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“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Would ye be My disciple? Consider again;
Can ye follow My footsteps through trial and pain?
Can ye throw away pleasure, and glory, and fame,
And live but to honor My cause and My name?
Can ye turn from the glitter of fashion and mirth,
And dwell like a pilgrim and stranger on earth,
Despising earth’s riches, and living to bless?
Can you follow the feet of the shelterless?
Can ye ask from your heart the forgiveness of men?
Can ye list to reproaches, nor answer again?
Can ye pray that repentance in life may be theirs
Who’ve watched for your falling, who’ve set for you snares?
When you hear I am come, then, can you arise,
The joy of your heart springing up in your eyes?
Can ye come out to meet Me where’er I may be,
Though ye come on the waves of the storm-crested sea?
When I call, can ye turn and in gladness “come out”
From the heart of your childhood, the friends of your heart?
With naught but My promise on which to rely,
Afar from your loved—can ye lie down and die?
Can ye take up the cross that was heavy for Me,
The scoffing and scorn, My disciple to be?
Blest Saviour, Thou knowest the weakness of man;
With strength that Thou givest, we answer, We can.
— April, 1885 —