Elder Isaac N. Vanmeter
Macomb, Illinois

(1 8 1 5 - 1 8 9 4)

(Sent to Sister Anna Phillips)
(July 15, 1875)

Dear Sister, find enclosed within,
The picture of a mass of sin;
An outline of the adamic man,
As photographed on the modern plan.

The artist, with precision true,
My outer man has brought to view;
A curious structure--see it stand--
Built by a wise almighty hand.

Within the temple, when first rear'd,
A palace clean, and white appeared--
Abode of innocence and peace,
And joy that seemed would never cease.

But soon, alas! the whole was marred!
The temple and the palace shared
One common wreck, and through the man,
Within, without, confusion ran.

The temple, yet, as you may see,
Appears to stand from danger free;
But from its aching pains--I must
Believe 'tis doomed to turn to dust.

But could the painter's skilful art
Portray my vile, polluted heart--
My fallen nature bring to view--
'Twould be a shocking sight to you!

To paint that dark and loathesome den
Of unbelief, and lust, and sin,
A picture dark and broad would fill,
And quite exhaust the artist's skill.

The man who on this card appears,
Has lived through five and fifty years--
Has been upheld from place to place,
A monument of sovereign grace!

Sometimes a witness says within
My soul has been made free from sin,
And though it daily may be felt,
That God will not impute its guilt.

My body, though now six feet high,
Shall soon bow down in dust to lie;
When battered by a few more storms,
Shall be the food for gnawing worms.

But, thanks to God, my soul shall rise,
And dwell with Him in Paradise,
'Till He shall come my dust to raise,
And give it power to sing his praise.

Through grace alone I hope to meet
All the redeemed at Jesus feet;
And may I meet you, Sister P.,
Is the desire of I. N. V.

(One of his earliest poems,
written shortly after his conversion,
Hymn #339, Pocket Hymns, L. M.)

In eighteen hundred thirty-three,
It pleased the Lord to let me see
The dangerous state that I was in,
All covered with a cloak of sin.

He taught me first that I was blind,
And always was to sin inclined,
Also that I had always stood,
Opposed to God and what was good.

I then was filled with many fears,
For I had spent full eighteen years
In sin and folly, and could see
No way for my recovery.

I viewed the terror of the Lord
And thought that he my soul abhorred;
He seemed to frown me from his face
And say, "With me you have no place."

I thought while in this state of mind,
I was the worst of all mankind,
I would have changed my doleful case
With any one of Adam's race.

I viewed the Christian's happy state,
With a desire to be his mate;
Yet felt ashamed to show my face,
And rather sought some secret place.

I felt like I was one alone,
That like me surely there was none;
No friend on earth nor yet in heaven,
Nor hope that I should be forgiven.

But wondrous and almighty grace!
The Lord unveiled his smiling face
And bade me come and live,
And said, "I freely all forgive."

It was in August, the last day,
That he removed my guilt away,
And spoke with such a charming voice,
That all within me did rejoice.

His glorious face I did behold,
With such a joy as can't be told;
The whole creation seemed to be
Praising the Lord in harmony.

O, wondrous love, amazing grace!
I never shall forget the place
Where God revealed his love to me
And set my soul at liberty.

What is this world with all its fame,
Compared with Jesus' precious name!
What are its vain and transient toys,
Compared with God's eternal joys!

O Lord, since thou hast been so kind
And gracious as to change my mind,
Since thou hast been so good to me,
May I forsake the world for thee!


Today, September 30th, I wish to write a little for the SIGNS, if you will allow me space, and take a brief retrospective view of my poor, imperfect life as a Baptist. Yesterday, the fifth Sunday in September, was the fifty-sixth anniversary of my baptism. Concord Church, Grayson Co., Ky., held her meetings on the fourth Saturday of each month; and September 1833 came in on Sunday, so that the fourth Saturday and fifth Sunday came together. On Sunday, after a sermon by the venerable Martin Utterback, I tried to tell the church the reason of my hope; and although I was illiterate and very bashful, and could cry better than I could talk, yet I was received without a question being asked. We went directly to the little creek near by, and the old father in Israel baptized me; after which we returned to the old meeting-house and partook of the Lord's supper, followed by a mutual feet-washing, a practice with that church in those days about once each year, but communion oftener. Two days of my life are especially memorable to me, viz., August 31st of that year, and September 29th. On the 31st of August, about 7 o'clock a.m., I date the revelation of the pardon
of my sins, and neither my pen nor tongue can ever express the ecstatic joy of that hour and day; and the 29th of September, when I was allowed to meet with the saints, and was enabled to tell them in weakness the great things the Lord had done for me, and to be baptized, and to eat and drink at the Lord's table, and to join with the brethren in washing each other's feet altogether, made this one of the most memorable days of my life. The day was clear and calm, my mind was at perfect rest, and sweet peace seemed to pervade my whole being, and I felt to say with the poet,

"What a mercy is this,
What a heaven of bliss,
How unspeakably favored am I!
Gathered into the fold,
With believers enrolled,
With believers to live and to die!

Perhaps I shall never be more happy this side of heaven than I was that calm, bright afternoon. All nature seemed to speak forth the wisdom, goodness and mercy of God, and my heart responded in praise to his holy name. I honestly felt that evening that

"I could not believe
That I ever should grieve
That I ever should suffer again."

But how little does the new born babe know of human life, and how little did I then know of the pilgrimage through this world of sin and sorrow! If I have been led at all, it has been leading the blind in a way he knew not. I shall not attempt to describe in this brief review of my life as a Baptist, my many and diversified ups and downs, but shall give a brief account of my ministry only, with a few other items. Soon after I was baptized, being then but turned into my nineteenth year, quite illiterate and bashful, I began to feel impressions to speak among the brethren, my main concern at that time being for the peace, order and prosperity of Zion, as new things were beginning to be propagated by men from the east. I spoke a little only occasionally among the people of God, having no idea of ever trying to preach, as that seemed to be out of the question for one so short-sighted and so illiterate as I was. I soon began to teach school in a kind of back-woods way, and followed it up for several years during the winter, working on the farm in the summer. January 22, 1839, I was married to Lucinda Lawson, who was a Baptist, and I now had new cares to burden my mind, as we had little to begin a living with. My impressions to speak increased and troubled me much; and though I occasionally took some part in public worship, yet it was with much fear and trembling that I attempted it. A few months after my marriage the church where I was then connected seriously considered the propriety of withdrawing entirely from the United Baptists, on account of the religious schemes and inventions springing up among them; and when the vote of the church was called for, I unhesitatingly voted to withdraw from that disorderly body, and we prefixed the word "Regular" to our name as Baptists. Families, churches and associations were divided, and many hearts were made to ache and grieve on account of those modern religious societies that caused the division; and the awful responsibility for these offenses rests not upon us who were forced to withdraw. I have not only never repented my withdrawal from the schemes of men in my early religious life, but I feel to thank the Lord that he led me to do so, and has kept me until now from being enticed and entangled by their traps. The war between the two classes of Baptists was kept up hotly for years, and I, feeling to be too little and weak to enter publicly into the conflict, tried to hide in some corner, so that I was not liberated by the church to exercise until February 1844. I did not make any appointment for myself for two or three years after that, but would follow others around, and take some part frequently, much of my time feeling almost deranged in mind with trouble; and, in fact, if I could have been easy and quit, there were times I would have given all my little worldly property to have been rid of those impressions. I began finally to appoint meetings of my own, but was not ordained until May 1853.

In 1855 I came to McDonough County, Ill., where I remain, seven miles northeast of Macomb. Since I became acquainted with the churches in central Illinois I have generally attended four churches monthly; one of them about thirty-two years, another thirty-one, another twenty-five, and another twenty-one, etc. After being a professor of religion for fifty-six years, I am, of choice and of necessity, a Baptist of the Regular or Primitive order; not because they are popular, numerous or wealthy, but because I believe them to be the people of God and the church of Christ, in contradistinction from all other organizations. Their doctrine and practice can be abundantly established by the standard of divine truth. I hope to live and die with them. If I am not awfully deceived, it has been for her sake and the glory of God that I have given the best part of my days and have sacrificed nearly all my worldly interests; yet I have nothing to boast of but the goodness of God. I am surprised at many things I have witnessed, and among them is the upholding and sustaining power of God in my behalf; and another is the remarkable forbearance with my weakness and imperfections which I have
witnessed among my brethren and sisters in Christ. I have seen some things among our people that have caused me to mourn. I have seen, and yet see, both in the pulpit and through the press, that there is in some of our able brethren a spirit of restlessness and disposition to lead, and to establish a test of fellowship which the Bible does not authorize; a want, it seems to me, of christian forbearance toward them that are weak in the faith, who cannot comprehend the deep things of God. The little lambs are often alarmed, and made to wonder what the old strong sheep are contending about. The longer I live the more thoroughly I am convinced of some things. One is that I know but little of the mysteries of God. Another is that salvation is of the Lord; and if I am not saved by grace, I am lost forever. Another is, that my time here is short.

Elder I. N. Vanmeter
Signs of the Times,
September 30, 1889


(Numbers correspond with the number in Pocket Hymns, compiled by Elder Vanmeter in July 1867.)

6. The Fool
(Psalm 14: 1)
S. M.

The fool with impudence,
Saith that "There is no God:
The whole creation came by chance -
The earth, the skies, the flood.

"By chance the sun arose,
And shone upon the earth.
Chance caused the whistling wind that blows,
And gave the planets birth."

Vain man! if these things came
By chance, that thou canst see,
How many more things might we name?
How many might there be?

Might there not be a GOD?
Might there not be a hell?
May it not be the dire abode,
Where thou shalt ever dwell?

11. The Omnipresence of God
S. M.

O Spirit, guide my pen,
Illuminate my mind,
Help me to spread Jehovah's name
Abroad to all mankind.

Enthroned above the skies,
He dwells in radiant light,
Beyond the reach of mortal eyes,
And clothed in glories bright.

But still his works declare
His awful name abroad;
Yes, every planet, every star,
Declare there is a God.

'Twas he that form'd the sun,
By day to give us light;
'Twas he that said, "Thou silver moon,
Illume the shades of night."

Yea, every wind that blows,
And every cloud that flies,
And every spear of grass that grows,
Presents him to our eyes.

In all creation's frame,
No new event can rise;
His vast concerns all lie before
His scrutinizing eyes.

Then let all nations stand
In awe before his throne;
They rise or fall at his command--
Beside him there is none.

13. The Wisdom and Power of God
L. M.

With what unbounded power and skill,
Jehovah doth his work perform!
He rules the nations at his will;
Commands the seas and guides the storm!

Now, he exerts creative power;
Calls forth the earth and worlds unknown;
And then turns realms and kingdoms o'er,
That dare rebel against His throne.

By power, divine, he formed the sun -
Prodigious fire! amazing light!
'Twas he that formed the silver moon
To cheer the gloomy shades of night.

Ten thousand stars, at his command,
And planets, roll along the skies;
Sustained by his almighty hand,
Each, in its orbit, as it flies.

His wisdom, like a boundless sea,
Fixed all his works ere time began;
Naught can disturb his high decree,
Nor change a feature of his plan.

He hath appointed bounds to all
The tribes and nations of mankind;
Their time to rise, their time to fall,
Were fixed in his eternal mind.

19. God Sovereign, but Man Irreconciled
L. M.

Why should the Lord's divine decrees,
His sovereign and electing grace,
The sons of men so much displease,
Or so offend the human race?

Although they purpose and ordain
The works which their own hands perform,
Yet, they still murmur and complain
Of Him, who rides upon the storm!

Oh! how irreconciled to God,
Are men in nature and in sin!
Unwilling that His sovereign nod
Should rule the world and all within.

By his almighty word and will,
The worlds were framed and made to stand;
In all their spheres, the planets wheel
Their endless rounds at his commands.

In heaven above, and earth, and seas,
His scepter sways, his words control;
In all His providence and grace,
He reigns supreme, from pole to pole.

31. Man's Fall and Recovery
L. M.

Oh! painful truth, it is to tell,
That Adam, our first father, fell,
And brought upon his unborn race,
Eternal misery and disgrace.

The law arose in mighty wrath,
And passed the sentence of our death;
The sword of justice then awoke
And raised o'er us its dreadful stroke.

Hold! hold! forgiving mercy cries!
For sin there is a sacrifice:
Behold! the gracious Son of God
Agrees to bear the heavy load!

Down from the realms of endless day,
With speed the Saviour makes his way;
Fulfills the law, pours out his blood,
To bring his people back to God.

O! let the world, with all its dross,
Withdraw, that I may view the cross!
'Tis there I lean and take repose,
And thence my greatest comfort flows.

33. The Effects of Sin
L. M.

Sin is the only evil thing
That we on earth are subject to;
It gives to death its greatest sting,
And leads to misery and woe.

Sin hurled our parents from their bliss,
And ruined all their progeny;
Destroyed their happiness and peace,
And made the earth a curse to be.

Yea, all the noble powers of man,
Were thus polluted by its stain;
Through all his soul the poison ran,
Through all his life he suffers pain.

Sin dwells upon the sinner's tongue,
And reigns and rules within his heart;
And as she makes her fetters strong,
Seizes and holds on every part.

No earthly power nor human skill,
Can wash away the dreadful stain:
To cleanse the heart, renew the will,
Their works and efforts all are vain.

Nothing but Christ's atoning blood
Can wash the hateful stain away;
And bring the sinner back to God,
And fit him for eternal day.

34. The Nature and Effects of Transgression
C. M.

When man transgressed the law of God,
He ruined all his race;
The raging poison spread abroad,
And plunged us in disgrace.

Wretch, that he was, to thus rebel
And prostrate all his seed!
'Twas Satan, the foul fiend of hell,
The dreadful project laid.

First, he made known his hellish plot,
And man imbibed the sin;
The eating was but acting out
The principle within.

Oh, horrid crime! what mischief hung
Around that dreadful hour!
Thence death and all the miseries sprung,
That spread creation o'er!

God's justice claimed the sinner's blood,
His wrath was now revealed;
And all the attributes of God
His condemnation sealed.

By the offense of the first man
Our condemnation came:
If poison at the fount began
The streams partake the same.

35. The Effects of Sin and the Reign of Grace
C. M.

Our father lost his innocence,
Incurred the frowns of heaven;
From Eden's flowery garden, thence,
By justice he was driven.

The seeds of sin put forth their roots
Through all the human heart;
And all creation felt the fruits
Corruption did impart.

While justice guards, with jealous eyes,
The spotless throne of God,
No guilty rebel can arise
And dwell in his abode.

But Jesus is the glorious head
Of all his chosen seed;
In Adam we behold them dead,
In Christ we see them freed.

The flaming sword of justice wakes
Against the Lamb of God;
And Christ for his own body makes
Atonement by his blood.

In Adam we transgressed the law,
In Christ we kept the same;
And his own robe of righteousness,
Our glorious robe became.

48. The Law and the Gospel
L. M.

The law and gospel both agree
In glorifying Deity;
And yet a difference we must draw
Between the gospel and the law.

The law exhibits to our view,
A God that's holy, just and true;
But 'tis the gospel must express
How he extends his sovereign grace.

The law the guilty wretch condemns,
And must have all its righteous claims:
The gospel sets the prisoner free,
And speaks the voice of liberty.

The law convinces us of sin,
And shows how vile our lives have been:
The gospel doth a fountain show,
At once to cleanse and pardon too.

49. The Insufficiency of a Law Righteousness
C. M.

Do not frustrate the grace of God;
For if our righteousness
Came by the law, then Jesus' blood
Is null and void of grace.

For by the deeds of Moses' law
No flesh is justified:
We can no hope of comfort draw
Till Jesus' blood's applied.

To him that works, is the reward,
Not reckoned of free grace;
But faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord,
Is counted righteousness.

Why should the blessed Savior die,
And shed his precious blood;
If man the law could satisfy
And make the payment good?

Not all the Jews e'er sacrificed
Could make the conscience clean;
But the atoning blood of Christ,
Will cleanse from every sin.

Wash me, dear Savior, in thy blood,
And make me white as snow,
Then I will follow thee, my God,
And will no other know.

59. The Gospel Herald
L. M.

In your great Master's holy name,
Go forth, ye heralds, and proclaim
The heavenly news to fallen men,
That Jesus died, but lives again.

Tell those who in His temple meet,
To wait and worship at His feet,
That He delights to meet them there -
That He delights to answer prayer.

Tell doubting saints fresh courage take;
That Jesus never will forsake;
That all His promises shall stand,
Long as He holds divine command.

Tell mourning souls to trust His grace,
That Jesus hath prepared a place
For all the blind, and halt, and lame,
Who hate their sins and fear His name.

Yea, publish and proclaim His word,
'Till all Columbia's shores have heard
Of all the victories He hath won,
And all the wonders He hath done.

Nor let His glories be confined
Short of the limits of mankind;
That every kingdom, clime and place
May hear the gospel of His grace.

65. "Who is Sufficient for These Things?" - 2 Cor. 2: 16
7s. 6s.

Lord, who can be sufficient to speak thy wondrous name,
And to the heirs of promise thy gospel to proclaim?
To preach, as thy salvation, the Savior crucified,
And speak of all his counsels, concerning of his bride?

Shall we seek worldly wisdom, to fit us for the task?
Or go to schools of learning, and there instructions ask?
Shall we seek filthy lucre, or preach for earthly gain?
Or strive to please the fancy of vain and carnal men?

Shall we, for fear of slander, the gospel sacrifice?
Or, like a base delinquent, conceal one-half the price?
Shall we permit Assyrians to tread on holy ground,
And fail to raise the shepherds** and cause the trump
to sound?

Forbid it, O King Jesus! forbid that we should fly,
But fight with holy weapons, and conquer though we die:
To thee we look for courage, and patience to endure;
For wisdom and instruction, that we may feed the poor.

We ask thy Holy Spirit, to give us light divine,
For what is worldly wisdom, compared, O Lord, with thine!
We'll bear the vile reproaches of Jesus and his word,
And count them greater riches than Egypt can afford.

Be this our constant study, to be approved of God--
To glorify our Savior, and spread his name abroad;
To seek Messiah's kingdom, and trust in him alone,
For all our earthly comforts, and blessings of his throne.

** Micah 5:5

76. Birth, Titles, and Kingdom of Christ

Unto us a child is born;
Unto us a Son is given;
Praise him, all ye saints forlorn,
Praise him, all ye choirs of heaven!

On his shoulder shall be laid,
Rule, authority and power;
Kings and lords are subject made -
Nations shall the child adore!

Wonderful, his name shall be!
Counsellor, the mighty God!
Everlasting Father! he
Rules the nations with a rod.

He shall be the Prince of peace,
Reconciling men to God:
Full of truth, and full of grace;
He will cleanse us with his blood.

He shall sit on David's throne,
And establish endless peace:
In his kingdom shall be known,
Joys divine that never cease.

Jesus, Savior, we confess,
And adore thy wondrous name!
May we realize thy grace,
As thy praises we proclaim.

84. The Birth and Life of Christ
L. M.

Come, see the Lord's anointed King.
Behold! he in a manger lies!
Raise your triumphant songs and sing:
Extol his name above the skies!

See the young Prince at twelve years old,
Amidst the doctors and the wise;
Such wisdom there he does unfold,
As strikes the council with surprise.

Behold him go to Jordan's flood,
To be immersed beneath its wave;
To teach obedience unto God,
And represent his future grave.

But hark! he now proclaims abroad,
The glorious news of gospel grace;
Commands the storm, controls the flood,
And devils flee before his face!

At his command the dead arise,
The blind, and lame, and halt are healed;
The law of God he magnifies,
And thus his wondrous love revealed.

But be astonished, O my soul!
The Savior dies that I might live!
He rose, and now exalted high,
He has eternal life to give.

88. Sing Unto the Lord
L. M.

Let every saint employ his tongue,
And join this melodious song;
Let none refuse to aid the theme
Of praise to Jesus' precious name.

We'll sing the condescending love
That brought him from the realms above,
To die, (O wondrous love indeed!)
That rebel sinners might be freed.

We'll sing the goodness and the grace
That shine propitious in his face;
He sits and smiles upon his saints,
And hears the voice of their complaints.

Yes, we will sing his matchless name,
With sweet delight, nor fear the shame;
Of him we'll boast, and sing, and talk,
Though fools deride and sinners mock.

91. The Glory and Majesty of Christ
L. M.

The glories of my Lord were told,
By holy men in days of old;
And ages yet to come, shall sing
The praise of this triumphant King.

Enthroned in heavenly majesty,
His face, with wonder, angels see;
The sun, and moon, and stars, with him
Compared, appear but faint and dim.

Angels and seraphs tune the lyre,
And men redeemed his love admire;
In heaven and earth his name is sung,
The burden of creation's tongue.

While sinners feed upon the wind,
And feast their vain and carnal mind;
My soul would gaze on Jesus' face,
And taste the riches of his grace.

94. Christ the Bread of Life
S. M.

"I am the bread of life,
The heavenly manna, true;
Except ye eat my flesh and blood,
Ye have no life in you.

"The bread your fathers ate
In yonder wilderness,
Was but a type of me, the great
Messiah, Prince of peace.

"That bread did but the wants
Of mortal life supply;
But here is food of which the saints
May eat and never die."

Jesus, we come to thee:
Give us this living bread:
How vast must the provisions be,
On which so many feed!

97. Jesus, Our Only Hope
L. M.

Lord, unto whom should sinners go?
Thou hast the words of endless life:
When sinking down with grief and woe,
Thy voice affords us quick relief.

Thou hast all power in heaven above,
And all below the shining sun;
The earth, and all the worlds that move,
Are subject to thy lofty throne.

When we beheld our lost estate,
We sought for pardon in thy name;
And as a tower of retreat,
We ran to thee, our bleeding lamb.

Amidst temptations, sharp and long,
And tribulations here below;
Thy name is like a fortress strong
To which thy tempted children go.

When clouds and darkness veil the way,
And doubts and fears our souls annoy,
Thy presence turns our night to day,
And all our doubts and fears to joy.

O, may the savor of thy name
Afford us sweet relief in death;
Give us the victory o'er the same
When we resign our fleeting breath!

100. "The name of the Lord is a Strong Tower."

The name of the Lord is my tower of defence;
My Rock, my foundation, my strong confidence;
My sword and my helmet, in whom I will boast,
My shield and my buckler, my joy and my trust.

He is my great shepherd, and I shall be fed;
His blood is my drink, and his flesh is my bread;
My head and my husband, my priest and my king,
My prophet to teach and my theme for to sing.

Yea, he is my wisdom and my righteousness,
My sanctification and my hiding place;
He is my redemption, my way and my end,
My ruler, my captain, my judge and my friend.

He is the great refuge to which I repair,
When trials, and troubles, and dangers appear;
And when I'm in darkness he is the great sun
That breaks all my clouds and turns night into noon.

Lord, help me to follow thy footsteps below,
And lest I should wander, thy Spirit bestow;
And bring me, at last, to thy presence above,
To gaze on thy glory, and feast on thy love!

102. Jesus, Our Only Theme
C. M.

Jesus! O, what a wondrous theme
For mortal tongues to sound;
Awake, my heart, to sing his name,
And make his praise resound.

Jesus! a Savior, born to die,
That I, a wretch, might live;
He rose, and now above the sky
Hath endless life to give!

He saw me bound in chains of sin,
And on the downward road;
And gave his life to ransom mine,
And bring me home to God.

Jesus! the name is so divine,
Let all the saints below,
And saints above, and angels join,
And endless praise bestow!

107. Jesus, the One Thing Needful
L. M.

"One thing is needful," saith the Lord!
"One pearl," a pearl of price unknown!
Nor earth, nor heaven can afford,
A source of joy but this alone.

Jesus, this one thing needful is;
Behold, in him what riches dwell!
An ocean of undying bliss
Is found in our Immanuel!

Well might an humble Mary choose
Such honor and such company!
While Greeks and unbelieving Jews,
Could in her Lord no beauties see.

He loved her first, and won her heart,
By his amazing, sovereign love;
And now she cannot from him part,
But longs to reign with him above.

Lord, may I choose, like her, to sit
And hear thy wondrous words of grace;
I'd humbly lie at Jesus' feet,
Could I but gaze upon his face!

120. Jesus, the Theme of Praise
L. M.

O how delightful is the theme,
How sweet the sound of Jesus' name!
His wisdom and his boundless grace
Exceed our highest songs of praise.

He saw his people captive led,
In sin and in trespasses dead;
He broke the chains by Satan bound,
And gave his head a dreadful wound.

He died to set us prisoners free,
And rose with palms of victory;
And when he rose he conquered hell,
And all the powers of darkness fell.

For them he lived, for them he died;
With him their sins were crucified;
For them he rose and did ascend,
Their intercessor and their friend.

Dear Savior, for such boundless grace,
Receive the tribute of our praise:
We would, but we can do no more,
Than love, and wonder, and adore!

124. Christ on the Cross
L. M.

Look down, with wonder and surprise,
Ye waiting angels round the throne!
Lo! who is this that bleeds and dies?
'Tis God's beloved, darling Son!

Lo! what a sight! the Lamb divine,
In death bows his majestic head!
Well may the sun refuse to shine,
And blush to see the Savior bleed!

Well may the earth's foundations shake;
Well may the graves give up their dead;
Well may the rocks asunder break,
While vengeance pours upon his head!

Oh! dreadful, yet auspicious day!
Oh! costly price, yet glorious end!
He dies the sinner's debt to pay!
Oh! Who is like the sinner's friend!

But now, the glorious work is done,
God's righteous law is satisfied;
He rises and ascends his throne,
An intercessor for his bride.

Exalted now at God's right hand,
He pleads the merit of his blood;
Till all his saints from every land,
Shall be conducted home to God.

150. Union with Christ
L. M.

A sacred union we behold--
Christ and his people all allied;
He the great Shepherd of the fold,
And they the sheep for whom he died.

When they like sheep had gone astray,
Their sins were laid upon his head;
He gave his life their debts to pay,
And for their breach atonement made.

He is their Father, they his sons,
Bound by indissoluble ties;
All of his flesh and of his bones,
And heirs to mansions in the skies.

He is the Husband, and his love
Has been eternal toward his bride;
Nor will his strong affection move,
Until he seats her by his side.

She was insolvent, and he paid
The utmost farthing that she owed;
She was in filthy rags arrayed,
And he a spotless robe bestowed.

Unite us, gracious Lord, to thee,
By love and by a living faith,
Till we have crossed this boisterous sea,
And moored beyond the gates of death.

155. Chosen in Christ
L. M.

Eternal, ere the worlds were made,
Were all God's purposes of Grace;
Nought can disturb the plan he laid
To glorify his chosen race.

His first elect was Christ, his Son;
In him he chose his numerous seed;
They were in bondage and undone,
But lo! he dies and they are freed.

To recompense his dying groans,
He gave him all for whom he died;
Engaged the honors of his throne,
To seat his favorites at his side.

And now he sends his Spirit down,
To fit them for the blest abode;
To make his covenant mercies known,
And guide them on the heavenly road.

He fixed their first and second birth;
Ordained the manner, time and place;
Their joys and sorrows here on earth,
Their cups of grief and sweets of grace.

O, may my warmest passions move,
That such a worthless worm as I,
Should be an object of his love,
And taste of such a sacred joy!

164. Redemption
L. M.

Redemption! O, the joyful news!
To Gentile nations and to Jews:
What consolation it imparts,
To mourning souls and broken hearts!

In bondage and in prison bound,
No peace nor pardon could be found,
Till this redemption was revealed,
And by the blood of Jesus sealed.

Redeemed from justice by his blood,
And from the righteous laws of God;
O'er sin and Satan we'll proclaim
Redemption through the Savior's name.

Soon shall the saints of every place,
Be joined to sing redeeming grace;
And every kindred, every tongue,
Shall add its music to the song.

166. Salvation
L. M.

Salvation! what a heavenly theme!
Salvation free through Jesus' name!
Let all the saints in concert join,
To sing salvation so divine.

Bound by the chains of sin, we lie
As rebels, justly doomed to die,
Till this salvation sounds release,
And bids us prisoners, Go in peace.

Salvation like a river flows,
With healing balm for all our woes;
Its heavenly streams which flow abroad,
Make glad the city of our God.

Saved from the regions of despair,
And from ten thousand dangers feared;
From doubts and fears, and every foe,
We'll sing salvation as we go.

Salvation; O that we may sing
Salvation from the monster's sting!
And o'er the grave a victory gain,
And with King Jesus ever reign.

169. Free Grace
L. M.

'Tis grace, free grace, eternal grace!
Deserves our highest songs of praise;
We'll join and sing with hearts and tongues,
With grace the burden of our songs.

'Twas grace that found a rebel lost,
And brought him back, tho' great the cost:
Took off his rags, and in their place,
Gave him a robe of righteousness.

This costly robe's without a seam,
And hides my guilt, and sin, and shame;
'Twas on a worthless worm bestowed,
The gift of God through Jesus' blood.

Grace brings the haughty monarch down,
Exalts the beggar to a crown;
Makes hills and mountains melt away,
And valleys rise as high as they.

This grace is all the Christian's boast;
This is his hope, his joy, his trust;
Free grace alone, from first to last,
Directs his way and holds him fast.

While I have my breath this grace shall be
My only theme, my only plea;
And may I, when this body dies,
Sing sovereign grace above the skies.

178. Imputed Righteousness
L. M.

I am a miracle of grace!
Snatched from the regions of despair;
My feet had well nigh reached the place,
When Jesus stopped my wild career.

Against him long I had rebelled,
And vanity was my delight;
But when my danger I beheld,
I stood and trembled at the sight!

To venture on, I saw would be,
My everlasting overthrow;
To turn, would meet the Deity,
With awful vengeance on his brow.

Death seemed to stand on every side,
Yet I resolved my death to meet,
Where one before had never died -
Imploring mercy at his feet.

But strange to tell, he bade me live!
Just in the last extremity,
He smiled and said "I all forgive;
Believe, and thou shalt never die."

With joy, ineffable, I saw
That justice had been satisfied
In Christ, who had fulfilled the law,
And for his people bled and died.

"Thy sins were laid upon my Son,"
In accents sweet, the Father said:
"His righteousness is now thy own,
Thou art his member, he thy Head."

Not all the outward forms of men,
Can with this righteousness compare;
It makes the guilty conscience clean,
Nor leaves a spot or blemish there.

181. Justification Through Christ
L. M.

How can a sinner stand before
A God of holiness and power?
What kind of robe can he provide,
His guilt and nakedness to hide?

Though he to Sinai's mountain flies,
There justice stands with flaming eyes;
And pours its curses on his head,
And bids him fly, or dooms him dead.

Amazed, the sinner next repairs,
And seeks a shelter 'neath his prayers;
But justice finds his hiding place,
And there presents his fiery face.

The sinner, now almost despairs;
He's tried the law, and tried his prayers;
He's tried morality in vain,
And feels his load of guilt remain.

But, midst his consternation, he
Beholds one hanging on a tree;
And justice pours upon his head,
Its vengeance, in the sinner's stead!

Yes, Jesus bears the heavy load,
And stays the justice of a God!
The righteousness of Christ appears,
And is the robe the sinner wears.

193. The Stranger

Stranger, if thou want'st to know
Who I am, and how I do;
Come and listen while I tell,
Who I am, and where I dwell.

I was lost in nature's night,
Without hearing, without sight;
Faint with sickness, wounded sore,
Deep in debt, and very poor.

Jesus found me in this state,
Kindly cancel'd all my debt;
Heal'd my sickness, gave me sight,
Fill'd my heart with pure delight.

Jesus promis'd to defend,
And to be my constant friend;
"Though thy foes be great," said He,
"I will aid and succour thee."

In myself I yet am blind,
Darkness veils my sinful mind,
But in Jesus I can see,
Grace's scheme and mystery.

In myself I am unclean,
Vile and sinful, base and mean,
But in Jesus I appear,
White and comely, bright and fair.

In myself, I own it true,
I'm condemn'd and justly too;
But in Jesus I am free
From the law that threatens me.

By myself if left to go,
I would soon fall by the foe;
But with Jesus on my side,
Through my foes I'll safely ride.

In myself I'm led to see,
I am worse than poverty;
But in Jesus I possess
Riches, fame, and righteousness.

In myself I soon must die,
In the dust my flesh shall lie;
But in Jesus, wondrous thought!
I shall live His days throughout.

'Tis enough, I ask no more,
Jesus hath laid up in store,
Riches, honor, life and peace,
Joys divine, that never cease.

Stranger, wilt thou go with me?
Christ hath plenteous grace for thee:
Wilt thou swap thy transient toys,
For the Lord's eternal joys?

200. The Awakened Sinner
L. M.

Awakened soul, to Jesus fly,
He hath a balm to heal thy wound;
Approach his throne, he'll not deny;
'Tis there, alone, that pardon's found.

"I am too guilty to presume
To call upon his holy name;
I fear his anger would consume
A wretch so vile and full of shame.

Although thy sins as scarlet be,
His blood can wash those sins away;
His promise is to such as thee,
Then come, he will not say thee nay.

"How can a wretch, so vile as I,
Expect his mercy to receive;
I fear I shall a sinner die;
Lord, help a sinner to believe!"

The vilest have his mercy found,
And shared the richest of his store;
He never on a beggar frowned,
Then trust his grace, and doubt no more.

202. A Soul in Distress
L. M.

Distressed soul, to Jesus go,
He hath a balm for all thy woe;
Mercy and grace he hath to give;
He bids the dying sinner live.

With all thy guilt, and sin, and shame,
Approach the all-atoning Lamb;
Thou shalt his pardoning grace receive;
He bids the guilty sinner live.

He asks no price for all his grace,
His merit, blood or righteousness;
Thy heart is all he will receive,
Then, come, poor sinner, come and live.

Though guilt and sin like mountains rise,
And seem to reach the upper skies;
Mountains shall move if thou believe;
Rise, laden sinner, rise and live.

204. The Heavy Laden Sinner
L. M.

Laden with sin and guilt am I,
A sinner justly doomed to die;
Had I a thousand worlds to give
They all should go that I might live!

Great God! shall I at last lie down,
Beneath thy wrath, beneath thy frown?
It were but justice, should I be
Cut off from happiness and thee.

Oh! that I were some harmless bird,
That can not sin against the Lord!
Nor be the object of his wrath,
Nor fear his judgment after death!

Were I some beast upon the plain,
Without a soul to suffer pain!
A spreading tree, an opening flower,
That I might never dread his power!

The pine can spread, the flower can bloom;
The bird can sing, the beast can roam;
But woe is me, for I must go
Down to the realms of endless woe!

O, Savior! hear a sinner cry,
And save a wretch condemned to die!
Thine arm, alone, can reach my case;
O! magnify thy sovereign grace!

206. Come Unto Me all Ye that Labor
C. M.

"Come unto me," the Savior calls,
"All ye that labor, come;
I'll give you rest from all your toils,
And will conduct you home.

"Come, take my yoke, and learn of me,
I'm of a lowly mind;
Ye shall find rest, and I will be
A covert from the wind.

"My yoke is easy, and I'll make
My burden to be light;
Then follow me, and for my sake,
Keep all your garments white.

"He that would my disciple be,
Must daily bear his cross,
Deny himself and follow me,
And count the world but dross."

211. The Christian Warfare
(Romans vii.)
L. M.

Full of vain thoughts and worldly cares,
Oft I am made, with Paul, to cry,
'Midst my temptations, doubts and fears:
"Oh! What a wretched man am I!"

Though oft the throne I supplicate,
That I may from such evils fly;
Yet do the very things I hate;
"Oh! What a wretched man am I!"

Sold under sin, I always find
My flesh opposed to the most High;
Not to his sovereign will resigned:
"Oh! What a wretched man am I!"

The law is holy, just and good,
But I cannot with it comply;
I cannot do the things I would:
"Oh! What a wretched man am I!"

'Tis thus the Spirit and the flesh,
Both strive to gain the victory;
Each day I feel the war afresh:
"Oh! What a wretched man am I!"

But hark! I hear my Savior's voice!
My soul shall on his grace rely;
He bids me in his name rejoice,
For he hath gained the victory.

214. Gratitude for Past Blessings
L. M.

And yet, the Lord remembers me!
He still protects me by his power;
Each day his bounteous hand I see;
His grace upholds me every hour.

Though oft I do forgetful prove,
His love to me is still the same;
And yet, for such unchanging love,
My thanks and my returns how lame!

Through many dangers I have come,
Where death appeared on every hand;
Others have sunk into the tomb,
While I through grace, am left to stand!

I'll sing the goodness of the Lord,
While he permits me here to stay;
And after death I will record,
His grace throughout an endless day.

216. Hope, the Anchor of the Soul
C. M.

Though sin and Satan both unite,
To overcome my hope;
Jesus, in whom is my delight,
I trust will bear me up.

Why should I dread the storms that rise,
And how around my head;
Since Jesus manages the skies,
And promises his aid?

Though tempests blow and billows roll,
And though my bark is frail;
Yet hope, the anchor of my soul,
Is cast within the vail.

Why should I shun to bear my cross,
And undergo the shame;
Since the earth's best treasures are but dross,
Compared with Jesus' name.

Why should I dread cold Jordan's wave?
'Tis but a narrow stream?
Why need I shudder at the grave,
Since Jesus can redeem?

Yes, when the earth, and time, shall end,
Jesus, in whom I trust,
Will come, and like a faithful Friend,
Reanimate my dust.

218. "My Leanness, My Leanness." - Isaiah 24: 16
C. M.

How cold and barren is my soul!
How lifeless is my heart!
While doubts and troubles o'er me roll,
And gloomy hours impart.

There was a time I thought I loved
The Savior's precious name;
But how have my affections roved
And brought my soul to shame?

Where is the joy? where is the peace,
That made my heart so glad?
If I e'er tasted of his grace,
Why, now, am I so sad?

How often am I led to fear,
That I have been deceived;
So few the marks of grace appear,
I fear I've not believed.

Dear Savior! if I'm thine, indeed,
Reclaim this wandering heart!
If not, Oh! cause it, Lord, to bleed!
Eternal life impart.

221. The Christian, Calm in Life and in Death
L. M.

The child of God, how highly blessed,
Of honors, life and peace possessed;
How calm his life, serene his path,
When he can walk the road by faith.

Though storm and tempest round him rise,
Calmly he views the troubled skies;
And knows that God, the God of grace,
Can bid the storm and tempest cease.

Though persecution wield the sword,
His faith is centered in the Lord;
Nor death, nor hell shall him affright,
For still he trusts the God of might.

And when his final hour appears,
Jesus will calm his rising fears,
And bid his parting voice to sing
A triumph o'er the monster's sting.

223. Joy Over Conversion
C. M.

O how melodious was that voice,
Which bade my sins depart!
That filled my soul with heavenly joys,
And healed my broken heart!

'Twas Jesus spake: and at his word,
My load of guilt was gone!
I leaped for joy, and praised the Lord,
For what his grace had done!

My soul was bordering on despair,
And sinking down with grief;
When Jesus, Saviour, saw me there,
And ran to my relief.

O! wondrous love! that snatched my feet,
From the abyss of woe!
Here, all my warmest passions meet,
And hence my comforts flow.

225. Christian Enquiry
L. M.

How can I be a child of grace,
While my affections are so cold?
How could my heart remain so base,
If I belong'd to Jesus' fold?

When I enjoy prosperity,
My sinful heart grows proud and vain;
And when I feel adversity,
How apt to murmur and complain.

When I behold the crooked path
In which my roving feet have trod,
And feel the weakness of my faith,
How can I be a child of God?

When I approach before his throne
To lay my griefs and sorrows there,
How oft I find my heart is prone
To rove and wander off elsewhere.

Through doubts and darkness oft I go,
And seem to reach the shades of death.
Ye saints of God, I ask to know,
Have you e'er traveled in this path?

I want to serve the Lord, I know;
But such is my imperfect state,
The things I would, I cannot do,
Yet do the very things I hate.

O gracious Lord! decide my case;
Increase my faith, if I am thine;
If not, O cause thy sovereign grace
In my benighted soul to shine.

227. Reflections at the End of the Year
L. M.

When all thy mercies I survey,
Or try to count thy blessings o'er,
Lord, they are like a boundless sea,
Or like the sand upon the shore.

Through all the dangers of the year
Thy hand, unseen, hath led me on;
By night and day thy guardian care
Hath been to me, a sinner, shown.

Death hath its thousands round me slain;
Affliction seized its thousands more;
And yet my life and health remain;
O Lord, I would thy name adore!

My daily wants have been supplied,
While some have begged their scanty bread!
Thy bounteous hand hath not denied
My humble board with food to spread!

But ah! ingratitude of heart!
How oft have I my Friend forgot!
Been ready from him to depart,
And yet his kindness changes not!

What poor returns of love I pay
To him for blessings so divine!
Lord, may I give myself away,
For I, and all I have, are thine.

229. The Carnal and the Spiritual Mind
L. M.

What little comfort do we find
When we indulge a carnal mind;
But when the Spirit rules the heart,
What life and peace it doth impart.

When we allow the world to rise
In estimation to our eyes,
It kills our life, and peace and joy,
And our religious comforts die.

But when the heavenly mind prevails,
The earth with all its pleasures fail;
To show an object of delight,
But shrinks to nothing in our sight.

Betwixt the new man and the old
A constant warfare we behold;
But grace shall yet a conqueror be,
And wear a crown of victory.

The younger shall have his desire:
The love of God, that holy fire,
Shall reign and rule and mount on high,
Till flesh and blood grow old and die.

232. "My Times are in thy Hand."
(Psalms. xxxi. 15.)
7s. & 6s.

Come, all ye humble pilgrims,
And listen to my song;
And I will try to tell you
How I do get along.
I pass through many changes
On the celestial road;
Sometimes I'm doubting whether
I'm on the way to God.

Sometimes I'm carnal-minded,
And all my comforts cease;
Sometimes I'm in the Spirit,
And then I've joy and peace.
Sometimes by faith I triumph
O'er Satan and his band;
Sometimes I feel temptations
That I cannot withstand.

Sometimes I'm cold and stupid,
And duty seems a load;
Sometimes it is a pleasure
To praise and worship God.
Sometimes upon the willows
My mournful harp is hung;
Sometimes I find my Savior,
And then my harp is strung.

Sometimes I walk in darkness,
With scarce a ray of light;
Sometimes the sun arises
And breaks the shades of night.
Sometimes the Holy Bible
My condemnation reads;
Sometimes I find a treasure
Of grace for all my needs.

Sometimes I am much troubled,
For fear I am deceived;
Sometimes my Savior whispers,
"You have on me believed."
Sometimes I hear the gospel,
And on its dainties feast;
Sometimes I have no relish,
And do not get a taste.

Sometimes I think of dying,
And fear that dreadful day;
Sometimes by faith I'm flying,
And long to soar away.
Oh! when shall I leave trials,
And be conducted home?
Where there shall be no changes,
And troubles never come.

235. God's Love in Adoption
S. M.

Behold! what wondrous love
The Father hath bestowed
Upon us sinners, that we should
Be called the sons of God!

It doth not yet appear,
How great the saints shall be;
But when the archangel's trump we hear,
We shall our Savior see.

237. "All Things Work Together For Good" - Rom. 8: 28
L. M.

What heavenly comfort do we find,
To cheer the drooping saints of God?
The Book declares, all things combined
Shall work together for their good.

Though they are through the furnace led,
Or through the storm, or through the flood;
They call to mind that he hath said:
"All things" shall prove to be their good.

Though persecution draws the sword,
And drives the church thro' seas of blood;
She trusts her ever faithful Lord,
Shall overrule it for her good.

Though tribulations may surround,
And thorns infest her heavenly road;
They may distress, but will be found
To work together for her good.

Yes, for her sake, all nations stand;
For her the Savior spilt his blood:
He hath all things at his command,
And makes them end in Zion's good.

And when her sufferings here shall end,
And she surrounds the throne of God;
This heavenly anthem shall ascend:
"All things have ended in our good."

241. Trust in the Name of Jesus
(Acts iv. 12)
C. M.

The name of Jesus is my trust,
None other name is given,
Among the bright angelic host,
None other under heaven.

No other name could take the book
And loose the seals thereof;
None other hath our sorrows took,
Nor shown us half the love.

Eternal life is treasured up
In this dear Lamb of God;
On him I build my only hope,
Nor fear the raging flood.

Through all our trials here below,
Lord, guide our wandering feet;
And when we leave this world of woe,
May we our Savior meet.

247. Heaven

'Twas far above the earth I fixed mine eyes,
And lo! I saw a region 'bove the skies,
Arrayed in peerless light and glory, far
Exceeding sun, and moon, and morning star.

A city, grand and lofty, paved with gold,
Filled with seraphic joys which can't be told;
Salvation's walls encompass it around,
And naught but glorious forms is in it found.

There stands the Tree of Life, divinely fair,
Spreading its boughs in the ambrosial air;
And from its base an ancient river flows,
To water all this region of repose.

There sits, enthroned, amid this bright abode,
A conquering King, the exalted Lamb of God;
Around whose feet a bright, angelic throng,
And men redeemed, join in an endless song.

Refulgent beams through all this region spread
Eternal day round the Redeemer's head;
He calls his spouse, for whom he bled and died,
To enter in, and seats her by his side.

While thus beholding heaven's celestial plains,
My ears saluted with immortal strains,
I longed to leave these earthly shores, and fly,
To realize the glories of the sky!

266. Brotherly Love
S. M.

Bound by the cords of love,
As kindred we unite;
And sing the praise of him above,
With infinite delight!

Heirs of the same estate,
The subjects of one King:
The tie of union is so sweet,
It tunes our voice to sing.

We pledge our heart and hand,
This union to maintain
While traveling through this barren land
Of sorrow, toil and pain.

As branches of one Vine;
As members of one Head;
Sustained alike, by heavenly wine,
And by one living bread.

We know each other's voice,
While wading through the deep;
"Rejoice with those that do rejoice,
And weep with those that weep."

Though we must bid adieu,
And heave the parting sigh;
We hope this union to renew
In fairer worlds on high!

Encouraged by this hope,
We'll patiently endure,
Till all our pains are swallowed up,
On heaven's delightful shore!

270. Mount Zion - Psalms 48: 2
7s., 6s.

Behold, the mount of Zion,
The city of our God!
The beauty of creation,
And place of his abode.
Christ is the great foundation,
On which the building stands;
He rear'd for His own glory
This temple, without hands.

Thro' everlasting ages
This house shall stand secure;
The Lord for it engages
His wisdom, love and pow'r;
Nor shall the hosts of Satan,
Against it e'er prevail,
Tho' kingdoms be demolish'd,
And heav'n and earth should fail.

The Rock on which it's founded
Will last without decay;
With walls it is surrounded,
Which guard it ev'ry way.
Each stone is wisely polished
And fitted to its place;
And all are well cemented
With God's redeeming grace.

Nor storms nor persecutions
Shall ever beat it down;
Nor floods of tribulation
Shall move a single stone.
With Christ they all shall triumph,
O'er sin and death and hell,
And with Him in His glory
They shall forever dwell.

283. My Grace is Sufficient for Thee
(2 Cor. xii.9)
11, 8.

Desponding believer, come, hold up thy head,
Though many thy troubles may be;
For Jesus, thy Savior, hath promised and said,
"My grace is sufficient for thee."

Though Satan may tempt thee and buffet thee sore,
Yet he, at His bidding, shall flee;
Possessing on earth and in heaven all power,
His grace is sufficient for thee.

The Lord will uphold thee and cause thee to stand,
While on the tempestuous sea;
And 'midst all thy trials and troubles on land,
His grace is sufficient for thee.

The world may forsake thee and set thee at nought,
Rejoice when thy troubles they see;
Yet Jesus still loves the dear sheep he has bought,
His grace is sufficient for thee.

'Tis in thine own weakness and infirmity,
"My strength is made perfect," says he;
Rejoice then in Jesus, he always is nigh,
His grace is sufficient for thee.

And when thou shalt sink into death's cold embrace,
And earthly assistance shall flee;
His boundless, redeeming, unmerited grace,
Shall then be sufficient for thee.

284. Leaving All for Christ
L. M.

"If ye love me," says Christ, the Lord,
"Keep my commandments and my word:
Take up your cross and follow me,
And ye shall my disciples be.

"Except a man himself deny,
Of worldly lusts and vanity,
Forego the world's abuse and shame,
He is not worthy of my name.

"He must esteem my riches more
Than hills of wealth laid up in store:
His consort and his friends forsake,
If he would of my joys partake.

"He that will for his Savior leave
The world, shall in this life receive
A hundred fold, and shall enjoy
Eternal life with him on high.

304. Invoking the Holy Spirit - Luke 11: 13
S. M.

Come, Holy Spirit, come,
And give us light divine;
Remove our doubts, dispel our gloom,
And on our darkness shine.

Help our infirmities,
And teach us how to pray;
And give the children large supplies
Of heavenly food today.

Console each troubled heart,
And make the feeble strong;
Warm our affections, and impart
Devotion to each tongue.

Thy holy unction give,
To him that sows the seed;
And may our hearts the word receive,
And on its dainties feed.

308. The Broad and the Narrow Way - Matt. 7: 13, 14
L. M.

Broad is the road, and wide the gate,
That lead to death, where thousands meet:
But straight and narrow is the way,
That leads to life and endless day.

In these two roads, are all mankind,
Yet few this narrow way can find;
While thousands shun this narrow path,
And choose the road that leads to death.

Behold! the pilgrim as he goes,
Meeting with sorrows, pains and woes;
And see the heedless multitude,
Treading, with ease, the downward road.

But oh! the difference in the end!
The wicked shall to hell descend!
While heaven, with its eternal joys,
Awaits the pilgrim when he dies!

309. Religion Worth More than All Else
C. M.

Let others compass seas and lands,
To gather earthly toys;
Lord, may I follow thy commands,
And seek for nobler joys.

Let kings and monarchs wear the crown,
And lords in affluence live;
May I thy righteousness put on:
Thy gracious smiles receive.

Whilst others seek for carnal wealth,
And toil for golden ore;
Lord, grant my soul religious health,
And I desire no more!

313. Religion
C. M.

Religion! What a vast estate,
On guilty worms bestowed!
Not all the riches of the great,
Are worth this gift of God!

How transient is all earthly bliss!
How poor is shining gold!
And mortal crowns, compared with this,
How worthless to behold!

In all things else let me be crossed,
Lord, give this pearl to me;
Without it, I'm forever lost,
To all eternity.

321. Short Life, and the Vanity of Earthly Things
7s., 6s.

Our days, alas! how transient!
How fast our moments fly!
Each whispering, as it passes,
That we are born to die.
The wheels of time are rolling,
And death is hastening on;
When all our earthly pleasures
Shall be forever gone.

Shall we pursue such pleasures
As fade away and die?
Can Ophir's golden treasures
Our wishes satisfy?
Let honor, wealth and power,
And crowns and kingdoms fall;
For there's a dying hour
When we shall leave them all.

On these low grounds of sorrow,
No lasting pleasures rise;
Nor can the fields of nature
Afford unsullied joys;
But there's undying pleasures
Beyond the reach of time;
And uncorrupted treasures,
And joys that are sublime.

Be this my constant calling,
And this my chief concern,
To glorify my Savior,
And his salvation learn;
May I but feel his presence
When I am called to die,
And through his matchless merits
Ascend above the sky.

323. Death of an Infant
S. M.

It was a blooming flower,
But O! it bloomed to fade!
Our hopes were blasted in an hour
And in the dust were laid.

Those tender cares of love
That twine around the heart;
Not death nor time can e'er remove,
Or rend the ties apart.

We tried, but tried in vain,
To keep it longer here;
Our weeping eyes could not refrain
From the parental tear.

But let us weep no more,
But wipe our tears away;
It's landed on the blissful shore
Of everlasting day.

It's spirit could not stay
In such a world as ours!
For there's a clime of endless day -
Of never failing flowers!

O may it be our lot,
By God's redeeming grace,
To share its joys, and there behold
It's sweet, angelic face!

325. In the Grave
S. M.

My body's now at rest,
My soul has fled on high,
To dwell in mansions of the blest,
To all eternity.

Through sorrows I have come,
Through dangers I have passed;
But now I'm safely landed home,
And shall forever rest.

Once I was lost in sin,
With guilt and fear oppressed;
But Jesus' blood has washed me clean,
And now I am at rest.

Let kingdoms rise and fall,
Let wars the nations waste;
Let thunders rock this earthly ball,
But I shall be at rest.

The miseries I endured,
Did but a moment last;
But Jesus hath for me secured
An everlasting rest.

My soul no more annoyed,
No more with sin oppressed,
But in the presence of its God,
Shall now forever rest!

327. The Grave-Yard
C. M.

Come, thoughtless mortals, and behold
The mansions of the dead!
Here lies the dust of young and old,
And here you must be laid.

Behold the little mansion where
The smiling infant lies:
And lo! its mother, see just there
A grave of larger size.

The high, the low, the rich, the poor,
The great and small are here;
Alike confined, and shall no more
With living men appear.

Here lies the aged - there the youth,
Who died amidst his bloom!
Here lies the saint that loved the truth,
And there's the sinner's tomb!

Reflect, O man, as you pass by
These mansions of the dead;
Reflect that you, also, must die,
And make this clay your bed!

Have you a hope beyond the grave?
Have you to Jesus fled?
Whose powerful arm alone can save,
And rescue from the dead!

329. Death
C. M.

The monster, Death, sweeps o'er the land,
For young nor old he saves;
Nor rich nor poor escape his hand,
But hasten to their graves.

One day the smiling infant falls
Beneath his heavy chains;
And next the aged man he calls,
And o'er the earth he reigns.

'Tis thus vain man forsakes the earth,
His life, a fleeting breath!
One day gives to the creature birth,
The next proclaims his death!

Oh, transient life! inconstant world!
When will vain mortals learn
To know their fatal destiny,
And what's their chief concern?

Great God! prepare us by thy grace,
For joys at thy right hand;
Then cheerfully we'll run our race,
And wait for thy command.

If thou be with us when we die,
In triumph we shall sing:
"O, grave! where is thy victory?
O, death! where is thy sting?"

332. At the Loss of a Wife
C. M.

Ye vanities of time, begone,
Let me indulge my tears;
Forbid me not to mourn for one
Who shared my hopes and fears.

I've lost - and oh! the painful thought
Still lingers in my breast -
I've lost my spouse, to find her not,
And none can give me rest.

She took a share in all my grief,
And doubled all my joy;
And often gave me sweet relief,
When troubles did annoy.

The memory of her virtues still
Entwine my broken heart;
And none the vacancy can fill,
Since death bade her depart.

But why, oh! why should I thus grieve,
And mourn as others do,
Who have no hope beyond the grave,
No better world in view?

Far from this vain, delusive clime,
Of mixed, uncertain joy,
She's gone, I trust, to joys sublime,
Eternal and on high!

333. Death of an Aged Pilgrim
C. M.

Behold the calm, the peaceful death,
The aged pilgrim dies;
In Jesus he resigns his breath,
And soars above the skies!

Here lies a man whose pilgrimage
Was long and full of years,
When God was pleased to call the sage
From this low vale of tears.

Weak was his body, sound his mind,
His eyes were growing dim;
Almost a stranger to mankind,
And they almost to him.

His eyes had seen the raging war;
Beheld returning peace;
Had witnessed stern adversity,
Prosperity and ease.

The world had grown a tiresome place,
Of false, deceitful charms;
He longed to see his Savior's face,
And dwell in Jesus' arms.

And when his destined hour was come,
Contented and resigned,
He left his clay for heaven, his home,
Without a look behind!

335. The Stream of Time
C. M.

There is a stream whose current flows
As ceaseless as the sun;
Onward, with sorrows, pains, and woes,
Its troubled waters run.

Still onward, pressing to its source --
The ocean, whence it came;
Nor stayed by circumstance nor force,
Is this resistless stream.

On its broad bosom as it glides,
Are heedless mortals borne;
And in the boundless ocean hides
The friends for whom we mourn.

The high, the low, are swept away,
The youth, in all his prime;
The meek, the mournful, and the gay,
By the great Stream of Time!

Eternity! unfathomed sea!
Where all our hearts are drowned!
As boundless as infinity!
Thither the stream is bound.

Soon shall its current land us there,
Soon shall our days be o'er;
And the archangel shall declare,
That Time shall be no more!

341. Experience of Sarah Vanmeter, mother of the Compiler,
Composed by him at her request.

Ye children of Zion, and saints of the Lord,
Lend me your attention, and I will record
The wonders of Jesus and His righteousness,
In bringing a sinner from nature to grace.

I spent all the flower and bloom of my youth,
With little regard to religion and truth;
Nor did I regard what my parents did say,
But trifled and wasted my time all away.

I oft heard the gospel declared unto me,
But slighted the precepts, and never could see
A time for beginning to alter my way,
And thought I would wait until some future day.

But Jesus, kind Savior, the sinner's dear friend--
On whom all my blessings and mercies depend--
Impressed a deep sorrow and shame on my mind,
For slighting the favors of days left behind.

'Twas in eighteen hundred and ten, while alone,
That I saw the distance to which I had gone;
Near two years and twenty had glided away,
Which filled me with wonder and awful dismay.

I thought it presumptuous for me then to pray,
But left my own cottage and wandered away,
My awful condition in silence to mourn,
And never expected again to return.

I fully concluded that my day of grace
Was past, and that judgment would come in its place;
The doves of the valley for me seemed to mourn,
And my sad condition, indeed, was forlorn.

At length I returned without any relief;
Of all wretched sinners, I thought I was chief;
And while the dark watches of night passed away,
In deep meditation and anguish I lay.

Sleep, like a light shadow, fled far from my eyes,
Until the bright sun had ascended the skies;
I then, with a burden of guilt on my mind,
Went to the most secret retreat I could find.

There, kneeling with terror, and trembling with fear,
I cried unto Jesus, a sinner to hear,
But all my best prayers seemed to fall to the ground,
Polluted, imperfect, and naught but a sound.

Thus, full of pollution, depraved and undone,
My pleasures on earth I concluded were gone;
And were I consigned to the regions of woe,
I thought it but just that there I should go.

I passed many gloomy and sorrowful days;
I longed to find Jesus and learn of his ways;
Yet I felt unworthy his grace to obtain,
And better deserved his displeasure and pain.

But while I was sitting, distressed and alone,
Desponding of mercy, a sinner undone,
I saw one a-standing in whom I could trust,
Between me, a sinner, and God, who is just.

What comfort sprang up, in a moment, to me!
A reconciled Savior I thought I could see!
'Twas when I expected his wrath to appear,
That, in a sweet whisper, he bade me "not fear!"

The plan of salvation, in Jesus alone,
I trust, at that moment, to me, was made known!
A plan of such beauty, and glory, indeed,
That when I first saw it, from sin I was freed.

My troubles and sorrows all vanished away,
My sorrow was gladness, my darkness was day!
When first I beheld the immaculate Lamb,
My storms all subsided, and all was a calm!

But darkness and doubts, often since I believed,
Have made me feel fearful that I was deceived;
Yet, sometimes a cluster of grapes do I find,
That cheers up my spirits and comforts my mind.

My faith is in Jesus, and grace is my theme;
I'll trust in his promise, and lean upon him;
Then when my time comes, and he calls me to die,
I trust he will grant me a mansion on high.

342. The Second Death

I looked, and lo! an awful gulf beneath!
Abyss of darkness and eternal death!
Fraught with terrific scenes and direful woes,
Prepared by God for his malicious foes.

There awful thunders of the wrath of God,
And storms eternal pour their voice abroad;
While black despair still o'er its bosom reigns,
Nor hope, nor mercy enters its domains.

The Judge commands, and on their hinges grate
The massy doors, and for their victims wait;
Who, headlong, plunge the vortex of his wrath,
And dying, suffer an eternal death.

Around the dismal lake are reared on high,
Huge bulwarks, justice made, to fortify
This dreadful pit, where God's eternal wrath
Has chained his foes in night and endless death.

Here Satan lies; and round his hideous form,
His angels and his emissaries swarm;
Alike confined beneath the pond'rous load,
And weighty vengeance of an angry God!

With dreadful awe I viewed the dire abode.
Adored the boundless mercy of my God,
Who taught my feet to 'scape that awful place,
And seek a shelter 'neath his saving grace!

343. New Year's Day
8, 8, 6.

Begin, my soul, the heavenly song,
And let thy noblest harp be strung,
To sound His praise abroad:
Sing how the starry worlds on high,
Are kept in constant order by
The faithfulness of God.

The sun regards His firm decrees,
Makes haste to rise and bring us day,
Nor tires in all his race;
The moon and stars, at His command,
Roll in their spheres, and never stand,
Nor wander out of place.

Seed-time and harvest, cold and heat,
Summer and winter, day and night,
Come in their seasons still;
The earth, the skies, the spreading flood,
Witness the faithfulness of God,
Who doth His words fulfill.

Another year has rolled away,
And brought again a new year's day;
Let songs of praise arise:
We've passed ten thousand dangers through,
Let us to God our thanks renew,
Who still our wants supplies.

Grant us supplies of needed grace,
As days, and months, and years increase,
And guide our wandering feet;
And when our race below is run,
May we around Thy gracious throne,
Each find some humble seat.

344. Dying in Triumph
(The last words of Joseph W. Vanmeter, brother to the
compiler, who departed this life, August 3, 1845.)
C. M.

"I'm almost gone! just on the eve
Of vast eternity!
Soon shall my longing spirit leave,
And soar to worlds on high.
Though I confess my worthless life
Has always been too vain;
Yet Christ has righteousness enough
To cover all my sin.

"Long since he put my sins away
By his own dying blood;
But, ah! my soul can ne'er repay
Its equal thanks to God.
Since Jesus hath himself revealed,
I'm reconciled to die;
For now my happiness is sealed
To all eternity!

"Soon shall I be in realms above,
And there my Saviour see;
Whose reigning grace and dying love
Has done so much for me.
Then, farewell sorrow, farewell woe,
Farewell to all my pains!
Farewell to all things here below,
I go where Jesus reigns!

"What is this fleeting world to me?
I see a fairer clime!
Which is from sin and sorrow free,
Beyond the reach of time!"
Thus, he approached the gate of death,
With heaven itself in view!
"Thank Jesus!" cried his dying breath,
And bid the world adieu!

345. Acrostic

I was almost in despair,
Sinking down with grief and fear;
All my sins around me rose,
As so many mighty foes.

Conscious of my lost estate,
Now I thought it was too late!
Vain I saw my life had been,
All unholy and unclean.

Nothing had my hands to give;
Mercy did my spirit crave;
Endless life, the Lord bestowed:
Thus a wretch was brought to God.

Everlasting praise shall rise,
Righteous sovereign of the skies,
To thy name, for such displays
Of thy rich and sovereign grace.

(This Hymn is not in Pocket Hymns)
(Composed to be sung with the chorus,
"There'll be no sorrow there.")

I'm on my journey home,
My toils will soon be o'er;
Then shall my Savior bid me come,
And rest forevermore.

There'll be no sorrow there,
There'll be no sorrow there.
In heaven above, where all is love,
There'll be no sorrow there.

My conflicts soon shall end,
Then shall my labors cease;
And I shall from this vale ascend,
And reach the port of peace.

Long have I fought with sin,
And other dreadful foes;
But soon shall I through Jesus win,
And find a sweet repose.

Much sorrow, grief and pain,
I find along the way;
But soon my passport I shall gain
To everlasting day.

Here storms and tempests blow,
And clouds obscure the skies;
But in that clime to which I go
No tempests ever rise.

There shines eternal day,
There reigns my conquering King;
O, come and waft my soul away,
And I thy praise shall sing!

(Chorus to follow each stanza.)


(Composed while waiting on an afflicted companion.)
(May 1, 1868)

Wait on the Lord, thou troubled soul,
Tho' storms and billows o'er thee roll,
Yet trust his sacred word;
The darkest clouds that can arise,
Are often blessings in disguise,
Sent by thy gracious Lord.

Wait on the Lord, though wars may rage,
And empires in the strife engage,
And crowns and kingdoms fall;
His mighty power hath fixed their bounds,
And their designs he oft confounds,
For God is over all.

Wait on the Lord when sore distress,
Or gloomy doubts, and fears distress,
Or troubles do arise;
Let patience work, look to the end,
And rest, and trust thy heavenly Friend
To bring thee brighter skies.

Wait on the Lord, be not in haste,
Lean on his word, and on him cast
The burden of thy care;
Tho' dark his providence may be,
And deep his footsteps in the sea,
Wait, for thy God is there.

Wait on the Lord, whose mighty arm
Controls the sea and guides the storm,
And bids the planets roll;
On him whose presence fills all space,
The God of power and God of grace,
There rest thy weary soul.

Wait on the Lord while life shall last,
Within the vail thy anchor cast,
For soon thy change shall come;
When thou shalt leave the world behind,
With eager joy outstrip the wind,
And reach thy heavenly home.

(September 1, 1869)
From Revelations 3:8; affectionately
inscribed to the poor of the flock.

Thus saith the Husband to the bride -
The all-atoning Lamb:
"Behold, a door is open wide,
And none can shut the same."

"Come with thy wants and woes to me,
Though halt, and lame, and poor;
Come with thy guilt and misery:
Behold the open door."

"Come, hungry, thirsty, fainting soul,
I have a boundless store;
Come to this fountain, be made whole:
Behold the open door."

"Come without money - I impart
My blessing without cost;
All I demand is but the heart
Of him who has been lost."

An open door! O blessed Lord!
Is it for one like me?
And can thy bounteous grace afford
Such stores entirely free?

Sure, I shall never thirst again,
Or ever hunger more;
While such a fountain doth remain,
And such an open door!

(January 1, 1871)

Just as thou wilt, O gracious Lord,
Let my condition be;
I would not raise a murmuring word,
But leave it all to thee.

Just as thou wilt, though storms may rise,
And clouds obscure my way;
These oft are blessings in disguise,
And bring a brighter day.

Just as thou wilt, though poor, distressed,
While in this vale below;
With boundless riches I am blessed,
In climes to which I go.

Just as thou wilt, and not as I
Would have my blessings come;
Thou knowest best what to supply,
While on my journey home.

Just as thou wilt, and not my will,
Though sore thy chastening rod;
Though hard the strokes, I would be still,
And know that thou art God.

Just as thou wilt, thy time I'll wait
To lay my armor down;
Then at thy word I'll cease to fight,
And fly to take the crown.

Matthew 14: 27
(July 15, 1871)

It is I: be not afraid,
Though the swelling billows roll;
I the mighty ocean tread,
I the raging winds control.

It is I, that ride the storms,
Hold the ocean in my hand;
Worlds, and men, and crawling worms,
All are under my command.

Though through fiery trials led,
Though through floods thy path may lie,
Nought should fill thy soul with dread,
Still remember, It is I.

It is I thy sorrows heal,
I that use a father's rod;
I, all thy afflictions feel,
I, thy Savior and thy God.

Trembling, doubting child, be still,
'Midst the beating storms of life;
I, that work my sovereign will,
Soon will end thy painful strife.

I will bring thee safe to land,
'Neath a calm and cloudless sky;
And upon that peaceful strand
Thou shalt surely know 'tis I.

(September 10, 1872)

Jesus, my God, is all to me
That heart could wish, or eyes could see,
Or wants demand, or faith believe,
Or such a needy soul receive.

An ocean of undying love
Flows through this channel from above;
Infinite wisdom, power and grace
Unite and shine in Jesus' face.

All that I need while here below,
All in the world to which I go,
I find in him in rich supply,
Nor can this fountain ever dry.

A robe of spotless righteousness
He gives me for my wedding dress,
And at the marriage feast I see
Love's banner waving over me.

Here marrow, fatness, bread and wine
Are spread for this poor soul of mine,
And as I feast, O boundless bliss!
My Savior whispers, I am his!

My Husband and my Lord is he,
A Prophet, Priest and King to me;
My Rock, my tower, my retreat--
I rest secure at Jesus' feet.

But O what raptures fill my breast
When I in his embrace can rest!
And see those smiles of love divine,
And hear him say that he is mine!

In him I have a boundless store
Of all I need forever more,
And when in him this store I see,
Jesus is all in all to me.

(December 1, 1872)

When God calls for the guilty soul,
And reckons up his long account,
He finds charged on the debtor's roll
Ten thousand talents the amount.

Ten thousand talents! frightful claim!
And do the books no credit show?
No payment in the sinner's name?
Eternal Justice answers, "No."

Ten thousand talents! what a debt
To hang o'er one poor sinner's head!
The charges are in order set,
The law demands the payment made.

Ten thousand talents! ponderous load!
Enough to sink a world to hell!
The bankrupt now before his God
Begins his wretchedness to tell.

Covered with shame and black with crime,
For mercy he begins to call:
"'Tis just," he cries, but begs for time -
"Have patience and I'll pay thee all."

But deep in debt, and naught to pay,
Compassion moves th' eternal mind:
"I'll set thee free! then go thy way!
I've thy eternal pardon signed!"

For such displays of boundless love
O may our hearts within us burn!
Our feet in sweet obedience move,
To show we love him in return.

(June 15, 1873)

A pilgrim and a stranger in this polluted clime,
About to take my journey beyond the reach of time,
A most important question arose within my view,
What things and what provisions I need to take me through.

As I am poor and needy and nothing can provide,
Unless some one shall give me, I cannot be supplied;
And after much inquiry I learned that there's but one,
Whose name I heard is Jesus, and hence to him I'll run.

I need his blood to wash me from guilt and sin and shame;
His righteousness to clothe me--a robe without a seam;
His Spirit to instruct me and guide me on my way;
His presence to conduct me, lest I should go astray.

I need his grace to pardon, his pity to forgive;
His power and love and mercy as long as I shall live;
Yea, all the christian armor, of faith and hope and love,
The helmet and the girdle, must come from him above.

All that I now can think of, or wish, or ask, or crave,
I find is stored in Jesus, who came my soul to save;
And had he not informed me, I never should have thought
Of half the things I needed, but should have them forgot.

A sword, a shield, a buckler, that I my foes may meet;
A staff he also gives me, and sandals for my feet;
A bottle of cool water, enough to last me through,
And wine of flowing flagon, and milk and honey, too.

I have his sacred promise to give me daily bread,
And all the other rations a soldier should be fed;
And for my consolation I heard my Savior say,
That every needed comfort I'd find along the way.

When I am faint and weary, along my desert path
I'll find a flowing fountain where I can stop and bathe;
A mighty rock to shade me when scorching suns shall burn;
And from the rain and tempest a tent in which to turn.

So vast are the provisions within my Master's store,
There seems enough to do me, and feed a thousand more;
The fount is ever flowing, the pastures ever green;
And yet my Savior tells me the half has not been seen.

And though I'm poor and needy, and often do repine,
My Savior sweetly whispers that all this wealth is mine!
I'm filled with joy and wonder! I'm rich as I can be!
And better than all treasures, HE GIVES HIMSELF TO ME!

(January 15, 1874)

If all the nations of the earth
Since God gave to creation birth
Are less than nothing in his sight,
Lord, what am I? --a worthless mite!

All nations, though a mighty host,
Laid in his balance are but dust;
He rides the cloud and chains the storm;
Then what am I? --a crawling worm!

He metes out heaven with a span,
Marshalls the stars and leads the van,
Holds the vast ocean in his hand;
Then what am I! --a grain of sand!

He takes up isles as little things,
Dethrones proud potentates and kings;
Weighs the huge mountains in his scales,
And in his balance mighty hills.

Yea, heaven, and earth, and seas, and skies,
And worlds on worlds in grandeur rise,
Revolve their endless rounds, or stand,
Or sink to naught at his command.

Almighty God! Eternal King!
Canst thou look on so vile a thing?
If worlds look little unto thee,
O canst thou notice one like me!

Thanks to thy name! thy mighty arm
Upholds the globe, supports the worm!
O may I trust the God of might,
Though I am nothing in his sight.

Luke 22: 32

Poor tempted, tried and sifted one,
In trouble look to me;
Satan desires to crush thee down,
But I have prayed for thee.

Resist his power through my name,
And from thee he will flee;
Though thou art feeble, weak and lame,
Yet I have prayed for thee.

The conflict may be sore and long,
To try thy faith in me;
Thine enemy is fierce and strong,
But I have prayed for thee.

Though victory may hang in doubt,
A while thou mayest flee;
In triumph I will bring thee out,
For I have prayed for thee.

Lord, I am weak, and faint, and blind,
My way I cannot see;
But how it cheers my drooping mind,
That thou hast prayed for me.

My sins are many, and the law
Condemns poor guilty me;
Yet from thy word I comfort draw:
Child, I have prayed for thee.

(July 15, 1876)

How often with wonder thy word I explore,
What beauties and treasures I see;
'Tis like a vast ocean without any shore!
But are these rich treasures for me?

Thy promises, Lord, in profusion abound,
And blessings as rich as can be,
And balm in abundance to heal every wound.
But are such provisions for me?

There's mercy for sinners, the helpless and lost,
Forgiveness and pardon all free;
There's wine, milk and honey bestowed without cost!
But O, are these blessings for me?

I read there's provided a rich throne of grace,
To which all poor beggars may flee;
And I would resort to that hallowed place,
But fear that it is not for me.

A door is wide open for such as desire
The King in his beauty to see;
A glimpse of his glory doth set me on fire,
But is that door open for me?

I'll go there and ask if such beggars as I
Are allowed to partake of his store;
For I learn none were ever permitted to die
Who earnestly knocked at the door.

"BIRTHDAY - JUNE 14, 1877"
(July 1, 1877)

How great thy goodness, Lord, appears,
Through all my days, and weeks, and years!
Thy mercies let me now review,
On this, my birthday - sixty-two.

Thy power protected me from harm,
When lying on my mother's arm,
A helpless babe, a fragile flower,
Devoid of knowledge, will or power.

Childhood and youth, beset with snares,
And dangers thick, and childish cares,
When I was thoughtless, vain and blind,
Bear witness thou wast ever kind.

Thousands have fallen at my side,
While sailing o'er life's stormy tide;
The waves would oft my vessel fill,
But thou would'st speak, and all was still.

When I look back to thirty-three,
When first thou didst appear to me,
And count the years up--forty-four,
I blush, that I have learned no more!

So long to be in grace's school,
And yet to find myself a fool!
I ought by now to be a man,
Yet I'm a child of but a span!

With shame my life I now review--
My faults abound--good deeds are few--
A checkered life of sun and shade,
Sometimes quite bold, but oft afraid.

Yet, Lord, of something will I boast,
Now that I'm near the shining coast--
I'll boast of grace, I'll boast of thee,
And of thy goodness shewn to me.

(February 15, 1878)

(Some reflections while waiting for a train.)

Unsearchable riches in Jesus are found;
A vast mine of wealth, which no creature can sound;
An ocean unfathomed, a sea without shore;
An unmeasured fountain, a rich laden store.

All treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him
Are hid, and the eyes of vain man are too dim
To see his deep footsteps, his wonders to trace,
His paths to explore, or to find out his ways.

Omnipotent power to Jesus is given,
O'er all things on earth, and o'er all things in heaven;
Nor empires, nor kingdoms, nor oceans, nor men,
Nor sparrows can perish, until he says when.

He is omnipresent, and found everywhere--
On earth he is present--in heaven, he's there;
Even in thick darkness no creature can hide;
The sovereign Creator, there is none beside.

Infallible justice inhabits his throne,
And mercy and truth are perfections his own;
Unchangeably true, and immutably wise,
To him nothing new or unseen can arise.

In him was, and is, and will ever be found,
The fountain of life everlasting, profound;
And of his own pleasure this life he bestows,
Nor angels, nor seraphs, nor men dare oppose.

But while I gaze on him with awe and delight,
His love everlasting heaves up into sight;
And while I think on it, my thoughts soar above,
To explore with sweet wonder that fountain of love.

Its height and its depth can no angel proclaim;
Its length and its breadth are but lost in his name;
The whole of the Godhead in him dwell and shine--
In him spotless manhood and God both combine.

I fain would go farther his name to set forth;
To speak of his fullness, his glory, his worth;
But fainting, and faltering his name to unfold,
I bow, and acknowledge the half is not told!

(August 20, 1878)

From Zion's walls below,
To realms of endless day;
From sin and sorrow, pain and woe,
Our shepherd's called away.

His work below is done,
His course is finished now;
The battle fought, the victory won,
And laurels clothe his brow.

Faithful to all his trust,
As steward of the Lord;
His life a pattern of the just,
He's gone to his reward.

We miss thee, brother, dear;
Our loss we deeply mourn;
Thy worth was never valued here,
Till thou wast from us torn.

Within the vacant stand,
We miss thy cheering voice;
We miss thee in our social band,
And in our sacred joys.

No more thy voice we hear,
Proclaim the God of grace;
No more behold thy briny tear,
That oft bedewed thy face.

But though thou art not here-
Thy face we cannot see;
In memory's shrine we hold thee dear-
Our hearts still cherish thee.

And yet we hope to meet,
On a far brighter shore;
'Tis there we shall each other greet,
And parting be no more!

(January 1, 1883)

Full fifty years since thou wast born!
At first almost a hope forlorn:
Around thee deadly foes arrayed
With weapons pointed at thy head.

Thy friends were few and far between,
When first thy little face was seen;
Whilst anti-Christ his hosts engaged,
And fierce and sore the conflict raged.

Amidst the unrelenting strife,
Fast flew the arrows at thy life;
And yet with sword amidst the field,
Thy hand was never known to yield.

No flag of truce, no compromise
From foes couldst thou e'er recognize;
A full surrender of the field,
And nothing less they had to yield.

Thou standest yet upon the ground,
Where in thy childhood thou wast found;
Thy feet upon the solid Rock,
Unmoved by battle's fearful shock.

The one who held thy sword so long,
Now sings the victor's glorious song;
But now another has command,
With the sam weapon in his hand.

But while thy face has frowned on foes,
Thy sword allowed them no repose;
Yet to thy friends thy smiles appeared,
And thy sweet voice was ever heard.

To many a lonely fireside,
To many a household sorely tried,
To many a couch of pain and grief,
Thy visits have brought sweet relief.

Go on, and may thy life be spared,
Till thousands have thy comforts shared;
May he who sees the sparrow fall,
Uphold thee, and be all in all.

Go then, and may thy friends be true,
To hold thee up, and pay thy due;
And as thou goest call and see
Thy humble servant, I. N. V.

(February 1, 1883)

All hail the day of wonders, that gave the Savior birth!
All hail, ye mighty angels, who brought the news to earth!
In highest strains of glory let praise to God resound;
Salvation for his people, and peace on earth abound.

Dawn of immortal glory, the twilight is begun,
And darkness soon shall vanish before the rising Sun;
All hail the name of Jesus! a Savior to redeem,
And all the mighty glories of God are found in him.

Foretold by all the prophets since time its course began,
He comes now to accomplish redemption's wondrous plan;
Ordained before creation, and bound by covenant love,
He comes to raise his people to endless joys above.

Condemned as lawful captives, and fast in prison bound,
No one on earth discovered, and none in heaven found;
No angel, man or seraph, nor all of them combined,
Could rescue them from bondage, or any ransom find.

Whilst all was wrapped in darkness, and sin and death assail,
And Satan seems to triumph and o'er them to prevail,
See Judah's mighty Lion comes forth to meet the foe,
And rescue his dear people from sorrow, pain and woe.

Before him Satan's kingdom shall totter to the ground,
And he shall save his people wherever they are found;
His life he gives a ransom the law to satisfy,
And o'er the grave he triumphs, and is enthroned on high.

He holds supreme dominion o'er heaven, earth and hell,
And all divine perfections in him forever dwell;
And by his Spirit's power he calls from nature's night,
His ransomed sons and daughters to dwell with him in light.

Let angels fall before him, and ransomed sinners join,
To swell the heavenly anthem in symphonies divine:
All hail, thou blessed Jesus! the sinner's only Friend,
To speak thy boundless praises the song shall never end.

(October 15, 1883)

A monument of mercy I truly feel to be;
A wonder unto many, and even unto me;
That God, who is most holy, has borne with such as I,
A poor, imperfect creature, for half a century.

When I made a profession, just fifty years ago,
I thought that no more troubles would meet me here below;
That I should sail on smoothly upon the sea of life,
Without a storm or tempest, or any source of strife.

I felt so calm and peaceful, and so well satisfied,
Down at the feet of Jesus, who for my sins had died;
Such a love to my dear Savior, and unto all his saints,
I thought my warfare ended, and all my sad complaints.

But while I was thus feasting upon his boundless love,
And gazing on his glories, and all my thoughts above,
The language of my Master entirely I forgot,
That here sad tribulations were sure to be my lot.

And thus I've truly found it, the whole of fifty years;
A mixture of temptations, of joys, and hopes, and fears;
The world, the flesh and Satan combined against my soul,
And often heavy troubles like billows o'er me roll.

At many things I've wondered as I have passed along;
Among the rest my weakness--how often I've been wrong;
And yet a greater wonder I've oft been brought to see,
The patience and the mercy of God to worthless me.

I wonder at the kindness and love of the dear saints,
And at their long-forbearance, and how few their complaints;
I wonder at my blindness concerning things divine,
To be so slow in learning, so ready to repine.

And now an Ebenezer I to the Lord will rear,
And gratefully acknowledge he always has been near;
And if through grace abounding I reach the heavenly throng,
There'll be no greater wonder join in the endless song.

(July 1, 1884)

Eternal, unchangeable God,
Thou art the great fountain of life;
Thou rulest all things with a nod,
Thy word is the end of all strife.

Thou countest a thousand of years
As but a short watch in the night;
Our life but a vapor appears,
A moment of time in thy sight.

To us the years slowly pass on,
Attended with trials and cares;
And when one sore trouble is gone,
We look for new dangers and snares.

We wonder why we do not fall,
As others are falling around;
For death is the doom of us all,
And we must return to the ground.

I stand as a wonder today,
Upheld by a power divine;
Supported in life's dreary way,
Till I am now sixty and nine.

I've seen many others cut down,
And pass to the land of the dead;
Some changing the cross for a crown,
And others with woes on their head.

O Savior, why am I thus spared?
Upheld by thy power and grace?
Unworthy of any regard,
Or with thy dear people a place.

O Lord, as my days pass away,
Grant me a supply of thy grace;
O give me thy Spirit, I pray,
Till I shall have finished my race.

(Sunday, June 14, 1885)

Come, hear me tell the story of what the Lord has done,
And join to give him glory, for he's the Holy One;
He always has watched o'er me for three score years and ten,
In danger gone before me, and has my leader been.

While in my cradle lying, a frail and helpless thing,
He heard my plaintive crying, and did assistance bring;
Through many a youthful danger he safely led me on,
Though I was yet a stranger to God and to his Son.

While I by sin was blinded, and on the downward road,
Not only carnal minded, but wandering from my God;
He, in divine compassion, my blinded eyes unsealed,
To see my lost condition, and Jesus Christ revealed.

Since I made a profession of Jesus' precious name,
I've made a slow progression - so weak, and halt, and lame;
Yet he has journeyed with me for more than fifty years,
And wisely measured to me my joys, and hopes, and fears.

Since I began life's journey, just seventy years ago,
I've seen an end to many who traveled here below;
Ambition has been blasted, and kingdoms passed away,
And countries have been wasted by war's relentless sway.

Yet there is one thing only I've never known to fail,
Along life's way so lonely, where troubles oft assail;
This one thing is the goodness of God to worthless me,
To whom be endless praises to all eternity!

(July 15, 1887)

A monument of mercy before my Lord I live,
And for his boundless goodness to him my thanks I give;
Thus far along my journey he's safely led me through;
His goodness have I witnessed till I am seventy-two.

I oft am made to wonder why I am left to stand
Amidst the many dangers around on every hand;
Why one so poor and barren should cumber thus the ground,
A tree that has no beauty, on which no fruit is found.

A wonder unto many that long my life have known,
As one so nearly worthless, so little good has done;
And equally surprising, when all my faults I see,
Has been their long forbearance and patience unto me.

Though I've been a professor since eighteen thirty-three,
When I my life look over it does appear to me
That I have done but little as it should have been done,
So full of imperfection that like me there is none.

Yet I have long been trying the gospel to proclaim,
And to set forth the glory of Jesus' precious name;
But seldom have I spoken and closed to take my seat,
Without most keenly feeling that I was incomplete.

The longer I have traveled along the christian race,
The more I view salvation as being all of grace;
No other plan could rescue a sinner such as I;
On this I live at present, on this I hope to die.

Soon shall my hope be tested, and I shall shortly know
My final destination, let it be weal or woe;
In thee, O Jesus, Master, I humbly trust my all,
Till I shall end my journey, and thou shalt for me call.

(April 15, 1888)

"Be still, and know that I am God."

Be still, dear child, nor dare complain
Beneath thy Father's chastening rod;
He says, "I will thy strength sustain:
Be still, and know that I am God."

Be still when through the furnace led;
The flame shall prove to be thy good;
The guide that leads thee, child, hath said,
"Be still, and know that I am God."

"I only will thy dross remove,
And thou shalt soon be sent abroad;
I deal with thee alone in love:
Be still, and know that I am God."

Though Sinai's thunders may resound,
The trumpet's voice may sound aloud;
Yet in the Lord is safety found:
"Be still, and know that I am God."

Though winds may blow, and clouds may rise,
And dark and dreary be thy road;
Thy Father rules both earth and skies:
"Be still, and know that I am God."

He that in heaven, and earth, and seas,
Rules all creation with a nod,
Says, "Trust in me, and be at ease:
Be still, and know that I am God."

Thy doubts and fears, thy joy and grief,
He measures out to thee for good,
And will in due time give relief:
Be still, and know that he is God.

His way, dear child, is in the sea,
His footsteps in the mighty flood;
In sovereign love he says to thee,
"Be still, and know that I am God."

In memory of my dear daughter, Susie Vanmeter, who died
instantly, of paralysis of the heart, December 28th, 1890. The
night before her decease she told a lady at her bedside that if
the severe pains of the chest which she was suffering should
strike her heart it would be "all right."


"All right!" If the summons should suddenly come,
And hurry my spirit away,
'Twill only release me, and hasten me home,
To the climes of ineffable day.

"All right!" Though I may not be able to speak,
One word to the friend that I love,
The sooner my pain-stricken heart-strings shall break
The sooner I'll reach home above.

"All right!" Though I leave my dear parents behind,
And brothers and sisters and friends,
'Tis painful to leave those that have been so kind,
But heaven will make all amends.

"All right!" for I'll need their attention no more,
I'll go where there is no more pain;
Where sorrow and sighing and tears are all o'er,
With Jesus forever to reign.

"All right!" for my Father in heaven knows best,
And I calmly submit to his will;
For since he has taught me in his name to rest,
I'll lie in his hands and be still.

Yes, come quickly, Father, and call me away,
To the regions of glory and light;
And in that blessed mansion I ever shall say,
"Thy ways, dearest Lord, are 'all right.'"

(February 1891)

Born February 21, 1864, and departed this life February 27, 1891, aged 27 years and 6 days. Brother Bowen made a profession of his faith in Jesus Christ in May, 1883, and was baptized by Elder Vanmeter in July following, in the fellowship of the Bethany Church of Primitive Baptists. In March 1885 he became a member of New Hope Church by letter. He was in his twentieth year when he put on Christ publicly; but he read his Bible much, and was soon confirmed and established in the doctrine of salvation by grace so thoroughly, and loved it so dearly, that it was his almost daily talk among his friends. The circumstances attending his death were unusual, and very shocking to his family and friends. He and his brother, Lewis C. Bowen, also a church member, were out in an open field with a team and wagon, and had both shot their guns at some wild geese. Lewis left John standing near the team; and when he was about twenty-five yards away, John called to him and said, "Come back here, Lew; I am dying." He spoke again, saying, "Come quick; I am dying." Before his brother reached him his gun dropped out of his hand, and he was about to fall. He said to his brother, "Put my cap on; my head is cold. Ease me down." After speaking a sentence of prayer he grasped his brother's hand, saying "I am dying happy. Good-by, Lew." He spoke no more, but breathed a short time and was gone. The following lines, written by Elder Vanmeter, and read at the funeral service, were included in his obituary at the request of his mother.

"I'm dying happy, brother, and bid you now good-by;
Without a moment's warning I am thus called to die,
To leave a world of sorrow, of sin and pain and woe;
Through grace I am now ready to bid farewell and go."

Thus was he in a moment, an unexpected time,
He leaves his wife and children, and many a loving friend,
Called by his Lord and Master to leave this earthly clime.
No time allowed for saying a word to wife or child;

Yet as his Master called him, he left well reconciled.
Without a parting blessing, or time a word to send.
But O the heavenly comfort his dying words expressed:
"I'm dying happy, brother, and soon shall be at rest."

Thus passed away our brother, just in the prime of life,
Cut off from the embraces of friends and loving wife;
But we should all remember the victory of his faith:
"I'm dying happy, brother," and bowed his head in death.

When one is thus so quickly cut down just in his prime,
It solemnly reminds us "man knoweth not his time;"
But with a hope in Jesus, let death come when it may,
We also shall be ready to die and soar away.

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