Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Testimonies of the longing for God

first: "A Hymn to God the Father" by Ben Jonson

Hear me, O God!
. A broken heart
. Is my best part:
Use still thy rod
. That I may prove
. Therein, thy love.

If thou hadst not
. Been stern to me,
. But left me free,
I had forgot
. Myself and thee.

For sin's so sweet,
. As minds ill bent
. Rarely repent,
Until they meet
. Their punishment.

Who more can crave
. Than thou hast done:
. That gav'st a Son,
To free a slave?
. First made of nought;
. With all since bought.

Sin, Death, and Hell
. His glorious Name
. Quite overcame;
Yet I rebel,
. And slight the same.

But I'll come in,
. Before my loss,
. Me farther toss,
As sure to sin
. Under His Cross.

Second, "Discipline," by George Herbert, very much on the same theme:

Throw away the rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
. . . O my God,
Take the gentle path.

For my heart's desire
Unto thine is bent:
. . . I aspire
To a full consent.

Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
. . . Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:
. . . For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.

Love is swift of foot;
Love's a man of war,
. . . And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can scape his bow?
That which wrought on thee,
. . . Brought thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
. . . Thou art God:
Throw away thy wrath.


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