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A SAVIOR AND A GREAT ONE!
A ghastly sight shows in the shivering air
On Calvary’s brow:
The Savior of mankind, in love, hangs there;
While followers bow
The head low on the breast and sadly sigh,
“How can he be Messiah—if he die?”
A jeering mob surrounds the cursed knoll
And mocks the Lord;
Yet to his lips comes from his stricken soul
The precious word—
“Father, forgive; they know not what they do—”
E’er o’er his face creeps dissolution’s hue.
“‘Tis finished,” rings in triumph through the sky;
He bows his head.
And, while the querying soldiers mark the cry,
The Lord is dead.
All anguish past, his triumph doth begin,
The world is saved, a death blow dealt to sin.
Jerusalem, amazed, hears soldiers tell
(With terror cold)
How Christ has vanquished Satan, death and hell,
As he foretold.
And feeble fishers forcefully proclaim,
“There is salvation in no other name.”
A Sabbath’s journey from the city gate,
With sorrow shod,
Two sad disciples bear their sorry weight
To their abode.
The Christ appears, while holden are their eyes
And doth expound wherefor Messiah dies.
Emmaus reached, the Lord would further go.
They gently chide—
“Thou hast beguiled our weary tears, and so
With us abide.”
He brake their bread,—then vanished from their sight.
Their hearts did burn with holy joy that night.
Still thus he comes; and though the faulty sight
Of clouded eyes
Perceives him not, he makes the burden light,
And stills our cries:
For, like weaned babes, we mourn, the while he would
Our hearts sustain with stronger, richer food.
The tale is old, but ever sweetly new,
Why Jesus died.
The nail prints, doubting one, he shows to you,
And in his side
A spear thrust gapes—a passage rent apart,
For easy access to your Savior’s heart.
It was for you, my brother, that he shed
His life so free.
For you, for me, he bowed his godlike head
On Calvary’s tree;
That, trusting in the merit of his name,
We might be saved from sorrow, sin and shame.
The past sufficeth, surely, to have spent
In sinful deeds.
Come, join our band; and be our footsteps bent
Where Jesus leads.
So in his righteousness serenely dressed
We’ll meet him face to face among the blest.
— September 15, 1902 —