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NATURALLY enough, one influence of the great European war is to turn the minds of some toward religion and the consideration of a future life. The fact that sons, brothers and husbands are in danger or wounded or dead or prisoners in a foreign land—all of them beyond human protection—naturally turns the minds of many toward the Almighty Creator. Hence reports from the warring nations indicate an increase of religious sentiment—larger church attendance, more people praying, etc.
To the extent that such religious activities are inspired merely by fear and helplessness, they of course amount to very little, for the public, mistaught, know not that there is no access to the Divine ear, no authority for prayer, no ground for claiming protection for loved ones, except through the great Advocate whom God has appointed. Neither do they understand that He is not the world's Advocate, but merely the Church's; and that no one is a member of the Church who has not, through knowledge of the Lord, through repentance, made a full consecration of himself to do the Lord's will. Hence, those not Scripturally informed—and they include the vast majority of all denominations of Christians—cry aloud to the Lord in their troubles; but in the absence of trouble or danger are worshipers at the shrines of pleasure, of wealth, of selfishness, of lust, or of appetite.
We cannot hope that this class will receive any permanent benefit at the present time—any more than would the heathen. It will be a little later on in this great Trouble, in the revolution and anarchy which the Lord indicates will follow each other, that they will begin really to wake up and to realize that unless those days be shortened, no flesh would survive. (Matthew 24:22.) Then they will begin to seek the Lord, not merely in a form of godliness, but with truly broken hearts.
The Lord's provision will then opportunely come to them. The Redeemer, through whose blood of the New Covenant there is to be a full atonement made, will then take to Himself His great power and reign as the Mediator of that New Covenant; and the glorious Millennium will be fully established. Under its beneficent arrangement the darkness of the present civilization and the gross darkness of the heathen will disappear before the rising Sun of Righteousness with healing in His beams.
Then the Lord, who is now speaking to them in His anger, chastening in His sore displeasure, and revealing Himself in the flaming fire of the near future, will be ready to speak to their chastened hearts words of comfort, of mercy, which because of ignorance and superstition and misconception they are not able and willing to receive now. The Lord will turn unto His people the pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent. (Zephaniah 3:9.) Thus "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth"—ocean deep! (Habakkuk 2:14.) As a result of the heart-breaking experiences, followed by the greater knowledge, all knees will be bowing and all tongues will be confessing to the glory of God. And those refusing to come into harmony with that supreme and glorious Reign of Righteousness, we are told, will be sure to be destroyed from amongst the people.—Acts 3:23.
There is, however, another class of religious people, who undoubtedly are being influenced much more deeply, intelligently and profitably—true Christians, who in the past have been lulled to sleep, or who as babes in Christ have not been thoroughly nourished with the Word of Truth. These are now having their senses exercised as never before, and every day are getting more awake and inquiring what these things mean—things so different from what they have been taught and what they had expected. Already they are asking, "Where is the hope we had of the conversion of the heathen to the glorious standards of our Christianity?" They are inquiring, "Has there not been some mistake made when we called these kingdoms of Europe kingdoms of God and kingdoms of Christ—Christendom?" They are awakening to the fact that we have long been under a great delusion—that these kingdoms are merely kingdoms of this world; that the Prince of this world is still the ruler; that Messiah, the Prince of Light, is only now, and through this great tribulation, taking to Himself His great power to begin His Reign of Righteousness.
It requires a little time for all this to germinate in the hearts of those who have been so seriously misinformed by the ministers and teachers whom they trusted. At first apathy, a feeling of doubt on every subject, comes into the minds of these people, but as they go to the Lord in prayer from earnest, consecrated hearts they are guided, enlightened. They find indeed that the faith they built was largely "wood, hay and stubble" material—human traditions, theories and creeds. The burning, or destruction, of these leaves them, however, that much better prepared for the erection of a better faith-structure of the gold, silver and precious stones of Divine promises. [R5823 : page 4] The burning of their "wood, hay and stubble" structure of errors, having been built upon "the Rock Christ Jesus," themselves "shall be saved so as by fire."—1 Corinthians 3:15.
Note the difference between this class and the one first mentioned, who have never really been consecrated to the Lord, but who are merely nominal Christians, children of error and typical "tares." The burning of their false faith will leave them nothing; for they never were properly on "the Rock Christ Jesus." It will reduce them merely to the level of the world, of which they have always been a part; but, misled by wrong teachings, they thought themselves Christians. And by many they were mistaken for Christians, even as tares may be mistaken for true wheat.
It is this extraordinary effect of this Day of Wrath upon the world in general, and especially upon professed Christians, which the Lord evidently refers to through the Prophet Isaiah: "The Lord...shall be wroth, bring to pass His act, His strange act." (Isaiah 28:21.) It will surely be a strange procedure on God's part, as viewed by those not taught of the Lord, when they shall see all the religious systems of the present time go down and the world heading straight for chaos.
The cry of the people at that time will much resemble the cry of the Apostles, when on the Lake of Galilee the great storm arose. They came to Jesus in the hinder part of the boat, apparently asleep, crying, "Master, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" Immediately, when they have learned their dependence upon the Lord—which many do not now very fully appreciate—immediately when they cry to the Lord from the depth of their hearts in astonishment and fear, He will be ready to answer them graciously and to deliver them.
Man's extremity will be God's opportunity! As Jesus arose, He rebuked the winds and the waves; and immediately there was a great calm on the Lake of Galilee. So in the midst of the awful trouble and human perplexity— [R5824 : page 4] "men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things coming"—Messiah's Kingdom, "the desire of all nations," will take control of the situation; and immediately the storm of human passion and anarchy will cease. Then men will "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more."—Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3.
Manifestly now, and increasingly so as the days go by, the minds of thinking people will be opening to a realization of the Truth. Now, as never before, they will need the Lord's saints to point them in the right direction—to bring the Scriptures to their attention and the various helps for Bible study which the Lord has been graciously providing, and which are already in the hands of many. As society and religious systems will be reeling as a drunken man, as the Bible explains, these undeveloped saints of God will need the very help we by God's grace are enabled to render them. Surely there never was so favorable a time as the present for rendering assistance to this class! More and more, as these find that they have been misled by the shepherds of the nominal systems, they will be as sheep without a shepherd.
To those who have the knowledge of God, of His Word, of His Plan, the present and the near future offer certainly the most wonderful opportunities of which we could conceive. Whoever loves the Lord will love the brethren. Whoever would serve the Lord will be intent upon serving the brethren; and the more their need, the better the opportunity; and the greater our zeal, the greater the results for others, and the greater the blessing for ourselves. "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal."—John 4:36.
We have already called attention, in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II., to the fact that Elijah, the Prophet, typified The Christ—Jesus the Head and the Church His Body—in their fleshly experiences; and that the taking up of Elijah into heaven, typically represents the final passing of the Church from the earthly conditions to the Heavenly. We have seen, too, that when Elijah's time for translation came, he was sent from Gilgal to Bethel, from Bethel to Jericho and from Jericho to Jordan; and that these different points were measurably disappointing; yet that Elijah and Elisha were not discouraged, but went on—Jordan representing the end of the Times of the Gentiles, 1915. As Jordan was the last point to which Elijah was directed, so 1915 is the last point to which the Church has been directed. As Elijah went on, not knowing any further place, so the true Church is going on without any definite time-point before it.
Soon the chariot of fire will separate the Elijah class from the Elisha class. The fiery chariot seems to mean severe trials or persecutions. A little later, the Elijah class will be taken up in the whirlwind. Elsewhere in the Bible a whirlwind is apparently used to symbolize the great time of anarchy. The lesson possibly is that the Lord's faithful of the Elijah class will be amongst the first in civilized lands to suffer some kind of violence through lawlessness and anarchy.
We know not how soon this culmination may come, nor need we be concerned, since it is our Lord who is at the helm, and since we are expecting that He will require each one to be "faithful unto death." The thing which especially concerns us now is another part of the type: When Elijah and Elisha reached the bank of Jordan, Elijah took his mantle and, folding it together, smote the waters of the river; and they divided, and the two crossed dry-shod. What does this mean? What experiences are typified thereby? Apparently it refers to something in the immediate future—something which seemingly should be beginning at once.
We may not be too sure of what is meant by this feature of the type. We are to remember, on the contrary, that Bible prophecies are rarely understood much in advance of their fulfilment. This was so at the Lord's First Advent. Prophecies were fulfilling on every hand, yet the disciples did not perceive them until later—as our Lord's death and resurrection. After His resurrection, He explained to His disciples many of the things; and we read that "then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45.) It may be so here. We may witness a fulfilment of this feature, and not discern its application until completed.
Our conjecture respecting the meaning of this picture is this: Elijah's mantle represented Divine Power operating through him; and similarly God's Power operating through His Elect now. In Bible symbology, water stands for Truth and also for people; and we see no reason to object to its standing for both of these in this picture—a division of the people through the proper and right dividing of the Truth. Jordan also signifies trial, test or [R5824 : page 5] judgment. Taking these three things in combination, we have a forceful figure. If the interpretation proves to be a correct one, it will mean something like this: that God somehow will exercise through His enlightened people a power which will have an effect of causing a division amongst the people in respect to the Truth, and which will be a test upon them in this dividing.
Not knowing what will be the opportunities, nor what the method of exercising those opportunities, we must wait for the Lord and the leadings of His providences. But meantime, surely it is for the Elijah class to be thoroughly alert and actively interested, ready, watching, waiting for the Master's guidance!
With these things before us, we urge all the Lord's consecrated people who have a knowledge of these things to "Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:13.) We urge them not to become entangled in worldly matters, but to keep themselves in the love of God and in the service of God, the Truth, the brethren.
We remember that after our Lord's crucifixion, many of His disciples were inclined to go back into the fishing business—a very natural course. We remember how the Lord gave them evidences, however, that His blessings could be with them, and they could continue to be "fishers of men"; and that all success depended upon Him; and that without Him they could do nothing. This lesson was deeply impressed upon those who first started in the fishing business. They toiled all night, but caught nothing, and in the morning saw Jesus on the shore with fish already cooked. Apparently they never forgot that lesson.—John 21:1-10.
Deeply interested in all of the Lord's dear brethren, we have felt a sort of solicitude for them as we have noticed how some who have been zealous for the Colporteur work under much less favorable conditions than the present and the future are going into worldly business. We have probably one hundred less Colporteurs today than we had a year ago, although the financial conditions everywhere show that rather we should have twice as many Colporteurs today. It is not for us to complain—we are not complaining. We are merely calling attention in this general way, rather than in a private or personal way, to the fact that the love of some may be growing cool, and that they may thus endanger their gaining "a full reward."
We may not know what power the Lord may put into our hands for causing a great division of the people in respect to the Truth. It may be a financial power, that was represented by Elijah's mantle in this case, or it may be something else. We are waiting to see. Meanwhile we are endeavoring to keep all the branches in all lines of the work well in hand, so as to be ready to smite when the opportune moment shall come. We trust that this is the spirit of all the Lord's dear people who are awaiting the Kingdom—a spirit of alertness, a spirit of zeal, and of energy, and of a sound mind—counting the things of this present time as "not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."—Acts 20:24; Philippians 3:8; Romans 8:18.
One of our arrangements for the near future is to set aside some of the Pilgrim brethren who have special ability for addressing the public, that they may give their time constantly in this direction, or to whatever extent the Lord may open the way—going from place to place in longer journeys to serve those classes which will indicate to THE WATCH TOWER Office their ability and desire to have public meetings in some of the best Auditoriums in each case. This will not interfere with other classes and their being served by other brethren—some of those brethren who have no special talent for public speaking, but who have exceptional ability for semi-public meetings and for parlor meetings, where they would be addressing chiefly the Household of Faith, versed in Present Truth.
We remind all who have opportunity, or who can make opportunity for engaging in the Colporteur work, that there are millions of homes still not supplied with the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and many more millions which have not been blessed with the CREATION SCENARIO and the DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA. Here are fields of usefulness which must be gone over surely before we may hope to be taken in the whirlwind. Let us be alive to our privileges, our opportunities, that there may be no faintheartedness, but a zeal for God and His Message and for the brethren who need our help—yea, and for some who have a hearing ear and some who have been coming rapidly into the Truth within the last few months. With these things in mind, we have selected as our year's text for 1916 the following:
"STRONG IN FAITH"—ROMANS 4:20
We own to a trepidation when writing on this subject. Our friends on both sides of the conflict, naturally enough, feel touchy. We have had three letters from Germans, claiming that we are prejudiced and do not give them justice. We have had four letters from our British friends, making similar complaint. We believe, however, that the majority of our friends on both sides do understand us; and we assume that the seven letters came from persons comparatively new in the Truth. Those familiar with our position need not to be told that we have no sympathy whatever with the German invasion of Belgian territory, even though they claim that Belgium was under-handedly associated with the Allies. We have no sympathy with acts of violence and murder in Belgium or elsewhere. We have no sympathy with the destruction of non-combatants and commercial vessels by submarines, even though the vessels did carry munitions of war. We have no sympathy with the dropping of bombs from the sky, either in London or Paris or in German and Austrian cities. We have no sympathy with the war at all.
However, on the other hand, regarding the nations as not Christian, we are not surprised that they should be engaged in an immoral warfare. We are not surprised that under stress of apparent necessity for victory, all the nations engaged in this war are trampling upon the laws of nations, to which they all agreed. We can no more excuse the British, French, Russians and Italians for such violation of the rights of others than we can excuse the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Bulgars and Turks. We see wrongs perpetrated in every direction; Divine Laws entirely set aside by these so-called Christian nations—Christendom.
Surely it is not in vain that the Scriptures say, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him"! (Romans 12:20.) And when professed British Christians break and violate the Master's instructions, and try to starve the professed [R5825 : page 6] German Christians, we are not surprised that the latter retaliate in every way that they can—whether by Zeppelin raids or submarine raids or otherwise. These nations, from our viewpoint being unchristian nations, could have no higher motto than is expressed in the sentiment, "Necessity knows no law." The Germans decided that if the British starved their wives and babies and aged non-combatants, they would be right to retaliate by destroying everything British that they could reach, including non-combatant passengers on steamers.
We see that it would have been wiser for the British to have kept the law of nations, and to have held to the instruction of Jesus; and yet, realizing that we are still under the dominion of the Prince of this world, Satan, and that he, as the god of this world, is still working in the hearts of the children of disobedience, nothing that they could do would much surprise us. Do we not know from the Scriptures that the heart of man is exceedingly sinful; that his anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, bitterness, are works of the flesh and of the Devil; and that these are being manifest on every hand, notwithstanding the number of churches, preachers, etc.?
St. Peter wrote of the followers of Jesus—the consecrated Church: "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people [a people for a purpose, Diaglott], that ye should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9.) This New Nation—God's nation—is in the world, but not of it. Its members cannot be loyal to the prince of this world, and to the Prince of Glory, both. They must choose between the two. This will make them "peculiar" in the eyes of the majority of people, who do not understand the matter, but who believe the kingdoms of this world to be kingdoms of Christ—even though they be perplexed as to why one kingdom of Christ should seek to blow the other off the land and off the sea.
All of the nations realize that they are impoverishing themselves of their best blood and virility and of their wealth—placing the grievous burden of debt upon generations yet unborn—unless their debts should be repudiated, which would mean revolution and anarchy, such as the Bible seems to foretell. No wonder there is a movement for peace in all these countries. It is a sad spectacle. How strange it must appear to them as well as to ourselves! The greatest nations are bleeding to death, severely wounded. More than twenty millions of men are now under arms and expense and are non-producers, besides the terrible loss already sustained through the wounds and death of nine millions.
But will the nations be wise enough even now to turn from war? Their admirable courage and their inestimable pride seem to answer, Nay! And this seems to be in full accord with Bible prophecy. As we have pointed out for twenty-five years past, the war is to continue until more and more will be involved, and all the participants be weakened and made ready for the great earthquake of social revolution and the fire of anarchy which will follow that with horrible desolation. Verily, the Scriptures correctly declare, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18.) From history we may judge that the world aforetime was no less viciously intentioned, but that God's providence interfered, as though He said, "Thus far shalt thou come, but no further." (Job 38:11.) Now, however, we have apparently reached the time when the Lord is saying, "Let loose the winds of strife!" These winds are blowing more and more, and eventually are to become a great whirlwind of trouble, as pictured in the Scriptures.
The possibilities of conflict are extending over to Persia, and thence down toward India. While all the nations will be glad to have peace, each is afraid to show a white feather for fear of the loss of prestige. The Spirit of the Lord is not anywhere manifest, nor should we expect it, for the time has come for all to realize that these great nations are not Christian nations, but merely kingdoms of this world and under the Prince of this world, who now "worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience" to anger, wrath, hatred, envy, strife, bitterness. The primary element of the Lord's Spirit is humility: "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6.) This spirit the world does not recognize as its standard; and hence we do not see the Spirit of Christ, explained by the Apostle—"meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly-kindness, love."—Galatians 5:22, 23.
Indeed, we entreat all the Lord's dear people to remember that there are but the two great Masters; and that we have enlisted on the side of our God and His Christ, and are to prove loyal to these in the midst of a crooked and perverse people, blinded by the god of this world and filled with his spirit of pride, boastfulness, animosity, hatred and strife. It should be our desire to be neutral as between these contending factions of Satan's empire. We love them all; we wish for them all great blessings. We have a Message of hope for all who have ears to hear that eventually their extremity will be God's opportunity; and that Messiah's Kingdom will roll away the curse, and instead roll on to mankind the blessings of the Kingdom of God's dear Son.
Let us never forget our neutrality. Let us be just toward all, kind, generous. Let us avoid as far as possible any discussion of these matters with those who would not be able to understand and appreciate our position. Otherwise, we would be doing what the Master admonished us not to do, when He said, "Cast not your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under foot and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6.) Our worldly neighbors have not the viewpoint that we possess, and cannot understand our arguments or reasons. In due time they will understand. Now the Lord's consecrated people should be unobtrusive, not strife-breeders, not partisans, not bigoted, but wonderfully sympathetic toward all, realizing the true situation, as others are not able to do.
As the facts gradually leak out, it is noticeable that none of the nations at war possess all the virtues and none of them possess all the vices. As between the opposing forces in this great war, the dishonors are probably not unequally matched. While everybody noted the great injustice done to the Belgians in the German invasion, the very ones who were loudest in rebuking that injustice have been guilty of a similar invasion of a weak state—the invasion of Greece by the British and French, who crossed her territory to assist the Servians. And whatever may have been the atrocities of the Turks against the Armenians, whom the Turks claim were arming and entrenching against them, nothing could have exceeded the bestial ferocity of the Russians against the Jews, who, so far as we know, were seeking to be neutral.
While people of all nations are suffering directly or indirectly from the present great war, the poor Jew seems to get the worst of it everywhere. He is to be found in all the different armies—sometimes as a volunteer, sometimes as a conscript. It appears that in Galicia, where the Jews are very numerous and where they are very thoroughly hated by the Russians and Cossacks, they [R5825 : page 7] have suffered tremendously—and are still suffering. The fortunes of war swept them from one side and then from the other—back and forth. Surely these poor people, of all the people of earth, will soon begin to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven"!
We give below an extract from the Maccabean, a Jewish journal published in New York City. It gives a little glimpse of the sufferings of the war-swept region—a glimpse which should horrify the most hardened. Surely the Lord is preparing the world to acclaim Messiah's Kingdom "the desire of all nations"! (Haggai 2:7.) The excerpt which follows gives the testimony of one of the distressed, a Rumanian Jew of Bukowina:
"'Day before yesterday, early in the morning, the Cossacks fired my house until it burned like tinder. When they came to us into the mountains as victors, the sacking of houses was common enough. They simply took whatever they could lay hands on. But we didn't drain the full measure of evil until they returned beaten and in retreat. It was then that they overran us in hordes, drunk with rage. They demanded provender in a hurry, hay and oats for their horses, and food for themselves. First came the order to fire the house of the town judge. Then they dragged the Jewish inn-keeper into the street to dispatch him. One of the horsemen speared him with his lance, another finished him by shooting him through the head. Then the villagers came in a mass and begged to have their houses protected against looting. They were speared by the soldiers and knocked down. It was terrible. And with the inn-keeper slain, brandy was flowing freely from casks in an ownerless inn. The soldiers drank themselves into a state of furious madness, and then went into the houses to gratify their bestial lusts. To me they came as they did to the others—I don't know to how many houses in all. They outraged my wife in plain view of the children, and violated my little girl. They bound me with ropes and threw me under a bench, so that I might witness my shame without power of interfering; that I might be poisoned and not die; that I might live the most miserable of mankind. At last they fired our house. The women ran about distracted, wherever their feet would carry them. And when the conflagration ceased, when we saw our life's work laid in ashes, we went through a snowstorm into the wide world.'"
"Multiply this experience with ten thousand, and scatter these ten thousand instances of Cossack rule over the whole of Galicia and Bukowina, and you will have a picture—a very imperfect one—of what these two provinces, and particularly its Jewish population, had to suffer under the sway of the Russian invasion.
"In Jablowitza, Bukowina, a house was fired by the soldiers who strictly prohibited any salvage. Not to freeze to death during a cold night, the unfortunate owner, a Jew, took two blankets from out of the burning house. He was crucified by the soldiers, and a guard posted below the crucifix until he expired. In Fuczka several Jews were hanged, one of them because he wanted to save his wife from violation. In Storozynetz, south of Czernowitz, Isaak Fellermayer, a Jew, was dragged out of bed in the dead of night, by four soldiers, who, without stating any reasons, attempted to hang him. The rope broke and the soldiers cut his throat, gouged out his eyes, and threw the naked corpse into the snow.
"The Russians in Galicia reintroduced into modern warfare the Tartar bestiality of using helpless human beings as a cover in marching against the enemy. To be sure, these human beings were Jews. Not prisoners, mind you, but non-combatants, not men only, but old men, young men, women and children of both sexes. It was at Nadworna where the unnamable, the indescribable portent took place. The Russians huddled together one thousand five hundred Jewish families—octogenarians, old women, young matrons with infants at their breasts, school children, pell-mell, some seven thousand souls in all, and drove them as a human cover against the Austrian battlefront, marching right in the track of their victims. There are no words in any language emphatic enough to characterize such an exploit.
"Try and depict, if you can, the situation—strive to bring the unthinkable close to your imagination! Fifteen hundred families, seven thousand heads, none of them able to bear arms, all the capable having been mobilized long ago, a huge swarm of the old, the sick, of women and children. These Jews, incapable of bearing arms, had been tortured for months by all the miseries of war; they had suffered hunger and cold, the Russians had looted their dwellings, burned their houses, destroyed their property; they had robbed, scourged and tormented them. And now they were lashed to the shambles like oxen—forward! pashol! They are fired at from the rear with revolvers and machine-guns, their backs are scourged with the knout, their loins are pierced with Cossack lances and their skulls battered by the butts of Cossack carbines, and thus they are driven against three hundred volcanoes, roaring and belching fire all along the Austrian front. The Austrians hear the tremendous outcry of the victims, the groaning of the mutilated and the dying, but they cannot help their misery; they must keep on firing ceaselessly, for behind this human holocaust the enemy is crouching for a spring; if they cease firing, the Russians will be upon them and the battle lost. And in this manner seven thousand souls, men, women and children, are slaughtered on the battle-line between two contending armed forces, unarmed themselves and perishing without a fighting chance in a Tartar welter of execution en masse."
"A TOKEN OF MY COVENANT"
What shall I render unto Thee?
What praise sufficient could there be
For all Thy benefits toward me,
O Thou Most High?
I'll drink Salvation's cup today
Which Thou hast poured. Be Thou my stay!
Assist me as Thy saint to pay
My Vows to Thee.
Remembering Thy Heavenly call,
I'll strive to be sincere to all.
I pray for grace lest I should fall
From simple Truth.
In thought, in word, in all my ways
Thy holy standard I would raise,
Nor please, nor honor self, but praise
My Worthy King.
Today in matters small or great,
I'll serve with faithfulness and wait
For further joys. Oh, blessed state,
Thus serving Thee!
I'll strive to "choose things that excel;"
All anxious care I'll seek to quell,
And all discouragements repel,
And be content.
I'll neither murmur nor repine!
I'll trust my heart to care Divine
To make of it a sacred shrine
Where Thou canst dwell.
VIRGINIA NOBLE STEPHENSON.