him receiving,
Who bore in love the sinner's condemnation;
And, to His cross and Holy Person cleaving,
Thou wilt around thy soul eternal bliss be weaving.
Part 2. THE GOODNESS OF GOD.
"The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works."
"He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
"Despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
ALMIGHTY Power, I have essayed to sing,
Though far above me hath its grandeur soared.
I now would seek to strike a gentler string
To that sweet theme, "The Goodness of the Lord!"
Delightful task! His mercies to record.
But who is equal to so blest an aim,
Unless on him abundant grace be poured?
This grace I crave in Jesus' worthy name,
That I my God may praise, and sound abroad His fame.
But where shall I begin? For far and near
So thickly strewed are all His mercies found;
His bounteous blessings everywhere appear;
Such goodness flows throughout this rolling round,
Beyond the creature's puny powers to sound;
That, like a ship without a chart at sea,
I fail to find direction, shore, or bound.
But all bewild'ring doubts that instant flee,
When, Lord, from streams I turn, and find their fount in Thee. James 1:17.
If pure the source, the currents purely flow
If bright the sun, then brilliant are his rays
By clustering grapes the fruitful vine we know
So God His goodness by His works displays,
And shows His loving-kindness in His ways.
When man He blessed, before his sin and fill,
Then blooming Eden sang aloud His praise
And since that hour His mercies, shown to all,
For hallelujahs full on us His creatures call.
Alas! how few who dwell beneath the skies,
And share the blessings of the sun and rain
Who taste His mercies as each moment flies —
The bounties of the air, the earth, and main —
E'er raise the tribute of a grateful strain.
His gifts they take, but thanks from Him withhold.
Nay, oft will they His providence arraign:
For long forbearance makes the rebel bold,
And hearts by sin estranged are to their Maker cold.
Who gave us being, with its keen delights
Of love and friendship, home and kindling joys?
Who shaped the mind, which soars to starry heights,
Debates with judgement's calm and steady poise,
Or plays with fancy's light and airy toys?
Who formed the frame in which our spirits dwell,
For blessing fit, though sin the bliss alloys,
And set in beauty earth cannot excel?
Whose workmanship art thou, oh, thankless creature, tell? Prov. 22:2; Job 31:15; 34:19.
Man's race, indeed, is fallen and defiled,
For sin its victim could not but abase;
His fruit, once fair, now wanton grows, and wild,
And keenest eye no fruit for God can trace,
Except where dwells the root of heavenly grace.
Yet as the oak, which arrowy lightnings kill,
In ruined grandeur still maintains its place
So man, though far from God in heart and will,
Some outward marks retains of fallen greatness still.
If we the goodness of the Lord would trace,
Let us His mercies to our kind review;
Which wait on us when life begins its race,
And never cease, but sweetly us pursue,
Each day and night, life's lengthened journey through.
Man's wants are many; weakness clings to all;
But loving, tender, mercies, fresh is dew,
At morn and eve, unfailing, gently fall,
The hearts of all to cheer throughout this earthly ball.
A babe is born! A frail and fragile thing,
More helpless far than fledgling in its nest;
To its fond mother does the infant cling,
And lays its head upon her loving breast,
And there finds comfort, nourishment, and rest.
Both sire and she, with true parental pride,
With joy caress their welcome, winsome guest
And, taught by love, with pleasure they provide
For all its rising wants from mercy's flowing tide.
A ceaseless flow of blessings from above
Attends the child, till he a youth is grown.
He thrives beneath a mother's tender love,
Surpassing other love, a mother's own,
Which in her breast a gracious God hath sown.
The father, too, his heedless boy doth lead
Through snares and dangers, to his years unknown
With watchful care he plucks each noxious weed,
And sows the fertile mind with wisdom's fruitful seed.
The child, a youth becomes; the youth, a man
And, as a tree, deep-rooted in the ground,
Extends in height, circumference, and span,
Outspreads its arms and branches all around,
And is with fruit and graceful foliage crowned
So he who gains a parent's honoured name,
Whose labours for his children's sake abound,
Who honours age, and owns the widow's claim,
Has carried his true desert, a crown of honest fame.
'Tis God gives man the blessings of his life;
His health, and strength, prosperity, and friends,
That best of boons, a loving, prudent wife,
Blithe boys and girls, whom she, unceasing, tends.
Yea, every good His thoughtful kindness sends.
For man He cares, regardful of his state,
And constant blessing with his being blends.
His mercies are both manifold and great;
And all His gracious ways, what creature can relate?
Man reaches soon the summer of his days,
Enjoys its sunshine and its genial glow;
Till autumn sheds its calm and sober rays,
And yields its fruits, which in abundance grow,
And o'er his pathway their rich blessings throw;
Then winter comes apace, severe and cold,
And crowns the brow of age with frosted snow.
The closing scene the living next behold
Man yields his fleeting breath, and life's short tale is told.
Compassions comfort us at every stage
Of our existence — from the hour of birth,
Until the body, worn with toil and age,
Lays down its load upon the lap of earth.
God's gifts and goodness banish drought and dearth.
The sun, rejoicing, runs his ancient round,
And fills the earth with gladness, light, and mirth;
Soft dews and rains refresh the thirsty ground;
And earth from year to year is with abundance crowned.
The golden grain behold! the fruitful fields!
And see the cattle on a thousand hills!
The womb of earth her hidden riches yields,
And man with bounties from her bosom fills,
To raise his gladness, and assuage his ills.
The winding currents through their channels flow,
The broad, deep rivers, and the sparkling rills;
All nature strives with earnest zeal to show
The goodness which the Lord doth on us all bestow.
While earth remains, the seasons shall not cease,
And sowing-time and harvest never fail; Gen. 8:22.
Nor shall the waters of the clouds decrease,
Nor sun forget to shine on hill and dale.
But blessings fall on meadow, field, and vale.
The flowers shall bloom, to cheer us on our ways,
And still shall blow the fresh and fragrant gale;
The blithesome birds pour forth their tuneful lays,
And every thing that breathes proclaim their Maker's praise.
And all these blessings, which we fain would trace,
From God Himself descend, and rest on all. Matt. 5:45; Job 25:3.
On those who gaze, adoring, on the face
Of His dear Son, and God their Father call.
And, in His grace, on those as well they fall
Who never bowed before His holy name,
Nor thanked Him for His mercies, great or small;
Regardless of the Fountain whence they came,
His goodness in His gifts, and what His bounties claim.
Yet is He loth to fix the sinner's sentence,
And close the day of lingering love and grace;
His goodness ever leading to repentance,
And He the rebel ready to embrace
Who looks for mercy in the Saviour's face.
His fruitful seasons fill us still with gladness,
Yet is He gracious to our ruined race;
His tender mercies soothe our hearts in sadness,
And still in love He seeks to stay us in our madness.
Oh! worthy He of a sublimer song,
And more exalted strain than we can sing
To whom such pity, love, and grace belong.
Who is of mercy the perennial Spring,
And good to all, yea, every living thing.
Supreme in bliss, Eternal, Infinite,
With whose high praise both heaven and earth shall ring;
Who now is beaming on this world of night
In His full glory, Christ, the Lord, the Life, and Light.
Part 3. THE LOVE OF GOD.
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
1 John 4:9.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
THE power of God, displayed in earth and skies,
The varied blessings of His nether springs,
Which He in mercy to our race supplies
These are the themes which have attuned our strings.
But now my eager soul would stretch her wings,
For eagle flight, yet meekly as a dove,
And leaving far behind all lesser things,
Ascend to heavenly heights, and rest above
Upon the throne of Him whose wondrous name is Love.
As stars are veiled before the silver moon,
When she, enrobed, sustains the sway of night;
As she, before the golden sun at noon,
Retires, o'ercome by his resplendent light,
Though moon and stars are both serenely bright:
So, while the ways of God are all divine,
Though sovereign are His majesty and might,
And all His glories in His name combine,
The lustre of His Love surpassingly doth shine.
O Love supreme! Who can its height attain,
Its length and breadth survey, or depth can sound?
It is a vast unfathomable main,
That freely flows, unchecked by shore or bound;
Sin's mighty mountain in its fulness drowned
In God, the blessed God, it has its source;
Where else, indeed, could such deep love be found?
In His dear Son alone it takes its course,
And on the soul is pressed but by the Spirit's force.
And God is Light! Oh, how its glory gleams!
Intense and brilliant are its living rays,
Which stream from Christ, in whom its lustre beams,
The heart to test, and try our works and ways.
Ah! who can bear its bright and burning blaze?
The seraphim, beneath a search so keen,
Cannot, unveiled, endure His holy gaze,
Before whose face the heavens are unclean.
How then can sinful man, whose guilt no shade can screen?
Yet who can from His holy presence flee, Psalm 139.
Though he the wings of morning take, and dwell
Within the secret caverns of the sea,
Or seek retreat in earth's remotest cell,
Or covert crave in heaven or in hell?
O vain desire! To God the night is day;
His searching voice will reach like solemn knell,
And make the sinner tremble with dismay;
Whom yet He seeks to bless, and not to drive away.
Though God pursues in purest love and grace,
Yet man His presence ever seeks to shun,
As though a bear or lion gave him chase,
Or fierce avenger on his footsteps won, Num. 35.
And for his life he from his foe must run.
From thy true Friend, O man! why dost thou flee?
From Him who gave His dear and only Son
In love that has no like and no degree;
And who to save thy soul is still pursuing thee.
Ah! who can tell the ruin that befell
The human race through Adam's fearful fall?
His sin admitted death, and opened hell,
And, sinners born, his guilt involves us all,
For all have sinned, and bowed to Satan's thrall.
As God is true and just, and great His name,
His holiness a sinner must appal;
For who can cleanse himself from sin and shame,
And render unto Him what His requirements claim?
If one should madly ever hope to win
Eternal life through keeping of the law,
Let him reflect, ere he his task begin,
That cursed is he that makes a single flaw: James 2:10; Gal. 3:10.
A truth, which known, must strike the soul with awe.
His heart, besides, of evil is the fount,
And man, so weak, he cannot lift a straw.
How can he then present a clean account,
And of unsullied works bring God the full amount?
Can man then find a ransom for his soul,
Or give to God a sacrifice for sin?
Nay, though he search the earth from pole to pole,
And for its treasures dig and dive within,
Or slay his son, or yield his dearest kin. Psalm 49:7; Micah 6:6-7.
So precious is the soul in God's esteem,
The world itself could not His favour win;
Nor all its blood one sinful soul redeem,
Tho' it for ever flowed in one unmeasured stream.
Must man then, hopeless, be for ever lost,
Since works, and wealth, and offerings cannot save?
Must he on hell's fierce, fiery lake be tossed,
Imbibe the torments of its burning wave,
And in his thirst for water vainly crave?
Ah! yes; this woe were his, if Love had slept,
And God His Son had never sent to save;
For nothing man could bring could He accept,
And man must then, undone, in ceaseless woe have wept.
But, oh! when bowed beneath our load of guilt,
We must have sunk in everlasting woe;
When all the hopes on which we vainly built
Had fallen with a fearful overthrow,
And God His righteous claims could ne'er forego;
Then from His bosom He salvation brought,
And let the fountain of His love o'erflow
To sinful man, who ne'er that love had sought,
Of which he ne'er conceived, nor could conceive a thought.
One for his friend perchance may dare to die,
Though such a friendship is extreme and rare
A Damon for a Pythias death defy,
The wrathful vengeance of a tyrant dare,
And bid him strike, that he his friend may spare.
But for a foe to die! The thought's absurd!
The bare idea evaporates in air!
So strange a marvel was there ever heard
In true historic page, or legend's wildest word?
But Love Divine all human thought transcends.
See in the Son how warm its ardour glows!
For 'tis in Him God now His love commends,
Whom once He gave to suffer for His foes, Romans 5:6-7, 8.
And taste for them the keenest woe of woes.
Ah! yes, for them, the world, man's guilty race,
This wondrous love so fully, freely flows,
To trait'rous man, who turns away his face
From his Creator-God, the God of love and grace.
But who the worth of God's dear Son can tell,
His greatness measure, or rehearse His ways?
Not angel hosts, though they in might excel,
And ever on His holy presence gaze.
How then can sinful man endure the blaze
Of His effulgence, and His worth record?
The Spirit only can show forth the praise
And boundless glories of the blessed Lord,
Jehovah's fellow, Son, th' Eternal Life, and Word.
In the beginning, ere the worlds were made,
Before the sun, or moon, or stars, were seen,
The waters measured, or the mountains weighed,
Ere hills arose, or vales were clothed with green,
Or aught appeared, celestial or terrene,
There Wisdom was, and Wisdom is the Son,
Abiding e'er with Him, who e'er his been;
His Father's joy, His well-beloved One,
And then His pure delights on sons of men had run. Prov. 8:22-31.
When by Almighty power the worlds were framed,
And all their wonders into being brought;
When earth stood forth, and day and night were named,
And land and waters were with blessing fraught
'Twas by the Son, the great Creator, wrought. John 1:1-2, 3; Col. 1:15-16.
spread the heavens, gave the ambient air,
The waters bound, and hung the earth on nought,
Made man the object of His special care,
Rolled worlds within their spheres; — and still sustains them there.
And He it was, the blest, eternal Son,
Who left the realms of fadeless bliss and bloom;
Took flesh and blood, Himself the Holy One,
And deigned to dwell within the virgin's womb,
And tread this world of sin, and grief, and gloom.
Yea, for our sakes did He His life resign;
The sinless tenant of the sinner's tomb.
What love but His could such extremes combine?
Are not its breadth and length, its depth and height, divine?
What pure obedience to His Father's will
Marked all His path of patience here below!
With what delight did He His work fulfil,
His way pursuing with a holy glow,
Although its issue was a
death of woe
Awakened was His willing ear each morning, Isaiah 50.
That wisdom's words might in His bosom flow,
And, learning thus, He bore reproach and scorning,
Gave to the weary rest, and to the wicked warning.
Incarnate Word! With Him was grace and truth
The path in which He trod was holy ground;
Unmingled grace He showed to age and youth;
And, oh! what blessings did He shed around,
Wherever want and wretchedness were found.
The sick He healed, the mourner's tears He dried,
And never on a broken spirit frowned;
Each troubled soul in Him might well confide,
For in His bosom flowed deep love's exhaustless tide.
And in His works behold His power divine!
The storm He stills. He walks upon the waves;
The fainting crowd sustains; makes water wine.
Casts devils out, and souls from Satan saves;
The dead restores, and thwarts the greedy graves
While eager foes, at His Almighty name,
Fall prostrate at His feet, like abject slaves
How bless'd that He, who could this homage claim,
Should yield Himself, in love, to bear our sin and shame!
In Him, the Son, the love of God behold!
For Him, His well-beloved, He did not spare,
But gave Him up to grief and woe untold,
That He the judgment might for sinners bear,
And thus God's own unbounded love declare
To man, who had rebellion's flag unfurled!
Where is the love that can with this compare?
His Son delivered for this guilty world,
Which He to endless doom with justice might have hurled!
When on the cross the Holy Saviour hung,
The mid-day sun withdrew his wonted light,
And o'er the earth a shady veil was flung,
In awe and sadness at so strange a sight
His soul eclipsed by judgement's sunless night
And when His bosom groaned its final ache,
And life He gave in mercy infinite,
The astonished earth did like an aspen shake,
Upheave with terror's throes, and to her centre quake. Matt. 27:45-51; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45.
When o'er His head had flowed affliction's wave,
And judgment's billows all their force had spent,
Himself He yielded freely to the grave;
The Lamb of God, in love and mercy sent.
Oh, wondrous action! Oh, immense event!
Behold Him, in the lowly guise of man,
The Godhead curtained in a human tent,
Who worlds sustains, and metes them with a span
Enduring, in His grace, of guilt, the dreadful ban! John 10:17-18.
How vast the worth and virtue of the blood
Which He for sinners then on Calvary shed!
How freely flowed that rich and crimson flood,
When He, the sinless, suffered in our stead,
And 'neath our judgment bowed His holy head!
For sin He died, and put it clean away; Heb. 9:26.
The living One was numbered with the dead;
And in the grave did He consent to lay,
And till the appointed morn in its deep silence stay.
The grave received, but Him could not retain
The Holy One could no corruption see.
Himself the Life, He quickly rose again
Death's conqueror, He set the captives free,
Of death and hades holding each the key.
To God's right hand exalted on the throne
To Him all creatures soon shall bow the knee,
The universe His power and greatness own,
And every tongue confess that He is Lord alone.
Not only sin did He thus put away,
And manifest the depth of Love Divine.
For darkness give us light; for night the day,
Whose beaming glories from His presence shine,
And cheer the heart, erst dismal as a mine.
But, by the work which He so fully wrought,
He grace and truth for ever did entwine,
And blessing founded, passing human thought,
While to His Father's name eternal praise He brought.
O mortal man! wilt thou not now confess
That GOD is great
, as all His works proclaim;
For heaven and earth alike this truth express,
And spread abroad their great Creator's fame,
And call on us to own His mighty name?
And that He's good
, we surely can but see
This truth to tell is still His constant aim
His bounties, gifts, and blessings, wide and free,
On all are daily showered, and prove how good is He.
But, oh, His Love
, declared in Christ, His Son,
Canst thou still doubt, or dare to disbelieve,
And still His warnings and beseechings shun,
And by thy unbelief His bosom grieve,
And round thine own a web of anguish weave?
Oh, heed His call, obey His gracious voice,
And Christ, for life, salvation, peace, receive,
E'en now, make Him thy soul's repose and choice;
And then shall God, His Son, and heaven, o'er thee rejoice.
O let this Love, although till now unfelt,
Which God is pressing on thy ruined soul,
Thine heart subdue, thy bosom move and melt,
And all thy being bow to its control.
Like yielding wax before a fire of coal.
His Love believe, as in the Son expressed,
To all proclaimed, to all from pole to pole,
To every weary, willing heart addressed; —
Salvation then is thine, and sweet, eternal rest.