There is a soil which receives the rain,
(God’s common grace for good and evil men)
And bears the proper bounty God intends,
That those maintaining it will be sustained.
Yet if it gives out burrs and blighted grain,
It will incur a curse, and in the end,
That field is fed to fire’s full extent,
To purify, prepared to plant again.
Yet we have confidence in you;
For you have loved the Lord’s anointed saints,
And in the name of Christ without complaints,
You served these saints with wealth, and words, and food.
So cultivate a confidence in this:
When Jesus’ love with in your heart endures,
Then know that your salvation stands secure;
He won’t relinquish any fruit that’s His.
I call you now to stand in awe,
That awe may turn to homage.
For Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
Took on Him human vesture.
As one of us, though without flaw,
With perfect life and knowledge,
But now He delegates His law,
To stewards of His pastures.
He calls His shepherds to obey,
And imitate His leading.
Above reproach in all their ways,
Who preach but faithful doctrine.
As men who only truth will say,
Who challenge those deceiving,
And show the church the King of Days,
In holiness, then, taught in.
They lead, protect, teach, model, care,
To point the church to Jesus.
Though there are crooked leaders there,
This can not make us jaded.
For all are brothers, all will share,
And the whole world will see us.
The sheep and shepherd both now bear,
The call to bring Christ praises.
You richly fill my wounded, aching soul,
I’m satisfied in all Your pleasures.
You, and only You, can make me full,
To satiate my heart forever.
You know me, as in Eden – stripped away,
The foul and brooding, primal curses,
World’s sensual surfeit scatters, as they day,
Of Your face every sin disperses.
Your purity as a crystal fountain flows,
The genesis of life and cleansing,
The light by which we see comes from Your throne,
Without You, there’s no sense or sensing.
Extend Your loving-kindness to the just,
To those who by Your blood are righteous,
Oh! burst the flood-gates of Your love on us,
And to Your Lordship ever tie us!
God, guard my heart from haughtiness and pride,
Nor let the wicked make me waver,
But let me ever in Your grace abide,
And all Your providences savor.
For pride has caused so many men to fall,
They clinch their fists and then are shattered.
Such reefs the flesh into our life installs,
And all their progeny is scattered.
You bring me safely through these awful snares,
And You have silenced death’s loud clamor,
I try to praise Your grace – so rich, so fair –
But all my skill is but a stammer.