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In holy contemplation,
We sweetly then pursue
It can bring with it nothing
Will give His children bread.
Their wonted fruit should bear, Though all the field should wither, Nor flocks nor herds be there; Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice; For, while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.
364.-United to Christ.
363.-Casting our Care on God.
I PETER V. 7.
ROFESSOR ANSTICE (King's College, London), dying at Torquay in his twenty-eighth year, dictated this and his other Hymns to his wife during the last few weeks of his life. They "were composed just at the period of the day (the afternoon) when he most felt the oppression of his illness-all his brighter morning hours being given to pupils up to the very day of his death.' In some collections this Hymn is considerably altered. Its form, as here given, is from the Child's Christian Year.
JOHN XV. 4.
LIFT my heart to Thee,
For Thou art all to me,
And I am Thine.
Is there on earth a closer bond than thisThat "my Belovèd's mine, and I am His?"
HIS familiar Hymn was originally published in Hymns and Anthems, prepared by Mr. C. J. Fox for the use of the congregation meeting at Finsbury Circus, and has found a place in the hymn-books of almost all sections of the Church. A verse has been added to give evangelical completeness to the whole, but it has not lived:
"Christ alone beareth me
Where Thou dost shine;
In Christ my soul shall be
367." Thy Will be Done." MATTHEW Xxvi. 39.
HIS favourite Hymn is given here as it appears in Selections from the Poems of Charlotte Elliott, published by the Religious Tract Society. Many hymnbooks add two verses:
Safe in Thy sanctifying grace,
Almighty to restore !
Borne onward-sin and death behind, And love and life before
Oh, let my soul abound in hope, And praise Thee more and more!
Deep unto deep may call, but I
No waves can take away.
And let the storm that speeds me home Deal with me as it may.
ANNA L. WARING.
370.-Unable to Choose.
PHILIPPIANS i. 22.
LMOST every hymn-book which gives us this quaint, heartfelt strain of the old Nonconformist has changed the last line of the first stanza thus: "To soar to endless day."
The alteration may be an improvement; but the original line in its ruggedness contains an application of Christ's parable ("The Labourers in the Vineyard ") which Baxter himself would have been sorry to lose. Not that the interpretation is quite sound. The parable speaks of the various times at which men began their work, and refers rather to external privileges than to the personal call of grace. Baxter applies it to the earlier or later ending of the task of life. Then, again, surely a longer life gives, with all its trials and dangers, an opportunity to win a larger blessedness in heaven! Still the Hymn may stand as a fine comment on the motto-text from the Apostle Paul; and the last four lines are truly golden!
It may be added that some editors (as the late Dean Alford in his Year of Praise) alter the conclusion of the first verse thus:
"If life be long, my days are blest
The Hymn is part (verses 4, 7, 8) of a longer poem, entitled, "The Covenant and Confidence of Faith;" written to soothe and confort Baxter's afflicted wife. It begins:
"My whole, though broken heart, O Lord;"