Delight in God Only by Francis Quarles

I love (and have some cause to love) the earth;
She is my Maker’s creature, therefore good:
She is my mother, for she gave me birth;
She is my tender nurse; she gives me food;
But what’s a creature, Lord, compared with Thee?
Or what’s my mother, or my nurse to me?

I love the air; her dainty fruits refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me;
Her shrill-mouth’d choirs sustain me with their flesh.
And with their polyphonian notes delight me:
But what’s the air, or all the sweets that she
Can bless my soul withal, compared to Thee?

I love the sea; she is my fellow-creature,
My careful purveyor; she provides me store;
She walls me round; she makes my diet greater;
She wafts my treasure from a foreign shore:
But, Lord of oceans, when compared with Thee,
What is the ocean, or her wealth to me?

To heaven’s high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye;
Mine eye, by contemplation’s great attorney,
Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky.
But what is heaven, great God, compared to Thee?
Without Thy presence, heaven’s no heaven to me.

Without Thy presence, earth gives no reflection:
Without Thy presence, sea affords no treasure;
Without Thy presence, air’s a rank infection;
Without Thy presence, heaven itself no pleasure:
If not possess’d, if not enjoyed in Thee,
What’s earth, or sea, or air, or heaven to me?

The highest honours that the world can boast,
Are subjects far too low for my desire;
Its brightest gleams of glory are, at most,
But dying sparkles of Thy living fire:
The brightest flames that earth can kindle, be
But nightly glowworms, if compared to Thee.

Without Thy presence, wealth is bags of cares;
Wisdom, but folly; joy, disquiet, sadness;
Friendship is treason, and delights are snares;
Pleasures, but pain; and mirth, but pleasing madness:
Without Thee, Lord, things be not what they be,
Nor have their being when compared with Thee.

In having all things, and not Thee, what have I?
Not having Thee, what have my labours got?
Let me enjoy but Thee, what have my labours got?
And having Thee alone, what have I not?
I wish nor sea nor land; nor would I be
Possess’d of heaven, heaven unpossess’d of Thee.

Francis Quarles

I Asked The Lord That I Might Grow by John Newton

newton_j2I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

by John Newton

Springtime by Geerhardus Vos

OldVosHasten, O love, do come; the Spring is not completed,
Unless thou be a part of its glad feast and song;
The buds, awaking, wonder, why they are not greeted
By thee, to whom their dreams went out all winter long.

The sky, the sun, the clouds, the earth, the trees, the flowers,
They all do something lack, thou canst alone impart;
Help us fulfill the office of these holiest hours,
Come, put our heart once more in tune with nature’s heart.

Why should the year’s young bloom, that fades so soon, be wasted?
Why all this music die, forgotten, on the air?
’Twere pity to let pass the cup of cups untasted;
Wine is not lover’s wine but what two lovers share.

by Geerhardus Vos

Excerpt from The Apocalypse by John Newton Brown

Sing Him that loved us! He, with blood divine,
Poured from his own pierced heart, like generous win«
From out the purple clusters of the vine,
On God’s high altar in its freshness laid,
The sumless price of our redemption paid.
He loves, He loves us! For the sins that lay
Dark on our souls, his blood hath washed away.
He loves, He loves us! And hath raised us up
To heights of dignity beyond our hope;
Owned as his brethren — crowned above as kings–
Where love and honor are immortal things!
A royal priesthood, at the Eternal Throne,
To pay a worship, God will not disown!

by John Newton Brown