Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | July 9, 2013

More of FRH’s Essay on Charlotte Elliott

      There is a beautiful fitness in the fact that these two far-thrilling chords were struck by the same hand. For only the heart that has said, “Just as I am,” can ever truly say, “Thy will be done.” Only by the personal coming to the Lamb of God can we reach the quiet trust and love of the Father’s will. Only through submissive acceptance of Christ’s free salvation can we reach submissive acquiescence. Nay, we will not stop there, say rather restful rejoicing in God’s sovereignty. The first hymn is the key to the second. For “that free love” is the essence of that “will.”

 

     Only in one point there seems to be a falling short, and that in the last verse, although lit up with the bright thought that, —

 

“The prayer oft mixed with tears before,
I’ll sing upon a happier shore.”

 

     Why put off the singing? Why delay the change of sigh to song in uttering that glorious prayer, “Thy will be done”? “Understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Yes, what? All, more than all that heart can desire, more than all our holiest, deepest longings have reached, all that Infinite Love can devise and bestow, all that Infinite Wisdom has planned, all that infinite Power will work in us and for us! Our salvation, our sanctification, our showing forth His glory, our joyful resurrection, our everlasting life, our being with Him and beholding His glory, and the countless and unspeakable blessings enfolded or linked with all this, this is what we “ignorantly” ask when we pray those wonderful words which Jesus taught us; these are the true harmonies to that seemingly simple melody, “Thy will be done.” When we search out in His Word what the will of the Lord is, and when we see that it is the very strength and action of His exceeding great love, then we do not wait till the  “happier shore” is reached, but even here and now we sing, “Thy will be done.”


      But we must fill our specimen glasses with other choice flowers from the same root whence grew “Just as I am” and “Thy will be done.” Their heavenly fragrance is more noticeable than their poetic beauty, though this is by no means wanting. We will take the first two companion hymns. They complete each other — our faith and Christ’s love, our clinging, His pleading.

 

     “WE CLING TO THEE.”

 

O Holy Saviour, Friend unseen,
Since on Thine arm Thou bidd’st us lean,
Help us throughout life’s changing scene,
By faith to cling to Thee.

 

Blest with this fellowship Divine,
Take what Thou wilt, we’ll not repine;
Even as the branches to the vine,
Our souls will cling to Thee.

 

Without a murmer we dismiss
Our former dreams of earthly bliss;
Our joy, our consolation this,
Each hour to cling to Thee.

 

Though faith and hope may oft be tried.
We ask not, need not, aught beside;
So safe, so calm, so satisfied,
The souls that cling to Thee!

 

They fear not Satan, nor the grave,
They know Thee near and strong to save,
Nor dread to cross e’en Jordan ’s wave,
Because they cling to Thee.

 

Blest be our lot, whate’er befall!
What can disturb, or who appal,
While as our Strength, our Rock, our All,
Saviour, we cling to Thee?

 

 

     “Oh, PLEAD FOR ME.”

 

O Thou the contrite sinner’s Friend
Who, loving, lov’st him to the end,
On this alone my hopes depend —
That Thou wilt plead for me!

 

When, weary in the Christian race,
Far off appears my resting-place,
And fainting I mistrust Thy grace,
Then, Saviour, plead for me!

 

When I have erred and gone astray
Afar from Thine and wisdom’s way,
And see no glimmeringguiding ray,
Still, Saviour, plead for me!

 

When Satan, by my sins made bold,
Strives from Thy cross to loose my hold,
Then with Thy pitying arms enfold,
And plead, oh, plead for me!

 

And when my dying hour draws near,
Darkened with anguish, guilt, and fear,
Then to my fainting sight appear,
Pleading in heaven for me!

 

When the full light of heavenly day
Reveals my sins in dread array,
Say Thou hast washed them all away;
Oh, say Thou plead’st for me!

 

     Realization of the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour and Friend, personal love to Him, with a longing that rests in nothing short of His  presence, seem to be the leading characteristics of Miss Elliott’s writings. In one verse of another hymn she opens the very centre of her life and of her power; and the fulfilment of this great central desire was written upon her life and in her works. Jesus was a “living bright Reality” to her. How often we see such answers! When we converse about some special grace of the Spirit, and our friend says, with deep humility, “That is just what I want, just what I am asking continually for,” how very often we feel, even if we do not say, “Why, that is the very thing you have!” And the very praying of this prayer will be a step towards its rich fulfilment.

 

     JESUS KNOWN.

 

O Jesus, make Thyself to me
A living, bright Reality:
More present to faith’s vision keen
Than any outward object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh,
Than e’en the sweetest earthly tie!

 

     It is pleasant to find that the long-questioned authorship of this helpful verse is now known.

 

     “Faith’s vision” is foretaste, but not fruition. And the sweeter the foretaste the deeper will be the longing for the fruition. When we have received and realized our Saviour’s promise, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you,” then shines out that other “sure word” with nearer radiance and warmth, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also.”And so this hymn follows naturally upon the last-quoted verse.

 

     “WITH CHRIST.”

 

Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
My Saviour, my eternal Rest!
Then only will this longing heart
Be fully and for ever blest.

 

Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Thy unveiled glory to behold;
Then only will this wandering heart
Cease to be faithless, treacherous, cold!

 

Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Where spotless saints Thy Name adore;
Then only will this sinful heart
Be evil and defiled no more.

 

Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Where none can die, — where none remove!
Where life nor death my soul can part
From Thy blest presence and Thy love!


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