ENCOURAGEMENT FOR A MINISTER IN A DAY OF REJECTION
Servant of Christ, stand fast amid the scorn
Of men who neither know nor love thy Lord;
Turn not aside from toil; cease not to warn,
Comfort and teach, trust Him for thy reward;
A few more moments’ suffering, and then
Cometh sweet rest from all thy heart’s deep pain.
For grace pray much, for much thou needest grace,
If men thy work derideÂ—what can they more?
Christ’s weary foot thy path on earth did trace;
If thorns wound thee, they wounded Him before;
Press on, look up, though clouds may gather round;
He makes thy place of service hallowed ground.
Have friends forsaken thee, and cast thy name
Out as a worthless thing? Take courage then;
Go, tell thy master, for they did the same
To Him, who once in patience toiled for men:
Yet he was perfect in all service here;
Thou oft hast failed thy course aright to steer.
Self-vindication shun: if in the right
Why take thy cause from God’s unerring hand?
If in the wrong, what dost thou but invite
Satan himself thy friend in need to stand?
Leave all with God; if right He’ll prove thee so;
If not He’ll pardon, therefore to Him go.
Be not men’s servant: think what costly price
Was paid that thou mayest His own bondsman be,
Whose service perfect freedom is; Let this
Hold fast thy heart. His claim is great to thee;
None should thy soul enthral, to whom ’tis given
To serve on earth with liberty of heaven.
All His are thine to serve; Christ’s brethren here
Are needing aid; in them thou servest Him.
The least of all is still His member dear,
The weakest cost His life-blood to redeem.
Yield to no “party” what He rightly claims,
Who on His heart bears all His people’s names.
Be wise, be watchful; wily men surround
Thy path; Be careful, for they seek with care
To trip thee up: see that no plea be found
In thee thy Master to reproach. The snare
They set for thee will then themselves enclose,
And God His righteous judgement thus disclose.
Cleave to the poor, Christ’s image in them is.
Count it great honour, if they love thee well.
Nought can repay thee after losing this,
Though with the wise and wealthy thou should’st dwell,
Thy Master often times would pass thy door,
To hold communion with His much loved poor.
“The time is short”: seek little here below,
Earth’s good might hide from thee thy heavenly home
Let daily food suffice, care not to know
Tomorrow’s trouble, it may never come.
Thou canst not perish, for thy Lord is nigh,
And His own care will all thy need supply.