Sunday, December 3, 2023

Tree of Jesse Coloring Page

Description of The Coloring Page: text, "A Shoot shall come out of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots." Isaiah 11:1, framed scripture, Jesus family tree on Earth, depicted kings, prophets and saints, genealogy  

Don't forget to drag the png. or jpg into a Word Document and enlarge the image as much as possible before printing it folks. If you have a question about this coloring page, just type into the comment box located directly below this post and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Child Catechism About: God

1. Question: What are the first words in the Bible?

  • Answer: ''In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.'' Gen. I:1.

2. Question: Who made you?

  • Answer: God made me. ''I have made the earth and created man upon it.'' Isaiah 45:12. and ''The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.'' Job 33:4.

3. Question: Who is God?

  • Answer: God is the Creator of all things. ''In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.'' Gen. 1:1.

4. Question: Where is God?

  • Answer: God is everywhere. ''Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I  fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.'' - Jer. 23:24.

5. Question: What does God know?

  • Answer: God knows all things. ''Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.'' Ps. 139: 2. and ''I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. - Ezek. 11:5. and ''The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Beholding the evil and the good.'' Ps. 15:3.

6. Question: What can God do?

  • Answer: ''God is Almighty. His power is only limited in action by His wisdom and will.'' - Gen. 1:3; 17:1.

7. Question: Had God a beginning?

  • Answer: God had no beginning. ''Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.'' Ps. 90: 2.

8. Question: Is God holy?

  • Answer: God is holy. He loves that which is good, and hates that which is evil. ''The Lord our God is holy.'' Ps. 99: 9. and ''Be ye holy; for I am holy.'' 1 Peter 1:16.

9. Question: Is God just?

  • Answer: God is just, ''a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.'' - Deut. 32:4

10. Question: Is God merciful?

  • Answer: ''The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercies.'' James 5:11.

11. Question: Is God righteous?

  • Answer: ''The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.'' Ps. 145: 17.

12. Question: Is God wise?

  • Answer: God is all-wise. He makes no mistakes.''O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.'' Rom. II: 33.

13. Question: Is God faithful?

  • Answer: God is faithful. ''God is faithful, by whom ye are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.'' 1 Cor. I:9.

14. Question: Is God good?

  • Answer: God is a good and loving Being, and the source of all good. James 1:17; Exod. 34:6; Ps. 145:9.

15. Question: Does God love us?

  • Answer: ''God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'' John 3:16.

16. Question: How ought we to feel towards God?

  • Answer: "We ought to love God, because He is worthy, and because He has first loved us. - 1 John 4: 10, 16, 19.

17. Question: By what name has Jesus taught us to call God?

  • Answer: Jesus has taught us to call God our Father. After this manner therefore pray ye: ''Our Father which art in heaven.'' Matt. 6 : 9.

18. Question: In how many persons has God revealed himself to us in the Bible?

  • Answer: The one living and true God has revealed Himself to us in three persons, called Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'' Matt. 28: 19.

19. Question: Tell how we can know God?

  • Answer: We can know God by faith and obedience and through experience. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.'' Heb. 11:6. and "And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'' John 17:3. and ''And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.'' 1 John 2:3. and ''Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth him.'' 1 John 4: 17.

Child Catechism About: The Bible


1. Question: What Is the Holy Bible?

  • Answer: The Holy Bible is the Word of God. "When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." I Thess. 2:13.

2. Question: Who wrote the Bible?

  • Answer: Holy men inspired of God wrote the Bible. "For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1: 21.

3. Question: How many books does the Bible contain?

  • Answer: The Bible is composed of sixty-six books, divided into two great parts, called the Old Testament and the New Testament.

4. Question: Tell how these two Testaments are related to each other.

  • Answer: The same plan of salvation is contained in both Testaments; but the old is the preparation for the New, and the New is the fulfillment of the Old.   

5. Question: What does the Bible reveal to us?

  • Answer: The Bible reveals God and his will to us.

6. Question: What is the Bible able to do for us?

  • Answer: The Bible is able to make us wise unto salvation. ''And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.'' 2 Tim. 3 ; 1.5.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Right Kind of Hands

"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully" Psalm 24:3-4

       Did  you  ever  stop  to  think  what  very  powerful  things hands  are?  It  is  with  our  brains  that  we  think,  and it  is  with  our  tongues  that  we  speak,  but  it  is  with  our hands  that  we  act.  They  can  be  used  for  doing  good, or  for  getting  into  mischief;  for  giving,  or  for  stealing; for  creating  beautiful  things,  or  for  destroying;  for healing,  or  for  hurting.  So  it  is  very  important  that we  should  have  the  right  kind  of  hands.
       Now  if  you  look  through  the  Bible  I  think  you  will find  that  the  right  kind  of  hands  are  "clean  hands." But  what  does  the  Bible  mean  when  it  speaks  about "clean  hands"?  Well,  perhaps  you  will  understand better  if  I  tell  you  a  story  which  I  read  the  other  day.
       There  was  once  a  Russian  princess  who  lived  in  a wonderful  palace  of  ice.  Her  parents  were  very  wealthy and  she  had  lots  of  fine  toys;  but  she  loved  best  of  all to  play  in  the  beautiful  garden  which  lay  around  the palace.  She  was  quite  contented  and  happy  until  one day  she  peeped  through  a  hole  in  the  high  hedge  which surrounded  the  garden.  Beyond  the  hedge  she  espied some  flowers  which  looked  far  more  gorgeous  than  those in  her  own  garden. She  was  just  going  to  squeeze herself  through  the  hedge  when  her  nurse  pulled  her back  and  told  her  that  although  the  flowers  looked  so fine,  they  were  really  poisonous  and  if  she  plucked them  they  would  stain  her  hands  forever.
       Well,  the  princess  was  like  a  great  many  people  who are  older  and  wiser.  Just  because  the  flowers  were forbidden  they  seemed  all  the  more  desirable.  And the  more  she  thought  about  them  the  more  she  wanted them.  So  at  last  she  found  an  opportunity  to  escape from  her  nurse.  She  broke  through  the  hedge  and gathered  a  great  bunch  of  the  gorgeous  flowers  and  she carried  them  back  in  triumph  to  show  her  nurse  how foolish  she  had  been  to  forbid  them.
       But  when  she  laid  down  her  bouquet  and  looked  at her  hands,  she  saw  that  they  were  all  stained  just  as if  they  had  been  burned  black.  Moreover  the  fumes arising  from  the  flowers  had  darkened  her  face  and dimmed  her  eyes.  And  the  worst  of  it  was  that  she was  never  quite  the  same  afterwards.  Her  face  never became  really  white  again,  and  she  always  sat  with her  hands  hidden  in  her  lap,  palms  downward,  to  hide the  ugly  stains  that  would  not  come  off.
       Now  there  are  two  kinds  of  stains  we  get  on  our hands.  The  first  kind  comes  off  and  the  second  kind doesn't.  The  first  is  the  kind  we  get  when  we  go  out to  play  or  to  dig  in  the  garden.  Generally  we  come in  with  very  grimy  hands,  but  a  good  scrub  with  soap and  water  soon  puts  them  right.  The  second  is  the kind  that  we  get  when  we  do  anything  mean,  or unworthy,  or  dishonest,  and  that  is  the  kind  the  Bible  means  us  to  avoid  when  it  talks  about  "clean  hands." No  amount  of  washing  or  scrubbing  on  our  part  will take  those  stains  away. Like  the  flowers  of  the Russian  princess  they  soil  and  spoil  our  hands  for  life.
       Would  you  like  to  know  the  names  of  some  of  the things  that  make  our  hands  black  and  ugly?
        First  there  is  stealing.  That  puts  a  very  black stain  on  them.  Perhaps  most  of  you  think  that  at any  rate  you  haven't  got  that  mark  on  your  hands. But  are  you  quite  sure  about  it?  You  know  there are  more  ways  of  stealing  than  one.  You  can  steal just  as  much  by  taking  little  things  as  big  things,  by taking  lumps  of  sugar  or  bits  of  cake  or  marbles.  And you  can  steal  other  things  besides  money  or  goods. You  can  steal  time  by  being  idle  when  you  ought  to be  busy.  You  can  steal  another  boy's  brains  by copying  his  exercise  instead  of  taking  the  trouble  to write  your  own. 
         And  another  thing  that  stains  our  hands  is  greed. Now  although  greed  is  not  quite  the  same  as  stealing, it  is  a  very  near  relative - a  first  cousin,  I  should  think. When  we  steal  we  take  what  belongs  to  somebody  else by  right;  when  we  grab  we  take  something  that  somebody else  has  an  equal  right  to  with  us,  and  we  take it  quite  regardless  of  their  share  of  the  right.  The grabby  person  takes  the  biggest  cake  and  the  rosiest apple  and  the  best  place  in  a  game,  and  when  he  grows older  he  grabs  the  best  position  and  doesn't  mind  how much  he  pushes  to  get  other  people  out  of  it.
       And  the  worst  of  it  is  that  grabbing  is  so  very  near to  stealing  that  sometimes  we  can  scarcely  tell  when we  go  from  one  to  the  other.  When  we  are  trying  to take  all  we  can  get  it  is  so  easy  to  take  a  little  more than  we  are  entitled  to  have.  Well,  I'm  not  going  to say  anything  about  how  greedy  people  are  disliked, but  I  want  you  to  remember  that  greed  not  only  stains our  hands  but  also  twists  and  deforms  them  and nothing  we  can  do  will  put  them  straight  again.
       Another  thing  that  stains  our  hands  is  cruelty. And  I  think  that  puts  the  blackest  mark  of  all  on them.  It  is  the  mark  which  shows  that  we  are  no better  than  the  beasts,  that  in  fact  we  are  a  great deal  worse,  because  the  beasts  have  not  brains  to invent  forms  of  torture,  or  consciences  to  tell  them they  are  doing  wrong.  Now  I  think  you  will  notice something  if  you  read  the  lives  of  really  great  men - they  were  nearly  always  kind  to  animals  and little  weak  things.  God  has  made  some  things  helpless and  dependent  on  us.  We  could  all  use  our superior  strength  to  torment  them.  That  is  easy. What  is  not  so  easy  is  to  care  for  and  protect  them and  keep  ourselves  from  hurting  and  oppressing  them when  we  feel  tempted  to. That  shows  real  strength.
       We  have  thought  of  three  particular  ways  in  which we  blacken  our  hands - by  stealing,  by  grabbing,  by cruelty.  But  indeed  every  kind  of  wrong-doing  soils our  hands,  so  we  can't  help  getting  them  more  or  less stained  as  we  go  through  life.
       Now  if  you  read  the  psalm  from  which  our  text  is taken  you  will  see  that  nobody  is  fit  to  enter  God's presence  with  soiled  hands.  And  we  have  seen  that no  amount  of  scrubbing  on  our  part  can  take  away  the stains.  Then  what  are  we  to  do?  Shall  we  never  get rid  of  those  stains  and  shall  we  never  be  fit  to  stand  in God's  holy  place?  Yes,  there  is  one  way.  We  can take  them  to  Jesus  and  we  can  ask  Him  to  wash  them and  to  keep  them  clean.  He  alone  is  able  to  do  it,  and He  will  do  it  if  we  ask  Him. Hastings

A Song of Love and Faith

 "The  Lord  is  my  shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:" Psalm 23 1-6

       Your  mother  taught  you  many  things  that  you  did  not understand  at  the  time.  The  twenty-third  Psalm  was among  them.  You  liked  the  swing  of  "The  Lord's  my Shepherd,"  and  every  verse  of  it  made  a  picture  in  your mind,  but  you  did  not  think  about  its  meaning.  You could  not,  however,  help  having  some  thoughts  of  your own  about  the  first  verse.
       The  twenty-third  Psalm  is  one  of  the  first  memory lessons  given  to  a  boy  or  girl.  The  reason  is  because it  is  so  simple  and  beautiful.  And  somehow  one  never forgets  the  words  of  it.  There  are  old  people  who seem  to  have  forgotten  everything  they  ever  learned, but  if  anyone  starts  this  old  psalm  they  will  finish  it just  like  a  Sunday-school  scholar.  
       Like  many  simple  things  the  twenty-third  Psalm  is full  of  meaning.  What  is  better,  it comes  straight from  the  heart  of  the  writer,  and  he  never  says  more than  he  feels.  Great  singers  or  poets  have  a  way  of writing  songs  that  make  plain,  simple  folk  discover  the same  feelings  within  themselves.
       The  poet  Burns  did  this. His  gift  of  song  came from  Grod,  and  all  the  time  it  was  just  as  if  he  remembered things  that  had  happened  to  him,  and  wrote down  his  thoughts.  Once,  when  ploughing  a  field,  he frightened  a  little  field  mouse.  Burns  was  very  tenderhearted. When  he  went  home  at  night  that  tiny creature,  quivering  with  fright  in  his  hand  and  looking at  him  with  its  keen  black  eyes,  was  always  in  his  mind. So  he  sat  down  and  wrote  what  is  one  of  the  finest  of his  short  poems,  and  it  is  all  about  this  little  mouse.
       Burns  was  a  ploughman.  When  King  David  was  a young  lad  he  was  a  shepherd.  A shepherd's  life  was for  him  a  glorious  life,  for  he  was  strong  then,  and  he was  lithe  like  those  of  you  who  are  in  training  for  the school  sports.  David  could  leap  from  rock  to  rock,  with feet  that  were,  as  he  himself  said,  "like  hinds'  feet."
       You  must  not  think  of  David  as  being  like  the shepherds  you  see  in  this  country.  As  his  father's shepherd  in  the  fields  of  Judaea,  he  walked  before  his sheep,  they  followed  him,  and  the  dogs  brought  up  the rear.  Eastern  sheep  are  very  tame;  they  follow  their keeper  just  as  a  house  dog  follows  his  master.  The shepherd  leads  them  where  he  pleases.  That  is generally  to  some  place  where  they  can  find  green grass  and  clear  water.  Then  he  is  constantly  having to  protect  them  from  danger.  Often  the  path  lies  down the  side  of  some  ravine  where  a  single  slip  of  the  feet would  mean  death.  There  are  dangers,  too,  from  robbers and  wild  beasts.  You  know  the  story  of  how  David  killed both  a  lion  and  a  bear.  To  the  brave  young  shepherd, that  must  have  been,  as  we  say,  "great  sport."
       But  David  was  thoughtful  all  the  time.  Long  afterwards those  happy  days  came  back  to  his  mind.  They brought  thoughts  that  he  felt  he  must  write  down;  they were  about  God,  and  that  is  how  we  have  "The  Lord's my  Shepherd."  From  beginning  to  end  the  twenty-third  Psalm  is  full  of  the  pictures  you  know  so  well. "I  cared  for  my  sheep;  God  will  care  for  me;  He  will
lead  me  to  the  green  pastures  beside  the  still  waters. If  I  keep  near  Him  He  will  help  me  to  do  the  right thing."  With  God  as  the  Great  Shepherd,  David  felt safe,  not  only  for  this  life  but  "forever."
       The  songs  of  Burns  were  mostly  about  human  love. This  great  song  of  David's  is  a  song  about  the  love  of God:  and  not  only  that,  it  is  a  song  of  faith.  Faith,  as you  know,  is  just  trust.  You  are  old  enough  to  be saying  to  yourselves,  "I  wonder  what  sort  of  life  I shall  have  when  I  grow  up."  David  had  his  answer -

Goodness  and  mercy  all  my  life
Shall  surely  follow  me:
And  in  God's  house  for  evermore
My  dwelling-place  shall  be.

He  was  sure  about  it  because  he  had  known  God  as  his Friend  for  a  long  time.  His  life  had  been  a  story  of doing  wrong,  confessing  his  fault,  and  being  forgiven.  So it  seemed  to  him  when  he  looked  back.  What  could  he say  that  was  better  than  "The  Lord  is  my  Shepherd." Hastings

Shepherd,  on  before  thy  sheep.
Hear  thy  lamb  that  bleats  behind!
Scarce  the  track  I  stumbling  keep! 
Through  my  thin  fleece  blows  the  wind!

Turn  and  see  me,  Son  of  Man!
Turn  and  lift  thy  Father's  child;
Scarce  I  walk  where  once  I  ran :
Carry  me - the  wind  is  wild!

Thou  art  strong - thy  strength  wilt  share;
My  poor  weight  thou  wilt  not  feel;
Weakness  made  thee  strong  to  bear,
Suffering  made  thee  strong  to  heal!

I  were  still  a  wandering  sheep
But  for  thee,  O  Shepherd-man!
Following  now,  I  faint,  I  weep.
Yet  I  follow  as  I  can !

Shepherd,  if  I  fall  and  lie
Moaning  in  the  frosty  wind,
Yet,  I  know,  I  shall  not  die -
Thou  wilt  miss  me - and  wilt  find! 

The  Poetical  Works  of  George  Macdonald.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Banner of Victory

"We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: The LORD fulfill all thy petitions. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; He will hear him from his holy heaven With the saving strength of his right hand." Psalms 20:5-9

       On  the  day  the  Armistice  was  signed,  I  walked  down the  streets  of  one  of  our  big  cities  and  what  do  you think  I  saw?  Well,  just  what  you  might  have  seen  in any  of  the  cities  or  towns  of  Scotland  that  day - crowds of  boys  and  girls  shouting  and  singing  and  waving  flags. Most  of  the  people  I  met  were  smiling,  but  the  boys and  girls  were  the  happiest  of  all  as  they  waved  their banners  of  victory.  It  was  the  greatest  day  in  their lives.
       Now,  boys  and  girls,  what  you  did  that  day  I  want you  to  do  always.  I want you always  to carry  a Banner  of  Victory  and  the  other  name  of  that  Banner is  the  Banner  of  Righteousness.
       The  psalm  from  which  our  text  is  taken  might  be called  the  National  Anthem  of  Israel.  It used  to  be sung  before  the  Israelites  went  out  to  battle.  The Israelites  were God's chosen people. When they fought  they  felt  that  it  was  God's  battles  they  were fighting. So  when  they  went forth to  battle  it  was  in His  name  they  set  up  their  banners  and  then  they  felt sure  of  victory.
       Now  the  Banner  of  Righteousness  has  God's  name on  it  and  that  means  two  things.  It means,  first,  that we  are  fighting  for  Him  and,  second,  that  He  is  fighting for  us.
      It  means  that  we  art  fighting  for  Him.  All  those who  fight  for  right  within  and  without  are fighting  for God.  But  why  should  we  fight  for  right?  I  want  to give  you  three  reasons.
        The  first  is  that  anyone  who  is  not  on  the  side of  right  will  be  quite  out  of  it.  It  is  going  to  be  the  fashion,  as  it  never  was  before,  to  champion  right  and justice.  But  that  is  a  poor  reason.  I  shall give you a better.
       That  is  that  we  owe  it  to  the  men  who  laid  down their  lives  for  us.  They  died  for  us  and  for  the  cause of  righteousness,  but  they  left  their  work  unfinished. I  don't  suppose  there  is  a  boy  here  who  hasn't  regretted that  he  wasn't  old  enough  to  go  and  fight.  But,  boys, there  is  something  for  you  to  do  too.  You  can  live  for the  cause  they  died  for.  You  can  take  up  the  task they  laid  down.  You  can  fill  the  blank - you  and  you alone.  Will  you  do  it?  Will  you stand  for  all  that is  brave  and  true  and  honorable  and  pure?
       That  brings  me  to  the  third  reason, because  the country,  the  world,  is  looking  to  the  boys  and  girls  to  build it  up  again.  And  you  can  never  have  a  good  world without  good  people  in  it.
       Boys  and  girls,  have  you  realized  how  tremendous it  is  to  be  alive  today,  how  stupendous  it  is  just  to  be a  boy  or  a  girl?    I  would  give  a  gold  mine  to  be  a  boy or  a  girl  just  now. You  are  standing  at  the  beginning of  a  new  era,  and  what  sort  of  era  it  is  going  to  be depends  largely  upon  you.  What  kind  of  world  are you  going  to  make,  boys  and  girls?  We  are  waiting to  see.
      But  there  is  one  thing  we  must  not  forget,  for  if we  forget  it  our  Banner  of  Victory  may  turn  into  a Banner  of  Defeat.  If  God's  name  is  on  our  banner then  it  means  that  He  is  fighting  for  us.  He  is  fighting for  us  when  we  are  fighting  for  Him,  and  that  means that  we  are  under  His  protection  and  can  suffer  no harm.
       Once  during  a  time  of  martial  law  in  Havana  there was  a  street  row  and  a  man  was  shot.  Everyone  ran away  except  one  Englishman  who  had  nothing  to  do with  the  row.  As  he  was  on  the  spot  he  was  arrested. Somebody  was  found  to  swear  that  he  was  guilty,  and he  was  sentenced  to  be  shot  the  following  morning.
       Now  news  of  what  had  happened  came  to  the  ears of  the  British  consul,  and  the  next  day  he  went  to  the place  of  execution  and  claimed  the  man  as  a  British subject.  The  officer  in  command  of  the  firing  party showed  his  orders  and  said  he  could  not  release  his prisoner.  Then  the  consul  asked  permission  to  shake hands  with  the  condemned  man  before  he  was  shot. This  the  officer  granted,  and  the  consul  walked  up drew  a  Union  Jack  out  of  his  pocket,  and  threw  it round  the  Englishman.  "Now,"  he  said,"  shoot  if  you dare ! "  The  officer  could  not  shoot through  the  flag without  insulting  the  British  nation,  so  he  applied  to the  Governor  for instructions,  and  the  prisoner's  innocence was  soon  proved.
       There  is  a  verse  in  the  Song  of  Songs  which  contains these  words,  "His  banner  over  me was  love."  If  God's love  is  all  round  us  and  over  us  then  no  enemy  can really  harm  us.  We  may  bear  the  scars  of  many  a tough  fight,  but  we  shall  win  through  in  the  end.

Land  of  our  birth,  we  pledge  to  thee
Our  love  and  toil  in  the  years  to  be ;
When  we  are  grown  and  take  our  place,
As  men  and  women  with  our  race.

Father  in  heaven,  who  lovest  all,
Oh  help  Thy  children  when  they  call;
That  they  may  build,  from  age  to  age,
An  undefiled  heritage.

Teach  us  to  bear  the  yoke  in  youth,
"With  steadfastness  and  careful  truth ;
That,  in  our  time.  Thy  grace  may  give
The  truth  whereby  the  nations  live.

Teach  us  to  rule  ourselves  alway,
Controlled  and  cleanly  night  and  day ;
That  we  may  bring,  if  need  arise,
No  maimed  or  worthless  sacrifice.

Teach  us  to  look,  in  all  our  ends.
On  Thee  for  judge,  and  not  our  friends;
That  we,  with  Thee,  may  walk  uncowed
By  fear  or  favor  of  the  crowd.

Teach  us  the  strength  that  cannot  seek.
By  deed  or  thought,  to  hurt  the  weak;
That,  under  Thee,  we  may  possess
Man's  strength  to  comfort  man's  distress.

Teach  us  delight  in  simple  things,
And  mirth  that  has  no  bitter  springs;
Forgiveness  free  of  evil  done,
And  love  to  all  men  'neath  the  sun!

Land  of  our  birth,  our  faith,  our  pride.
For  whose  dear  sake  our  fathers  died;
O  Motherland,  we  pledge  to  thee,
Head,  heart,  and  hand  through  the  years  to  be!

Kudyard  Kipling,  The  Children's  Song.

The Marriage Feast In Cana


THERE was a marriage feast in Galilee;
The festal board was spread with viands
The joyous guests had met in commune sweet,
And he, the Man of Nazareth, was there.

Yes, he was there, that marriage, Eden-born,
Might share the sanction of his presence
That round this holy ritual he might throw
A sacred halo, glorious and complete.

"The wine has failed; "the murmuring word
is passed.
And soon from lip to lip is borne to him;
Then sweeter far than music sounds his voice,
''Fill ye these water vessels to the brim. "  

'Tis done: and wine, rare, purple. rich, and
Th' astonished servants, smiling, bear away;
The while, methinks, the wondering guests
"Ah, we have seen strange things —
strange things to-day."

New, unfermented wine, the Master made.
Not the mad wine that fills the drunkard's
But such as he, the bridegroom, gives his
Who at the marriage of the Lamb shall sup,
And drink it new within that kingdom fair —
His Father's glorious kingdom over there.

E'en thus it is along life's rugged path;
Ofttimes it seems the wine of life is spent.
And we have nought to offer those we love
But empty vessels, tears, and discontent.

O let us fill these empty vessels full
With flowing sap, fresh from the living
And we shall find, before the feast is done,
That He has turned life's water into wine

The Baptism and Temptation


At last th' appointed hour has come;
Christ bows 'neath Jordan's swelling wave;
The mighty Baptist leads him forth
Triumphant from that watery grave.

And from the heaven, serene and blue,
While wondering souls with awe are stirred,
A dove-like form appears in view,
Th' Eternal Father's voice is heard:
''Lo, this is my beloved Son —
The Prince of Peace, th' Anointed One!"
O holy hour! O sacred spot!
And yet, and yet, they knew him not.

And now the Spirit leads him far
From busy haunts of life away,
Where gloomy shades of darkness are,
'Mong fierce and angry beasts of prey;
The Holy Spirit bids him go
To wrestle with the wily foe.

There, in that wilderness alone,
With fainting form and pallid face,
Grievous temptations fierce and strong
He suffers, for our fallen race.

But with the Spirit's mighty sword
The prince of hell is put to flight;
The strength of the Eternal Word
Has conquered in Jehovah's might.

O tempted heart! when sorely tried
Amid life's desert, drear and broad,
When hope and strength and courage fail,
Look up, and put thy trust in God.

He will not fail thee; he who bore
Temptations fierce and long for thee,
Who in the wilderness prevailed.
Will give thee strength and victory.

What Is Your Wish?

"May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!" Psalm 20:4 

       What  do  you  wish  for  most?  Tell  me,  and  I  shall  tell you  what  sort  of  a  boy  or  girl  you  are.  For  your wishes  are  like  a  handful  of  grass  thrown  up  into the  air ;  the  grass  shows  which  way  the  wind  blows, and  your  wishes  show  the  real  you.  You  think that  you  make  your  wishes.  So  you  do.  But  your wishes  also  make  you,  and  what  you  wish  for  most you  are.
       Now  everyone  has  wishes,  from  baby,  who  holds out  his  chubby  hand  to  reach  a  biscuit  or  a  favorite toy,  to  grandfather  and  grandmother,  who  wish  for  a cozy  fireside,  a  footstool  at  their  feet,  and  a  kind  little grandchild  to  run  their  errands,  unlace  their  boots,  and warm  their  slippers  at  the  fire.
       We  begin  to  wish  as  soon  as  we  are  born,  and  we keep  on  wishing  though  we  live  to  be  a  hundred  and twenty.  But  it  is  when  we  are  young  that  we  wish the  hardest;  and  the  boy  or  girl  who  has  no  wishes does  not  exist.  If  such  a  child  were  to  be  found  he would  be  worth  exhibiting  in  a  museum  or  a  menagerie with  a  label  round  his  neck,  and  on  it  these  words ''The  Only  Specimen." 
       When  we  are  young  we  long  for  many  things. We  usually  long  in  the  first  place  to  be  grown-up. We  think  it  would  be  perfect  to  be  done  with  school and  lessons,  to  be  free  to  do  exactly  as  we  like.  The extraordinary  part  of  it  is  that  grown-up  people generally  long  to  be  young.  They  say,  "Oh!  if  only  we were  children  again!"  They  have  tried  both  childhood and  manhood  and  they  prefer  childhood.  So  you  see  there must  be  something  specially  nice  about  being  young,  and you  needn't  be  in  too  great  a  hurry  to  grow  up.
       Some  of  you  are  longing  to  be  grown-up  because  you wish  to  be  doctors,  or  nurses,  or  lawyers,  or  teachers, or  carpenters,  or  engine-drivers,  or  motormen,  or  pilots. You  are  counting  the  years  till  you  can  be  what you  have  set  your  heart  upon  being.
       Then,  besides  these  big  wishes  for  the  future,  you have  ever  so  many  little  wishes  for  the  present.  You are  wishing  for  a  watch,  or  a  bicycle,  or  a  fishing-rod and  tackle,  or  flashlight,  or  a  set  of  tools,  or  a cricket-bat,  or  a  football,  or  a  hockey  stick,  or - but you  see  we  could  go  on  all  morning,  just  counting your  different  wishes !
       Then  some  of  us  have  wishes  that  we  are  too  shy  to put  into  words.  We  want  to  be  honorable  and  brave and  true  and  good,  to  love  God  and  help  others,  but we'd  rather  not  speak  about  that. These  wishes  are somehow  sacred  things.
       Now  let  me  tell  you  a  secret.  What  we  wish  for most  we  often  get. If - and  this  is  the  important  half  of the  secret - if  we  only  wish  it  hard  enough. Yes, that's  true,  although  some  of  you  will  say  it  sounds  too good  to  be  true.  It  is  because  of  this.  If  you  want  a thing  very  badly  you  bend  all  your  will  towards  getting it.  You  try  every  road  that  you  think  will  reach  it. You  "leave  no  stone  unturned,"  as  the  saying  is,  till you  get  that  wish  fulfilled.  You  see,  you  do  more  than say,  "I  should  like,"  you  do  more  than  say,  "I  wish.''  You  say,  "I  will"  and  you  get  it.
       That  sounds  rather  nice.  Yes,  but  to  me  it  also sounds  rather  dangerous.  The  nice  bit  is  that  it teaches  you  not  to  be  content  with  merely  wishing things  in  a  halfhearted  way.  It encourages  you  to stick  in  and  get  them.  Success  comes  to  the  boy  or girl  who  determines  to  succeed.  The  dangerous  bit  is that  you  may  want  the  wrong  things,  and  hurt  yourselves and  others  in  getting  them.  There  are  people in  the  world  to-day  who  have  wanted  certain  things  so tremendously  that  they  have  trampled  on  faith  and love  and  honor  and  justice  to  get  them. And  when they  have  got  them,  these  same  things  have  tasted  as dust  and  ashes  in  their  mouth. They  wish  now  that they  had  never  wished  for  them.
       So  we  must  be  careful  to  wish  right  wishes,  and  we must  try  to  get  them  in  a  right  way.  If  we  do  not  get them  we  shall  know  that  God  thinks  it  is  best  for  us  not to  have  these  wishes  granted.  But  that  need  not  keep us  from  wishing  other  wishes  or  even  the  same  wishes, for  God  may  fulfill  our  heart's  desires  in  another  way.
       There  was  a  very  famous  American  doctor  whose dream  as  a  boy  was  to  become  a  great  surgeon.  His father  was  dead  and  his  mother  was  very  poor.  Because  medical  training  is  very  expensive,  it  did  not  look  as if  he  would  see  his  dream  fulfilled.  But  he  worked and  he struggled  and  he  studied,  he  overcame tremendous  obstacles,  and  at  the  age  of  thirty  he found  himself  assistant  to  a  great  American  professor of  surgery.  It  looked  as  if  he  were  really  going  to  get his  wish  at  last.
       Then  a  terrible  thing  happened.  He  developed  a peculiar  form  of  skin  disease  which  meant  that  he couldn't  perform  ordinary  operations.  He  was  in total despair!  So desperate was he that he  thought  of  taking  his own  life;  but  fortunately  he  told  his  professor,  and that  wise  man  said,  "You  can't  do  wet  surgery,  but why  not  try  dry  surgery?" (bloodless surgery)  Within  twenty  years that  boy  was  world-famous.  He  had  gained  his  desire to  be  a  great  surgeon,  but  he  was  not  the  kind  of surgeon  he  had  first  set  out  to  be.
       And  that  is  the  way  with  some  of  our  wishes.  God does  not  grant  us  them  exactly.  He  fulfills  them another  way  because  He  wants  us  to  do  other  work  for Him.  But  He  still  wants  us  to  keep  on  wishing  and bringing  our  wishes  to  Him.  Some  wishes  He  will grant  us  here  and  now.  Some  He  may  refuse  because they  would  harm us  if  we  got  them.  Some  He  will keep  to  grant  us  in  that  better  country  where  all  noble longings  and  all  unselfish  desires  will  be  grandly  and wonderfully  fulfilled

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

What Color Is Your Lamp?

 "For thou  wilt  light  my  lamp: Jehovah my God will lighten my darkness." Psalms 18:28 

       Have  you  ever   heard    of    the  wonderful    game    of "lantern-bearers"  played  by  Robert  Louis  Stevenson when  he  was  a  boy?   He  and  his  friends  played  it on  the  shore  at  North  Berwick  long  ago,  but  you  can read  about  it  today  in  his  essay,  The  Lantern-bearers. That  essay  doesn't  read  a  bit  like  the  ordinary  school essay  we  all  know,  and  some  of  us  hate.  It  is  more like  a  fascinating  story.   It  tells  how  Louis  stole  out of  his  house  in  the  evenings  of  late  September  when the  holidays  were  almost  at  an  end,  and  the  nights were  already  dark.  He  was  buttoned  up  to  the  chin in  his  overcoat,  but  there  was  a  mysterious  bulge  at his  waist,  and  there  hung  about  him  a  strong  smell of  toasting  tin.  He  hurried  over  the  links  with  a  walk that   spelt   mystery,  and  by  and  by  he  met  another figure  equally  bulging,  and  equally  smelling  of  blistered tin. "Have  you  got  your  lantern?"  whispered  Louis anxiously.  "Yes," was the  all-important  reply,  and together  the two  hurried   over  the  links   to  a  spot previously  agreed  upon. 
       When  four  or  five  such  figures  had  gathered  they climbed  into  an  empty  fishing-boat,  or  crouched  down in  some  sheltered  hollow.  Then the  top-coats were unbuttoned,  and  the  mysterious  bulge  and  the  tinny smell  resolved  themselves  into  a  bull's-eye  lantern fastened  to  a  cricket  belt.  In  the  flickering  light  of the  lanterns,  and  with  the  wind  sweeping  over  the links,  the  boys  talked  of  matters  both  wild  and  exciting. But  the  talk  was  nothing  compared  to  the  joy  of  being a  lantern-bearer.  "The  essence  of  this  bliss,"  as Stevenson  tells  us,  "was  to  walk  by  yourself  in  the black night; the  slide  shut;  the  top-coat  buttoned; not  a  ray  escaping  ...  a  mere  pillar  of  darkness  in  the dark;  and  all  the  while... to  know  you  had  a  bull's-eye at  your  belt,  and  to  exult  and  sing  over  the  knowledge."
       Now,  we  don't  play  at  "lantern-bearers"  like  Robert Louis  Stevenson;  nevertheless  we  all  carry  hidden lamps  or  lanterns.  The  lamps  themselves  are  hidden, but  their  light  shines  out  plainly  whether  we  will it  or  no.  No  buttoned-up  coat  can  conceal  their  flame.
       Many  of  us  have  lamps  that  burn  a  fiery  red  light, others  have  lamps  that  show  a  cold  green,  others,  again, have  lamps  that  glimmer  a  muddy  purple.  But  some of  us  carry  lamps  whose  flame  shines  steady  gold. That  sounds  as  mysterious  as  the  bulge  under  the overcoat,  doesn't  it?
       What  color  of  lamp  have  you?  I  can  tell  you;  for though  I  don't  see  the  actual  flame  I  can  tell  by  your face  and  your  actions  the  color  your  lamp  is  burning. Is  your  lamp  burning  red ?  Then  I'm  afraid  there  will be  angry  sparks  in  your  eyes  and  a  black  line  between your  brows.  Your  hands  will  often  be  clenched.  Your feet  will  be  given  to  stamping.  You  will  flare  up  at trifles.  And  people  will  say,  "What  a  dreadful
       Is  your  light  green?  Then  your  eyes  will  always  be looking  round  the  corner  at  someone  else's  belongings. ''I  wish  I  had  nice  clothes  like  So-and-so."  "  It's  a shame  that  such  and  such  a  person  has  so  many treats."  "I  want  this."  "Give  me  that."  "Me too! "  will  be  the  words  that  are  of oftenest  on  your  lips. Hard  lines  will  grow  round  your  mouth,  and  your companions  will  say,  "Grabby  thing!"  because  your lamp  will  be  showing  the  green  light  of  jealousy  and greed.
       Does  your  lamp  burn  darkish  purple?  Then  your mouth  will  have  a  droop  at  each  corner  and  a  pout in  the  middle.  Your  eyes  will  seem  only  half  open. You  will  skulk  about  in  corners  and  look  altogether  a most  unpleasant  person.  And  outsiders  will  remark "The  sulks  again!"
       Does  your  lamp  give  a  beautiful  golden  glow? Then  your  eyes  will  be  clear  and  bright. Your  lips will  be  ready  to  smile.  You'll  be  jolly  and  happy,  and willing  to  run  an  errand  or  lend  a  helping  hand. You'll  sing  or  whistle  at  your  work,  and  your  friends will  say - well,  I  think  I  had  better  not  tell  you  what they  will  say.  It  might  make  you  conceited.
       Have  you  caught  the  idea?  Our  hidden  lamps  are our  characters,  our  natures,  our dispositions,  our  tempers - whichever  you  like  to  call  them. They  shine out unmistakably  in  our faces  and  our  actions.  We  may  try to  pretend  to  others  that  we  are  burning  a  golden  light, when  our  flame  is  really  red  or  green  or  purple;  but we  shall  not  be  able  to  keep  up  the pretense long.  Sooner  or  later  the  true  color  will  show.
       Now,  how  shall  we  contrive  to  burn  a  golden  flame? It  depends  on  who  lights  our  lamp  and  how  we  trim  it. You  see  it  is  not  a  case  of  the  glass  being  colored.  It is  a  case  of  the  flame  itself  having  a  color.
       If  we  ourselves  light  our  lamps  we  shall  find  that our  flames  will  be,  at  the  best,  unsatisfactory.  Some days  they  will  burn  one  color,  some  days  another. We  shall  never  be  able  to  depend  on  them.  The  only way  to  make  sure  of  the  true  golden  light  is  to  ask God  to  light  them  for  us.  Our  text  says,  "Thou  wilt light  my  lamp."  And  "Thou"  is  just  God.  If  we  tell Him  that  we  want  to  be  His  lamps  and  to  shine  for Him,  He  will  pour  into  us  the  oil  of  His  Holy  Spirit and  set  us  afire  with  His  love.
       Then  when  He  has  lit  the  flame  we  must  trim  it carefully,  for  of  course  you  know  that  a  badly-trimmed lamp  never  burns  well.  The  trimming  is  our  duty - not  God's - and  trimming  our  lamps  means  prayer. That  is  the  best  preparation  for  any  day's  work.  That will  keep  our  flame  pure  and  bright.  Then  the  world will  see  that  we  are  trying  to  be  God's  children,  for our  lamps  are  burning  steady  gold. Hastings.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent 1886

The Apple of The Eye

 ''Keep  me  as  the  apple  of  the  eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me''  Psalm  17: 8

You are the apple of His eye...
       What  is  the  "apple  of  the  eye"?  It  is  the  little round  black  spot  in  the  very  center  which  we  call the  pupil.  Of  all  the  parts  of  the  eye  that  we  can see,  the  pupil  is  the  most  important  because  it  is through  it  that  the  light  enters,  and  if  anything happens  to  injure  it  seriously  we  become  blind.
       When  the  psalmist  wants  God  to  keep  him  very safe  he  asks  Him  to  keep  him  as  the  apple  of  the  eye. I  wonder  what  he  means  by  that?
        Well,  first  I  think  he  wants  to  be  protected  by  a great  many  safeguards.  If  you  read  a  little  farther  in the  psalm  you  will  see  that  the  psalmist  is  surrounded by  many  fierce  enemies,  both  seen  and  unseen.  Some of  them  he  compares  to  a  lion  "greedy  of  his  prey " and  "a  young  lion  lurking  in  secret  places,"  and  he feels  that  he  needs  to  be  specially  taken  care  of.
       Now  the  eye  is  a  delicate  organ  and  can  very  easily be  hurt,  but  it  is  specially  taken  care  of.  God  has taken  pains  to  protect  it.
       Would  you  like  to  hear  about  some  of  its  defenses?
       Well,  first  there  are   the   outworks - the  eyebrows, and  the  eyelashes,  and  the  eyelids.  And  what  are their  use?  The  eyebrows  prevent  the  moisture  of the  brow  from  running  down  into  the  eyes.  That moisture  is  really  poisonous  and  besides  blurring  our vision  would  injure  our  eyes.  The  eyelashes  act  as a  sort  of  curtain  to  keep  out  small  insects  or  specks  of dust  that  might  hurt.  The  eyelids  are  like  strong swing  doors  that  close  immediately  and  involuntarily at  the  approach  of  danger.
       Then  the  eyeball  is  surrounded  by  a  bony  socket which  is  like  a  strong  wall  all  round  it,  and  it  rests  on a  sort  of  bed  of  fat  on  which  it  can  move  with  ease  and safety.  Above  the  eyeball  and  a  little  to  the  outer side  is  the  tear-gland  which  provides  another  safeguard. Every  time  we  wink  a  tear  from  this  gland pours  over  the  surface  of  our  eyes  and  washes  the  eyeball. You  know  how  your  eye  waters  if  you  get  a fly  or  a  bit  of  grit  in  it.  That  is  just  the  tear-gland working  extra  hard  to  remove  it.
       So  you  see  in  how  many  different  and  wonderful ways  the  pupil  of  the  eye  is  protected.  And  God keeps  us  in  just  as  many  and  in  just  as  wonderful ways.  Every  day  we  are  being  kept  from  dangers,  and from  evils,  and  from  temptations  of  which  we  know nothing.
       Do  you  know  the  hymn  "Jesus,  Lover  of  my soul"?  There  is  a  very  interesting  story  connected with  that  hymn  which  Henry  Drummond  used  to tell.
       One   Sunday  evening  some  of   the  passengers  on board  a  big  Atlantic  liner  had  met  in  the  cabin  to  sing hymns.  By  and  by  they  began  to  sing  "Jesus,  Lover of  my  soul,"  and  one  passenger,  an  American,  heard behind  him  a  very  fine  voice  that  seemed  familiar  to him.  When  the  music  stopped  he  turned  round  and asked  the  owner  of  the  voice  if  he  had  fought  in  the Civil  War.  The  man  replied  that  he  had  fought  on the  Confederate  side.  Then  the  first  man  asked  his new  acquaintance  if  he,  by  any  chance,  had  been  at a  certain  place  on  a  certain  night.  "Yes,"  replied  the other,  "and  while  we  were  singing  that  hymn  something that  happened  that  night  came  back  to  me  very vividly.  I  was  on  sentry  duty  on  the  edge  of  a  wood, and  I  was  feeling  rather  lonely  and  frightened  as  the enemy  were  known  to  be  not  far  off.  About  midnight, I  grew  very  weary  and  miserable  and  homesick;  and to  keep  up  my  courage,  I  began  to  sing  that  hymn. When  I  came  to  the  verse,

All  my  trust  on  Thee  is  stayed;
All  my  help  from  Thee  I  bring;
Cover  my  defenseless  head
With  the  shadow  of  Thy  wing  
a  strange  peace  seemed  to  descend  on  me,  and  I  was no  more  afraid."
       Then  the  first  man  told  his  story.  "I  also,"  he  said, "fought  in  the  Civil  War,  but  I  was  on  the  Union  side. On  that  night  I  was  out  with  a  party  of  scouts  in  the place  of  which  you spoke.  We  saw  you  standing  on the  edge  of  the  wood  and  my  men  had  their  rifles pointed  at  you  and  were  ready  for  the  word  to  fire.
       But  just  then  you  began  to  sing,  and  when  you  came to  the  words, 
Cover  my  defenseless  head 
With  the  shadow  of  Thy  wing - 
       I  said,  ''Boys,  lower  your  rifles;  we  will  go  home.''
       God  shields  us  in  many,  many  ways  of  which we know not.   
         And  then  I  think  the  psalmist  asked  to  be  kept as  the  apple  of  the  eye,  because  our  eyesight  is  very precious  to  us.  Of  all  the  five  senses,  sight  is  the  most valuable.  We  could  get  along  better  without  any  one of  the  others  than  without  it.  Just  think,  for  instance, how  helpless  a  blind  man  is  compared  with  a  deaf  one. And  think  what  care  you  take  of  your  eyes.  If  danger is  near  you  put  up  your  hand  at  once  to  defend them.
       Well,  God  takes  just  as  much  care  of  you.  Once a  little  boy  was  standing  with  his  father  on  the  top of  the  Cheviot  Hills.  The  father  pointed  northward over  Scotland,  southward  over  England,  eastward  over the  North  Sea,  and  westward  over  hill  and  dale,  and then  he  said,  "Johnny,  my  boy,  God's  love  is  as  big as  all  that."  "Why,  father,"  said  Johnny,  "then  we must  be  in  the  very  middle  of  it."
       Yes,  we  are  right  in  the  middle  of  God's  love,  and that  is  the  safest  place  we  can  be  in.  Nothing  can ever  really  hurt  or  harm  us  there - not  sin,  nor sorrow,  nor  even  death  at  last.  That  God  gave  so much - His    only    Son    to    redeem    us - shows    how precious  we  are;   and  He  keeps  us  safe  because  we are  precious.
       Again  I  think  the  psalmist  asks  to  be  kept  as  the apple  of  the  eye  because  the  eye  is  so  sensitive.  It feels  pain  if  the  tiniest  insect  or  the  smallest  bit  of grit  enters  it.
       In  the  Book  of  Zechariah  there  is  a  verse  very similar  to  this  one,  God  is  speaking  of  His  chosen people  and  He  says  that  he  that  toucheth  them "toucheth  the  apple  of  His  eye."  That just  means  that he  who  hurts  them  hurts  God.  And  I  think  those words  are  meant  for  all  God's  children  in  all  ages -he  who  hurts  them  hurts  God.
       When  Lord  Kitchener  was  Governor,  or  Sirdar,  as he  was  called,  of  the  Soudan,  he  was  very  strict  about guarding  the  rights  of  the  natives.  If  a  soldier  injured a  native  in  any  way,  even  one  of  the  poorest  and meanest,  the  matter  was  inquired  into,  and  the  soldier, if  guilty,  was  severely  punished.  Kitchener  was  so careful  about  this  and  so  jealous  of  the  rights  of  the natives,  that  it  came  to  be  a  sort  of  proverb  in  the army,  "If  you  strike  a  native  you  strike  the  Sirdar." 
      So  the  smallest  trouble  or  pain  you  experience  hurts God.  Did  you  ever  think  of  it  in  that  way?  God feels  all  your  little  sorrows  and  troubles  just  as  though they  had  happened  to  Him,  and  He  feels  them  far  more than  you  do.
       The  Hebrews  called  the  pupil  of  the  eye  the  "little son"  or  sometimes  "the  daughter  of  the  eye"  because when  you  look  into  the  eye  of  another  you  see  reflected there  a  little  picture  of  yourself.
       God  always  carries  about  a  picture  of  you  in  His eye.  He  is  always  thinking  about  you,  and  caring  for you,  and  loving  you,  and  He  longs  for  your  love  too. He  has  such  a  great  big  heart  that  He  can  take  us  all in,  and  there  will  always  be  an  empty  corner  in  it  till you  nestle  there. Hastings

Monday, November 13, 2023

Cleansing The Temple


AGAIN the Paschal feast had come,
And strangers throng the busy street;
While in the temple's sacred courts
The buyer and the seller meet.
Shrill, babbling voices, wild and rude —
The shouting of the multitude ;
The lowing cattle from the fold,
The coo of doves, the clink of gold ;
The money-changer's greedy cry, —
Loud, eager voices, fierce and high, —
Discordant sounds from far and near
Are borne upon the startled ear.

"Take these things hence!" above the din
There sounds a voice of stern command;
The while, the awestruck throng behold
A godlike Presence, firm and grand.
With scourge of cords within his hand.

Then, like a mighty torrent rushed
The surging mass, from pen and fold;
The drivers with their cattle fled,
The money-changers, with their gold;
The screaming throng, the bellowing herds,
The bleating sheep, the frightened birds, —
All, all, in one vast, rushing tide,
From that stern Presence flee to hide.
In wild dismay they flee in fear.
As though th' Avenger's sword were near