Friday, February 25, 2011

Nearer My God to Thee

It's my understanding that during her time of sorrow over the loss of her children, Mrs. Prentiss found comfort in this hymn. It's one in which we all can find comfort. I love this rendition. Since it's instrumental, I'm writing out these wonderful words for you:

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

~ Sarah F. Adams

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Personal Love of Christ

Mother keeps saying I spend too much time in brooding over my sorrow. As for her, she seems to live in heaven. Not that she has long prosy talks about it, but little words that she lets drop now and then show where her thoughts are and where she would like to be. She seems to think everybody is as eager to go there as she is. For my part, I am not eager at all. I can't make myself feel that it will be nice to sit in rows, all the time singing, fond as I am of music. And when I say to myself, "Of course we shall not always sit in rows singing," then I fancy a multitude of shadowy, phantomlike beings, dressed in white, moving to and fro in golden streets, doing nothing in particular, and having a dreary time, without anything to look forward to.

I told Mother so. She said earnestly and yet in her sweetest, tenderest way, "Oh, my darling Katy! What you need is such a living, personal love of Christ to make the thought of being where He is so delightful as to fill your mind with the single thought!"

What is "personal love of Christ?"

~ From Stepping Heavenward, Katy's entry of December 14, 1831.

[Be honest. How many of us have had such thoughts? ~ mr]

Monday, February 21, 2011

Susy's Fourth Birthday

Susy was very much surprised on the morning of the day she was four years old to hear her mamma call her to come and take her four birthday kisses. She had forgotten all about birthdays, it was so long since she had had one. She sprang out of bed and ran in to her mamma, who kissed her this time on her mouth, on each cheek, and her forehead; and seemed to love her even more than usual. Soon after breakfast she took Susy away into that little room to which she was in the habit of going alone, and they knelt down together and held each other's hand, while mamma thanked God very much for giving her such a dear little girl, and for letting her live four years; and asked Him, if he pleased, to let her live another year, and to make her his own little lamb.

~From Little Susy's Six Birthdays, 1853

[Moms of little ones might consider taking a cue from Susy's mamma. What impact there would have been on Susy's life. ~ mr]

Friday, February 18, 2011

Such Are They. . .

"Such are they in all ages who follow the Lamp whithersoever He goeth. Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. They would have been brighter here, but less glorious in His kingdom. They would have had Lot's portion, not Abraham's. If they had halted anywhere--if He had taken off His hand, and let them stray back--what would they not have lost? What forfeits in the morning of the resurrection? But He stayed them up, even against themselves. Many a time their foot had well-nigh slipped; but He, in mercy, held them up; now, even in this life, they know all he did was done well. It was good for them to suffer here, for they shall reign hereafter--to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them." ~ From the preface to Aunt Jane's Hero, published 1873

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blest Child

Blest child! dear child! For thee is Jesus calling;
And of our household thee--and only thee!
Oh, hasten hence! to His embraces hasten!
Sweet shall thy rest and safe thy shelter be.

Thou who unguarded ne'er hast left our threshold,
Alone must venture now an unknown way;
Yet, fear not! Footprints of an Infant Holy
Lie on thy path. Thou canst not go astray.

~ lines entitled To My Dying Eddy, January 16th. (Her little son Eddy passed away January 16, 1852.)

Note: Yesterday, a couple from our church, parents of four other children, received news that their unborn child was lifeless in the womb. The pregnancy was well along. Please remember the R. family in prayer. ~ mr

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Katy's Last Entry

I have no wish to choose. But I have come to the last page of my journal and, living or dying, shall write in this volume no more. It closes upon a life of much childishness and great sinfulness, whose record makes me blush with shame; but I no longer need to relieve my heart with seeking sympathy in its unconscious pages, nor do I believe it well to go on analyzing it as I have done. I have had large experience of both joy and sorrow; I have seen the nakedness and the emptiness, and I have seen the beauty and sweetness of life. What I have to say now, let me say to Jesus. What time and strength I used to spend in writing here, let me now spend in prayer for all men, for all sufferers, for all who are out of the way, for all whom I love. And their name is Legion, for I love everybody.

Yes, I love everybody! That crowning joy has come to me at last. Christ is in my soul; He is mine; I am as conscious of it as that my husband and children are mine; and His Spirit flows forth from mine in the calm peace of a river whose banks are green with grass and glad with flowers. If I die, it will be to leave a wearied and worn body and a sinful soul to go joyfully to be with Christ, to weary and to sin no more. If I live, I shall find much blessed work to do for Him. So living or dying, I shall be the Lord's.

~ Stepping Heavenward - Excerpt from Katy's final journal entry, dated June 30, 1860.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Love to Thee

Beautifully done. Unfortunately, the third stanza is left out; it was at the heart of why it was written. Lovely nonetheless.

More Love

More love to thee, O Christ, More love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make On bended knee;
This is my earnest plea, More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, Sought peace and rest;
Now thee alone I see; Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be, More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee!

Let sorrow do its work, Send grief and pain;
Sweet are thy messengers, Sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me, More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee!

Then shall my latest breath Whisper thy praise;
This be the parting cry My heart shall raise,
This still its prayer shall be, More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee! ~

~ Written in 1856 during a time of illness and sorrow over the loss of her two children. It was published in 1869. Other than Stepping Heavenward, it is her best known work.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why We Are Here

Much of my experience of life has cost me a great price and I wish to use it for strengthening and comforting other souls.

~ From one of her last letters (date unknown)

[So you see, folks, that is what we want to let her do. ~ mr]

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why This Blog?

Who could possibly be interested in reading words written by a woman who has been dead for more than one hundred years? Actually, I believe there are many people who, for more than a century, have indeed been interested in not just her words, but her life. In fact, I think there are those, not a few, whose lives have been enriched and touched by God because of this one woman's godly character reflected in all that she has written.

But even if there were not others, I want to start this blog for me. My life has been so impacted by what I have read from the pen of Mrs. Prentiss, that whatever time and effort I put here can only do what her writings have always done--lift my heart heavenward. Now, what can be better than that? ~ mr

Note: Italicized words are mine; Otherwise, they are the words of Mrs. Prentiss. Usually (but not always) the work will be cited or the journal/letter date. ~ mr