Brethren Archive

The Servant's Path In a Day of Rejection.

by John Jewell Penstone

    SERVANT of Christ, stand fast amid the scorn
Of men who little know or love thy Lord;
Turn not aside from toil: cease not to warn,
Comfort and teach, trust Him for thy reward;
A few more moments’ suffering, and then
Cometh sweet rest from all thy heart’s deep pain.

Far grace pray much, for much thou needest grace.
If men thy work deride—what can they more?
Christ’s weary foot thy path on earth doth trace;
If thorns wound thee, they pierced Him before;
Press on, look up, tho’ clouds may gather round,
Thy place of service He makes hallowed ground.

Have friends forsaken thee, and cast thy name
Out as a worthless thing? Take courage then:
Go tell thy Master; for they did the same
To Him, who once in patience toiled for them;
Yet He was perfect in all service here;
Thou oft hast failed: this maketh Him more dear.

Self-vindication shun; if in the right
What gainest thou by taking from God’s hand
Thy cause? If wrong, what dost thou but invite
Satan himself thy friend in need to stand?
Leave all with God; if right, He’ll prove thee so;
If not, He’ll pardon; therefore to Him go.

Be not men’s servant: think what costly price
Was paid that thou might’st His own bondsman be,
Whose service perfect freedom is. Let this
Hold fast thy heart. His claim is great to thee.
None should thy soul enthrall to whom ‘tis given
To serve on earth, with liberty of Heaven.

All His are thine to serve: Christ’s brethren here
Are needing aid, in them thou servest Him.
The least of all is still to Him most dear,
The weakest cost His life-blood to redeem.
Yield to no "party" what He rightly claims,
Who on His heart bears all His people’s names.

Be wise, be watchful, wily men surround
Thy path. Be careful, for they seek with care
To trip thee up; see that no plea be found
In thee thy Master to reproach. The snare
They set for thee will then themselves enclose
And God His righteous judgment thus disclose.

Cleave to the poor, Christ’s image in them is;
Count it great honor if they love thee well;
Nought can repay thee after losing this,
Tho’ with the wise and wealthy thou shouldst dwell.
Thy Master oftentimes would pass thy door
To hold communion with His much-loved poor.

The time is short, seek little here below:
Earth’s goods would cumber thee and drag thee down.
Let daily food suffice; care not to know
Thought for tomorrow: it may never come.
Thou canst not perish, for thy Lord is nigh,
And His own care will all thy need supply.

Let no mixed motive e’er distract thy mind;
With single eye thy steadfast path pursue.
To earth’s poor treasures always be thou blind,
And the world’s pleasure still with scorn eschew:
In grace delivered from its coming doom,
Let not its paltry objects thee entomb.

Sit still before thy Lord as days pass by,
And show Him all thy overflowing heart;
He seeks to cheer thee with His loving eye,
He loves to hear thee all thy thoughts impart;
His stores in Heaven are all unrolled for thee.
Think of such love, and to Him constant be.

John Jewell PENSTONE,
“Footsteps of Truth” 1894


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