What Calvary Is

Christ was all anguish
that I might be all joy,

cast off
that I might be brought in,

trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,

surrendered to hell’s worst
that I might attain heaven’s best,

stripped
that I might be clothed,

wounded
that I might be healed,

athirst
that I might drink,

tormented
that I might be comforted,

made a shame
that I might inherit glory,

entered darkness
that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept
that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,

groaned
that I might have endless song,

endured all pain
that I might have unfading health,

bore a thorny crown
that I might have a glory-diadem,

bowed his head
that I might uplift mine,

experienced reproach
that I might receive welcome,

closed his eyes in death
that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,

expired
that I might for ever live.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight.

From The Valley of Vision

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Reconciliation

Lord God Almighty,


Thou art beforehand with men


for thou hast reconciled thyself to the world


through the cross,


and dost beseech men to accept reconciliation.


It is my responsibility to grasp thy overtures of grace,


for if thou, the offended part, act first


with the word of appeasement,


I need not call in question thy willingness to save,


but must deplore my own foolish maliciousness;


If I do not come to thee as one who seeks thy favour,


I live in contempt, anger, malice, self-sufficiency,


and thou dost call it enmity.


Thou hast taught me the necessity of a Mediator,


a Messiah,


to be embraced in love with all my heart,


as king to rule me,


as prophet to guide me,


as priest to take away my sin and death,


and this by faith in thy beloved Son


who teaches me


not to guide myself,


not to obey myself,


not to try to rule and conquer sin,


but to cleave to the one who will do all for me.


Thou hast made known to me


that to save me is Christ’s work,


but to cleave to him by faith is my work,


and with this faith is the necessity of my


daily repentance


as a mourning for the sin which Christ


by grace has removed.


Continue, O God, to teach me


that faith apprehends Christ’s righteousness


not only for the satisfaction of justice,


but as unspotted evidence of thy love to me.


Help me to make use of his work of salvation as


the ground of peace,


and of thy favour to, and acceptance of me


the sinner,


so that I may live always near the cross.