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Raised by the breath of Love Divine,
Weurge our way with strength renewed; The church of the first-born to join,
We travel to the mount of God ;
And when the knell of death is rung,
" Christian Hymns."
351.–Lovest Thou Me?
JOHN xxi. 15. HIS simple and pathetic Hymn has
attracted fresh notice in recent years owing to the Italian version of it by
Mr. Gladstone, published in the Nineteenth Century for September, 1883. Mr. Gladstone writes : "To the Italian language, so rich in poetry, the Hymn, in one sense of the word, is almost unknown. Religious exercises were supplied, within the Latin communion, with the Latin hymns, and hymns in the vernacular, both here and in Germany, may be considered, I presume, as a product of the change which restored the use of the mother tongue in the services of our Church. Although the want has not been felt in Italy, the language in which Dante wrote cannot be incapable of the force and compression, both in force and substance, proper to the Hymn."
The translation is remarkably successful throughout. We give the first verse :
FT, as we run the weary way,
Our victory unpraised.
Faithless and blind, who cannot trace The witnesses who watch our race,
Beyond the senses' ken; The mighty cloud of all who died With faithful rapture, humble pride,
For love of God and men.
Who, from the battlements above, Follow our course with eager love,
And cheer our contest on ; Who cry at every faithful blow, Struck at the old usurping foe
“Servant of God, well done.”
And One, the conqueror of death,
Who, for the joy of love,
And waits for us above.
“I delivered thee when bound,
Therefore with patience run the race,
With cheerful hope and power ;
Withstand the evil hour.
Can a woman's tender care Cease towards a child she bare? Yes, she may forgetful be, Yet will I remember Thee.
For Heaven is round us as we move, Our days are compassed with its love,
Its light is on our road :
“Mine is an unchanging love, Higher than the heights above ; Deeper than the depths beneath ; Free and faithful, strong as death.
Lord, it is my chief complaint,
352.—" Remember Me."
NEHEMIAH xiii. 31. HIS Hymn from its directness, truth
fulness, and simplicity, still holds a place in our collections.
It is a favourable specimen of the devout author's compositions, and (as in so many cases) the alterations which most editors have made appear by no means improvements : as when, for instance, the solemn words with which the last verse opens are attenuated to:
MATTHEW viii. 26. ERHAPS the most characteristic of
Newton's Hymns. It is rough, unpolished, and mixes metaphors in a
surprising way. Yet it has laid hold upon devout hearts as few other Hymns have done. The emotions of which it is the outpouring belong to periods of our spiritual history in which there is little disposition to dwell upon the graces of style, or to criticise uncouthness of expression. We have therefore had no hesitation in admitting it, although it has been rejected by many modern hymn-editors.
My Saviour is near,
And He will perform ;
I smile at the storm.
Though dark be my way,
Since He is my guide, 'Tis mine to obey,
'Tis His to provide : Though cisterns be broken,
And creatures all fail, The word He hath spoken
Shall surely prevail.
Temptations sore obstruct my way,
And ills I cannot flee; O give me strength, Lord ! as my day ;
For good remember me !
His love in time past
Forbids me to think He'll leave me at last
In trouble to sink ; Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review Confirms His good pleasure
To help me quite through.
Distressed with pain, disease, and grief
This feeble body see ;
Hear, and remember me !
If on my face, for Thy dear name,
Shame and reproaches be, All hail, reproach! and welcome, shame!
If Thou remember me.
Determined to save,
He watched o'er my path, When, Satan's blind slave,
I sported with death :
I know that trial is His love
With but a graver face ; That veiled in sorrow, earthwards move
His ministries of grace.
May none depart till I have gained
The blessing which it bears, And learn, though late, I entertained
An angel unawares !
So will I bless the hour that sent
The mercy of the rod ;
JAMES D. BURNS.
360.–The Peace of Jesus.
JOHN xiv. 27.
perhaps, has a more touching and
these words been given than in the following lines. “Herein," it has been well said, “does His peace differ from that which 'the world giveth,' in that its prime essential is not ease, but strife ; not sell-indulgence, but selfsacrifice ; not acquiescence in evil for the sake of quiet, but conflict with it for the sake of God."
Thy children ask Thy peace ;
That toil and care should cease,
Calm life should fleet away,
In smiling day ;-