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The Alpha and the Omega

• E. Peter Hardingham
The Alpha and Omega
• John K. Steen
Cut Off; and Linked Up
The Hidden Pearl
• Margaret Mauro
The Young Christian
• Mrs. H. A. Berg
• Mrs. Isabel M. Forbes
Love, Joy Peace
Thirt Pieces of Silver

• Betty Rainbow
With Jesus
Open Arms
• Gordon Rainbow
Divine Love
An Apology
Fifty-Two Years
The Hebrew Bondman
A Man after My Heart
Surpassing Love
He Cares
• Miss E. M. Beryl Wilson
The Caller's Spring
Welling Forth
• Robert C. Gray
My Outlook
My Days
• Charles W. Cooper
Beholding that Sight
No Room at the Inn
The Problem
The Answer
• Joseph Pellatt
Here I am, send me


This page is taken from 'The Christian Poetry Series No. 5: The Alpha and the Omega and other poems', 1995. This group was compiled so that poems, which have a special meaning to us, could be easily shared with a few friends.

The authors, except for two or three, are not specially distinguished or widely known amongst the brethren, and many of the compositions do not meet the highest poetic standards.

The value of the poems lies then, not in their strict poetic merits but, in their spiritual content:

It is our prayer that God may use these poems for the edification and encouragement of any who read them, and that the notes will help to make the exercises and experiences of the writers real and living.

Gordon and Betty Rainbow

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The Alpha and The Omega

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end", Revelation 22: 13.

The Alpha He, with Him must all begin, Rev. 22: 13
The Ark of God, all gold without, within. Ex. 25: 10-11
Anointed Man, God's well-belovèd Son, Luke 3: 22
Apostle and High Priest, the Faithful One.  Heb. 3: 1-2

A Man named Branch, a Priest upon His throne;  Zech. 6: 12-13
The Bridegroom He, Belovèd to His own. John 3: 29; Song 1: 16
The Bright and Morning Star, we know His love; Rev. 22: 16
The Bread from Heaven, food of life above. John 6: 51

The Crucified, now risen up on high, Mark 16: 6
Christ Jesus, Man in whom we are brought nigh. Eph. 2: 13
With God a Chosen, Precious, Living Stone; 1 Peter 2: 4
Chief Shepherd, soon in glory to be shown. 1 Peter 5: 4

Creator He, of all things that are made. Col. 1: 16; John 1: 3
A precious Corner-Stone in Zion laid: Isa. 28: 16
The Christ who is our Life in God above, Col. 3: 3
Blest Counsellor, resolving all in love. Isa. 9: 6: Luke 1: 78;

The Dayspring from on high, on man to shine – John 1: 9
The Saviour of the world, in love divine. John 4: 42
Deliverer from wrath, He frees from sin; 1 Th. 1: 10; Rom. 8: 2,3
The Door by which the saved one enters in. John 10: 9

Effulgence of God's Glory He, The Son, Heb. 1: 2-3
Expression of His Substance, Holy One: Heb. 1: 3; Psa. 89: 19
Emmanuel, "God with us", high His praise, Matt. 1: 23
Beginning and the End of all God's ways. Rev. 22: 13

The First and Last, the Living One who died, Rev. 1: 17-18
Forerunner too, Foundation sure and tried. Heb. 6: 20; Isa. 28: 16
Firstfruits, and Firstborn from the dead is He; 1 Cor. 15: 20;
The gracious Father of Eternity. Isa. 9: 6-8; Col. 1: 18

Great Shepherd, who once lay among the dead; Heb. 13: 20
Good Shepherd, known of those who're by Him led. John 10: 4, 14
True God and Life Eternal come to men, 1 John 5: 20
God over all, for ever blest, Amen!  Rom. 9: 5

The Heavenly One whose image we shall bear, 1 Cor. 15: 49
Head to the church, of all things He is Heir. Eph. 1: 22; Heb. 1: 2
Our Great High Priest by whom we now draw near, Heb. 10: 21-22
The Lord our Helper, we will have no fear. Heb. 13: 6

The one Instructor, Christ; in person Son,  Matt. 23: 10; Heb. 1: 2
Image of God, creation's Firstborn One: Col. 1: 15
His day was seen with joy by Abraham,  John 8: 56
Jesus could say "Before he was, I AM".  John 8: 58

Jesus – all knees must bow at this great Name; Phil. 2: 9-10
He, Jesus Christ, is evermore The Same. Heb. 13: 8
The Just who suffered in the unjust's stead – 1 Pet. 3: 18
Appointed Judge of living and of dead. Acts 10: 42

King of the Jews, the magi to Him came; Matt. 2: 2
The King of Israel, met with great acclaim. John 1: 49; 12: 13
The King of Glory, great His majesty – Psa. 24: 10; 2 Pet. 1: 16
The King of kings and Lord of lords is He. Rev 19: 16

The Lamb of God whose blood doth cleanse from sin, John 1: 29;

1 John 1: 7
Faith's Leader and Completer entered in. Heb. 12: 2
The Lion of the tribe of Judah He; Rev. 5: 5
Lord Jesus, who would e'er remembered be. 1 Cor. 11: 23-24

The Lord of Glory who was crucified, 1 Cor. 2: 8
Made Lord and Christ, God's Servant glorified; Acts 2: 36; 3: 13
Lord of the Sabbath too, and Lord of All, Luke 6: 5; Acts 10: 36
Lord Jesus Christ, The Lord on whom we call. Rom. 5: 1; 10: 12

Despised, a Man of Sorrows, knowing grief; Isa. 53: 3
A Mercy-Seat where God can give relief; Rom. 3: 25
Of God and men the Mediator He; 1 Tim. 2: 5
The Master who could still both wind and sea. Luke 8: 24-25

The Manna that in wilderness sufficed, Ex. 16: 18
Messias which interpreted is Christ. John 1: 41
The Minister of tabernacle true; 1 John 1: 7; Heb. 8: 2
The Mighty God by whom all things are new. Isa. 9: 6; 2 Cor. 5: 17-19

To Him as Nazarene the demon yields, Mark 1: 23-27; Luke 4: 33-36
As Nazaræan, healing pow'r He wields. Luke 18: 37-43;
On Him hang all the vessels of God's grace, Isa.22: 24 8 Acts 3: 6-8
He's fastened as a Nail in trusted place. Isa. 22: 23

Only-Begotten, sent by God in love, 1 John 4: 9
True Offering, of savour sweet above; Eph. 5: 2
Great David's greater Offspring, coming Lord, Rev. 22: 16
The Omega, the finish to God's word. Rev. 22: 13

The Prince of earthly kings, the Prince of Peace,  Rev. 1: 5; Isa. 9: 6
His government shall evermore increase,
Propitiation for our sins is He; 1 John 2: 2
The Prophet who once came from Galilee. Matt. 21: 11; Acts 3: 22

A Quickening Spirit, Head in Adam's place, 1 Cor. 15: 45
We're changed as looking on His unveiled face; 2 Cor. 3: 18
In sovereign love He quickens whom He will. John 5: 21
Light of the world, life's light He giveth still. John 8: 12

Redeemer, from all lawlessness to save, Titus 2: 14
Himself a Ransom willingly He gave. 1 Tim. 2: 6
The Resurrection and the Life is He, John 11: 25
The Rock from which gushed forth the waters free. 1 Cor. 10: 4;

Psa. 105: 41

The Root of David, Lamb who once did die; Rev. 5: 5-6
Holy and Righteous One, our Patron high. Acts 3: 14; 1 John 2: 1
Refiner too, and Purifier sure, Mal. 3: 3
As silver doth He make the priesthood sure. Mal. 3: 3

The Son of Abraham, of David too; Matt. 1: 1
Of better covenant the Surety true. Heb. 7: 22
The Star of Jacob banishing the night, Num. 24: 17
The Sceptre out of Israel in His might. Num. 24: 17; Psa. 110: 2

The Sower who the word of God doth bring; Luke 8: 5, 11
The Sun of Righteousness with healing wing; Mal. 4: 2
The Saviour who from death has set men free; 2 Tim. 1: 10;
Our Shepherd and our Overseer He. 1 Pet. 2: 25 8 Heb. 2: 14-15

Son of the Highest, who is great in fame, Luke 1: 32
As Son of God and Son of Man He came – John 1: 49, 51
The Second Man from out of heav'n above; 1 Cor. 15: 47
We're in His kingdom, Son of God's own Love. Col. 1: 13

The Tree of Life; the Teacher of His own; Rev. 22: 2; John 13: 14
The Way, the Truth, the Life, the Father shown. John 14: 6-9
Faithful and True, He judges and makes war; Rev. 19: 11
Holy and True, has giv'n an opened door. Rev. 3: 7-8

Upholding all things by His word of might, Heb. 1: 3
Unsearchable His riches in our sight: Eph. 3: 8
Unchangeable His priesthood doth abide, Heb. 7: 24
He intercedes, whatever may betide. Heb. 7: 25

True Vine, the source of living fruitful joy, John 15: 1, 11
To be His branches is our blest employ, John 15: 5
Keeping His word, abiding in His love: John 15: 10
He's The Belovèd, we're in Him above. Eph. 1: 6

As faithful Witness all the way He trod; Rev. 1: 5
The Word, in grace and truth declaring God. John 1: 14-18
His Name is Wonderful, His is the throne. Isa. 9: 6-7
The Grain of Wheat, He's now no more alone.  John 12: 24

How eXcellent His Name in all the earth. Psa. 8: 1
Yea is in Him, the Man of glorious worth. 2 Cor. 1: 19
Anointed King on Zion's holy hill, Psa. 2: 6
In Him's Amen, for He doth all things fill. 2 Cor. 1: 20; Eph. 4: 10

Before 1964, E. Peter Hardingham, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

    In August 1964 I was in England for the special meetings at Dorking, and was staying with Ray and Nan Henry and their family in Worthing.
    During my brief stay in Worthing I met Peter Hardingham. Some readers will be familiar with the name of his father B. G. Hardingham, who wrote hymns 53 and 148 in the 1973 Hymn Book. Peter and I had several pleasant and edifying conversations together and, I believe, a true spiritual bond was formed. I was then in my early thirties, and he would have been about the same age.
    At that time, Peter gave me the above poem. He had composed it a few years earlier during a time of prolonged illness. Having a great amount of time available, he had set himself to search out all the names and titles by which the Lord Jesus was referred to in the Scriptures – and to set them out in verse form, in alphabetical order as far as possible, with some indication of the unique meaning of each.
    The result is this poem which clearly and worshipfully brings out the rich and varied glories of the Lord Jesus. Such a composition belongs in the treasury of the assembly.
    Regrettably, except for a few letters, there has been no opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Peter, but I have a very happy remembrance of our brief personal contact. I have often gone over his poem and it has always drawn me closer to the Lord Jesus. May it do the same for you. G.A.R.
    July 5, 2009: "Thank you, Gordon, for the masterpiece – and that is exactly what it is.
    Although I don't expect to ever meet the author. I know three things about him. I'm glad it is not copyrighted because I would like to send copies to many of my friends. I will not do that without, at the very beginning, including the author's name.
    Three things: 1. That dear brother had/has an uncanny knowledge of the English language. All the way through I was wondering how he would handle X but he did it masterfully.
    2. His knowledge of The Book is outstanding. He has spent hours and days pouring over its pages.
    3. Best of all, he displays a close, intimate companionship with the ONE Who is the theme, the centre and circumference of .the Scriptures and, really, what else matters? [Name Withheld]

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Cut Off and Linked Up

          Cut off from a world of violence,
          Of corruption death and sin;
          Cut off from its vain, false pleasures,
          That destruction only bring.

          Cut off from all worldly wisdom
          And philosophy of man,
          Who with feeble human reason
          Tries the things of God to scan.

          Cut off from all worldly glory,
          From its vanity and pride;
          That behind which man endeavours
          Moral nakedness to hide.

          Cut off from all class distinction,
          That which makes so much of man;
          But which, in God's holy presence,
          Cannot ever hope to stand.

          Cut off from the world that man made
          Just to gratify his lust,
          Thinking not that his sad finish
          Is just death, his body dust.

          By the death of Jesus cut off,
          Now my life's no longer here.
          With this world I've no connection,
          Now I live outside its sphere.

          Linked up in the Spirit's power,
          Linked with what's of God on earth,
          Bearing God's own blessèd imprint,
          His own sovereign act, new birth.

          Linked with those who His name honour,
          Those who own His glory too,
          Standing thus apart from this world,
          With the world to come in view.

          Linked in sacred ties together,
          Ties which God Himself hath wrought,
          On this earth, in love together,
          Safe we'll be to glory brought.

          Linked together while we're waiting.
          Linked with Christ the Lord, our King.
          Linked in heavenly bonds together,
          All His grace and power to sing.

          Linked with Him, with Him how blessèd,
          Linked with Him, the Conqueror,
          Sin and death and hell He vanquished,
          Now He lives for evermore.

          Linked with Him, God's richest blessing,
          O what joy doth fill my heart,
          With the Father's Well Belovèd
          Is our blest eternal part.

          What more could the creature ask for,
          What could e'er compare with this?
          With God's Son to be before Him,
          There in brightest heav'nly bliss!

          May 7, 1930 John K. Steen

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The Hidden Pearl

          It is not known where church bells ring,
          Where organs peal, where choirs sing,
          And clergy take their stand,
          Not where glimmering stained windows
          With leaded pictures cast shadows;
          'Tis foreign to that land.

          It is never found in circles
          Where commercial interest rules;
          Never in the world of science,
          Never learned about in schools.

          Politicians do not know it;
          No, their eyes have never seen –
          Matchless worth and beauty soft –
          Its most fair and lustrous sheen.

          The martial world, with glitt'ring fame,
          (All its feats of valour shown),
          This sweet beauty, decked with grace,
          It has never, never, known.

          The natural mind and sight, O Lord,
          Although keen as eagle's eye,
          The glory of this hidden gem,
          Never, ever, can descry.

          The Church is Thine, for Thee alone.
          By Thee sustained and nourished;
          By Thee its every grace is known,
          Its fresh, sweet beauty cherished.

          We learn its preciousness to Thee,
          Its value to Thy heart,
          For Thou to gain this costly gem,
          With all didst freely part.

          And as we realize through grace,
          Dark though the day may be,
          Yet here there's hidden from the world,
          A treasure Lord for Thee.

          We're with the obscure place content,
          By man unrecognized,
          For we are of the Hidden Gem,
          By Thee so highly prized.

          May 7, 1930, John K. Steen

    John King Steen (1910-1975) was only 20 years old when he wrote this and the preceding poem. John is Betty's uncle, her mother's brother. He was born in Toronto but, after his marriage to Mary Campbell, lived in Tillsonburg, Ontario, until taken by the Lord.
    I worked for him, in his bookkeeping service, for a year. The first few months, before we were married, I lived in his home. We also broke bread together. After returning to Toronto, we often visited John and Mary. As a result, I have observed him in many characters: as a brother, as a servant of the Lord, as an employer, as a householder, as a relative. He was even-tempered in all circumstances.
    If not the most, he was one of the most gracious, kind, and caring persons I have known; certainly he was the most heavenly.
    As to his service to the Lord, he was "a faithful man and feared God above man", Nehemiah 7: 2. Though unappreciated by some in his locality, he shepherded the saints until the end, and will not be ashamed before the Chief Shepherd. 1 Peter 5: 4.
    His poems not only display a freshness of devotion and purpose of heart but, for his young age, a remarkable intelli­gence as to the assembly and our position in the world where Christ was rejected; his lifetime of dedicated service was true to his youthful commitment.

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The Young Christian
Hebrews 13: 13

          I cannot give it up,
          The little world I know!
          The innocent delights of youth,
          The things I cherish so!
          'Tis true, I love my Lord
          And want to do His will,
          And O, I may enjoy the world
          And be a Christian still!

          I love the hour of prayer,
          I love the hymns of praise,
          I love the blessed word that tells
          Of God's redeeming grace,
          But I am human still;
          And while I dwell on earth
          God surely will not grudge the hours
          I spend in harmless mirth.

          These things belong to youth,
          And are its natural right –
          My dress, my pastimes, and my friends,
          The merry and the bright.
          My Father's heart is kind;
          He will not count it ill
          That my small corner of the world
          Should please and hold me still.

          And yet, "outside the camp",
          'Twas there my Saviour died!
          It was the world that cast Him forth,
          And saw Him crucified.
          Can I take part with those
          Who nailed Him to the tree?
          And where His name is never praised
          Is there the place for me?

          Nay, world! I turn away,
          Though thou seem'st fair and good;
          That friendly outstretched hand of thine
          Is stained with Jesus' blood.
          If in thy least device
          I stoop to take a part,
          All unaware, thine influence steals
          God's presence from my heart.

          I miss my Saviour's smile
          Whene'er I walk thy ways;
          Thy laughter drowns the Spirit's voice
          And chokes the springs of praise.
          If e'er I turn aside
          To join thee for an hour,
          The face of Christ grows blurred and dim
          And prayer has lost its power!

          Farewell! Henceforth my place
          Is with the Lamb who died
          . My Sovereign! While I have Thy love,
          What can I want beside?
          Thyself, dear Lord, art now
          My free and loving choice,
          In whom, though now I see Thee not,
          Believing, I rejoice!

          Shame on me that I sought
          Another joy than this,
          Or dreamt a heart at rest with Thee
          Could crave for earthly bliss!
          These vain and worthless things,
          I put them all aside;
          His goodness fills my longing soul,
          And I am satisfied.

          Lord Jesus! let me dwell
          "Outside the camp", with Thee.
          Since Thou art there, then there alone
          Is peace and home for me.
          Thy dear reproach to bear
          I'll count my highest gain,
          Till Thou return, my banished King,
          To take Thy power, and reign!

          No Date, Margaret Mauro
          Unfortunately, no information
          is available as to this author.

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    While we were busy making tents the house got upside down;
    There wasn't time to wash my hair or even change my gown.
    We hurried off to the address Apollos gave at three,
    And then Aquila turned and said, "He's coming home for tea".
    There hadn't even been the time to bake a loaf of bread –
    On looking back I blush to think the things I almost said!
    And then Aquila turned again to say that Paul was due;
    That meant a meeting every night and entertaining too!

    No curtains in the bedroom, and the kitchen floor was black!
    Besides, in working on those tents I think I'd strained my back.
    Was I a true "Priscilla" then? This was the acid test!
    "Who serve Thee with a quiet mind, find in their service rest",
    Could I forget the dusty house and quell the inward strife;
    Be what "Priscilla" really means; not just Aquila's wife?
    It's nice to be in Scripture now, as what a saint should be,
    But all the sisterhood goes through was just the same with me.

    Think of what we encountered when they turned us out of Rome,
    Without the smallest place on earth that we could call our home.
    Footsore and weary, wanting work, and but the barest means –
    These don't appear on Scripture's page; but they're behind the scenes,
    These things that drove me to my knees, and taught me how to pray;
    Subjection and dependence came, but not the easy way!

    Yet woven through those suffering hours, rebuking all complaints,
    Were wondrous times of joy in God, and fellowship with saints,
    And slowly, slowly, day by day, came grace for which I yearned,
    With knowledge that the more I wept, the more of Christ I learned.

    Dear sister, travelling on life's way these are my words to you;
    And if God wrote another book you might be in it too.
    So when in glory we compare, and actions all are weighed,
    We'll own God knew the only way "Priscillas" could be made.

    No date (before 1970), Mrs. H. A. Berg (Doris Markham)
    See also hymns 5, 512 and 548 in the 1973/93 Hymn Book.

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          There are so many things
          In this life here,
          We do not understand,
          And so we fear.
          But if we knew our Lord
          And His dear will,
          Knew as we ought to know,
          We would be still.

          Even a little bird
          Can never fall,
          Without our Father, God,
          Knowing it all.
          He who says that to us,
          Has said this too –
          'Ye are much more to me;
          I think of you –

          'Think, and do long to see
          The trust I love,
          Trusting when all is dark,
          Looking above'.
          We see part of God's plan,
          He sees the rest;
          And in His tender love
          Will give us rest.

          So though we may not see
          All His love here,
          If we but trust and wait
          All will be clear –
          Clear when we see His face
          At home above,
          All that seemed dark to us
          Shining in love.

          c. 1961, Isabel M. Forbes

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Love, Joy, Peace
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ....", Galatians 5: 22


        There is peace amidst the tempest
        When the billows o'er me roll,
        When the winds and storms are raging
        Like a blast across my soul.
        Ah! I lift my eyes to heaven
        To that face beyond compare,
        And 'tis there I see my Saviour
        In the glory bright and fair,
        Where no storm can e'er disturb Him,
        Where His sorrow all is o'er.
        "Peace that passeth understanding" –
        'Tis His peace that I can share.


        There is joy when hearts are breaking
        When the tears flow quickly down,
        When my life seems filled with sadness
        And the comforts all have flown.
        Ah! My tearful eyes I'm raising
        To that heavenly home so fair
        And, midst tears, give place to praising
        As He chases all my care.
        Blessèd Spirit, Thou hast taught me
        'Tis 'joy of the Lord my strength'.
        What a home He has prepared me,
        And He'll take me there at length.


        Ah! There's love amid the storm clouds
        Though they burst in fury round.
        When all earthly loves have failed me,
        There's a love that I have found
        In the precious love of Jesus.
        Where can I find words to tell
        Of that love that sought and found me,
        And hast brought me to th 'Well' –
        Love that brought me to the Father?
        In the storm I heard Him say,
        'I have purposed you for blessing',
        And I cannot tell Him 'Nay!'

        All my soul leaps up within me
        As I ponder all His love,
        And my lips well forth in praises
        To that Blessèd One above.
        His is love we cannot measure
        For His Bride in garments fair.
        She is His peculiar treasure,
        And He soon will have her there.
        O! The day is drawing nearer
        When He'll come to take her home.
        She the Bride and He the Bridegroom –
        Love Divine has made us one.

        January 13, 1961, Isabel M. Forbes

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Thirty Pieces of Silver
"Betrayest thou the Son on Man …?", Luke 22: 48

          Thirty pieces of silver,
          O what a price to pay
          For such a loving Saviour
          Who in depths of anguish lay.
          He who gave all to save you.
          What astounding price He paid!
          He valued you oh so deeply
          And His all on the altar laid.

          Thirty pieces of silver
          For One who loves you so?
          His love surpasses knowledge,
          He will not let you go.
          He lays aside His garments
          And at your feet would kneel
          To wash you from all defilement
          That you all His love may feel.

          Thirty pieces of silver
          Lay in Iscariot's hand,
          While sold … betrayed … forsaken,
          The spotless Victim stands.
          What was the gain that he cherished?
          Where now the unholy spoil?
          As he went out into the darkness …?
          Ah, well might our hearts recoil.

          Thirty pieces of silver,
          That idol stands out so grim.
          Will you be glad with your bargain?
          What will you ask for Him?
          Will you go out into the darkness?
          Can you turn away from Him?
          Will you flee into the arms of His rival?
          Is it nothing to you? or to Him?

          Thirty pieces of silver
          To remember His death no more.
          Loves' trysting place abandoned,
          And all that He has in store.
          O what price will you bid for your Saviour?
          Will you sell Him without alarm?
          O halt! e'er you sell your Redeemer
          And think what it means to Him.

          No date, Isabel M. Forbes

    Mrs. Forbes was a devoted and faithful sister in the Lord. She had been deserted by her husband because of her faithfulness to Christ. With the most meagre resources, she continued with her sister, Lottie Munro, to maintain a household as long as possible.
    In times of need, Betty had always found a haven there, and received good spiritual counsel. Her home was open to the brethren, and we often enjoyed her warm hospitality.
    Visiting her in the hospital, we found that she had been moved to the top floor. She said that there was only one place higher for her to go. She went there, that night – with Christ.

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With Jesus

          One day I shall be like Him,
          That Heav'nly Man so blest!
          One day I shall be with Him
          And share with Him God's rest.

          No more in fear of suffering
          (The greatest Sufferer, He!)
          Since He, the Perfect Offering,
          Paid all the cost for me.

          The precious blood of Jesus
          It took to make me clean.
          His blood can cleanse the vilest
          That e'er on earth there's been.

          But when I am with Jesus
          I'll praise Him there above,
          Who bore for me the sufferings
          And gave me all His love.

          February 9, 1966, Betty Rainbow

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Open Arms

          Did you ever hear that Jesus
          From the needy turned away?
          Did He ever say, 'I'm busy –
          I can't meet your need today'?
          Nay! With open arms He took them
          Into His loving breast;
          "Come unto Me, ye weary,
          And I will give you rest".

          July 26, 1966, Betty Rainbow

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          Lord Jesus, Thou, to us hast come,
          And hast Thyself made known.
          Thy wounded hands and side, O Lord,
          To us Thou now hast shown.

          Thou speakest peace to every heart,
          And we are now at rest.
          The Spirit makes us to rejoice
          As in Thy presence blest.

          Thy voice of love doth to our souls
          A holy joy impart,
          And draweth from our souls response
          To Thee, for who Thou art.

          November 6, 1950, G.A.R.

    Following my conversion in 1946, for several years I was connected with an 'open' meeting – until a serious issue forced me to withdraw. After much exercise and searching, I came 'into fellowship' – as we speak – in August 1950. The above was one of my early impressions of the Lord's Supper. G.A.R.

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          On God's own side, Thou hast come in;
          Thy glory wholly fills our sight.
          We worship Thee, God's glorious Son!
          Whose every thought is our delight.

          Lord Jesus, Thee as Head we own;
          Freely we yield to Thy blest sway.
          Thine influence has touched our hearts,
          E'en now, as through th'eternal day.

          March 30, 196, G.A.R.
          At special meetings in London, Ontario.

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Divine Love

          O Blessèd Saviour, is Thy love
          So vast, so full, so free,
          That it could set itself upon
          Such worthless ones, as we?
          Yea, Lord, we proved it o'er and o'er,
          Eternally the same!
          Now, let our hearts break forth and sing
          The glory of Thy Name!

          O Father, in our hearts, Thou hast
          Thy love now shed abroad.
          It is by that Blest Paraclete –
          The Spirit of our God –
          That we have learned that wondrous love
          That gave God's only Son,
          Who died upon the cross for us,
          And now our hearts hast won.

          Before 1957, G.A.R.

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An Apology
To Charles and Annie Deayton, beloved in the Lord.

        Our offence to remove, we know not how.
        We cannot come and humbly bow
        To ask forgiveness for the slight –
        Failure to take our pen and write –
        To one who has so faithful been,
        Both with pen and typing machine,
        In sending poems, to cheer our hearts,
        And news of saints in distant parts.

        All we can do is trust that love –
        Reflection of His who is above –
        That you will understand our plight.
        It isn't that we would not write;
        What we would, we could not do!
        (Romans Seven is oh so true!)
        The pleasure of writing took second place
        To keeping rank in the heav'nly race.

        So dear brother! Dear sister, too!
        We trust your hearts will kindly view
        Those who really love you still.
        Forgive our fault! We meant no ill.

        December 11, 1963, G.A.R.

    Charles (1887-1967) and Annie Deayton came to Canada from England, settling in Winnipeg, later moved to Australia living there for some years before coming to Toronto in the 1950's.
    We were in the same local meeting (Barker Ave.), and often had them as most congenial travelling companions. In the early 1960's we had the privilege of driving them to Winnipeg to be near to family members for care in view of their advancing age.
    C.D. wrote faithfully and always enclosed some poems, now available in this series. Most, if not all of his poems, were written in the sleepless night seasons. He also wrote hymns 246, 332, 505 and 533 in the 1973/93 Hymn Book.

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Fifty-Two Years
For Mr. and Mrs. Fred Church

          Fifty-two years of wedded bliss
          As heirs together of life's grace –
          God's blessings choice, God's blessings rich,
          Radiant, shining in Jesus' face.

          Eternally with Christ shall be
          The one for whom He stooped and died.
          He'll soon present her to Himself –
          His wife, His counterpart, His Bride.

          From every marriage in the Lord
          (Reflection of God's own great plan)
          What pleasure does our God receive
          (The church, the woman for the Man).

          Each like a week of one grand year,
          Fifty-two years go quickly by.
          Christ and His church will still remain
          Throughout God's grand eternity.

          Then, let our learning time on earth
          Fit us to take eternal part
          In that which will forever please
          And satisfy Christ's loving heart.

          March 2, 1966, G.A.R.

    Mr. and Mrs. Fred Church lived in Harriston, Ontario, for many years. They moved to Toronto in the early 1960's after the meeting in Harriston had become depleted.
    We often visited them and had enjoyable times together. The fifty-second anniversary of their marriage was on March 2, 1966.
    The strength of their attachment in the Lord was shown when Fred gave one of the words at the burial meeting for his beloved wife. She was taken by the Lord, August 23, 1967, and he on November 27, 1968.

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The Hebrew Bondman
Exodus 21: 2-6; Philippians 2: 5-11

          Six years of service, hard and long,
          The Hebrew bondman served.
          Then finally – the seventh year –
          The freedom he deserved.

          Alone he came, alone goes out;
          His wife and children stay.
          His master's gift he cannot take;
          Alone he goes away.

          Emptying Himself, a bondman's form
          Did Jesus humbly take.
          To go out free was His by right –
          But how could He forsake?

          The cross's death could not deter –
          Obedient e'er was He!
          Distinctly said – 'I love! I love!
          I will not go out free!'

          No door-post now, no awl to bore;
          But nails and cruel tree.
          Jesus, the Lord, was crucified
          Rather than go out free.

          Raised from the dead, exalted too,
          The highest Name He's given;
          And every knee must lowly bow
          To Him whose side was riv'n.

          He's not alone, that glorious Man.
          See! At His blessèd side,
          Reigning in glory with Him there,
          His Master's gift, the Bride!

          March 2, 1966, G.A.R

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A Man after My Heart
Acts 13: 22 – 1 Samuel 26: 1-25

        Anointing, Spoil, and Crown – each has its voice
        In justifying David – God's own choice –
        New covenant minister – each one proved
        David to be the man whom God so loved.

        On Israel's camp God made a deep sleep fall –
        Delivering into David's hand, King Saul.
        Abishai would smite him with the spear,
        (Though Saul was God's anointed) without fear.

        'Destroy not Saul, for who can guiltless be
        Who touches one anointed, such as he!
        Jehovah, Himself, Saul shall surely slay,
        Or in the battle he will fall one day'.

        But from Saul's head he took the spear and cruse.
        God-like was he, the man whom God did choose.
        The power and the freshness ever gone
        From Saul to David, God's belovèd one.

        Abner chagrined, in duty he had failed
        To guard his lord the king. But grace prevailed
        Through David (from vindictiveness restrained),
        And even Saul his graciousness proclaimed.

        March 3, 1966, G.A.R.

    Written after an affecting address by Stanley McCallum, at Hamilton, Ontario. S.McC. was born in Scotland, but lived in Detroit for most of his life. The Lord took him in 1987.
    He wrote hymns 130, 221, 232, 261, 420 and 511 in the 1973/93 Hymn Book, as well as serving the saints extensively in the ministry of the word for many years.

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Surpassing Love
"The Love of Christ which Surpasses All Knowledge",.
Ephesians 3: 19

          He looked on me, not once but twice;
          And though my heart was cold as ice
          And hated Him – He loved me!

          'Twas not because of what I'd done,
          For works and merit I had none,
          But even then – He loved me!

          In fact, I'd cursed and used His Name
          In vain, without a pang of shame;
          But grace divine – He loved me!

          I cared not that He died alone.
          My heart was hard as flint, as stone.
          Unsought! Unknown! – He loved me!

          I swore I'd never bow my knee.
          "There is no God above for me!"
          I cried; but still – He loved me!

          I fought and fought. "I won't believe!"
          How infidelity did cleave!
          "I won't believe!" – He loved me!

          Through blasphemy and sin and pride,
          I sought from Him myself to hide.
          He came to save – He loved me!

          And then one night, I could not fight
          Him any more, but just implore,
          "Forgive me Lord!" – He loved me!

          'Twas then I found, though I had failed
          To even care why He was nailed
          Upon the cross – He loved me!

          Yes! Jesus as my Lord I owned.
          I once was lost, but now am found,
          A sinner saved – He loves me!

          I've failed Him oft. I cannot boast,
          Except in Him who saves the lost
          At such a cost – He loves me!

          And I love Him, though feebly here.
          O how the thought my soul does cheer;
          Eternally – He'll love me!

          But better still – He gave His all
          His Bride to win, her heart enthrall.
          He loves His saints – He loves them all!

          July 4, 1972 – He loves me still! G.A.R.

         "The Love of Christ which Surpasses All Knowledge", Ephesians 3: 19
    The above account of my conversion at the age of 16, in March 1946, was written many years later.
    I had heard and been touched by the gospel, at 13, but had soon become an ardent atheist. But God intervened, answering the prayers of the mother and sister of a school mate. Returning from their house one night, I became deeply convicted and I rushed home to fall on my knees, acknowledging that there was indeed a God, and confessing my many sins.
    "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God", Psalm 14: 1. I was worse than a fool; I had said it aloud and often. But God's sovereign grace delivered me from the dead end of atheism to living faith in "the Son of God who has loved me and given Himself for me", Galatians 2: 20.
    "God commends His love to us, in that we being still sinners, Christ has died for us:, Romans 5: 8.
    "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son a propitiation for our sins", 1 John 4: 9-10,
    "Christ also loved the assembly, and has delivered Himself up for it … that He might present the assembly to Himself glorious", Ephesians 5: 25-27.
    See the prefatory note to The Holy Spirit's Activities in Relation to the Gentiles - Toronto, November 11, 1929.

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He Cares
1 Peter 5: 7

          O Lord, we seek Thy face;
          Do Thou incline Thine ear,
          For we are weak and need Thy strength.
          Remove our needless fear.

          We cast our cares on Thee,
          Thou who hast borne sin's weight,
          For Thou for us dost always care
          In love so full, so great.

          And Thou wilt bring us through,
          Whate'er the trials may be;
          There we shall ever next Thy heart
          Be Thine eternally!

          May 19, 1994, G.A.R.

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        Jesus Thou saidst, "My flesh is truly food" –
        What words are these!
        The holy contemplation of Thyself
        Would bow my knees.
        No other life, so rare, on earth was trod –
        Such Manhood Thine – how pleasing to Thy God!

        Lord's Day, January 2, 1966


        Jesus Thou saidst, "My blood is truly drink" –
        What words are Thine!
        The penetration of Thy precious blood
        Thus can be mine.
        What thoughts the Father had in sending Thee;
        Such untapped wealth lies latent Lord for me.

        Lord's Day, January 9, 1966, E. M. Beryl Wilson

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The Caller's Spring
Judges 15: 18-19

          Blest Spirit, may I ne'er forget
          The "caller's spring" – in Lehi yet.
          Where God the hollow rock did clave,
          In answer to a call – He gave!

          Water came out at En-hakkore,
          'Dispenser' – still of heaven's store,
          Thus let me drink this present time,
          And be refreshed in what is Thine!

          c. 1966, E. M. Beryl Wilson

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Welling Forth
Psalm 45: 1

          Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
          May this be my happy choice;
          Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
          Waiting for His blessèd voice.

          Body, soul and spirit blameless,
          God's par excellent thoughts for me.
          O! then let me not be aimless –
          Wholly, following, serving Thee.

          c. 1966, E. M. Beryl Wilson

    Beryl Wilson was a close and dear friend, keenly interested in all spiritual matters. She lived in another part of the city but was often in our home, especially before attending our local Thursday night reading, which she did frequently.
    Our withdrawal in 1971, from that which the enemy had corrupted, cut us off from further contact. Beryl separated later, identifying herself with some who had left in 1965. We only heard occasional reports of her. The severe pressures which she had endured undoubtedly contributed to the early death, under most distressing and tragic circumstances, of this sweet and fragile sister.

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My Outlook

          Quite beyond earth's darkest shadow,
          Quite beyond the river dark,
          Where there is a bright tomorrow,
          There I see the resting ark.
          O! I long to meet my Saviour,
          Long He's waited for the day,
          When all sorrow will be over,
          Former things have passed away.

          He is coming, coming for me,
          Yes, my Saviour cometh soon
          To translate me to the region
          Where they need not sun nor moon.
          O! I long to see His glory
          Shine throughout th'eternal day,
          When all sorrow will be over,
          Former things have passed away.

          Come then soon for me, Lord Jesus,
          Taking me unto Thyself –
          Far from all the earth's delusion,
          Far from all its woes and strife –
          Into Thy fair land of Glory,
          There where all things 'Glory' say,
          Where all sorrow will be over,
          Former things have passed away.

          But what is all my sorrow
          Compared, O Lord, with Thine!
          Thou, too, dost wait the morrow,
          For then Thy glories shine.
          No more a veil, Lord Jesus,
          Thou Lord of Glory still
          Shall shine forth in Thy brightness,
          And earth shall do God's will.

          O earth! for thee no sadness,
          The Son of Man has come
          To scatter joy and gladness,
          To make thee free from sin.
          Then when His work is finished,
          God's triumph well displayed,
          Fold up thou like a garment
          And disappear in flame.

          For Christ, the Lord of Glory,
          In judgment sitteth now,
          E'en heaven flieth from Him,
          All knees are bending low.
          The dead, the small, the great ones
          All pass before His gaze.
          Alas! for them no standing,
          The earth has passed away.

          But now I look to Jesus,
          In Him I stand today
          In Him I stand forever –
          For all eternity.
          I look beyond earth's glories
          To God's eternal day,
          New heav'n and earth created,
          Earth's things are passed away.

          1928, Robert C. Gray

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My Days

          My days are fast declining,
          My years fourscore and three.
          A backward look I venture,
          'Twas mercy all the way.

          By faith I long have journeyed
          Through this world's dark, dark night,
          Now looking ever forward
          Till faith is changed to sight.

          I'm waiting for the glory,
          My race is nearly run;
          I long to be with Jesus,
          Where He before has gone.

          Within the veil I'll see Him,
          Who loved and died for me –
          Christ Jesus ever blessèd
          In glorious majesty.

          My pilgrim journey over,
          No stranger will He be;
          How great will be the welcome
          When He will come for me –

          For me who was a stranger
          To grace that brought Him low,
          But grace that sought and found me,
          In this sad world of woe.

          I shall forever praise Him
          In scenes of joy and bliss,
          Where evil cannot enter,
          Where love eternal is.

          1986, Robert C. Gray

    'My Outlook' was composed when the author was only 24 years old; 'My Days' was composed 58 years later, when he was 83 years old.
    Robert C. Gray was born in Scotland. He was taken to be with the Lord on March 28, 1992 at the age of 88 – as a result of injuries from an automobile knocking him down in front of his home in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England.
    Mr. Gray's poems were given to us by Andrew and Lois Robertson.

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Beholding that Sight
Luke 23: 48

      Beholding that sight, at a place called Golgotha,
      Beholding that sight, so sublime, so unique,
      Beholding that sight were both ruler and soldier.
      The priest with the people, the Jew and the Greek.

      Beholding that sight – Jesus Christ was the Victim,
      On the left was a robber, a thief to the right;
      Around stood the crowds who were mocking and sneering,
      The women lamenting – beholding that sight.

      Beholding that sight – what insults He suffers!
      They crown Him with thorns, and His glory they slight;
      Deriding, they clothe Him with royal apparel,
      Unmoved are His foes though beholding that sight.

      Beholding that sight, so majestic and solemn,
      The sun ceased to shine, the noon was like night;
      He meets all mans hatred with "Father forgive them"
      While crowds are astonished – beholding that sight.

      Beholding that sight – love and justice combining,
      'Twas there that God's mercy and truth could unite;
      The power of Satan forever was vanquished,
      Now peace is enjoyed, as beholding that sight.

      Beholding that sight – how vain the world's glory,
      Now I in the cross of Christ find delight;
      O! glorious Redeemer, Thy claims I acknowledge,
      Repenting, believing, beholding that sight.

      Beholding that sight – O wonder of wonders,
      Beholding that sight – O day of all days,
      Beholding that sight – my Lord and my Saviour,
      To Thee be the glory, the honour and praise.

      No Date, Charles W. Cooper

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No Room at the Inn

      No room at the Inn, Jesus lies in a manger,
      No room for the Son of the Highest was found;
      On earth has been born the long-promised Messiah,
      And myriads of angels His praises resound.

      All Hail, Holy Babe in that manger reclining,
      Though there in such weakness, yet God over all;
      The Seed of the woman, the heavenly Dayspring,
      My soul would, in wonder, those blest scenes recall.

      How patient, how gracious, how holy His footsteps,
      As here amongst men, He His mission fulfils;
      By night and by day midst the poor and the needy,
      He journeys through deserts, o'er mountains and hills.

      I treasure those scenes in the land of Judea,
      By Galilee's lake, where His fame spread abroad;
      He heals as He teaches, the dead He awakens,
      All this to accomplish the will of His God.

      I bow as I think of my Lord at the Wine Press,*
      The Saviour in conflict, He kneels down in prayer,
      Accepts the dread cup from the hand of His Father,
      The pressure so great, His devotion so rare.

      * 'Gethsemane' means 'Wine Press'. C.W.C.

      That sight at Golgotha, my mind cannot fathom,
      Its sorrow, its grandeur, no words could portray,
      For He who was here for God's will and good-pleasure,
      Dies there as God's Lamb, thus to take sin away.

      Despised and rejected, reproached and dishonoured,
      The powers of darkness against Him arrayed;
      No words of complaint, no regrets, nor repining;
      What meekness, obedience and love He displayed.

      Yet greater than all that His foes heaped upon Him,
      Forsaken was He, by the God He had served;
      Forsaken because God was righteous and holy,
      And Christ bore the judgment that sin had deserved.

      No room for God's Son in the world He created,
      Refused by the Roman, the Jew and the Greek;
      Messiah the Prince was cut off and had nothing,
      They smote Israel's judge with a rod on the cheek.

      There is room for Thee now on the throne of the Father,
      There is room for Thee now in that glory on high;
      There is room for Thee too in the hearts of Thy lovers.
      To Thee be the homage, Lord Jesus, we cry.

      Soon, Lord, Thou shalt reign to the ages of ages,
      And there in that world, free from evil and sin,
      Thy presence shall fill both the earth and the heavens,
      Yet once, Lord, for Thee, was no room at the Inn.

      No date, Charles W. Cooper

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The Problem

          My mind is full of anxious thoughts,
          My heart is filled with fears,
          Deep disappointment fills my soul,
          Moist are mine eyes with tears.

          Through Baca's Vale my path has led,
          My cherished hopes are vain,
          Dashed are my plans and purposes,
          N'er can be built again.

          I long for one who understands,
          My sense of loss and grief,
          Someone to sympathize,
          And bring my heart relief.

          I sit o'erwhelmed, in silence mute,
          The world seems bright and fair,
          But I am dull, perplexed and sad,
          So full of gloomy care,

          continued …

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The Answer

          O thou afflicted, tempest tossed,
          Faint not, nor fret, nor fear,
          The Man of Sorrows understands,
          He sees the falling tear.
          Cast not away thy confidence,
          (Great thy reward shall be)
          Upon the Lord thy burden cast
          Assured He cares for thee.

          Leave thee, thy Saviour never will,
          Never will He forsake,
          On high He lives to intercede,
          For thee He'll undertake.
          If through affliction thou dost pass
          Beside thee He will stay,
          His consolation thou shalt prove
          Throughout the pilgrim way.

          Not from the east, nor west, nor south
          But from the north comes gold. [12]
          Rest in the Lord and wait for Him,
          No good will He withhold.
          Then afterwards will fruit appear,
          Sweeter thy praise will be,
          Until that morn without a cloud,
          When His blest face we see.

          No date, Charles W. Cooper

    Charles W. Cooper, now with the Lord, lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is also the author of hymns 283, 494 and 530 in the 1973/93 Hymn Book, as well as several poems and tracts.

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Here I am, send me
Isaiah 6: 1-8

          What a dazzling blaze of light divine
          Shines from the throne on high,
          Where the covered messengers of grace
          Before God's face do cry: –
          Thrice holy is He, the Lord of hosts,
          Whose glory yet shall fill
          The earth below with its burning glow,
          And every bosom thrill.
          The terrified "son of Amoz" stands,
          And utters a cry of woe,
          I am undone, my lips unclean,
          And those around me too.
          Mine eyes have seen the King divine;
          The Lord of hosts is He;
          In that brilliant light where seraphs shine,
          My sinfulness I see.
          Then flew the seraph unto me,
          In his hand a glowing coal;
          The altar's fire on my mouth he laid,
          And that fire cleansed my soul.
          My heart at home, my fears all gone,
          And then I heard His voice –
          "Whom shall I send?" – "I am here", I cried,
          And thus I became His choice.

          Joseph Pellatt (1843-1913)

    Mr. Pellatt is the author of hymns 37, 143, 144, 146, 163, 374, 400 and 430 in the 1973 Hymn Book. The Closing Ministry of J. Pellatt is obtainable from Kingston Bible Trust.
    Mr. James Taylor said "I know of no one who loved the truth more than he did, and I never knew him to flinch when it was involved. When we consider the great ability he had to present it, and his long and varied experience in dealing with souls, the loss occasioned by his removal from amongst us is much more than may be assumed by most". Letters of J.T. 1: 112.

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