But in the gathering of the years,
When life is in the fading leaf,
With eyes perchance bedimmed by tears,
And hearts oft overwhelmed with grief,
We look beyond the pearly gate,
Beyond the clouds of grief's dark night,
And see a place where loved ones wait,
Where all is blessedness and light.
And over all we see the face
Of Him who'll bring us to our own
Not to a far-off distant place,
For Heaven is, after all, just Home!
--Sue H. McLane
"If God has made this world so fair,
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful beyond compare,
Will Paradise be found.
Of stepping on shore
And finding it Heaven!
Of taking hold of a hand
And finding it God's Hand!
Of breathing a new air
And finding it celestial air!
Of feeling invigorated
And finding it immortality!
Of passing from storm and tempest
To an unbroken calm;
Of waking up and finding
--Robert E. Selle
Oh, there's no disappointment in Heaven
No weariness, sorrow nor pain,
No hearts that are bleeding and broken,
No song with minor refrain.
The clouds of our earthly horizon
Will never appear in the sky,
For all will be sunshine and gladness,
With never a sob nor a sigh.
We'll never pay rent for our mansions;
The taxes will never come due.
Our garments will never grow threadbare,
But always be fadeless and new.
We'll never be hungry or thirsty,
Nor languish in poverty there;
For all the rich bounties of Heaven,
His Heaven-bound children will share.
Life! We have been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather,
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear,
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away; give little warning;
Choose thine own time.
Say not, 'Good-night!' but in some brighter clime,
Bid me, 'Good-Morning!'
--Anna L. Barbauld
"Lord, when Thou seest that my work is done
Let me not linger on,
With failing powers,
Adown the weary hours,
A workless worker in a world of work.
But with a word,
Just bid me home,
And I will come
Yea, right gladly
Will I come.
It seemeth such a little way to me,
Across to that strange country, the Beyond;
And yet, not strange, for it has grown to be
The home of those of whom I am so fond;
They make it seem familiar and most dear,
As journeying friends bring distant countries near.
And so for me there is no sting to death,
And so the grave has lost its victory;
It is but crossing with abated breath
And white, set face, a little strip of sea,
To find the loved ones waiting on the shore,
More beautiful, more precious than before.
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"This WORLD is not my home, I'm just a-passing through.
"My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue!
"The Angels beckon me, through Heavens Open door,
And I canít feel at home in this world anymore!" --an Old Christian Hymn
"Love as much as you can
by all the means you can
in all the ways you can
in all the places you can
at all the times you can
to all the people you can
as long as ever you can."
- John Wesley Rule
"The twenty-third Psalm is always a great comfort in time of need. It reassures us that the Lord will never depart from us nor leave us comfortless. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord says that He will be with us. He'll be with us then to comfort and lead us into a new life forever. ----David Brandt Berg
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want [lack].
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
For Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
As you love me, let there be
No mourning when I go,--
No tearful eyes,
No hopeless sighs,
No woe,--nor even sadness!
Indeed I would not have you sad,
For I myself shall be full glad,
With the high triumphant gladness
Of a soul made free
Of God's sweet liberty.
--No windows darkened;
For my own
Will be flung wide, as ne'er before,
To catch the radiant inpour
Of Love that shall in full atone
For all the ills that I have done;
And the good things left undone;
--No voices hushed;
My own, full-flushed
With an immortal hope, will rise
In ecstasies of new-born bliss
And joyful melodies.
Rather, of your sweet courtesy,
Rejoice with me
At my soul's loosing from captivity.
Wish me "Bon Voyage!"
As you do a friend
Whose joyous visit finds its happy end.
And bid me both "a Dieu!"
And "au revoir!"
Since, though I come no more,
I shall be waiting there to greet you,
At His Door.
And, as the feet of The Bearers tread
The ways I trod,
Think not of me as dead,
"Happy, thrice happy, he whose course is sped!
He has gone home--to God,
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
'How many? Seven in all,' she said,
And, wondering, looked at me.
"And where are they? I pray you tell?"
She answered, 'Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.'
"'Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my Mother.'
"How many are you, then" said I
"If they two are in heaven?"
The little maiden did reply,
'O master, we are seven!'
"But they are dead; those two are dead;
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And say, 'Nay, we are seven!'"
Death, I think, is really life,
The living, I'd call dead;
To leave this human, mortal strife
And in new paths be led.
Death, I think, is beautiful,
A new and happy home,
To live then with the Father
And away you'll never roam.
Death, I know, brings sorrow,
And often drops a tear;
Then you think your end has come,
But it's only life that's near.
----by Ted Hagstrom age 10,
killed at age 13 in an auto accident.
Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest;
Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour's Breast;
We love thee well, but JESUS loves thee best:
Calm is thy slumber as an infant's sleep;
But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep;
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep:
Until the shadows from this earth are cast,
Until He gathers in His sheaves at last,
Until the twilight gloom is overpassed,
Until, the Lord's new glory floods the skies,
Until the loved in JESUS shall arise,
And He shall come, but not in lowly guise,
Until, made beautiful by Love Divine,
Thou in the likeness of thy Lord shalt shine,
And He shall bring that golden crown of thine,
Only "Good-night!" beloved, not "Farewell!"
A little while and all His Saints shall dwell
In hallowed union, indivisible:
Until we meet again before His Throne,
Clothed in the spotless robe He gives His own,
Until we know, even as we are known,
-- Sarah Doudney
FEAR death?--to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post if the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so--one fight more, The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness, and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end,
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!
-- Robert Browning
Lo! round the Throne, at God's right hand
The Saints, in countless myriads, stand;
Of every tongue redeemed to God,
Arrayed in garments washed in Blood.
Through tribulation great they came;
They bore the cross, despised the shame;
From all their labours now they rest,
In God's eternal glory blest.
Hunger and thirst they feel no more;
Nor sin, nor pain, nor death deplore:
The tears are wiped from every eye,
And sorrow yields to endless joy.
They see their SAVIOUR Face to face,
And sing the triumphs of His grace;
Him day and night they ceaseless praise:
To Him their loud Hosannas raise:
"Worthy the LAMB for sinners slain,
Through endless years to live and reign,
Thou hast redeemed us by Thy Blood,
And made us kings and priests to God."
--Rev. Rowland Hill
Let me die, working.
Still tackling plans unfinished, tasks undone!
Clean to its end, swift may my race be run.
No laggard steps, no faltering, no shirking;
Let me die, working!
Let me die, thinking.
Let me fare forth still with an open mind,
Fresh secrets to unfold, new truths to find,
My soul undimmed, alert, no question blinking;
Let me die, thinking!
Let me die, laughing.
No sighing o'er past sins; they are forgiven.
Spilled on this earth are all the joys of Heaven;
The Wine of life, the cup of mirth quaffing.
Let me die, laughing!
-- S. Hall Young