WHAT powerful, mighty Voice, so near,
Calls me from earth apart –
Reaches, with tones so still, so clear,
From th’unseen world, my heart?
‘Tis solemn, yet it draws with power
And sweetness yet unknown;
It speaks the language of an hour
When earth’s for ever gone.
It soothes, yet solemnizes all;
What yet of nature is
Lies silent, through the heavenly call;
No earthly voice like this!
‘Tis His. Yes, yes; no other sound
Could move my heart like this;
The voice of Him that earlier bound
Through grace that heart to His –
In other accents now, ’tis true,
Than once my spirit woke,
To life and peace, through which it grew
Under His gracious yoke.
Blest Lord, Thou speak’st! ‘Twas erst Thy voice
That led my heart to Thee;
That drew me to that better choice
Where grace has set me free.
Then would’st Thou that I should rejoice,
And walk by faith below;
Enough, that I had heard Thy voice,
And learnt Thy love’s deep woe –
Thy glory, Lord. This living waste
Thenceforth no rest could give;
My path was on with earnest haste,
Lord, in Thy rest to live.
Yes, then ’twas faith – Thy word; but now
Thyself my soul draw’st nigh,
My soul with nearer thoughts to bow
Of brighter worlds on high.
And oh! how all that eye can see
To others now belongs!
The eternal home’s so nigh to me –
My soul’s eternal songs.
For Thou art near; Thou call’st me now
In love I long have known,
While waiting on Thy will below,
Till Thou my hopes should’st crown.
And Thou would’st have me soon with Thee;
Thou, Lord, my portion art;
Thou hast revealed Thyself to me –
Thy nature to my heart.
My happiness, O Lord, with Thee
Is long laid up in store,
For that bless’d day when Thee I’d see,
And conflict all be o’er.
Yes, love divine – in Thee I know;
The Father’s glories soon
Shall burst upon my ravished view –
Thyself my eternal crown!
Thou mak’st me brighter hopes to prove,
Because Thou nearer art;
With secrets of eternal love
Thou fill’st my longing heart.
How shall I leave Thee, Lord? This joy
Is from Thyself; it is
My brightest hope without alloy,
My pure, eternal bliss.
With Thee, O Lord, I all things have –
Unclouded joy divine
In Thee, who first these “all things” gave
For ever to be mine.
Yet I will wait, in labour still
In Thy blest service here;
What Thou hast given me to fulfil –
Thy will – to me is dear.
“It is my meat to do the will of Him I serve; and I am glad to know it, because it is His – glad He has deigned to communicate it to me – glad to have it perfect as He gives it.” J.N.D.
I well can wait! Thou waitest yet
The word of that dread hour,
Which shall Thy foes for ever set
As footstool of Thy power.
Yet, Lord, were once Thy will fulfilled,
How better far with Thee,
With Thee, my joy, my strength, my shield,
In cloudless light to be.
O endless joy! how shall my heart
Thy riches all unfold,
Or tell the grace that gave me part
In bliss no tongue hath told?
The following verse is on JND’s gravestone in Bournemouth Cemetery – ed.
Lord, let me wait for Thee alone;
My life be only this –
To serve Thee here on earth, unknown;
Then share Thy heavenly bliss.
Lord, be it soon! Thou know’st our heart,
In this sad world, no rest
Can find nor wish but where Thou art –
That rest itself possessed!
Soon shall we see Thee as Thou art,
O hope for ever blessed!
Thou’lt call us, in our heavenly part –
The Father’s house – to rest.
O rest ineffable, divine,
The rest of God above,
Where Thou for ever shalt be mine;
My joy, eternal love!
His counsels, all, fulfilled in Thee;
His work of love complete;
And heavenly hosts shall rest, to see
Earth blest beneath Thy feet!
This poem forms the base of two hymns in the Little Flock Hymn Book
and one in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs 1978 – No 348