Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS X

And now He gives me the Nilgiri Hills,
The Krishna river, the Deccan plateau,
Horse-traps and camel carts; the gorgeous show
Of sarees; of the field where someone tills
With oxen; Mumbai's heat's and Ooty's chills;
Street cattle; flower-abundant trees that grow
From drought; an ornamental lake aglow;
The tastes and senses India distils;

Good company: the joy more than the rest:
Good company, who in a heathen land
Are touched by Jesus Christ and understand
He died for them; thus brought into accord
They, having Christ as their first interest,
Extol in various languages the Lord.

Monday, 29 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS IX

Seeing God's power and wisdom in display.
In His creation I am moved to praise;
Dawn wakens every day with His sun's rays;
His flowers and herbs and bushes hedge my way;
His creatures low or chirp or roar or bray,
While birds express themselves in sweeter lays
All to His glory: night to night conveys
The chorus of the songs of day to day.

And best I love the hills where I can walk
And talk with friends, and God; where lonely pines
Sentry the sgurrs and stucs, and light defines
Countours of grandeur, while the spirit thrills
To vistas which my eye and lenses stalk;
And now He gives me the Nilgiri Hills!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS VIII

We thank Him for the children given us
Regarding them as children lent to Him,
Aware that they were neither cherubim
Nor petty playthings over which to fuss.
Neither sublime nor quite ridiculous
A father's love observed each faltering limb
Or tongue direct and strengthen to be trim,
Articulate, keen and adventurous.

I love my children for whom I have prayed
And gladly see the answer to my prayers
In that they are the Lord's and He is theirs.
While a next generation makes me pray,
And play, within the ambience God has made
Seeing God's power and wisdom in display.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS VII

There she still shines as a resplendent bride
After near forty years of married life!
Rosemary: I am told to love my wife
As Christ loved the assembly.  Oh how wide
And long and deep and high, and to abide,
The love of Christ that won through grief and strife;
Yet as the blade and handle form one knife
We too are one, though grace He will provide.

I love my Rose in her variety:
The Pilgrim, Delicate Beauty, Superstar
Peace, Grace or Dove - she outshines them by far:
Lets sum her up as Blooming Marvellous!
Blessed by the Father in our amity
We thank Him for the children given us.

Friday, 26 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS VI

They are united in the Spirit's power
As the assembly, answering Christ's heart;
I love the assembly as it stands apart
To be for Him, a confident white flower;
To be for Him, resplendent in the shower
Of blessings that surround her; heaven's art
Has formed and strengthened: hades' gates can't start
To make Christ's grand assembly quake or cower!

Christ's love for the assembly is so great
He gave Himself for her: and who can speak
Of such great love for what He came to seek?
Conformed to Him as one built from His side,
John saw her in the aeon we await:
There she still shines as a resplendent bride.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS V

He will secure His purpose in His saints
And so I love them as the ones He chose
Before the worlds began, but now as those
Whom Jesus' blood has cleansed from all sin's taints.
Yet we remain where sin and sin's complaints
Affect us, and a sultry wind still blows;
I love the saints because my spirit knows
That they will bring it succour when it faints.

These are the sons of God and they are led
In worship by the Spirit.  These are men
The Father gave to Jesus and who yen
To please Him, while among their plenteous dower
Of graces it can thankfully be said
They are united in the Spirit's power.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS IV

The Holy Spirit brings the truth to me
And brings me to the truth.  And so I love
The truth that comes as wisdom from above
In purity.  And searching it I see
It's noble, while it hold my only plea
For justness.  He who came down as a dove
On Christ displays, despite man's cut and shove,
It's potency to set God's people free.

We love the Holy Scriptures for we find
The truth in revelation, and God's thought
To have before Him those in whom He's wrought;
We loved the blessed doctrine which acquaints
Our hearts with Christ, the truth; while God designed
He will secure His purpose in His saints.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS III

The Father sent the Spirit as my Guide
And Comforter, and One who intercedes,
Because He knows my feelings and my needs.
I love the Spirit since He will abide
With us for ever and will now provide
Strength to enjoy the truths towards which He leads.
I love Him since He graciously accedes
To saying, "Come" to Jesus with the Bride.

I love the Spirit, whose activity
In fact or sign - He strives, sweeps, carries, blows,
Hovers, refreshes, intercedes, falls, flows -
Enables Christianity to be
Living: while in His grace and majesty
The Holy Spirit brings the truth to me.

Monday, 22 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS II

Because the Son has made the Father known
I love the Father; while that Name of grace
Draws out my love so also does the place
That He has given Christ upon His throne.
I love the Father who could not condone
- So in the Son has acted to efface -
My sins.  I love the Father as I trace
His purposes, through which I am His own.

The attributes He chooses to evince
Or all the counsel to attain His ends
No human intuition apprehends.
I feel I need another at my side
As helper: so I love the Father since
The Father sent the Spirit as my Guide.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS I

I love the Saviour since He died for me
To save me from my sins and their dire end;
And I love Jesus since He is my Friend,
Whom I am waiting longingly to see;
I love the One who has the right to be
Both Lord and Christ; the One who could ascend,
Having annulled what I was to offend
A holy God, to bless and set me free.

I love the Lord for all that He has done
To accomplish all the purposes of God;
And for His moral glories as He trod
On earth, while now in heaven His glory's shown
For faith to wonder at; I love the Son
Because the Son has made the Father known.




This is the first of fourteen linked sonnets.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

HE

       (Mark 6: 37)
He does all things well:
Un-does Satan's's might,
Leads us all to light,
Making dark things bright;
He does all things well.

       (Acts 10: 36)
He is Lord of all
As  is understood,
Since the Lord is good
In  His  gift  of food:
He  is  Lord  of  all.


       (1 John 4: 19)
He has first loved us
And has shown His grace:
In the first-born's place
See His well-loved face;
He has first loved us.

Friday, 19 June 2015

UP TO MOUNT OLIVET MY SOUL ASCEND


Up to Mount Olivet my soul ascend


The mount spiritual, and there supply
Thy fainting lamp with oil of charity
To make the light of faith the more extend.
Go by this tract which thither right doth tend,
Which Christ did first beat forth to walk thereby,
And sixteen ages of posterity
Have gone it over since from end to end.
But strike not down to any new-found balk,
Which hunters have begun of late to chalk:
For whether 'twere the glow-worm faith went out,
Or want of love did pine them in the way,
Or else the cruel devils rob or slay,
No news comes back of one of all that rout. 
 
William Alabaster (1568-1640)


Thursday, 18 June 2015

From LATER LIFE

To love and to remember; that is good:
To love and to forget; that is not well:
To lapse from love to hatred; that is hell
And death and torment, rightly understood.
Soul dazed by love and sorrow, cheer thy mood;
More blest art thou than mortal tongue can tell:
Ring not thy funeral but thy marriage bell,
And salt with hope thy life's insipid food.
Love is the goal, love is the way we wend,
Love is our parallel unending line
Whose only perfect Parallel is Christ,
Beginning not begun, End without end:
For He Who hath the heart of God sufficed,
Can satisfy all hearts,--yea, thine and mine.

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

JORDAN (II)

When first my lines of heav’nly joyes made mention,
Such was their lustre, they did so excell,
That I sought out quaint words and trim invention;
My thoughts began to burnish, sprout, and swell,
Curling with metaphors a plain intention,
Decking the sense, as if it were to sell.

Thousands of notions in my brain did runne,
Off’ring their service, if I were not sped:
I often blotted what I had begunne;
This was not quick enough, and that was dead.
Nothing could seem too rich to clothe the sunne,
Much lesse those joyes which trample on his head.

As flames do work and winde, when they ascend,
So did I weave my self into the sense.
But while I bustled, I might heare a friend
Whisper, How wide is all this long pretence!
There is in love a sweetnesse readie penn’d;
Copie out onely that, and save expense.
 
George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

HIS PLACE

He took me from the mountains
Where I was wont to roam
And laid me on His shoulders
To bear me kindly home:
I had been lost and straying
And He had heard my plea;
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

He led me to green pastures
Where I could safely feed:
He brought me by still waters
To answer all my need.
"My Lord, I am not worthy
Of all Thou givest me."
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

He led me through dark valleys
Where all seemed dank and dim;
Where shadows pressed upon me
Although I was with Him;
Though fears arose within me
And made me long to flee
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

So as my path goes onward
Through pleasure or through test
I trust my caring Shepherd
Because His way is best.
And when my way is ended
With Him I will be free;
He'll tenderly assure me
"This is My place for thee."

Saturday, 13 June 2015

ARISTARCHUS

Paul’s fellow-traveller, he would have seen
Paul’s teaching, conduct, purpose, faith and light;
Among the fresh assemblies would have been
A sharer of Paul’s fatherly delight,
While as his fellow-worker he would share
His love, endurance and long-suffering:
Striving to conquer moments of despair
And finding Christ his help in everything.
But as Paul’s fellow-captive he endured
What Paul endured - the bondage and the storm -
Till by the grace of God he was secured
In safety - where Paul’s service made him warm.
Lord Jesus, help me till I hear Thy call
To move, and work - and be in bonds - with Paul.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

MEMORIES

Do you remember particular trees?
At Marchmont, where I was born, the garden
Had one sycamore sapling: perhaps my age,
But useless to a small boy. Sciennes
Was an Eden, apple, cherry, chestnut,
And the pear whose branches sauntered and rambled;
I have not plundered or climbed a taller
Tree. Once an exotic green of budgie
Evaded my fingertips. The main memory
From Valleyfield was the birch which William
Clawed down in my photo. Mayshade had
A neat conifer growing too rapidly
From inches to feet. The elm at Straiton
Stricken, cost two days work and two
Days burning to a Polish escapee from
Martial law. Here a slight lime-tree
Sprouts, and glues, and drops seeds, and fades
To a premature mite-induced autumn. These
Are my tree-memories - and what are yours?


These are the places I have had as home; Sciennes is pronounced "sheens"; William was the cat where I lodged a while in London.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

PEACE

God has made peace by the blood of Christ's cross;
By Him now all things have been reconciled.
Out of His anguish, His horror and loss
Peace comes in triumph where sin had defiled.

He is our peace who has broken the wall
Forging diversity into one man;
Coming in love He has preached peace to all:
Formed through this Source we are built to one plan.

He gives His peace ‑ what a wonderful gift ‑
More than the best that this world can provide!
How could we fear with such power to uplift
Hearts to the place where His comforts preside?

As Prince of Peace He will quickly return
Down to this earth to set everything right:
Lord! wake our hearts with desire ‑ let them burn
Till Thou shalt come and secure Thy delight.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Saturday, 6 June 2015

EDDY AND KITTY

Oh you should have seen Eddy and Kitty dance
With an elegant turn and a sally
With a twirl and a whirl you could see them prance
At the Ritz, the Rotunda or Palais.

But the Saviour has touched them with love and grace,
By His word He has drawn them apart;
He has given a home in a better place
And has given a dance in their heart.

Do you think they have danced not to dance again
Long ago in nineteen forty-seven?
Do you not all await that occasion when
They will dance with the ransomed in heaven?





Local brethren both now asleep through Jesus.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

THE WOOD OFFERING

Help me, Lord Jesus, to provide
The wood offering - to maintain
What is for thy service, without
Pretension, to dependably
Supply unmemorable and
Unsung effort. As others have
Laboured, their names now known only
To God, make me expendable,
Reduced to ash. As Urijah
Would not act for his own comfort
If the Ark and God’s people were
In the fields, even if it meant
His death. As Naboth of Jizreel
Would not abandon his father’s land
Whatever the cost - even if
It meant his death. As Christ’s bondman
Paul spent and was spent, night and day,
That God’s service should continue,
That God’s testimony remain,
Even to the point of his death.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

BRING WOOD

Go up to the mountain and bring wood
That the house of God may be built;
Long since should your sloth have been eschewed,
With your selfishness and your guilt.

Go bearing your axe to hew down trees
That the house’s beams may be strong.
Your vigour will not regret your ease
As you quit the place of your wrong.

How long will you sow but will not reap,
Have your gains in bags full of holes?
The house of your God lies waste, a heap -
Rise, for benefit of your souls.

Go, find there is wood to bear each weight,
There is wood whose scent is refined,
And wood to be carved to decorate
Till God’s house accords to His mind.

How soon will your blessing have accrued!
God will give your singing a lilt:
Go up to the mountain and bring wood
That the house of God may be built.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

ACACIA WOOD

To make the Ark  required acacia wood:
A supple wood,  well able to endure
And thus to bear   the testimony through.
The copper altar  required acacia too
To bear the fire  and all the heat produced
That God’s delight  should daily be ensured.
But this wood also,  standing as it was hewn,
Formed boards by which   the tabernacle stood
Since only this  in all its strength conduced
To form the tent  which God Himself would choose.
One kind of Man  could be before God’s heart:
Suited to God  within His inner Man.
Only the Christ  could be the perfect Ark,
One kind of Man  in sufferings and charm
Clears the approach  by which we may advance
To God’s abode  where we may boldly stand.
One kind of manhood  alone is consonant
With Christ Himself  and God can rest in that.
Men after Christ  now have their heavenly part
Which will remain  when death and sin are past.

Monday, 1 June 2015

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Saviour, serve us
Mid sins that might infect us,
From which we might receive ill;
And make us really free;
Preserve us;
Protect us;
Keep us from evil;
Help us to walk with Thee.