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THESE MANY YEARS
“These many years! What lessons they unfold
Of grace and guidance through the wilderness,
From the same God that Israel of old
In the Shekinah glory did possess.
How faithful he, through all my griefs and fears
And constant murmurings, these many years!
“God of the Covenant! From first to last,
From when I stood within that sprinkled door
And o’er my guilt the avenging angel passed,
Thy better angel has gone on before;
And naught but goodness all the way appears,
Unmerited and free, these many years!
“Thy presence wrought a pathway through the sea;
Thy presence made the bitter water sweet;
And daily have thy hands prepared for me
Sweet, precious morsels—lying at my feet.
‘Twas but to stoop and taste the grace that cheers,
And start refreshed, through all these many years!
“What time I thirsted and earth’s streams were dry,
What time I wandered and my hope was gone,
Thy hand has brought a pure and full supply,
And, by a loving pressure, lured me on.
How oft that hand hath wiped away my tears
And written ‘Pardoned!’ all these many years!
“And what of discipline thy love ordained
Fell ever gently on this heart of mine;
Around its briers was my spirit trained
To bring forth fruits of righteousness divine;
Wisdom in every check, and love appears
In every stroke throughout these many years!
“Lord, what I might have been my spirit knows—
Rebellious, petulant, and apt to stray:
Lord, what I am, in spite of flesh and foes,
I owe to grace that kept me in the way.
Thine be the glory! Merit disappears
As back I look upon these many years.
“Thine be the glory! Thou shalt have the praise
For all thy dealings, to my latest breath;
A daily Ebenezer will I raise,
And sing Salvation through the vale of death—
To where the palm, the golden harp appears,
There to rehearse thy love through endless years.”
— July 15, 1902 —