The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength
Joy is a fruit that will not grow
In nature's barren foil;
All we can boast, till Christ we know,
Is vanity and toil.
But where the Lord has planted grace;
And made his glories known;
There fruits of heavenly joy and peace
Are found, and there alone.
A bleeding Saviour seen by faith,
A sense of pard'ning love;
A hope that triumphs over death,
Give joys like those above.
To take a glimpse within the veil,
To know that God is mine;
Are springs of joy that never fail,
These are the joys which satisfy,
And sanctify the mind;
Which make the spirit mount on high,
And leave the world behind.
No more, believers, mourn your lot,
But if you are the Lord's
Resign to them that know him not,
Such joys as earth affords.
Thus saith the Lord to Ephesus,
And thus he speaks to some of us;
Amidst my churches, lo, I stand,
And hold the pastors in my hand.
Thy works, to me, are fully known,
Thy patience, and thy toil, I own;
Thy views of gospel truth are clear,
Nor canst thou other doctrine bear.
Yet I must blame while I approve,
Where is thy first, thy fervent love?
Dost thou forget my love to thee,
That thine is grown so faint to me?
Recall to mind the happy days
When thou wast filled with joy and praise;
Repent, thy former works renew,
Then I'll restore thy comforts too.
Return at once, when I reprove,
Lest I thy candlestick remove;
And thou, too late, thy loss lament;
I warn before I strike, Repent.
Hearken to what the Spirit saith,
To him that overcomes by faith;
The fruit of life's unfading tree,
In paradise his food shall be.
The Believer's Danger, Safety, And Duty
Simon, beware! the Saviour said,
Satan, your subtle foe,
Already has his measures laid
Your soul to overthrow.
He wants to sift you all, as wheat,
And thinks his vict'ry sure;
But I his malice will defeat,
My prayer shall faith secure.
Believers, tremble and rejoice,
Your help and danger view;
This warning has to you a voice,
This promise speaks to you.
Satan beholds, with jealous eye,
Your privilege and joy;
He's always watchful, always nigh,
To tear and to destroy.
But Jesus lives to intercede,
That faith may still prevail,
He will support in time of need,
And Satan's arts shall fail.
Yet, let us not the warning slight,
But watchful still be found;
Though faith cannot be slain in fight,
It may receive a wound.
While Satan watches, dare we sleep?
We must our guard maintain;
But, Lord, do thou the city keep,
Or else we watch in vain.
Joy And Peace In Believing
Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in his wings:
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation,
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
And find it ever new:
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E'en let th' unknown to-morrow
Bring with it what it may.
It can bring with it nothing
But he will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
Will clothe his people too:
Beneath the spreading heavens,
No creature but is fed;
And he who feeds the ravens,
Will give his children bread.
Though vine nor fig-tree neither
Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there:
Yet God the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice;
For while in him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.
Time How Short
Time, with an unwearied hand,
Pushes round the seasons past,
And in life's frail glass, the sand
Sinks apace, not long to last:
Many, well as you or I,
Who last year assembled thus;
In their silent graves now lie,
Graves will open soon for us!
Daily sin, and care, and strife,
While the Lord prolongs our breath,
Make it but a dying life,
Or a kind of living death:
Wretched they, and most forlorn,
Who no better portion know;
Better ne'er to have been born,
Than to have our all below.
When constrained to go alone,
Leaving all you love behind;
Ent'ring on a world unknown,
What will then support your mind?
When the Lord his summons sends,
Earthly comforts lose their pow'r;
Honours, riches, kindred, friends,
Cannot cheer a dying hour.
Happy souls who fear the Lord
Time is not too swift for you;
When your Saviour gives the word,
Glad you'll bid the world adieu:
Then he'll wipe away your tears,
Near himself appoint your place;
Swifter fly, ye rolling years,
Lord, we long to see thy face.
Mary to her Saviour's tomb
Hasted at the early dawn;
Spice she brought, and sweet perfume,
But the Lord, The loved, was gone.
For awhile she weeping stood,
Struck with sorrow and surprise;
Shedding tears, a plenteous flood,
For her heart supplied her eyes.
Jesus, who is always near,
Though too often unperceived
Came, his drooping child to cheer,
And enquired, Why she grieved?
Though at first she knew him not,
When he called her by her name,
Then her griefs were all forgot,
For she found he was the same.
Grief and sighing quickly fled
When she heard his welcome voice;
Just before she thought him dead,
Now he bids her heart rejoice:
What a change his word can make,
Turning darkness into day!
You who weep for Jesus' sake;
He will wipe your tears away.
He who came to comfort her,
When she thought her all was lost;
Will for your relief appear,
Though you now are tempest-tossed:
On his word your burden cast,
On his love your thoughts employ;
Weeping for awhile may last,
But the morning brings the joy.
None Upon Earth I Desire Besides Thee
How tedious and tasteless the hours,
When Jesus no longer I see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flow'rs,
Have lost all their sweetness with me:
The mid-summer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December's as pleasant as May.
His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music his voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice:
I should, were he always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal so happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.
Content with beholding his face,
My all to his pleasure resigned;
No changes of season or place,
Would make any change in my mind:
While blessed with a sense of his love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.
Dear Lord, if indeed I am thine,
If thou art my sun and my song;
Say, why do I languish and pine,
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from my sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me unto thee on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.
To The Afflicted, Tossed With Tempests And Not Comforted
Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Saviour says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.
Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav'n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel's God by all adored;
As thy Saviour will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.
For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I'll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
'Tis but for a moment's space,
Ending in eternal peace.
When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat'ry cloud;
'Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be o'erflowed:
'Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov'nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be for ever mine.
Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.
Elijah Fed By Ravens
Elijah's example declares,
Whatever distress may betide;
The saints may commit all their cares
To him who will surely provide:
When rain long withheld from the earth
Occasioned a famine of bread;
The prophet, secure from the dearth,
By ravens was constantly fed.
More likely to rob than to feed,
Were ravens who live upon prey;
But when the Lord's people have need,
His goodness will find out a way:
This instance to those may seem strange,
Who know not how faith can prevail;
But sooner all nature shall change,
Than one of God's promises fail.
Nor is it a singular case,
The wonder is often renewed;
And many can say, to his praise,
He sends them by ravens their food:
Thus worldlings, though ravens indeed,
Though greedy and selfish their mind,
If God has a servant to feed,
Against their own wills can be kind.
Thus Satan, that raven unclean,
Who croaks in the ears of the saints;
Compelled by a power unseen,
Administers oft to their wants:
God teaches them how to find food
From all the temptations they feel;
This raven, who thirsts for my blood,
Has helped me to many a meal.
How safe and how happy are they
Who on the good Shepherd rely!
He gives them out strength for their day,
Their wants he will surely supply:
He ravens and lions can tame,
All creatures obey his command;
Then let me rejoice in his name,
And leave all my cares in his hand.