Not an angel from the glory, flying swift on joyous wing;
Not an envoy sent expressly, with a message from the king;
But Himself Whom angels worship; but Himself, the very Word;
All Divine, intensely human; sympathizing, risen Lord.
Not with trumpets, not with heralds, driving back in tones severe;
But with gracious held-out sceptre, and the smile that draws thee near—
Coming slowly, gentle, lowly, He to Whom all power is given,
Strong to save thee, wise to guide thee, pledged to bring thee safe to Heaven;
Coming nearer than thy nearest, those who would, but cannot, aid,
Proving truer than thy dearest, those who watched with thee and prayed.
Love itself, unfathomed, deathless; love which ne'er misunderstands,
Love untiring, love desiring, stretching forth beseeching hands.
Not thy merits, not thy virtues, not the record of thy deeds,
But His joy in utter giving, and His knowledge of thy needs,
By His blood-signed deed of purchase, by His right to claim and bless,
Right to beautify and clothe thee in His own pure righteousness.
His the stripping, His the bruising, His the pierced hands and feet;
Thine the healing, thine the life-stream, Heaven's river full and sweet.
No more doubtings, no more distance, no more room for sinful fear—
He Himself is thine for ever, always able, always near.—K. Staines
(Luke 24. 15)
Canaan's vineyard rich was planted
By the God of Heaven's own hand:
Blessings great, divinely granted,
Centred in the promised land.
Luscious fruits beyond appraising
God's beneficence declared;
But, in place of fruitful praising,
Barren murmurings were heard.
Murm'ring sons of Israel's children
Treasured hatred greater still:
Placed, as stewards in God's garden
By th' Almighty's sovereign will,
Prophets, messengers from Heaven
They entreated as they willed:
All were from the vineyard driven—
Some they stoned and some they killed.
Matchless grace! amazing story—
`I will send Mine only Son,'
And the Lord Himself His glory
Veiled, and came, the lowly One,
And Creation donned her mourning,
Filled with wonderment to see
Man his mighty Maker spurning,
Slaying Him upon a tree.
Gaze thereon, my soul, and ponder
O'er thy ruin there exprest,
And confess, in grateful wonder,
By His dying thou art blest.
Wondrous love!—all thought transcending—
He Himself for me has given,
On this truth all else depending—
'Twas the Lord Himself from Heaven.
All the hosts of hell defeated,
Victor over death's domain,
Midst us at His table seated
Stands the Lord Himself again.
Let us round His table gather,
Hear His words—`Remember Me!'
View His Cross, adore the Father,
As the Lord Himself we see.
That same Jesus Who, ascending,
Passed through Heaven's portals wide,
Soon will come, from Heaven descending,
To receive His blood-bought bride.
Yes! Himself, and not another,
We shall see His form most fair,
And, His own caught up together,
We shall meet Him in the air.
But while here, by foes surrounded,
Think that He Himself was tried:
He has all our foes confounded;
He Himself is by our side.
As our Shepherd, forth He leads us,
Our High Priest, for us He pleads,
For the conflict fits and feeds us,
And Himself, our Captain, leads.—A.N.
(Matt. 21. 37; Luke 24. 15; John 21. 7; 1 Cor. 11. 26; 1 Thess. 4. 16)
`God first! My interests must always come second to His, never first.'
`Seek ye first the kingdom of God.'
Dr. Graham Scroggie was one time speaking along these lines, and at the close of the service he was approached by a young woman a professing Christian, who had been greatly stirred.
`And why don't you yield?' inquired Dr. Scroggie.
'I'm afraid I should have to do two things if I did,' responded the girl.
'What are they?' asked Dr. Scroggie.
'I play the piano in a concert hall, and I fear
I would have to give it up,' she replied.
'And the other?'
'I am afraid God would send me to China as a missionary.'
Opening his Bible at Acts 10. 14, Dr. Scroggie explained to the young woman the absurdity of Peter's answer. A slave never dictates. And to say, 'Not so,' and then use the word 'Lord' was impossible.
'Now,' said Dr. Scroggie, 'I want you to cross out the two words, "Not so" and leave the word "Lord"; or else cross out "Lord" and leave "Not so".'
Handing her his pencil he quietly walked away. For two hours she struggled. Then he returned. Looking over her shoulder, he saw a tear-stained page, but the words 'Not so' were crossed out. With a glad light in her eyes she left and went home, repeating over the one word, 'Lord'. No longer would she dictate. She was now His disciple and He her Lord and Master.—Oswald J. Smith
(Acts 10. 14, 36; Rom. 10. 9; Col. 3. 24; 1 Pet. 3. 15)