By R.C. Chapman
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons” Song of Solomon 2:3
A waste land, O my soul! is this earth to you, a forest full of briers and thorns, in which once you were a wanderer in darkness “such as might be felt” no path for your foot of peace, your heart was brought down with labor! The you made your earnest begging, and your cry was heard, for Jesus became your Light of Life, your Guide, your Defense and Shield!
O my soul! My enemies are strong and active; at times they roar against me in the way; they would have me credit their proud boasting, that I am their prey. Theirs is the serpent’s guile, the poison of asps is under the adversary’s lips: Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.
O teach me, then, to watch and pray, lest I enter into temptation! I don’t ask, Lord to be taken out of the world before the set time; rather gird and provide for me , by the Comforter, with the whole armor of God; and give me out of weakness and poverty of spirit to be strong, and to be made valiant in fight, looking ever to you, You Lamb of God and Captain of my salvation!
Ah, Lord! You love to hear from Your own the song of triumph which Your cross and throne teach them while in the midst of battle! The blood of Your cross took away the handwriting that was against us, the holy law, whose glory is terrible in condemnation, chiefly in condemnation of You, my Sin-bearer, Surety, Redeemer!
Your blood has spoiled the rule and power of darkness; and I also am a conqueror, more than a conqueror now, even now! I overcome by the word of Your testimony, and by the blood of the Lamb! But, O my Lord, bow down Your ear! Safety from destruction cannot satisfy my soul, but only enlarges desire, and gives room for a powerful love!
You be my tree of life, and let Your fruit, You, my soul’s Beloved! Be my heart’s strength and my spirit’s joy, for what can this earth yield me since I have tasted You! I once fed on ashes; now I love by You, O You who humbled yourself a was made flesh!
You are fairer than the children of men. You are meek and lowly; they are fierce and proud. You are true, yes, truth itself; while they speak with double heart. They change like the wind that whirls about continually; but You are He that was, that is, and is to come; the same yesterday, today, and forever!
You came in the likeness of sinful flesh, infinite was Your humiliation and poverty! And yet in Your poverty you were infinitely rich and great! In the light of Your countenance I have joy, for which I give to the winds all other joys!
I claim You, in Your poverty and riches, for my own. You call me brother, and I call You my Lord and my God, and, in all boldness of faith and confidence of love-my Friend, my Brother, Guide, Companion, all in one!
You have now gone forth out of the forest of this world, in which You were once ” a stranger to Your mother’s children” (Psalm 69:8). I would also be a stranger and sojourner with You, knowing that by Your help and guidance I will one day see You face to face, and go out no more.
This common domain work’s language modernized in places.