Christ My Song - 973
Lord, by thy hand withdrawn apart - Thoughts in Seclusion
(Charlotte Elliott/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Thoughts in Seclusion.
"In the day of adversity consider." (Ecclesiastes 7,14)
1. Lord, by thy hand withdrawn apart
from earthly things and outward scenes;
what lessons wouldst thou teach my heart?
What barrier break that intervenes?
2. Perchance to man my life has seemed
blameless, defiled by no dark blot;
but blameless can that life be deemed
in which my God has been forgot?
3. Is it thy wanderer to reclaim,
that thou contendest now with me?
Have I not missed life's noblest aim
as yet, not having lived for thee?
4. How have my powers been misapplied!
How has a creature, born to die,
been borne along the impetuous tide
of worldly care and vanity!
5. Truths heard of by the outward ear
I now discern, at least in part;
"a small still voice" I seem to hear,
speaking in mercy to my heart.
6. I boast of innocence no more;
guilty, yea guilty, Lord, I plead;
my merits, trusted in before,
now fail me like a broken reed.
7. Hard is that heart which ne'er has felt
the love of God to sinful man;
which has not learned to mourn and melt,
pondering salvation's wondrous plan.
8. "Blessed is the man thou chastenest, Lord!"
Thus speaks the oracle divine;
Now, on my heart let grace be poured,
and may that blessedness be mine!
Charlotte Elliott, Selections from the Poems of Charlotte Elliott, 151-152.