Luther's Hymn, In Eight Practical Rules Poem by Martin Luther

Luther's Hymn, In Eight Practical Rules

'Tis not too arduous an essay,
To tread resolved the gospel-way;
The sensual instinct to control,
And warm with purer fire the soul.
Nature may raise her fleshly strife,
Reluctant to the heavenly life;
Loath in a Saviour's death to share,
Her daily cross compell'd to bear:
But grace omnipotent, at length,
Shall arm the saint with saving strength;
Through the sharp war with aids attend,
And his long conflict sweetly end.

Act but the infant's gentle part;
Give up to love thy willing heart:
No fondest parent's melting breast
Yearns, like thy God's, to make thee blest:
Taught its dear mother soon to know,
The tenderest babe his love can show;
Bid thy base servile fear retire,
This task no labour will require.

The Sovereign Father, good, and kind,
Wants but to have his child resigned:
Wants but thy yielded heart (no more!)
With his large gifts of grace to store.
He to thy soul no anguish brings,
From thine own stubborn will it springs:
That foe but crucify, (thy bane!)
Nought shalt thou know of frowns or pain.

Shake from thy soul, o'erwhelmed, deprest,
The encumbering load that galls her rest;
That wastes her strength in bondage vain:---
With courage break the enslaving chain.
Let prayer exert its conquering power:
Cry in thy tempted trembling hour,
'My God, my Father! save thy son!'---
'Tis heard, -- and all thy fears are done.

Yet if (more earnest plaints to raise)
Thy God a while his aid delays,
Though you don't now his kind hand feel,
Thy grief let lenient patience heal.
Or if corruption's strength prevail,
And oft thy pilgrim footsteps fail;
Pray for his grace with louder cries,
So shalt thou cleansed and stronger rise.

If hapy still thy mental shade,
Dark as the midnight gloom be made,
On the sure faithful arm divine
Firm let thy fastening trust recline.
The gentlest sire, the best of friends,
To thee nor loss nor harm intends:
Though tost on a tempestuous main,
No wreck thy vessel shall sustain.
Should there remain of rescuing grace
No glimpses, no footsteps left to trace;
Hear thy Lord's voice: -- 'Tis Jesus' will,
'Believe, thou poor dark pilgrim, still.'

Then thy sad night of terrors past,
(Though the dread season long may last,)
Sweet light shall, from the tranquil skies,
Like a fair dawn, before thee rise;
Then shall thy faith's bright grounds appear,
Thine eyes shall view salvation clear.
Be hence encouraged more, when tried,
On the best Father to confide:
Ah! from thy mind extirpate quite
The sickly films that cloud her sight.
See! of how rich a lot, how blest,
The true believer stands possest!

Come, backward soul! to God resign;
Peace, his best blessing, shall be thine:
Boldly recumbent on his care,
Cast thy felt burdens only there.

Error Success