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REST, CALM, STILLNESS

THE PEACE OF GOD

When winds are raging o’er the upper ocean,
And billows wild contend with angry roar,
’Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion,
That peaceful stillness reigneth evermore.

Far, far beneath the noise of tempest dieth,
And silver waves chime ever peacefully;
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er he flieth,
Disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea.

So to the soul that knows thy love, O Purest,
There is a temple peaceful evermore.
And all the babble of life’s angry voices
Dies hushed in stillness at its sacred door.

Far, far away the noise of passion dieth,
And loving thoughts rise ever peacefully;
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er he flieth,
Disturbs that deeper rest, O Lord, in thee.

O rest of rest! O peace serene, eternal!
Thou ever livest, and thou changest never;
And in the secret of thy presence dwelleth
Fullness of joy, forever and forever.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Life’s burdens fall, its discords cease,
I lapse into the glad release
Of Nature’s own exceeding peace.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

BE STILL

Let nothing make thee sad or fretful,
Or too regretful;
Be still.
What God hath ordered must be right;
Then find in it thy own delight,
My will!

Why shouldst thou fill to-day with sorrow
About to-morrow,
My heart?
God watcheth all with care most true;
Doubt not that he will give thee too
Thy part.

Paul Fleming.

SIT STILL

(Ruth 3. 18.)

Sit still, my child. ’Tis no great thing I ask,
No glorious deed, no mighty task;
But just to sit and patiently abide.
Wait in my presence, in my word confide,

“But oh! dear Lord, I long the sword to wield,
Forward to go, and in the battle field
To fight for thee, thine enemies o’erthrow,
And in thy strength to vanquish every foe.

“The harvest-fields spread out before me lie,
The reapers toward me look, and vainly cry
’The field is white, the laborers are few;
Our Lord’s command is also sent to you,’”

My child, it is a sweet and blessed thing
To rest beneath the shadow of my wing;
To feel thy doings and thy words are naught,
To trust to me each restless, longing thought.

“Dear Lord, help me this lesson sweet to learn,
To sit at thy pierced feet and only yearn
To love thee better, Lord, and feel that still
Waiting is working, if it be thy will.”

THE QUIET MIND

I have a treasure which I prize;
The like I cannot find;
There’s nothing like it in the earth:
It is a quiet mind.

But ’tis not that I’m stupefied,
Or senseless, dull, or blind:
’Tis God’s own peace within my soul
Which forms my quiet mind.

I found this treasure at the Cross.
’Tis there to every kind
Of heavy-laden, weary souls
Christ gives a quiet mind.

My Saviour’s death and risen life
To give this were designed;
And that’s the root and that’s the branch,
Of this my quiet mind.

The love of God within my heart
My heart to his doth bind;
This is the mind of heaven on earth;
This is my quiet mind.

I’ve many a cross to take up now,
And many left behind;
But present trials move me not,
Nor shake my quiet mind.

And what may be to-morrow’s cross
I never seek to find;
My Saviour says, Leave that to Me,
And keep a quiet mind.

And well I know the Lord hath said,
To make my heart resigned,
That mercy still shall follow such
As have this quiet mind.

I meet with pride of wit and wealth,
And scorn and looks unkind,
It matters naught: I envy not,
For I’ve a quiet mind.

I’m waiting now to see the Lord,
Who’s been to me so kind:
I want to thank him face to face
For this my quiet mind.

MY HEART IS RESTING

My heart is resting, O my God;
I will give thanks and sing:
My heart is at the secret source
Of every precious thing.

Now the frail vessel Thou hast made
No hand but thine shall fill
The waters of the earth have failed,
And I am thirsty still.

I thirst for springs of heavenly life,
And here all day they rise;
I seek the treasure of Thy love,
And close at hand it lies.

And a “new song” is in my mouth,
To long-loved music set
Glory to Thee for all the grace
I have not tasted yet.

I have a heritage of joy
That yet I must not see;
The hand that bled to make it mine
Is keeping it for me.

There is a certainty of love
That sets my heart at rest;
A calm assurance for to-day
That to be poor is best!

A prayer reposing on His truth,
Who hath made all things mine;
That draws my captive will to him,
And makes it one with thine.

Anna Letitia Waring.

KEPT IN PERFECT PEACE

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The voice of Jesus whispers Peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrow surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but rest is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles now do cease,
And Jesus calls us to heaven’s perfect peace.

Edward Henry Bickersteth.

PERFECT PEACE

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace;
Over all victorious in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love,
We may trust him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust him wholly find him wholly true.

Frances Ridley Havergal.

ABIDING

In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Whenever he may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim,
He knows the way he taketh,
And I will walk with him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free,
My Saviour has my treasure,
And he will walk with me.

Anna Letitia Waring.

CALM

I stand upon the Mount of God
With sunlight in my soul;
I hear the storms in vales beneath,
I hear the thunders roll.

But I am calm with thee, my God,
Beneath these glorious skies;
And to the height on which I stand,
No storms, nor clouds, can rise.

O, THIS is life! O, this is joy!
My God, to find thee so;
Thy face to see, thy voice to hear,
And all thy love to know.

Horatius Bonar.

DIVINE PEACE

Peace upon peace, like wave upon wave,
This the portion that I crave;
The peace of God which passeth thought,
The peace of Christ which changeth not.

Peace like the river’s gentle flow,
Peace like the morning’s silent glow,
From day to day, in love supplied,
An endless and unebbing tide.

Peace flowing on without decrease,
From him who is our joy and peace,
Who, by his reconciling blood,
Hath made the sinner’s peace with God.

Peace through the night and through the day,
Peace through the windings of our way;
In pain, and toil, and weariness,
A deep and everlasting peace.

O King of peace, this peace bestow
Upon a stranger here below;
O God of peace, thy peace impart,
To every sad and troubled heart.

Peace from the Father and the Son,
Peace from the Spirit, all his own;
Peace that shall never more be lost,
Of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Horatius Bonar.

A QUIET HEART

Quiet, Lord, my froward heart:
Make me teachable and mild;
Upright, simple, free from art;
Make me as a weaned child,
From distrust and envy free,
Pleased with all that pleaseth thee.

What thou shalt to-day provide
Let me as a child receive;
What to-morrow may betide
Calmly to thy wisdom leave.
’Tis enough that thou wilt care:
Why should I the burthen bear?

As a little child relies
On a care beyond his own;
Knows he’s neither strong nor wise,
Fears to stir a step alone;
Let me thus with thee abide,
As my Father, Guard and Guide.

John Newton.

REST WHERE YOU ARE

When, spurred by tasks unceasing or undone,
You would seek rest afar,
And can not, though repose be rightly won
Rest where you are.

Neglect the needless; sanctify the rest;
Move without stress or jar;
With quiet of a spirit self-possessed
Rest where you are.

Not in event, restriction, or release,
Not in scenes near or far,
But in ourselves are restlessness or peace,
Rest where you are.

Where lives the soul lives God; his day, his world,
No phantom mists need mar;
His starry nights are tents of peace unfurled:
Rest where you are.

BE ALL AT REST

Be all at rest, my soul toward God; from him comes my salvation.
Ps. 1.

“Be all at rest, my soul.” Oh! blessed secret
Of the true life that glorifies thy Lord:
Not always doth the busiest soul best serve him,
But he who resteth on his faithful word.

“Be all at rest.” “let not your heart be rippled,”
For tiny wavelets mar the image fair
Which the still pool reflects of heaven’s glory
And thus the Image he would have you bear.

“Be all at rest,” for rest is highest service;
To the still heart God doth his secrets tell:
Thus shall thou learn to wait, and watch, and labor,
Strengthened to bear, since Christ in thee doth dwell.

For what is service but the life of Jesus
Lived through a vessel of earth’s fragile clay;
Loving and giving; poured forth for others;
“A living sacrifice” from day to day?

And what shall meet the deep unrest around thee
But the calm peace of God that filled his breast?
For still a living voice must call the weary
To him who said, “Come unto me and rest.”

Therefore “be all at rest, my soul,” toward him,
If thou a revelation of the Lord would’st be;
For in the quiet confidence that never doubts him,
Others his truth and faithfulness shall see.

“Be all at rest,” for rest alone becometh
The soul that casts on him its every care;
“Be all at rest” so shall thy life proclaim him
A God who worketh and who heareth prayer.

“Be all at rest” so shalt thou be an answer
To those who question, “Who is God, and where?”
For God is rest, and where he dwells is stillness,
And they who dwell in him that rest shall share.

Freda Hanbury Allen.

REST

Sweet is the pleasure
Itself cannot spoil!
Is not true leisure
One with true toil?

Thou that wouldst taste it,
Still do thy best;
Use it, not waste it,
Else ’tis no rest.

Wouldst behold beauty
Near thee all round?
Only hath duty
Such a sight found.

Rest is not quitting
The busy career;
Rest is the fitting
Of self to its sphere.

’Tis the brook’s motion,
Clear without strife,
Fleeing to ocean
After its life.

Deeper devotion
Nowhere hath knelt;
Fuller emotion
Heart never felt.

’Tis loving and serving
The Highest and Best!
’Tis onwards, unswerving,
And that is true rest.

John Sullivan Dwight.

There is peace in power; the men who speak
With the loudest tongues do least;
And the surest sign of a mind that is weak
Is its want of the power to rest.

John Boyle O’Reilly.

EQUANIMITY

Tost on a sea of troubles, Soul, my Soul,
Thyself do thou control;
And to the weapons of advancing foes
A stubborn breast oppose:
Undaunted ’mid the hostile might
Of squadrons burning for the fight
Thine be no boasting when the victor’s crown
Wins thee deserved renown;
Thine no dejected sorrow, when defeat
Would urge a base retreat;
Rejoice in joyous things nor overmuch
Let grief thy bosom touch
’Midst evil, and still bear in mind
How changeful are the ways of humankind.

Archilochos, tr. by William Hay.

GOD’S PEACE

Grant us Thy peace, down from thy presence falling,
As on the thirsty earth cool night-dews sweet;
Grant us thy peace, to thy pure paths recalling,
From devious ways, our worn and wandering feet.

Grant us Thy peace, through winning and through losing,
Through gloom and gladness of our pilgrim way;
Grant us thy peace, safe in thy love’s enclosing,
Thou who all things in heaven and earth dost sway.

Give us Thy peace, not as the world has given,
In momentary rays that fitful gleamed,
But calm, deep, sure, the peace of spirits shriven,
Of hearts surrendered and of souls redeemed.

Grant us thy peace, that like a deepening river
Swells ever outward to the sea of praise.
O thou of peace the only Lord and Giver,
Grant us thy peace, O Saviour, all our days.

Eliza Scudder.

THE INNER CALM

Calm me, my God, and keep me calm,
While these hot breezes blow;
Be like the night-dew’s cooling balm
Upon earth’s fevered brow.

Calm me, my God, and keep me calm,
Soft resting on thy breast;
Soothe me with holy hymn and psalm
And bid my spirit rest.

Yes, keep me calm, though loud and rude
The sounds my ear that greet;
Calm in the closet’s solitude,
Calm in the bustling street;

Calm in the hour of buoyant health,
Calm in my hour of pain,
Calm in my poverty or wealth,
Calm in my loss or gain;

Calm when the great world’s news with power
My listening spirit stir;
Let not the tidings of the hour
E’er find too fond an ear;

Calm as the ray of sun or star
Which storms assail in vain;
Moving unruffled through earth’s war,
The eternal calm to gain.

Horatius Bonar.

Father, take not away
The burden of the day,
But help me that I bear it
As Christ his burden bore
When cross and thorn he wore
And none with him could share it;
In his name help I pray!

I only ask for grace
To see that patient face
And my impatient one;
Ask that mine grow like His
Sign of an inward peace
From trust in thee alone,
Unchanged by time or place.

And they who do their souls no wrong,
But keep at eve the faith of morn,
Shall daily hear the angel-song,
To-day the Prince of Peace is born.

James Russell Lowell.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

John Greenleaf Whittier.

As flows the river calm and deep.
In silence toward the sea,
So floweth ever, and ceaseth never,
The love of God to me.

What peace He bringeth to my heart,
Deep as the soundless sea;
How sweetly singeth the soul that clingeth,
My loving Lord, to thee.

He fails never.
If He cannot work by us He will work through us.
Let our souls be calm.
We should be ashamed to sit beneath those stars,
Impatient that we’re nothing.
Get work, get work; be sure ’tis better
Than what you work to get.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Calm Soul of all things, make it mine
To feel amid the city’s jar,
That there abides a peace of thine
Man did not make and cannot mar.
The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give;
Calm, calm me more, nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

Matthew Arnold.

What secret trouble stirs thy heart?
Why all this fret and flurry?
Dost thou not know that what is best
In this too restless world is rest
From over-work and hurry?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

We bless thee for thy peace, O God,
Deep as the boundless sea,
It falls like sunshine on the road,
Of those who trust in thee;
That peace which suffers and is strong,
Trusts where it cannot see:
Deems not the trial way too long,
But leaves the end with thee.

Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
Why should I feel another man’s mistakes
More than his sicknesses or poverty?
In love I should; but anger is not love,
Nor wisdom, neither; therefore gently move.

George Herbert.

Why fret thee, soul,
For things beyond thy small control?
But do thy part, and thou shalt see
Heaven will have charge of them and thee.
Sow then thy seed, and wait in peace
The Lord’s increase.

What is the use of worrying
And flurrying and scurrying
And breaking up one’s rest;
When all the world is teaching us
And praying and beseeching us
That quiet ways are best.

I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities
A still and quiet conscience.

William Shakespeare.

The stormy blast is strong, but mightier still
The calm that binds the storm beneath its peaceful will.

John Sterling.

As running water cleanseth bodies dropped therein
So heavenly truth doth cleanse the secret heart from sin.

From the Sanskrit, tr. by Frederic Rowland Marvin.

From our ill-ordered hearts we oft are fain to roam,
As men go forth who find unquietness at home.

Richard Chenevix Trench.

A mind from every evil thought set free
I count the noblest gift of Deity.

Aeschylus, tr. by Frederic Rowland Marvin.

A stone makes not great rivers turbid grow;
When saints are vexed their shallowness they show.

Saadi.

Yes, Lord, one great eternal yes
To all my Lord shall say;
To what I know, or yet shall know,
In all the untried way.

Good striving
Brings thriving.
Better a dog who works
Than a lion who shirks.

From the Persian.

MEEKNESS, WEAKNESS, SELFLESSNESS

A LAST PRAYER

Father, I scarcely dare to pray,
So clear I see, now it is done,
That I have wasted half my day
And left my work but just begun.

So clear I see that things I thought
Were right, or harmless, were a sin;
So clear I see that I have sought
Unconscious, selfish aims to win;

So clear I see that I have hurt
The souls I might have helped to save;
That I have slothful been, inert,
Deaf to the calls Thy leaders gave.

In outskirts of thy kingdom vast,
Father, the humblest spot give me;
Set me the lowliest task thou hast;
Let me, repentant, work for thee.

Helen Hunt Jackson.

A LOWLY HEART

Thy home is with the humble, Lord!
The simplest are the best,
Thy lodging is in childlike hearts:
Thou makest there thy rest.

Dear Comforter! Eternal Love!
If thou wilt stay with me,
Of lowly thoughts and simple ways
I’ll build a house for thee.

Who made this beating heart of mine
But Thou, my heavenly guest?
Let no one have it, then, but thee,
And let it be thy rest.

Lyra Catholica.

Before the eyes of men let duly shine thy light,
But ever let thy life’s best part be out of sight.

Richard Chenevix Trench.

KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM

I.

The Man who Loved the Names of Things
Went forth beneath the skies
And named all things that he beheld,
And people called him wise.
An unseen presence walked with him
Forever by his side,
The wedded mistress of his soul
For Knowledge was his bride;
She named the flowers, the weeds, the trees,
And all the growths of all the seas.

She told him all the rocks by name,
The winds and whence they blew;
She told him how the seas were formed,
And how the mountains grew.
She numbered all the stars for him;
And all the rounded skies
Were mapped and charted for the gaze
Of his devouring eyes.
Thus, taught by her, he taught the crowd;
They praised and he was very proud.

II.

The Man who Loved the Soul of Things
Went forth serene and glad,
And mused upon the mighty world,
And people called him mad.
An unseen presence walked with him
Forever by his side,
The wedded mistress of his soul
For Wisdom was his bride.
She showed him all this mighty frame,
And bade him feel but named no name.

She stood with him upon the hills
Ringed by the azure sky,
And shamed his lowly thought with stars
And bade it climb as high.
And all the birds he could not name,
The nameless stars that roll,
The unnamed blossoms at his feet
Talked with him soul to soul;
He heard the Nameless Glory speak
In silence and was very meek.

Sam Walter Foss.

THE INQUIRY

I wonder if ever a song was sung but the singer’s heart sang sweeter!
I wonder if ever a rhyme was rung but the thought surpassed the meter!
I wonder if ever a sculptor wrought till the cold stone echoed his
ardent thought!
Or if ever the painter with light and shade the dream of his inmost
heart portrayed!

I wonder if ever a rose was found and there might not be a fairer!
Or if ever a glittering gem was ground and we dreamed not of a rarer!
Ah! never on earth do we find the best; but it waits for us in the land
of rest,
And a perfect thing we shall never behold till we pass the portals of
shining gold.

A SONG OF LOW DEGREE

He that is down need fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age.

John Bunyan.

NOT YET PREPARED

O thou unpolished shaft, why leave the quiver?
O thou blunt axe, what forests canst thou hew?
Untempered sword, canst thou the oppressed deliver?
Go back to thine own maker’s forge anew.

Submit thyself to God for preparation,
Seek not to teach thy Master and thy Lord;
Call it not zeal; it is a base temptation.
Satan is pleased when man dictates to God.

Down with thy pride! with holy vengeance trample
On each self-flattering fancy that appears;
Did not the Lord himself, for our example,
Lie hid in Nazareth for thirty years?

RECESSIONAL

God of our fathers, known of old
Lord of our far-flung battle-line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget.

The tumult and the shouting dies
The Captains and the Kings depart
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget.

Far-called our navies melt away
On dune and headland sinks the fire
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre.
Judge of the nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget.

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not thee in awe
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget.

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on thy people, Lord.

Rudyard Kipling.

In humbleness, O Lord, I ask
That thou bestow on me
The will and strength to do some task
For growth of love for thee;
Some task, not of my chosen will
For wisdom is not mine
But let my frailsome life fulfill
Some perfect thought of thine.

I WILL NOT SEEK

I cannot think but God must know
About the thing I long for so;
I know he is so good, so kind,
I cannot think but he will find
Some way to help, some way to show
Me to the thing I long for so.

I stretch my hand; it lies so near,
It looks so sweet, it looks so dear,
“Dear Lord,” I pray, “O let me know
If it is wrong to want it so!”
He only smiles, he does not speak;
My heart grows weaker and more weak
With looking at the thing so dear,
Which lies so far, and yet so near.

Now, Lord, I leave at thy loved feet
This thing which looks so near, so sweet;
I will not seek, I will not long;
I almost fear I have been wrong;
I’ll go, and work the harder, Lord,
And wait, till by some loud, clear word
Thou callest me to thy loved feet
To take this thing so dear, so sweet.

Saxe Holm.

TRIUMPHING IN OTHERS

Others shall sing the song,
Others shall right the wrong,
Finish what I begin,
And all I fail of win.

What matter, I or they,
Mine or another’s day,
So the right word be said,
And life the sweeter made?

Ring, bells in unreared steeples,
The joy of unborn peoples!
Sound, trumpets far-off blown,
Your triumph is my own.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

Pitch thy behaviour low, thy projects high;
So shalt thou humble and magnanimous be;
Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky
Shoots higher much than he that means a tree.
A grain of glory mixed with humbleness
Cures both a fever and lethargickness.

George Herbert.

FOR DIVINE STRENGTH

Father, in thy mysterious presence kneeling,
Fain would our souls feel all thy kindling love;
For we are weak and need some deep revealing
Of trust, and strength, and calmness from above.

Lord, we have wandered far through doubt and sorrow,
And thou hast made each step an onward one;
And we will ever trust each unknown morrow
Thou wilt sustain us till its work is done.

In the heart’s depths a peace serene and holy
Abides; and when pain seems to have its will,
Or we despair, O may that peace rise slowly
Stronger than agony, and we be still!

Now, Father, now, in thy dear presence kneeling,
Our spirits yearn to feel thy kindling love;
Now make us strong, we need thy deep revealing,
Of trust, and strength, and calmness from above.

Samuel Johnson.

WHEN I AM WEAK THEN AM I STRONG

Half feeling our own weakness,
We place our hands in Thine
Knowing but half our darkness
We ask for light divine.
Then, when Thy strong arm holds us,
Our weakness most we feel,
And thy love and light around us
Our darkness must reveal.

Too oft, when faithless doubtings
Around our spirits press,
We cry, “Can hands so feeble
Grasp such almightiness?”
While thus we doubt and tremble
Our hold still looser grows;
While on our darkness gazing
Vainly thy radiance glows.

Oh, cheer us with Thy brightness,
And guide us by thy hand,
In thy light teach us light to see,
In thy strength strong to stand.
Then though our hands be feeble,
If they but touch thine arm,
Thy light and power shall lead us,
And keep us strong and calm.

A HUMBLE HEART

I would not ask Thee that my days
Should flow quite smoothly on and on,
Lest I should learn to love the world
Too well, ere all my time was done.

I would not ask Thee that my work
Should never bring me pain nor fear;
Lest I should learn to work alone,
And never wish thy presence near.

I would not ask Thee that my friends
Should always kind and constant be;
Lest I should learn to lay my faith
In them alone, and not in thee.

But I would ask a humble heart,
A changeless will to work and wake,
A firm faith in Thy providence,
The rest ’tis thine to give or take.

Alfred Norris.

Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude, unprofitable mass,
The mere material with which Wisdom builds,
Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems to enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

William Cowper.

Humble we must be if to heaven we go;
High is the roof there; but the gate is low.

Robert Herrick.

NOT MINE

It is not mine to run, with eager feet,
Along life’s crowded ways, my Lord to meet.

It is not mine to pour the oil and wine
Or bring the purple robe and linen fine.

It is not mine to break at his dear feet
The alabaster box of ointment sweet.

It is not mine to bear his heavy cross,
Or suffer, for his sake, all pain and loss.

It is not mine to walk through valleys dim,
Or climb far mountain heights alone with him.

He hath no need of me in grand affairs,
Where fields are lost or crowns won unawares.

Yet, Master, if I may make one pale flower
Bloom brighter, for thy sake, though one short hour;

If I in harvest fields where strong ones reap,
May bind one golden sheaf for love to keep;

May speak one quiet word when all is still,
Helping some fainting heart to bear thy will;

Or sing some high, clear song on which may soar
Some glad soul heavenward, I ask no more.

Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr.

Christ wants the best. He in the far-off ages
Once claimed the firstling of the flock, the finest of the wheat;
And still he asks his own with gentlest pleading
To lay their highest hopes and brightest talents at his feet.
He’ll not forget the feeblest service, humblest love;
He only asks that of our stores we give to him the best we have.

PRAISE DEPRECATED

My sins and follies, Lord, by thee
From others hidden are,
That such good words are spoke of me
As now and then I hear;
For sure if others know me such,
Such as myself I know,
I should have been dispraised as much
As I am praised now.

The praise, therefore, which I have heard,
Delights not so my mind,
As those things make my heart afeard
Which in myself I find;
And I had rather to be blamed,
So I were blameless made,
Than for much virtue to be famed
When I no virtues had.

Though slanders to an innocent
Sometimes do bitter grow,
Their bitterness procures content,
If clear himself he know.
And when a virtuous man hath erred
If praised himself he hear,
It makes him grieve and more afeard
Than if he slandered were.

Lord, therefore make my heart upright,
Whate’er my deeds do seem;
And righteous rather in thy sight,
Than in the world’s esteem.
And if aught good appears to be
In any act of mine,
Let thankfulness be found in me,
And all the praise be thine.

George Wither (1588-1667).

One part, one little part, we dimly scan,
Through the dark medium of life’s feverish dream;
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan,
If but that little part incongruous seem.
Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem,
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise.
O then renounce that impious self-esteem
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies;
For thou art but of dust, be humble and be wise.

James Beattie.

HUMILITY

O humble me! I cannot bide the joy
That in my Saviour’s presence ever flows;
May I be lowly, lest it may destroy
The peace his childlike spirit ever knows.
I would not speak thy word, but by thee stand
While thou dost to thine erring children speak;
O help me but to keep his own command,
And in my strength to feel me ever weak;
Then in thy presence shall I humbly stay,
Nor lose the life of love he came to give;
And find at last the life, the truth, the way
To where with him thy blessed servants live;
And walk forever in the path of truth
A servant, yet a son; a sire and yet a youth.

Jones Very.

TURN FROM SELF

This is the highest learning,
The hardest and the best
From self to keep still turning,
And honor all the rest.

If one should break the letter,
Yea, spirit of command,
Think not that thou art better;
Thou may’st not always stand!

We all are weak but weaker
Hold no one than thou art;
Then, as thou growest meeker,
Higher will go thy heart.

George Macdonald.

In proud humility a pious man went through the field;
The ears of corn were bowing in the wind, as if they kneeled;
He struck them on the head, and modestly began to say,
“Unto the Lord, not unto me, such honors should you pay.”

From the Persian.

MEEKNESS OF MOSES

Moses, the patriot fierce, became
The meekest man on earth,
To show us how love’s quickening flame
Can give our souls new birth.

Moses, the man of meekest heart,
Lost Canaan by self-will,
To show, where grace has done its part,
How sin defiles us still.

Thou who hast taught me in thy fear,
Yet seest me frail at best,
Oh, grant me loss with Moses here,
To gain his future rest.

John Henry Newman.

LAUS DEO

Let praise devote thy work, and skill employ
Thy whole mind, and thy heart be lost in joy.
Well-doing bringeth pride; this constant thought
Humility, that thy best done is naught.
Man doeth nothing well, be it great or small,
Save to praise God; but that hath saved all.
For God requires no more than thou hast done,
And takes thy work to bless it for his own.

Robert Bridges.

“A commonplace life,” we say, and we sigh;
But why should we sigh as we say?
The commonplace sun in the commonplace sky
Makes up the commonplace day.
The moon and the stars are commonplace things,
And the flower that blooms and the bird that sings,
But dark were the world and sad our lot
If the flowers failed and the sun shone not;
And God, who studies each separate soul
Out of commonplace lives makes his beautiful whole.

Humility, that low, sweet root
From which all heavenly virtues shoot.

Thomas Moore.

THE EVERLASTING MEMORIAL

Up and away, like the dew of the morning
That soars from the earth to its home in the sun,
So let me steal away, gently and lovingly,
Only remembered by what I have done.

My name, and my place, and my tomb all forgotten,
The brief race of time well and patiently run,
So let me pass away, peacefully, silently,
Only remembered by what I have done.

Gladly away from this toil would I hasten,
Up to the crown that for me has been won;
Unthought of by man in rewards or in praises;
Only remembered by what I have done.

Up and away, like the odors of sunset,
That sweeten the twilight as evening comes on,
So be my life a thing felt but not noticed,
And I but remembered by what I have done.

Yes, like the fragrance that wanders in freshness
When the flowers that it came from are closed up and gone.
So would I be to this world’s weary dwellers
Only remembered by what I have done.

I need not be missed, if my life has been bearing
(As its summer and autumn move silently on)
The bloom, and the fruit, and the seed of its season;
I shall still be remembered by what I have done.

Needs there the praise of the love-written record,
The name and the epitaph graved on the stone?
The things we have lived for let them be our story
We ourselves but remembered by what we have done.

I need not be missed if another succeed me,
To reap down the fields which in spring I have sown;
He who plowed and who sowed is not missed by the reaper,
He is only remembered by what he has done.

Not myself, but the truth that in life I have spoken,
Not myself, but the seed that in life I have sown,
Shall pass on to ages all about me forgotten,
Save the truth I have spoken, the things I have done.

So let my living be, so be my dying;
So let my name lie, unblazoned, unknown;
Unpraised and unmissed, I shall still be remembered;
Yes, but remembered for what I have done.

Horatius Bonar.

SELF

O I could go through all life’s troubles singing,
Turning earth’s night to day,
If self were not so fast around me clinging,
To all I do or say.

O Lord! that I could waste my life for others,
With no ends of my own,
That I could pour myself into my brothers
And live for them alone!

Such was the life thou livedst; self-abjuring,
Thine own pains never easing,
Our burdens bearing, our just doom enduring;
A life without self-pleasing.

Frederick William Faber.

BRINGING OUR SHEAVES WITH US

The time for toil is past, and night has come
The last and saddest of the harvest eves;
Worn out with labor, long and wearisome,
Drooping and faint, the reapers hasten home,
Each laden with his sheaves.

Last of the laborers, thy feet I gain,
Lord of the harvest! and my spirit grieves
That I am burdened not so much with grain
As with a heaviness of heart and brain;
Master, behold my sheaves.

Few, light, and worthless yet their trifling weight
Through all my frame a weary aching leaves;
For long I struggled with my hapless fate,
And stayed and toiled till it was dark and late
Yet these are all my sheaves.

Full well I know I have more tares than wheat,
Brambles and flowers, dry stalks and withered leaves;
Wherefore I blush and weep as at thy feet
I kneel down reverently and repeat,
“Master, behold my sheaves!”

I know these blossoms clustering heavily,
With evening dew upon their folded leaves,
Can claim no value or utility
Therefore shall fragrancy and beauty be
The glory of my sheaves.

So do I gather strength and hope anew;
For well I know thy patient love perceives
Not what I did, but what I strove to do,
And though the full ripe ears be sadly few
Thou wilt accept my sheaves.

Elizabeth Akers.

I pray not that
Men tremble at
My power of place,
And lordly sway;
I only pray for simple grace
To look my neighbor in the face
Full honestly from day to day.

James Whitcomb Riley.

If thou art blest,
Then let the sunshine of thy gladness rest
On the dark edges of each cloud that lies
Black in thy brother’s skies.
If thou art sad,
Still be in thy brother’s gladness glad.

Hamilton.

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Alfred Tennyson.

Praise not thy work, but let thy work praise thee;
For deeds, not words, make each man’s memory stable.
If what thou dost is good, its good all men will see;
Musk by its smell is known, not by its label.

When thou art fain to trace a map of thine own heart,
An undiscovered land set down the largest part.

Richard Chenevix Trench.

Patient, resigned and humble wills
Impregnably resist all ills.

Thomas Ken.

He is one to whom
Long patience hath such mild composure given,
That patience now doth seem a thing of which
He hath no need.

William Wordsworth.

Be not too ready to condemn
The wrong thy brothers may have done:
Ere ye too harshly censure them
For human faults, ask, “Have I none?”

Eliza Cook.

Search thine own heart. What paineth thee
In others in thyself may be;
All dust is frail, all flesh is weak;
Be thou the true man thou dost seek.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

Through wish, resolve, and act, our will
Is moved by undreamed forces still;
And no man measures in advance
His strength with untried circumstance.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

Labor with what zeal we will,
Something still remains undone.
Something uncompleted still
Waits the rising of the sun.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In the deed that no man knoweth,
Where no praiseful trumpet bloweth,
Where he may not reap who soweth,
There, Lord, let my heart serve thee.

O wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.

Robert Burns.