"All Things Work Together For Good"

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son," etc. Romans 8:28-29.

A Block of hardest marble stood
Before the sculptor: where he would
He smote with hand well skilled,
And thus with blow on blow fulfilled
The vision of his mind.
At first with chisel coarse, and stroke
Unspared, the corners off he broke,
And soon the form appeared;
But then with finer tools he wrought -
And finer yet - until he brought
The perfect image forth.
So with unerring skilfulness,
With cunning hand and sure,
'T is as the marble groweth less,
The likeness groweth more.

So God divinely works with those
He in th' eternal ages chose
To show His works of grace,
And thus with blow on blow to trace
The image of His Son.
Though sharp the blows, yet skilled the hand;
If we but feebly understand
The reason of each stroke,
How blessed to know that He, who holds
The tools, before His eye beholds
His own beloved One!
The cares and troubles day by day,
The sorrows that o'ershade the way,
Together work for good.
For nothing e'er by chance befalls
The one, whom God in purpose calls,
In whom His love is found.
But when we have the glory gain'd,
And Christ's full image have attain'd,
We'll praise His sovereign grace,
And bless the hand that dealt each blow
Upon the marble here below
In working out His will.
A. J. H. B. September, 1897.