I Wish I Had Given Him More

By and by when I look on His face,
Beautiful face, thorn-shadowed face;
By and by when I look on His face,
I’ll wish I had given Him more
More, so much more —
More of my love than I e’er gave before.
By and by when I look on His face,
I’ll wish I had given Him more.

By and by when He holds out His hands,
Welcoming hands, nail riven hands;
By and by when He holds out His hands,
I’ll wish I had given Him more.
More, so much more,
More of my love than I e’er gave before,
By and by when He holds out His hands,
I’ll wish I had given Him more.

In the light of that heavenly place,
Light from His face, beautiful face;
In the light of that heavenly place,
I’ll wish I had given Him more.
More, so much more,
Treasures unbounded for Him I adore,
By and by when I look on His face,
I’ll wish I had given Him more.

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4

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~ By Grace Reese Adkins / Photo by Sebastian Voortman at Pexels

Afraid of What?

E.H. Hamilton, a Presbyterian missionary to China, wrote the poem below to reflect upon and commemorate the martyrdom of his fellow missionary J.W. Vinson (1880-1931). In October 1931, as Vinson visited some believers 18 miles from his mission station, the area was overwhelmed by a group of 600 bandits. Vinson was taken hostage along with around 150 others. Offered freedom if he would write a letter to the commanding officer of government troops telling them to withdraw, Vinson declined “unless all the hostages are released”. The bandit chief refused and Vinson was shot and killed. His decapitated body was later found by Edward Currie, and he was buried in the small missionary cemetery in Haichow.

As his captors prepared to execute Vinson, waving a gun in his face they asked him, “Are you afraid?”. A girl who witnessed the event later testified that Vison replied, “No. If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.” This incident inspired E.H. Hamilton to write his poem.


Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash – a crash – a pierced heart;
Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not –
Baptise with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from that spot?
Afraid? Of that?

Poem by E.H. Hamilton

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By webtruth.org / Photo Great wall of China by Tom Fisk at pexels

His Plan for Me

When I stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me,
The plan of my life as it might have been,
Had He had His way; and I see

How I blocked Him here, and I checked Him there
And I would not yield my will,
Will there be grief in my Saviour’s eyes,
Grief though He loves me still?

He would have me rich, and I stand here poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs like a hunted thing
Down the paths I cannot retrace.

Then my desolate heart will well nigh break
With tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands;
I shall bow my uncrowned head.

Lord of the years that are left to me,
I give them to Thy hand;
Take me and break me, mold me to
The pattern Thou hast planned.

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Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson / Picture by slon.pics

I arise today

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me

From snares of the devil,

From temptations of vices,

From every one who desires me ill,

Afar and a near,

Alone or in a multitude.

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~ unknown author / Picture by Hakan Tahmaz

Only One Life

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its days I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ’twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

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By C.T Studd / Photo by veeterzy from Pexels

When I Say I’m a Christian

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek God’s name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved.

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©1988 Carol Wimmer All Rights Reserved / Picture from Pexels

Child of God Wait Patiently


Child of God Wait Patiently

O child of God, wait patiently when dark thy path may be,

And let thy faith lean trustingly on Him who cares for Thee;

And though the clouds hang drearily upon the brow of night,

Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, He loveth thee, and thou art all His own;

With gentle hand He leadeth thee, thou dost not walk alone;

And though thou watchest wearily the long and stormy night,

Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, how peacefully He calms thy fears to rest,

And draws thee upward tenderly, where dwell the pure and blest;

And He who bendeth silently above the gloom of night,

Will take thee home where endless joy shall fill thy soul with light.

By Fanny Crosby

Unfolding The Rosebud

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

By Helen Steiner Rice

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**Photo by Jovana Nesic

Take Time To Be Holy

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.

Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,

Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.

By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;

And run not before Him, whatever betide.

In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,

And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,

Each thought and each motive beneath His control.

Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,

Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

*Words by William D. Longstaff

I Hear The Sound Of Rustling

I hear the sound of rustling in the leaves of the trees,

The Spirit of the Lord has come down on the earth.

The Church that seemed in slumber has now risen from its knees

And dry bones are responding with the fruits of new birth.

Oh this is now a time for declaration,

The word will go to all men everywhere;

The Church is here for healing of the nations,

Behold the day of Jesus drawing near.

My tongue will be the pen of a ready writer,

And what the Father gives to me I’ll sing;

I only want to be His breath,

I only want to glorify the King.

And all around the world the body waits expectantly,

The promise of the Father is now ready to fall.

The watchmen on the tower all exhort us to prepare

And the church responds – a people who will answer the call.

And this is not a phase which is passing,

It’s the start of an age that is to come.

And where is the wise man and the scoffer?

Before the face of Jesus they are dumb.

A body now prepared by God and ready for war,

The prompting of the Spirit is our word of command.

We rise, a mighty army, at the bidding of the Lord,

The devils see and fear, for their time is at hand.

And children of the Lord hear our commission

That we should love and serve our God as one,

The Spirit won’t be hindered by division

In the perfect work that Jesus has begun.

Lyrics by Ronnie Wilson

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

thought it hardly worth his while

To waste his time on the old violin,

but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks”, he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

A dollar, a dollar, then two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once;, three dollars, twice;

Going for three . . .”

But, no,

From the room far back, a grey-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening up the strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low, said:

“What now am I bid for this old violin?”

As he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?”

“Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?”

“Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice;

And going and gone”, said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand, what changed its worth?”

Swift came the reply;

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd

Much like the old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine;

A game – and he travels on.

He’s going once, and going ‘twice,

He’s ‘going and almost gone’.

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought

By The Touch of the Master’s Hand.

Myra Brooks Welch (1877 – 1959)

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Footprints In The Sand

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

by Margaret Fishback Powers

The Modernist Preacher

The Modernist Preacher

He was an ordained minister, but modern in his views.
He preached his twisted doctrines to people in the pews.
He would not hurt their feelings, whatever the cost would be,
But for their smiles and friendship and compliments sought he.
His church was filled with wicked souls that should be saved from sin,
But never once he showed the way or tried a soul to win.
He preached about the lovely birds that twitter in the trees,
The babbling of the running brooks, the murmuring of the seas.

He quoted fancy poetry that tickled listening ears
When sorrow came to some, he tried to laugh away their tears.
His smooth and slippery sermons made the people slide to hell.
The harm he did by preaching goes beyond what we can tell.
He took our Holy Bible, and preached it full of holes,
The Virgin Birth, said he, can’t be believed by honest souls,
The miracles of Jesus and the resurrection tale
For educated ones like us, today, cannot avail.
We’re living in an age, said he, when wisdom rules and reigns,
When man’s intelligence is great and superstition wanes.

He said, we’re all God’s children who live upon this earth,
No message of salvation, no need of second birth.
His coat was bought with money that he had wrongly gained,
For through his twisted sermons his wealth he had obtained.
He was just like the Roman soldiers that watched at Jesus’ grave,
For money in abundance, to them, the people gave;
It all was theirs by telling what was a sinful lie–
A resurrected Saviour, they too, were to deny.

The day at last had come for the minister to die,
When to his congregation, he had to say good-bye.
His form lay cold and lifeless, his ministry was past,
His tongue with all its poison was hushed and stilled at last.
His funeral was grand; he was lauded to the skies–
They preached him into heaven where there are no good-byes.
Upon the lonely hill, underneath the shady trees,
His form was laid to rest in the whispering of the breeze.

A tombstone was erected with words: “He is at rest,
He’s gone to heaven’s glories to live among the blest.”
His body now is lifeless, but Ah! His soul lives on,
He failed to enter in where they thought that he had gone.
The letters on the tombstone or that sermon some had heard,
Could not decide his destiny, ’twas not the final word.
He still had God to deal with, the one who knows the heart;
While others entered heaven, he heard the word, “Depart.”

He pauses for a moment upon the brink of hell;
He stares into a depth where he evermore will dwell.
He hears the cries and groanings of souls he had misled,
He recognizes faces among the screaming dead.
He sees departed deacons which he had highly praised.
Their fingers pointing at him as they their voices raised:
“You stood behind the pulpit, and lived in awful sin,
We took you for a saint, but a liar you have been.”
Accusing cries! He hears them, “Ah! You have been to blame,
You led us into darkness when you were seeking fame.”

“You preached your deadly doctrine, we thought you knew the way.
We fed you and we clothed you, we even raised your pay.
You’ve robbed us of a home where no tear-drops ever flow,
Where days are always fair and the heavenly breezes blow.
Where living streams are flowing, and saints and angels sing,
Where everyone is happy, and hallelujahs ring.
We’re in this place of torment, from which no soul returns;
We hear the cry of lost ones, we feel the sizzling burns;
Give us a drop of water, we’re tortured in this flame;
You failed to preach salvation to us through Jesus’ name.”

The preacher turns in horror, he tries to leave the scene,
He knows the awful future for every soul unclean,
But there he meets the devil, whom he has served so well,
He feels the demon powers as they drag him into hell.
Throughout eternal ages, his groans, too, must be heard.
He, too, must suffer torment–he failed to heed God’s Word.
He feels God’s wrath upon him, he hears the hot flames roar,
His doctrine now is different, he ridicules no more.

By Oscar C. Eliason

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*A Clear Gospel Message

The Weaver

The Weaver

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”

By Grant Colfax Tullar

The Father’s Love Letter

The Father’s Love Letter
An intimate message from God to YOU.

My Child,
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad. Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com


**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

WAIT

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied.
I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”

“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me ‘wait’?
I’m needing a ‘yes,’ or a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no,’ to which I can resign.

“And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking: I need a reply!”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God; “So I’m waiting, for what?”

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, darken the sun,
Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.

“All you see I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust, just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence was all you could see.

“You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth and the beat of my heart.

“The glow of My comfort late in the night’
The faith that I give when you walk without sight;
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight could come true,
But the loss! if you lost what I’m doing in you.

“So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all…is still…wait.”

By Russell Kelfer copyright 1995

Himself

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I laboured, Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.

 By A. B. Simpson

The Church Walking With The World

“you can’t hold hands with God whilst holding hands with the devil!”
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.

“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!

I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”

“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.

The sky above me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.

My path, you see, is a broad, fair one
And my gate is high and wide;
There’s room enough for you and me
To travel side by side.”

Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World quick grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low:

“Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.

“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.

“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard
In the Place that was meant for Prayer.

There-were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
While the poor folk, who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.

The Angel of Mercy flew over the Church,
And whispered, “I know thy sin”:
Then the Church looked back with a sigh and longed
To gather her children in;

But some were off at the midnight ball,
And some were off at the play,
And some were drinking in gay saloons,
So she quietly went her way.

Then the sly World gallantly said to her:
“Your children mean no harm,
Merely indulging in innocent sports”;
So she leaned on his proffered arm

And smiled and chatted and gathered flowers
As she walked along with the World;
While millions and millions of sorrowing souls
To eternal death were hurled.

“Your preachers are all too old and plain,”
Said the World to the Church with a sneer.
“They frighten my children with dreadful tales,
Which I like not for them to hear.

They talk of brimstone and fire and pain
And the night of an endless death;
They talk of a place which may only be
Mentioned with bated breath.

I will send you some of the better stamp
Brilliant and gay and fast
Who will tell them that people may live as they choose
And go to heaven at last.

The Father is merciful, great, and good,
Tender and true and kind;
Do you think He would take one child to heaven,
And leave the other behind?”

So he filled her house with gay divines
Gifted and great and learned
And the plain old men that preached the cross
Were out of her pulpits turned.

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If the poor are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.

My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”

Then the Church held tightly the strings of her purse
And gracefully lowered her head,
And whispered, “I’ve given too much away;
I’ll do, sir, as you have said.”

So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,
And she heard not the orphan’s cry;
But she drew her beautiful robes aside,
As the widows went weeping by.

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

And the sly World heard her, and laughed up his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
And the saints their anthems of rapture hushed,
And covered their heads in shame.

Then a Voice came down through the hush of heaven
From Him who sat on the throne:
“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich,’ and hast not known

That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;’
Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”

By Matilda C Edwards, 1936

“Ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy,
and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine.”
Leviticus 20:26