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642. CROSS. The: the source of comfort. Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawn'd on sinful earth Should touch the heart with softer power
For comfort, than an angel's mirth? That to the cross the mourner's eye should turn Sooner than where the stars of Christmas burn?
My heart dissolves to see Thee bleed,
This heart so hard before ;
And grief o'erflows the more.
And I a sinner stand :
And from each pierced hand !
Was shed, dear Lord, for me ;
Who look by faith on Thee.
By love my soul is drawn;
Here life and peace are born.
Thine arm shall be my stay;
On Thy great judgment-day !-Ray Palmer.
Sooner than where the Easter sun
Shines glorious on yon open grave,
Who died to heal, is risen to save'? Sooner than where upon the Saviour's friends The very Comforter in light and love descends?
Keble. 643. CROSS : to be borne willingly. The cross is always ready, and waits for thee in every place.
.... Why hopest then to avoid that from which no human being has been exempt? ... Thou art deceived, wretchedly deceived, if thou expect anything but tribulation; for this whole mortal life is full of care, and signed on every side with the cross..... If thou bearest the cross willingly it will soon bear thee beyond
the reach of suffering, where God shall take away all sorrow from thy heart.- Thomas à Kimpis.'
641. CROSS. My
It is not heavy, agonizing woe,
Bearing me down with hopeless, crushing weight; No ray of comfort in the gathering gloom,
A heart bereaved-a household desolate. It is not sickness, with her withering hand,
Keeping me low upon a couch of pain; Longing each morning for the weary night ;
At night, for weary day to come again. It is not slander, with her evil tongue;
'Tis no presumptuous sin against my God; Not reputation lost, or friends betray'd :
That such is not my cross I thank my God. Mine is a daily cross of petty cares,
Of little duties pressing on my heart, Of little troubles hard to reconcile,
Of inward struggles-overcome in part.
On every side, dear Lord, on every side,
Waits there an 'always ready' cross for me? May not I find, through all this world so wide,
Some restful place from all cross-bearing free? The way is dark, thorn-lined and sharp with flints,
Whose jagged edges bruise and pierce my feet; Thou knowest, Lord, they mark with bloody prints
The toilsome path. Ah, rest would seem so sweet !
So sweet to lay aside this heavy cross
So sweet to find some quiet resting-place-
And breathe all fulness of life's joy and grace. O wretched heart, why seekest thou to find
Exemption from the common mortal lot? Deceitful heart, and discontented mind,
Thy Master's Sad Way hast thou then forgot ? Was there on earth for Him a place of rest ?
Was there an hour wherein He might not feel The weight of Calvary's cross upon Him prest?
The pang of mocking thorn and piercing steel? With prescient sorrow did He not endure
Through all the way the dolour of that hour, When, thy eternal freedom to secure,
He met alone the last foe's cruel power?
My feet are weary in their daily round,
My heart is weary of its daily care, My sinful nature often doth rebel :
I pray for grace my daily cross to bear.
It is not heavy, but 'tis everywhere;
I dare not lay it down-Thou keep'st it there.
I dare not lay it down. I only ask
That, taking up my daily cross, I may Follow my Master humbly, step by step,
Through clouds and darkness, unto perfect day.
And wilt thou basely shun that blessed sign,
His mark and seal, inscribing thee His own? Nay, rather shout, “Thou blessed cross ! be mine;
I'll bear thee gladly-by thy sign be known.'
So shall I, heedless all of earthly loss,
In glad cross-bearing find my spirit's rest; Soon shall I be, while bearing yet my cross, Lifted upon its arms, to Jesus' breast.
Mary E. C. W'yeth.
644. CROSS. Yesterday's
ONE cross the less remains for me to bear;
Already borne is that of yesterday; That of to-day shall no to-morrow share ;
To-morrow's, with itself, shall pass away.
SEE its power expand When first the coral fills the infant's hand ; Throned in its mother's lap, it dries each tear, As her sweet legend falls upon the ear; Next it assails him in his top's strange hum, Breathes in his whistle, echoes in his drum. Each gilded toy that doting love bestows He longs to break, and every spring expose. Placed by your hearth, with what delight he pores O'er the bright pages of the pictured stores; How oft he steals upon your graver task, Of this to tell you, and of that to ask And when the warning hour to bedward bids, Though gentle sleep sits waiting on his lids, How winningly he bends to gain you o'er, That he may read one little story more.
That which is added to the troubled past
Is taken from the future, whose sad store Grows less and less each day, till soon the last
Dull wave of woe shall break upon our shore.
The storm that yesterday plough'd up the sea
Is buried now beneath its level blue; One storm the fewer now remains for me,
Ere sky and earth are made for ever new.-Bonar.
645. CRUCIFIXION. Mystery of the
WONDER of wonders ! On the cross He dies !
The Eternal Word, who spake and it was done, What time, of old, He form’d the earth and skies.
Nor yet alone to toys and tales confined,
Abash'd be all the wisdom of the wise !
Let the wide earth through all her kingdoms know The promised Lamb of God, whose blood should
flow,For human guilt the grand, sole sacrifice.
No more need altar smoke, nor victim bleed :
'Tis finish'd !—the great mystery of love. Ye sin-condemn'd, by this blood 'tis decreed
Ye stand absolved : behold the curse remove ! O Christ! Thy deadly wounds, Thy mortal strife Crush death and hell, and give immortal life!
Ray Palmer. 646. CRUELTY.
Turn to the world-its curious dwellers view,
I would not enter on my list of friends
Faith we may boast, undarken'd by a doubt. We thirst to find each awful secret out.
Man's inhumanity to man
The inquiring spirit will not be controllid, We would make certain all, and all behold.
653. CUSTOM. Precedent of BUT curses are like arrows shot upright,
Away with custom ! 'tis the plea of fools, That oftentimes on our own heads do light.
Where crimes enormous, that debase the man,
Rise in their own defence: the long-drawn roll 649. CUSTOM. Breach of
Where the ascent and fall of states or men
Stand variously portrayed ; what is it else BUT to my mind-though I am native here,
Than a sad series of collective guilt, And to the manner born,-it is a custom
Whence custom for each wantonness of ill More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
May draw the shameful precedent ?--Layard.
Shakespeare. 650. CUSTOM. Dupes of
654. DAILY SERVICE: the Christian's desire. Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone
SOMETHING, my God, for Thee, To rev'rence what is ancient, and can plead
Something for Thee; A course of long observance for its use,
That each day's setting sun may bring That even servitude, the worst of ills,
Some penitential offering; Because deliver'd down from sire to son,
In Thy dear name some kindness done; Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing. - Cowper. To Thy dear love some wanderer won;
Some trial meekly borne for Thee, 651. CUSTOM : its influence on habit.
Dear Lord, for Thee. THAT monster, custom, who all sense doth eat Something, my God, for Thee, Of habits evil, is angel yet in this;
Something for Thee; That to the use of actions fair and good,
That to Thy gracious throne may rise He likewise gives a frock, or livery,
Sweet incense from some sacrifice,That aptly is put on : refrain to-night;
Uplifted eyes undimm'd by tears,
Uplifted faith unstain'd by fears,
Dear Lord, from Thee.
Something, my God, for Thee, With wondrous potency.-Shakespeare.
Something for Thee; All habits gather by unseen degrees ;
For the great love that Thou hast given,
For the great hope of Thee and heaven,
My soul her first allegiance brings, 652. CUSTOM. Power of
And upward plumes her heavenward wings,
*Nearer, my God, to Thee MAN yields to custom as he bows to fate,
Nearer to Thee!'
655. DANGER. To them we know not, and we know not why.
The absent danger greater still appears ;
Less fears he, who is near the thing he fears.
Daniel. Crabbe. Custom, 'tis true, a venerable tyrant,
Speak, speak, let terror strike slaves mute, O'er servile man extends her blind dominion.
Much danger makes great hearts most resolute. Thomson.
What is danger
More than the weakness of our apprehensions ?
A poor cold part o'th' blood ; who takes it hold of ?
Cowards and wicked livers : valiant minds
Beaumont and Fletcher.
Our dangers and delights are near allies ; Our thoughts, our morals, our most fix'd belief
From the same stem the rose and prickle rise. Are consequences of our place of birth.-Hill.
656. DARKNESS. Spiritual IF in thy heart no golden sunlight lingers
To brighten life within, And to thy ears earth's sweet and joyous singers
Make only doleful din ;
If, while the world is robed in peerless beauty,
Around thy spirit coil
Is heavy, joyless toil ;
Struggling to cast thy care
In answer to thy prayer-
In Him who changeth not,
Which thou hast vainly sought.
For ever full and free;
The hindrance is in thee.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice ;
Cowper. 658. DAY. Beginning the
Begin the day with God!
He is thy sun and day;
To Him address thy lay.
Join the glad woods and hills ;
Join the bright flowers and rills.
Arise, dull knees, and pray;
Brush slothfulness away.
Will feast in brotherhood.
Seek still His company.
With God Himself above ;
And all the day be love.—Bonar.
Arise and search thy heart—let nothing stay thee;
The fatal cause is there;
To ruin and despair.
Nor doubt, when thou with heart contrite and lowly
Hast all thy sins confess'd,
Shall hear and give thee rest.- Dewart.
Not Thou from us, O Lord ! but we
When we are dark and dead,
• Where is Thy brightness fled ?'
But that we search and try What in ourselves has wrought this blame, For Thou remainest still the same; But earth's own vapours earth may fill With darkness and thick clouds, while still
The sun is in the sky.- Trench.
659. DAY. Dawn of
A WIND came up out of the sea,
657. DAVID). Psalms of
SEE Judah's promised king, bereft of all, Driven out an exile from the face of Saul. To distant caves the lonely wanderer flies, To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
660. DAY. Lost
Lost! lost! lost !
A gem of countless price,
And graved in Paradise :
Large diamonds, clear and bright,
All changeful as the light.
In fashion's mazes wind,
Leaving a sting behind.
A golden harp to buy,
To deathless minstrelsy.
I feel all search in vain;
Can ne'er be mine again :
For till these heart-strings sever
Is reft away for ever.
Like burning scroll, have fled,
Who judgeth quick and dead;
That man can ne'er repair,
Mrs Sigourney. 661. DAY. Question for each
AT evening to myself I say,
Thy labours how bestow'd ?
In following after God ?--Charles Wesley.
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
And the days are dark and dreary.
Longfellow. 663. DAY OF JUDGMENT : a day of joy.
Lo, the Day !—the Day of Life,
Day of unimagined light,
And there shall be no more night!
When the just shall find their rest,
And the patient reign most blest.
By the just expected long,
Cometh with salvation strong.
Sweet, and joyful it will be
Jesus face to face shall see !
This poor world to have despised !
Dear that lost world to have prized!
Who for Christ have toild and died,
In those mansions to abide !
Not a shade of doubt or fear ;
Nothing sick or lacking there.
There the peace will be unbroken,
Deep and solemn joy be shed,
And salvation perfected.
None can dream and none can tell, There to reign among the angels,
In that heavenly home to dwell.
662. DAY. Rainy
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary ; It rains, and the wind is never weary ;