By R.C. Chapman
“We will make Thee borders of gold with studs of silver.” Song of Solomon 1:11
Thou, Lord art our portion, and we are Thine! Thou art a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty unto us; and we, in turn, are these to Thee. Lord, not to us, not unto us, but to Thy name, give glory. What Thou art to us (and Thou art our all), that Thou madest Thyself: for Thou gavest Thyself for us, and also to us: it was Thy own will to become our Brother and our slain Lamb. But did we of our own will yield ourselves to Thee? Ah, no! Thy grace we hated; Thy very cross and blood, which is our life, was an offence to us.
We hated the holy law of God, and yet more spitefully did we reject the gospel! By Thy word the dead were raised and quickened—our enmity was slain by the blood of sprinkling—and by wisdom to win souls, we, Thine enemies, we reconciled. Now, therefore, our shout of joy is: Grace! Grace! And all its glory, be ascribed to Thee, our sure Foundation, Head of the Corner! Thou art the Son of God, the giver, the object and the pattern of faith, working in us by the Spirit, both to will and to do Thy good pleasure.
Behold, then, our heart’s desire! Are we made alive by Thee, by the blood of Thy cross? Are we crucified with Thee and risen with Thee? We would live to Thee: we would be the girdle which Thou causest to cleave to Thee for glory and for beauty—Thy jewels by Thine own hand shaped and polished! O let our eye be single—let it ever suffice us for honor, that we serve the Lord Christ! In the fires we will glorify Thee, and take pleasure in necessities, distresses, for Thy sake; saying, in the midst of sorrow and tears, that every bitter cup is sweet, since Thou in love dost mix it, and in patient endurance we are conformed to Thine image.
If Thou sittest by the furnace, though no eye but Thine be upon us, we are content. O Thou Brother born for adversity! Who canst succor the tempted, who never forsakes Thy Church! At Thy feet we cast ourselves, with our burdens. There with our ignorance we sit and wait for the grace of Thy lips, and would be sweetly nothing that we may delight in Thee, and admire and exalt Thee, Lord, alone! So shall we, Thy Spirit’s workmanship, be ever wearing the garment of humility; our oneness with Thee its golden brother; the life—giving death its studs of silver; and by thy glory and ornament of grace, even as Thou art our diadem of beauty and crown of glory.
Lord, our desire is before Thee—our aim is a grateful offering! Nor vow nor covenant can we make, for all our strength is gone; but our hungering and thirsting are Thy good work; do Thou, who gavest the desire, Thyself fulfill it.