Songs Of Zion


cheer and guide pilgrims on their way to the heavenly jerusalem

1. the barren fig-tree

Within a vineyard’s sunny bound

An ample fig-tree shelter found,

Enjoying sun and showers—

The boughs were graceful to the view,

With spreading leaves of deep-green hue,

And gaily blushing flowers.

When round the vintage season came,

This blooming fig was still the same,

As promising and fair;

But though the leaves were broad and green

No precious fruit was to be seen,

Because no fruit was there.

“For three long years,” the master cried,

“Fruit on this tree to find I’ve tried,

But all in vain my toil;

Ungrateful tree! the axe’s blow

Shall lay thy leafy honours low:

Why cumbers it the soil?”

“Ah! let it stand just one year more,”

The dresser said, “till all my store

Of rural arts I’ve shown:

About the massy roots I’ll dig;

And if it bear, we’ve gained the fig,—

If not, then cut it down.”

How many years hast thou, my heart,

Acted the barren fig-tree’s part,

Leafy, and fresh, and fair,—

Enjoying heavenly dews of grace,

And sunny smiles from God’s own face!—

But where the fruit? ah! where?

How often most the Lord have prayed

That still my day might be delayed,

Till all due means were tried!

Afflictions, mercies, health, and pain,

How long shall these be all in vain

To teach this heart of pride!

Learn, O my soul, what God demands

Is not a faith like barren sands,

But fruit of heavenly hue.

By this we prove that Christ we know,

If in his holy steps we go:

Faith works by love, if true.

August 14, 1834.

2. jehovah tsidkenu

“the lord our righteousness”

(The watchword of the Reformers)

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,

I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;

Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree.

Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,

Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;

But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,

Jehovah Tsidkenu seem’d nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,

I wept when the waters went over his soul

Yet thought not that my sins had nail’d to the tree,

Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,

Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;

No refuge, no safety in self could I see—

Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;

My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came

To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—

Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,

Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;

In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field—

My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,

This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath,

For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,

Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be.

November 18, 1331

3. “they sing the song of moses”

Dark was the night, the wind was high,

The way by mortals never trod;

For God had made the channel dry,

When faithful Moses stretched the rod.

The raging waves on either hand

Stood like a massy tott’ring wall,

And on the heaven-defended band

Refused to let the waters fall.

With anxious footsteps, Israel trod

The depths of that mysterious way;

Cheered by the pillar of their God,

That shone for them with fav’ring ray.

But when they reached the opposing shore,

As morning streaked the eastern sky,

They saw the billows hurry o’er

The flower of Pharaoh’s chivalry.

Then awful gladness filled the mind

Of Israel’s mighty ransomed throng;

And while they gazed on all behind,

Their wonder burst into a song.

Thus, thy redeemed ones, Lord, on earth,

While passing through this vale of weeping,

Mix holy trembling with their mirth,

And anxious watching with their sleeping

The night is dark, the storm is loud,

The path no human strength can tread;

Jesus, be Thou the pillar-cloud,

Heaven’s light upon our path to shed.

And oh! when, life’s dark journey o’er,

And death’s enshrouding valley pass.

We plant our foot on yonder shore,

And tread you golden strand at last

Shall we not see with deep amaze,

How grace hath led us safe along;

And whilst behind—before, we gaze,

Triumphant burst into a song!

And even on earth, though sore bested,

Fightings without, and fears within;

Sprinkled to-day from slavish dread,

To-morrow captive led by sin:

Yet would I lift my downcast eyes

On Thee, Thou brilliant tower of fire-

Thou dark cloud to mine enemies—

That hope may all my breast inspire.

And thus the Lord, my strength, I’ll praise,

Though Satan and his legions rage;

And the sweet song of faith I’ll raise,

To cheer me on my pilgrimage.

Edinburgh, 1835.

4. on mungo park’s finding a tuft of green moss in the african desert

“Whatever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsule, without admiration. Can that Being, thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not. I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forward, assured that relief was at hand, and I was not disappointed.”—Park’s Travels.

The sun had reached his mid-day height,

And poured down floods of burning light

On Afric’s barren land;

No cloudy veil obscured the sky,

And the hot breeze that struggled by

Was filled with glowing sand.

No mighty rock upreared its head,

To bless the wanderer with its shade,

In all the weary plain;

No palm-trees with refreshing green.

To glad the dazzled eye, were seen,

But one wide sandy main.

Dauntless and daring was the mind

That left all home-born joys behind

These deserts to explore—

To trace the mighty Niger’s course,

And find it bubbling from its source.

In wilds untrod before.

And ah! shall we less daring show,

Who nobler ends and motives know

Than ever heroes dream—

Who seek to lead the savage mind

The precious fountain-head to find

Whence flows salvation’s stream?

Let peril, nakedness, and sword,

Hot barren sands, and despot’s word

Our burning zeal oppose—

Yet, Martyn-like, we’ll lift the voice,

Bidding the wilderness rejoice

And blossom as the rose.

Sad, faint, and weary on the sand

Our traveller sat him down; his hand

Covered his burning head.

Above, beneath, behind, around,—

No resting for the eye he found;

All nature seemed as dead.

One tiny tuft of moss alone,

Mantling with freshest green a stone,

Fixed his delighted gaze:

Through bursting tears of joy he smiled,

And while he raised the tendril wild,

His lips o’erflowed with praise.

“Oh, shall not He who keeps thee green

Here in the waste, unknown, unseen,

Thy fellow-exile save?

He who commands the dew to feed

Thy gentle flower, can surely lead

Me from a scorching grave!”

The heaven-sent plant new hope inspired—

New courage all his bosom fired,

And bore him safe along;

Till with the evening’s cooling shads

He slept within the verdant glade,

Lulled by the negro’s song.

Thus, we in this world’s wilderness.

Where sin and sorrow, guilt, distress,

Seem undisturbed to reign,

May faint because we feel alone,

With none to strike our favourite tone

And Join our homeward strain.

Yet, often in the bleakest wild

Of this dark world, some heaven-born child.

Expectant of the skies,

Amid the low and vicious crowd,

Or in the dwellings of the proud,

Meets our admiring eyes.

From gating on the tender flower,

We lift our eyes to Him whose power

Hath all its beauty given;

Who, in this atmosphere of death,

Hath given it life and form and breath,

And brilliant hues of heaven.

Our drooping faith, revived by sight,

Anew her pinion plumes for flight.

New hope distends the breast;

With joy we mount on eagle wing,

With bolder tone our anthem sing

And seek the pilgrim’s rest

March 1886.

5. “i am debtor”

When this passing world is done,

When has sunk you glaring sun,

When we stand with Christ in glory,

Looking o’er life’s finished story,

Then, Lord, shall I fully know—

Not till then—how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call

On the rocks and hills to fall,

When I see them start and shrink

On the fiery deluge brink,

Then, Lord, shall I fully know—

Not till then—how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne

Dressed in beauty not my own,

When I see Thee as Thou art,

Love Thee with unsinning heart,

Then, Lord, shall I fully know—

Not till then—how much I owe.

When the praise of heaven I hear

Loud as thunders to the ear,

Loud as many waters’ noise,

Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,

Then, Lord, shall I fully know—

Not till then—how much I owe.

Even on earth, as through a glase

Darkly, let thy glory pass,

Make forgiveness feel so sweet,

Make thy Spirit’s help so meet,

Even on earth, Lord, make me know

Something of how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,

Wakened up from wrath to flee,

Hidden in the Saviour’s side,

By the Spirit sanctified,

Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,

By my love, how much I owe.

Oft I walk beneath the cloud,

Dark as midnight’s gloomy shroud;

But, when fear is at the height,

Jesus comes, and all is light:

Blessed Jesus! bid me show

Doubting saints how much I owe

When in flowery paths I tread,

Oft by sin I’m captive led;

Oft I fall, but still arise;

The Spirit comes—the tempter flies:

Blessed Spirit! bid me show

Weary sinners all I owe.

Oft the nights of sorrow reign—

Weeping, sickness, sighing, pain,

But a night thine anger burns—

Morning comes, and joy returns:

God of comforts! bid me show

To thy poor, how much I owe.

May 1837.

6. children called to christ

Like mist on the mountain,

Like ships on the sea,

So swiftly the years

Of our pilgrimage flee;

In the grave of our fathers

How soon we shall lie!

Dear children, to-day

To a Saviour fly.

How sweet are the flowerets

In April and May!

But often the frost makes

Them wither away.

Like flowers you may fade;

Are you ready to die?

While “yet there is room,”

To a Saviour fly.

When Samuel was young,

He first knew the Lord,

He slept in his smile

And rejoiced in his word;

So most of God’s children

Are early brought night:

Oh, seek Him in youth—

To a Saviour fly.

Do you ask me for pleasure?

Then lean on his breast,

For there the sin-laden

And weary find rest.

In the valley of death

You will triumphing cry—

“If this be called dying,

“Tis pleasant to die!”

Jan. 1, 1831.

7 “thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”

When Israel knew not where to go.

God made the fiery pillar glow;

By night, by day, above the camp

It led the way—their guiding lamp:

Such is thy holy word to me

In day of dark perplexity.

When devious paths before me spread,

And all invite my foot to tread,

I hear thy voice behind me say—

“Believing soul, this is the way;

Walk thou in it.” O gentle Dove,

How much thy holy law I love!

My lamp and light

In the dark night

When Paul amid the seas seemed lost,

By Adrian billows wildly tossed,

When neither sun nor star appeared,

And every wave its white head reared

Above the ship, beside his bed

An angel stood, and “Fear not” said.

Such is thy holy word to me

When tossed upon affliction’s sea:

When floods come in unto my soul,

And the deep waters o’er me roll,

With angel voice thy word draws near

And says, “‘Tis I, why shouldst thou fear?

Through troubles great my saints must go

Into their rest, where neither woe

Nor sin can come; where every tear

From off the cheek shall disappear,

Wiped by God’s hand.” O gentle Dove,

Thy holy law how much I love!

My lamp and light

In the dark night

When holy Stephen dauntless stood

Before the Jews, who sought his blood.

With angel face he looked on high,

And wondering, through the parted sky.

Saw Jesus risen from his throne

To claim the martyr as his own.

Angelic peace that sight bestowed,

With holy joy his bosom glowed;

And while the murderous stones they hurled,

His heaven-wrapt soul sought yonder world

Of rest. “My spirit, Saviour, keep,”

He cried, he kneeled, he fell asleep.

Such be thy holy word to me

In hour of life’s extremity!

Although no more the murdering hand

Is raised within our peaceful land—

The church has rest, and I may ne’er

Be called the martyr’s crown to wear:

Yet still, in whatsoever form

Death comes to me—in midnight storm

Whelming my bark, or in my nest,

Gently dismissing me to rest,—

O grant me in thy word to see

A risen Saviour beckoning me.

No evil then my heart shall fear

In the dark valley. Thou art near!

My trembling soul and Thou, my God,

Alone are there; thy staff and rod

Shall comfort me. O gentle Dove,

How much thy holy law I love!

My lamp and light

In the dark night.


8. fountain of siloam

Isaiah 8:6.

Beneath Moriah’s rocky side

A gentle fountain springs;

Silent and soft its waters glide,

Like the peace the Spirit brings.

The thirsty Arab stoops to drink

Of the cool and quiet wave,

And the thirsty spirit stops to thine

Of Him who came to save.

Siloam is the fountain’s name,

It means “One sent from God;

And thus the Holy Saviour’s fame

It gently spreads abroad.

O grant that I, like this sweet well,

May Jesus’ image bear,

And spend my life, my all, to tell

How full his mercies are.

Foot of Carmel, June 1839.

9. the sea of galilee

How pleasant to me thy deep blue wave,

O sea of Galilee!

For the glorious One who came to save

Hath often stood by thee.

Fair are the lakes in the land I love,

Where pine and heather grow;

But thou hast loveliness far above

What Nature can bestow.

It is not that the wild gazelle

Comes down to drink thy tide,

But He that was pierced to save from hell

Oft wandered by thy side.

It is not that the fig-tree grows,

And palms, in thy soft air,

But that Sharon’s fair and bleeding Rose

Once spread its fragrance there.

Graceful around thee the mountains meet,

Thou calm reposing sea;

But ah! far more, the beautiful feet

Of Jesus walked o’er thee.

These days are past—Bethsaida, where?

Chorazin, where art thou?

His tent the wild Arab pitches there,

The wild reeds shade thy brow.

Tell me, ye mouldering fragments, tell,

Was the Saviour’s city here?

Lifted to heaven, has it sunk to hell,

With none to shed a tear?

Ah! would my flock from thee might learn

How days of grace will flee;

How all an offered Christ who spurn,

Shall mourn at last, like thee.

And was it beside this very sea,

The new-risen Saviour said

Three times to Simon, “Lovest thou me?

My lambs and sheep, then feed.”

O Saviour! gone to God’s right hand!

Yet the same Saviour still,

Graved on thy heart is this lovely strand

And every fragrant hill.

Oh! give me, Lord, by this sacred ways,

Threefold thy love divine,

That I may feed, till I find my grave,

Thy flock—both thine and mine.

Sea of Galilee, 16th July 1839.

10. to yonder side

Luke 8:22–25.

Behind the hills of Naphtali

The sun went slowly down,

Leaving on mountain, tower, and tree,

A tinge of golden brown.

The cooling breath of evening woke

The waves of Galilee,

Till on the shore the waters broke

In softest melody.

“Now launch the bark,” the Saviour cried—

The chosen twelve stood by—

“And let us cross to yonder side,

Where the hills are steep and high.”

Gently the bark o’er the water creeps.

While the swelling sail they spread,

And the wearied Saviour gently sleeps

With a pillow ‘neath his head.

On downy bed the world seeks rest,

Sleep files the guilty eye;

But he who leans on the Father’s break

May sleep when storms are nigh.

But soon the lowering sky grew dark

O’er Bashan’s rooky brow—

The storm rushed down upon the bark.

And waves dashed o’er the prow.

The pale disciples trembling spake,

While yawned the watery grave.

“We perish, Master! Master, wake!

Carest Thou not to save?”

Calmly He rose with sovereign will,

And hushed the storm to rest.

“Ye waves,” He whispered, “Peace! be still?”

They calmed like a pardoned breast.

So have I seen a fearful storm

O’er wakened sinner roll,

Till Jesus’ voice and Jesus’ form

Said, “Peace, thou weary soul”

And now He bends his gentle eye

His wondering followers o’er,

“Why raise this unbelieving cry?

I said, To yonder shore.”

When first the Saviour wakened me,

And showed me why He died,

He pointed o’er life’s narrow sea,

And said, “To fonder side.”

“I am the ark where Noah dwelt,

And heard the deluge roar:

No soul can perish that has felt

My rest—To yonder shore.”

Peaceful and calm the tide of life.

When first I sailed with Thee—

My sins forgiven—no inward strike—

My breast a glassy sea.

But soon the storm of passion raves—

My soul is tempest-tossed—

Corruptions rise, like angry waves:

“Help, Master, I am lost!”

“Peace! peace! be still thou raging breast,

My fulness is for thee”—

The Saviour speaks, and all is rest,

Like the wares of Galilee.

And now I feel his holy eye

Upbraids my heart of pride—

“Why raise this unbelieving cry?

I said, To yonder side.”

Begum at the Lake of Galilee, 15th July 1839.

11. On The Mediterranean Sea in The Bay Of Carmel

O Lord, this swelling, tideless sea

Is like thy love in Christ to me:

The ceaseless wares that fill the bay

Through flinty rooks hare worn their way,

And thy unceasing lore alone

Hath broken through this heart of stone.

The countless smile that gilds the deep

When sunbeams on the water sleep,

Is like thy countless smile of grace

When I am seen in Jesus’ face.

No ebbing tide these waters know,

Pure, placid, constant in their flow:

No ebb thy love to me hath known

Since first it chose me for thine own.

Or if, perchance, at thy command,

The wave retiring leaves the sand,

One moment all is dry, and then

It turns to fill the shore again:

So hare I found thy wondrous grace

Forsake my soul a little space;

Barren and cold, deserted, dry,

A helpless worm, to Thee I cry:

Thy face is hid a little while,

But with the morning comes thy smile—

Jesus once more his beauty shows,

And all my heart with peace o’erflows.

These deep blue waters lave the shore

Of Israel, as in days of yore!

Though Zion like a field is ploughed,

And Salem’s covered with a cloud—

Though briers and thorns are tangled o’er,

Where vine and olive twined before—

Though turbaned Moslems tread the gate,

And Judah sits most desolate—

Their nets o’er Tyre the fishers spread,

And Camel’s top is withered—

Yet still these waters clasp the shore

As kindly as they did before!

Such is thy love to Judah’s race,

A deep unchanging tide of grace.

Though scattered now at thy command,

They pine away in every land,

With trembling heart and failing eyes,

And deep the veil on Israel lies,

Yet still thy word Thou canst not break,

“Beloved for their fathers’ sake.”

18th July 1839, near Acre.

12. The child coming to jesus

Suffer me to come to Jesus,

Mother, dear, forbid me not;

By his blood from hell He frees us,

Makes us fair without a spot.

Suffer me, my earthly father,

At his pierced feet to fall:

Why forbid me? help me, rather;

Jesus is my all in all.

Suffer me to run unto Him:

Gentle sisters, come with me.

Oh that all I love but knew Him!

Then my home a heaven would be,

Loving playmates, gay and smiling.

Bid me not forsake the cross;

Hard to bear is your reviling,

Yet for Jesus all is dross.

Yes, though all the world have chid me,

Father, mother, sister, friend—

Jesus never will forbid me!

Jesus loves me to the end!

Gentle Shepherd, on thy shoulder

Carry me, a sinful lamb;

Give me faith, and make me bolder,

Till with Thee in heaven I am.

July 1841.

13. Oil In The Lamp

for a sabbath clam

Matt. 25:1–18.

Ten virgins, clothed in white,

The Bridegroom went to meet;

Their lamps were burning bright;

To guide his welcome feet.

Five of the band were wise—

Their lamps with oil filled high;

The rest this care despise,

And take their vessels dry.

Long time the Lord abode—

Down came the shades of night—

The weary virgins nod,

And then they sleep outright.

At midnight came the cry

Upon their startled ear:

Behold the Bridegroom nigh,

To light his steps appear!

They trim their lamps; in vain

The foolish virgins toil:

Our lamps are out, O deign

To give us of your oil!

Not so, the wise ones cry,

No oil have we to spare;

But swiftly run and buy,

That you the joy may share.

They went to buy, when lo!

The Bridegroom comes in state,

Within those ready go,

And shut the golden gate.

The foolish virgins now

Before the gateway crowd;

With terror on their brow

They knock and cry aloud:

“Lord, open is our call—

Hast Thou our names forgot?”

Sadly the accents fall—

“Depart, I know you not.”

Learn here, my child, how vain

This world, with all its lies;

Those who the kingdom gain

Alone are truly wise.

How vain the Christian name,

If still you live in sin:

A lamp and wick and flame,

No drop of oil within!

Is your lamp filled, my child,

With oil from Christ above?

Has He your heart, so wild,

Made soft and full of love?

then you are ready now

With Christ to enter in;

To see his holy brow,

And bid farewell to sin.

Sinners! behold the gate

Of Jesus open still;

Come, ere it be too late,

And enter if you will.

The Saviour’s gentle hand

Knocks at your door to-day;

But vain his loud demand—

You spurn his love away.

So at the Saviour’s door

You’ll knock, with trembling heart

The day of mercy o’er,

Jesus will say—Depart.


14. On J. T., A Believing Boy,

Who died Feb. 1842

I little thought, when last we met,

Thy sun on earth was nearly set:

I said what I can ne’er forget,

“Dear boy, we’ll meet again.”

Though thou wert tossed upon thy bed,

And sometimes criedst, “My head, my head!”

Vet still the smile came back—I said,

“Fair boy, we’ll meet again.”

No hope thy weeping mother had,

Thy sister’s face as pale and sad,

But thine was always bright and glad—

Dear boy, we’ll meet again.

“‘Twas kind,” thou saidst, “in God to die

For worms like me. Once I would fly

A darkened room—now Christ is nigh,”—

Fair boy, we’ll meet again.

“love you well, my mother dear—

I love you all, yet shed no tear—

I’d rather be with Christ than here—

Farewell, we’ll meet again.

“I fain would live to preach to men;

But, if my God should spare till then,

I would be loth to die again,”—

Dear boy, we’ll meet again.

The Sabbath-sun rose bright and clear

When thine was setting on us here,

To shine more bright in yonder sphere—

Farewell, we’ll meet again.

I stood beside thy silent bed:

Thy marble brow was cold and dead,

Thy gentle soul was fled—was fled—

Dear boy, we’ll meet again.

I saw thee in thy narrow rest,

The clods upon thy coffin pressed;

The clouds dropped tears, yet in my breast

God said, “We’ll meet again.”

Yes, parents, smile through all your tears;

A crown of life your darling wears;

The grave a shady porch appears,

To where we’ll meet again.

The precious dust beneath that lies,

Shall at the call of Jesus rise,

To meet the Bridegroom in the skies,

That day we’ll meet again.

Published: July 17, 2014, 14:48 | Comments Off on SONGS OF ZION
Category: ROSARY 4 z Bishop, ROSARY From The Bishop, teaching

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