10808. The Cross Of Christ

1 A heart, O God, that pain nor sorrow tireth,
I see Thy will demands, my good requireth;
May I this task, not thoughtless, but discerning,
Be daily learning.

2 How oft, when murmuring at what Heav’n hath granted,
We still but pluck the thorns our folly planted,
"Christ’s cross" our own desert for sinful falling,
Profanely calling.

3 But is his pain, Thy holy law who spurneth,
Nor seeks Thy fear, nor Thy obedience learneth,
Nor rues, but for some broken earthly bubble,
A Christian trouble?

4 Yet even when Thou scourgest, Thy sweet pity
Woos us again to the eternal city;
Thou com’st to wake us from our sinful sleeping
By pain and weeping.

5 But if I walk unblamed in all uprightness,
The darkest cloud shall turn for me to brightness;
Thou rulest, Lord! and all Thy paths are tending
To good unending.

6 A pilgrim and a stranger now I wander,
I seek not here my bliss—I find it yonder;
O blessèd counterpoise! this moment’s sorrow—
That bright tomorrow!

7 And if I causeless suffer, undeserving,
For Christ’s dear sake, ne’er from His precepts swerving,
Then safe I look, with all the ransomed nation,
For His salvation.

8 Frail child of dust am I, by troubles driven;
Yet in my need I lift my heart to Heaven;
From thence firm trust and confidence I borrow
For every sorrow.

9 Lift up thine eyes! Who guides yon orbèd motion?
Who saith, "No further!" to the feet of ocean?
Is He thy helper only? and not rather
Thy tenderest Father?

10 He is all wise: wouldst thou His knowledge measure?
Seek why He sends pain when thou choosest pleasure?
Thou know’st not now; but thou shalt find hereafter
For weeping, laughter.

11 Heav’nward He lifts us by this present grieving,
That we, His Spirit’s holiness receiving,
May soothe and bind, by strength to us imparted,
The broken hearted.

12 The cross of Christ makes wise by patient bearing;
Patience experience works; experience daring;
A heart that dares in every conflict’s lightest:
Hope for the brightest!

Text Information
First Line: A heart, O God, that pain nor sorrow tireth
Title: The Cross Of Christ
Translator: Charles L. Ford
Language: English
Source: German; Tr.: Lyra Christi by Charles L. Ford (London: Houlston and Sons, 1874)
Copyright: Public Domain
Tune Information
Key: E♭ Major
Source: French church tune, Paris Antiphoner, 1681
Copyright: Public Domain

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