Rees Prichard Poems >>
Advice, To Search For The Lord Jesus Christ
If any man, or maid, or child, wou'd fain
The life to come, eternal life! attain —
Christ let him seek with care, if he wou'd live,
And Christ to him eternal life shall give.
Christ must be sought for first with zealous pains,
For real life in him alone remains —
And 'tis a thing most foolish and absurd,
To seek for life, unless you seek the Lord.
For thy protector, Jesus Christ elect,
And for thy guide thy conduct to direct:
Eternal life thou then from him may'st claim,
And ne'er, thereafter, shalt thou lose the same.
If for thy guardian thou dost Christ refuse,
And dost not Christ for thy director chuse,
No one, with any certainty, can tell
How thou may'st save thy precious soul from hell.
All wou'd have Christ, when at death's door they lie,
To be their Lord and Saviour, ere they die;
But, whilst in health, how few, alas! of those
Christ for the pattern of their lives propose.
Be not deceiv'd, thou sensual debauchee!
Christ will to no one a Redeemer be,
But to the man, who, of his own accord,
Shall take his Saviour for his sov'reign Lord.
He, who the word of God will not obey,
Nor take his spirit to direct his way,
Must not expect, that he shall ever have
The Son of God, his sinful soul to save.
Let Jesus Christ then thy protector be,
Let him be governor supreme o'er thee:
Without him, none (how much soe'er they strive!)
Can e'er pretend to save their souls alive.
Though thou the world, and all its tinsel pelf
Shou'dst gain — yet losing Christ, shou'dst lose thyself,
What wou'd the sad preheminence avail,
If thou, at last, to save thy soul shou'dst fail?
Shou'dst thou but Christ, and only Christ obtain,
Thou'dst have enough to make thee well again:
For Christ does, in himself, contain the whole
That's requisite, to save a sinner's soul.
O, that thou cou'dst but see, upon the whole
How needful Christ is, to preserve thy soul,
And that, without his help, thou canst not do
One jot, alas! of all thy task below!
It is a thing most needful for thy soul,
To seek for Jesus to complete the whole
Thou hast to do on earth — if thou wou'dst fain
His saving mercy for thy soul obtain.
Not any creature, whether wild or tame —
Not any man, or power, thou canst name,
Can thy deplorable condition mend;
'Till Christ, to better it, shall condescend.
Thou must have Christ, as God and man conjoin'd,
Two natures perfectly in One combin'd,
To finish all the work, thy sins require,
Ere thou canst please thy everlasting Sire.
Thou must have Christ as Brother and as King,
To work out ev'ry part, and ev'ry thing,
Belonging to the necessary deed
Of thy salvation — ere thou canst succeed.
Whoever aims his Saviour to possess,
And comfort seeks from him in his distress,
For Christ's reception must fit out a home
In his own soul — ere he will deign to come.
Prepare thy soul, thy sin-fraught soul prepare,
That Christ may come, and deign to sojourn there,
And when he comes, the sojourner embrace,
That thou from him may'st get both Strength and Grace.
Thou must, O man! for Christ make ample room,
Ere he will to thy bosom deign to come —
It must with ev'ry Christian grace be drest,
Ere he'll vouchsafe to lodge within thy breast.
Christ, and his holy Spirit, ne'er were seen,
Where there was ought unseemly, or unclean:
If any one's ambitious of their stay,
He from his breast must cast all filth away.
Christ in a heart impure will never stay,
'Till odious sin is banish'd thence away:
Christ no impurity can e'er endure:
For his own Spirit is entirely pure.
Our God and Dagon ne'er at once cou'd rest,
Or Christ Belial, in the self-same breast,
No more than fire and water, side by side,
In the same vessel can in peace abide.
The soul, that's full of pride, beyond all doubt,
Can't Christ contain, 'till it be empty'd out;
Just as the vessel, that's with filth replete,
Can't milk receive, ere it be render'd sweet.
All men from sin must utterly depart,
Detest it quite, and root it from their heart,
Ere they can any friendship have with Christ,
And to their breasts admit the sacred guest.
The soul must clear itself from ev'ry sin,
(That Christ with ev'ry grace may enter in)
And shun those vices, which it once allow'd,
That Christ may with his gifts the mansion crowd.
According to the ways of nature, none,
How great soe'er their pain, can seek the Son,
'Till God shall by his grace direct him right,
And draw him unto Christ, in nature's spite.
'Tis God out of his favour and free grace,
That offers Christ, to save a sinful race —
It is the goodness of our God alone
That gives us Christ — else we were all undone.
There's nought in man, that can the Godhead move
To shew him such regard — such wondrous love!
But God himself, out of his special grace,
Vouchsafes us Christ — to save a ruin'd race.
The streams of life, which no cessation know,
But still with grace, with health, and virtue flow,
God freely offers unto all that thirst;
But they must come unto their Saviour first.
God calls aloud to all with voice divine,
To eat his manna, and to drink his wine,
And asks no money for the rich repast —
Asks nought, but that we wou'd to Jesus haste.
God ne'er forbade a man, within his breast,
To entertain his Saviour for his guest:
But he forbids him to reject the Lord,
Tho' he were stain'd with crimes the most abhorr'd.
Though God thus kindly offers Christ to all,
Yet scarce a sinner will obey the call,
Or come to Christ, 'till by resistless might,
And special grace, God drags him to his sight.
No one can come, let him do what he will,
Unto the Son, however great his skill,
'Till by the Father of all mercies led
To Christ, to be with consolation fed.
The sheep, that once has straggled from the pen,
Will ne'er return, 'till carried back agen:
Nor will the sinner to his Lord return,
'Till, like the sheep, he to the fold is born.
No robber, of his own accord will e'er
('Till forc'd) before the magistrate appear:
Nor will a sinner, howe'er bad his case,
'Till dragg'd, attempt to see his Saviour's face.
His nature, in his sins, the wretch detains,
His consciousness of guilt, his feet restrains,
His crimes cry out, that he's his Saviour's foe,
And must be damn'd — if he presumes to go.
The eyes of man, God needs must open wide,
To see how wretchedly his soul's supply'd —
To see its shocking state, its pains, its woes,
Ere from his Saviour he will seek repose.
None to the Leach apply, their wounds to heal,
Until their throbs and rankling smart they feel:
So on their Saviour, sinners never wait,
'Till fully conscious of their fearful state.
We must our damnable condition see,
Our wretched case, our native poverty,
And the tremendous state wherein we live,
Ere we the want of Christ can well perceive.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, must light
A man, to view his miserable plight,
Ere he, for want of knowledge and of sense,
Can beg of Christ, to pardon his offence.
Like some stray'd sheep, our Father that's above,
Must haul each sinner with the hook of love,
Ere he will come, for comfort, to the Son;
Although, without him, he be quite undone.
God must to flesh convert the marble heart,
And make it soft, as wax, in ev'ry part ;
'Till at its woeful state it grieves full sore,
'Twill ne'er attempt a Saviour to adore.
The Father must display, before thy face,
His mercies, and the riches of his grace,
In giving thee his best-beloved Son;
Ere thou canst venture to approach his throne.
The Father, first, his goodness must declare,
That it extends to all, both far and near —
That he with kindness each request receives —
That, to the contrite, he remission gives:
And, that he calls each vile offender in,
(However big, however black his sin)
To have a share in all his joys divine:
So he his sins does totally resign.
God unto thee must a commandment give,
"With perfect faith, in Jesus to believe,"
On pain of his displeasure and approach;
Ere thou into his presence canst approach:
And when thou hast receiv'd his gracious call,
He must entreat and wooe thee after all,
With Christ and with Himself, to make thy peace;
Ere he will cause his burning wrath to cease.
Thou must be courted with persuasions kind,
(So obstinate, and so perverse thy mind!)
Ere he can thee, e'en by those methods, gain,
His proferr'd peace and pardon to obtain.
The rebel by his Sov'reign must be press'd,
The traitor must with mildness be address'd,
Ere he will deign to come for a reprieve,
And pardon, for his treason, to receive.
Though 'tis not fitting he to thee shou'd sue,
Who dost no sign of reformation shew,
Yet God still wooes, and begs thee to receive,
Thy pardon — if thou'lt ask it, he will give.
When thou hast thus been to repentance woo'd,
God's patience, and forbearance must be show'd,
How mildly-merciful he is! how kind,
Unto each listless, lazy, lingring mind!
How slow to punish thy repeated crimes,
How he forbears with thee a thousand times,
How long he's known th' impending stroke to stay,
'Till thou canst cast thy filthiness away.
Though God does thus thy sinful soul invite,
Though thus he goads thee on, and gives thee light,
Yet still thou will not quit thy sins, nor come
To Christ, 'till God has prick'd thy conscience home.
Though, by the faithful evidence within,
Thou art detected and convinc'd of sin,
And by its just award condemn'd at last,
For thy vile morals and thy vices past.
Though self-condemn'd and wounded to the heart,
Thou never canst from thy lov'd errors part,
And never shalt before the Lord appear,
Until the Holy Spirit drags thee there.
God and his Spirit must eject each guest,
And fiend unclean, that revels in thy breast,
And all the sins, that there triumphant reign,
Ere thou assistance from Christ obtain.
The Holy Ghost must give thee liberty,
And wholly from the Devil's toils set free,
And to the Son of God thy footsteps guide,
Ere thou, with him, for ever canst reside.
Thou must from ev'ry fav'rite vice depart,
Thou from all guilt must purify thy heart,
And keep thy soul from all pollution clear,
Ere thou in Christ canst ever have a share.
Corrupt in nature, we are all, alas!
The sons of wrath, a hell-devoted race!
'Till Christ the sons of wrath shall kindly take,
And them the sons of God and mercy make.
So fierce, so hot, the wrath of God does rage
Against the num'rous vices of the age,
That nought cou'd ever stop its fiery flood,
Was it not stopp'd by our Redeemer's blood.
Not all the waters, pendent in the sky,
Nor those that, in the spatious Severn lie,
Or in the ocean's far more spatious flood,
Nor ought can quench it, but our Saviour's blood.
We all, alas! are enemies of God's —
We all are with our righteous Judge at odds —
And had been still, had Christ not laid the plan
Of peace, of lasting peace, 'twixt God and man.
Not man, nor fiend, nor any pow'r above,
Nor ought on earth, can God's fierce wrath remove,
'Till Jesus Christ himself ('tis truth I teach)
'Twixt God and man makes up the fatal breach.
Beneath a grievous curse we lie oppress'd,
Because we all have willfully transgress'd
The law of righteousness, and from it none
Can set us free, but Jesus Christ alone.
We, one and all of us, are slaves to sin,
To which we, day by day, all tumble in,
And no one living can from it refrain,
'Till he's renew'd by Christ, and born again.
We all of us by Satan are secur'd,
And in a dusky, dreary gaol immur'd;
'Till Jesus comes, and steals his arms away,
He from his gripe will never quit his prey.
We all of us by Satan are secur'd,
And closely in a dismal gaol immur'd;
'Till Jesus shall the captiv'd gaoler bind,
None thence a way to 'scape shall ever find.
Shou'd the archangel Michael, and his train,
With the fierce Dragon ever fight again —
He ne'er cou'd conquer him, until the Lamb —
The Lamb of God, to his assistance came.
We are obnoxious all of us to death,
And to the dreadful pains of hell beneath —
And no one ever shall from thence get free,
'Till Jesus Christ shall gain his liberty.
We all of us, before we first drew breath,
Were doom'd for guilty Adam's sins to death,
And must from Christ get his assisting grace,
Ere one is sav'd of all the num'rous race.
Let him do what he can, no man shall e'er
In the celestial courts above appear,
'Till he a full and thorough change can boast
By Christ, by Water, and the Holy Ghost:
For Christ must, as it were, new-form the soul,
Create anew, and renovate the whole;
Ere carnal man can any happiness
In the celestial realms above possess.
None ever cou'd have over-come the beast,
Who cheated Eve, nor low'r'd his scaly crest,
Nor free'd us from hell's deep and dark abode,
Besides the woman's Seed — the Son of God.
None else cou'd have insur'd the joys above,
None cou'd the curse, which we deserv'd, remove,
But Jesus Christ who was the sinless seed,
From Abraham's loins, erst promis'd to proceed.
No creature, how extraordinary soe'er,
Cou'd from the jaws of sin poor mortals tear,
And place them near their God, the saints among,
But Jesus Christ, the Shiloh promis'd long.
Moses led Israel, by divine command,
From Pharaoh's court to Canaan's fertile land:
So God, thro' Christ, shall lead us far away
From Satan's pow'r, unto the realms of day.
The brazen serpent in a moment cur'd
All, who the fiery serpent's wounds endur'd:
Christ, by his blood, as speedily shall heal
All, who the deadly shafts of Satan feel.
A Lambkin's blood, for their transgressions slain,
From Israel's tents Apollyon did restrain:
The blood of Jesus will keep out the fiend
From ev'ry heart, that bears his death in mind.
As gallant David the fierce lion brav'd,
And from his paw the tender Lambkin sav'd:
So Christ, our Shepherd, will protect his sheep,
And from the fangs of Satan safely keep.
Samson, whose strength nought human cou'd oppose,
Slew at his death the chiefest of his foes:
So Jesus, by his suff'rings, overthrew
Death, Satan, sin, and all th' infernal crew.
From Christ, each has receiv'd his mortal wound,
Though in them still some signs of life are found;
Yet all the salves, in all the world, can't cure
Their heart-felt anguish, or their lives assure.
As nought cou'd do the Syrian Leper good,
Unless he bath'd in Jordan's limpid flood:
So nought can cleanse man from each inky stain,
But the Lamb's blood, that for our sins was slain.
As God dispatch'd a messenger of yore,
To rescue Shadrach from the fire's fierce pow'r:
So he, as the inspired pages tell,
Sent his own Son, to save our souls from hell.
Jonah, in great anxiety of mind,
In the whale's belly was, three days, confin'd:
So deep in earth, our blessed Saviour lay,
For us, until the third revolving day.
As Abraham offer'd up his son of yore
On Moriah's top, to the Almighty pow'r;
So did our Saviour offer up his soul
To his dread Sire — to have his flock from dole.
Who plung'd into Bethesda's pool, was heal'd;
However great his pains — whate'er he ail'd:
Whoe'er shall in the blood of Jesus lave,
A cure for all the wounds of sin shall have.
The Pelican relieves her tender brood,
When stung by some sly serpent, with her blood:
So the Lamb's blood relief to all imparts,
Whom sin has wounded with her deadly darts.
The Unicorn can, with his horn, 'tis said,
Those waters heal, where snakes have poison shed:
So Christ can, by his blood, those souls protect,
On which, the fiend his venom shall eject.
It therefore is more shameful, and more odd,
Shou'd we reject our spouse, the Son of God!
Than if some beggar shou'd refuse to wed,
And take a king of England to her bed.
No man alive can scale the heav'ns on high,
Which far above the lunar regions lie,
Unless he does the Patriarch's ladder take,
Jesus I mean, the bold attempt to make.
Cry then for Christ, with accents loud and sad,
'Till thou fast hold hast in thy Saviour had;
Then let not all the world, nor all in it,
Make thee the hold, which thou hast taken, quit.
Desire thou Christ, as harts the brooks desire;
For Christ of ev'ry traveller enquire:
Seek him with diligence, 'till you obtain;
But, when obtain'd, ne'er part with him again.
Ere thou canst Jesus earnestly desire,
To save thy soul from everlasting fire,
That he has pow'r and grace, thou first must see,
To keep thee safe, and buy thy liberty:
That Christ is gracious, thou must needs perceive,
That he is God-and-Man, thou must believe —
That he's more mighty, and of greater use,
Than ought the whole creation can produce.
Thou needs must see, that Christ's beyond compare,
Much better, and more necessary far,
Than all the world, and ev'ry transient joy,
To save thy soul from danger and annoy.
For not the world, nor all the world contains,
Can keep thy soul from hell's tremendous pains;
But Christ to heav'n the precious charge can bear,
And from the winged dragon's talons tear.
Christ, with his precious blood, can blot-out quite
Thy deep-grain'd sins, and make them lily-white:
Though they like scarlet, now at present, glow,
Yet he can bleach them, 'till they're white as snow.
Christ can repair, and mould a-new thy soul,
Though it shou'd be with various vices foul,
And, whilst thou livest on the earth, he can
Make thee in favour grow with God and man.
Christ can supply thy sinful mind with grace
And strength, on him thy confidence to place —
With learning, virtue, wisdom, and with worth,
Fully to work thy own salvation forth.
Christ can to thee th' advantages restore,
Which thy forefathers lost so long before,
And give thee life, which never shall decay
A life, that Satan ne'er can take away.
The Son of God can save thy wandring soul,
Tho' it shou'd stray, where wolves each ev'ning prowl,
And carry thee in safety back again,
On his own shoulders, to the faithful train.
Not all the spatious world, nor all therein,
Can purify thy spotted soul from sin,
Or its lost native innocence recall;
But, without Christ, thou to the pit must fall.
Collect thy utmost pow'rs, thy utmost might,
Rely, confide, and lay, on Christ, thy weight;
Search for him, love him, and with faith behold,
And keep in him a sure and steddy hold.
A Christian must be thoroughly inclin'd
To seek for Christ, with all his heart and mind:
For Christ will never a Protector prove
To such as study not to gain his love.
Unless one longs, unless one thirsts to have
The Son of God, his sinful soul to save —
The Deity will ne'er his suit regard,
Nor such faint efforts with success reward.
The Deity, his Son to none will give,
Who are not fully ready to receive
The gift divine, Christ must with zeal be sought,
Before he can within their reach be brought.
Who wish, who long, who pant with strong desire,
Christ and his gracious favour to acquire,
God will to such accord the blessing soon,
And give them readily the precious boon.
God nought expects from any that believe,
But that with ardour they wou'd Christ receive:
For he, that seeks him with a zeal, like fire,
Shall, without price, obtain his heart's desire.
Before, we Christ and his sweet Grace can gain,
We must the certain hold of faith attain:
For, without faith, no man on earth shall e'er
Before the Son of God in bliss appear.
No part, no share, no benefit, no gain,
The Christian, more than Pagan, shall obtain,
Of all that Jesus purchas'd for our sakes,
'Till he by faith a full possession takes.
Faith, is the noblest boon thou canst desire;
Without it, thou shalt never Christ acquire:
Tho' thou, in this thy day, each wish shou'dst have,
Yet, without faith, thy soul thou ne'er cou'dst save:
Without it, thou hast nought with Christ to do —
Without it, thy best works are mean and low —
Without it, thou to God no joy canst give —
But, "by his faith, the just shall ever live."
Tho' hills of gold unto thy share shou'd fall,
And all the glories of this earthly ball:
What wou'd they profit thee, on the dread day,
Shou'dst throw, for want of faith, thy soul away?
Wast thou as poor as Lazarus of yore;
Without goods, lands, or food, or any store;
Tho' thou nought else but faith alone shou'dst have,
By faith alone yet thou thy soul shou'dst save.
Tho' mines of gold cannot our Saviour move,
To save a single soul he does not love;
Yet faith, though little as the smallest grain,
Salvation, for its owner, shall obtain:
Without it, no delight, no comfort, is,
No joy sincere, nor any perfect bliss,
In heav'n above, or on the earth below ;
Who has not faith, no happiness can know!
Without it, thou, in Christ, shalt have no room —
Without it, thou, in hell shalt have thy doom —
Without it, God himself is ne'er well-pleas'd —
Without it, no man heaven e'er appeas'd.
No pardon is for sin to be obtain'd —
No favour from th' Almighty to be gain'd —
No real pleasure ever did appear —
Unless a lively faith was likewise there.
The rich have need of faith, as well as poor —
The learned sage, and the illit'rate boor:
Like need of faith the king and beggar have;
Nay, all have need of it, their souls to save —
And all must have their Own — their Own alone —
Another's faith cannot for thee atone:
Since no man can be sav'd — not even one —
But by his own belief and faith alone.
'Tis not thy mother's faith, nor yet thy sire's —
'Tis not the prince, or peer's — that God requires,
And can on thee the grace of God draw down —
Or any other's faith, besides thy own.
The father's faith, to save his son shall fail —
Nor shall the son's, to save the sire prevail:
Each shall be saved, by his own faith alone;
No other faith to save a soul was known!
Who, with attention, hear his blessed words,
To them, the Deity this faith affords:
On none, without the word, he e'er bestows
The sacred gift, or any favour shows.
Hear then the word, and, all it says, believe,
And to its doctrines due attention give:
God will perform the thing which He has spoke!
God never yet has any promise broke!
'Tis not our temper, or our sire's deserts —
'Tis not our learning, study, or our parts —
But 'tis God's spirit, through the word possest,
That gives man faith, and plants it in his breast.
Seek then the word, the spirit seek to gain,
And, as for life, for grace cry out amain;
For they, who cry for grace, and hear his word,
To them faith's freely granted by the Lord.
'Tis not the word, heard by the ear, that can
Excite true faith within the heart of man;
But 'tis the Spirit, with the word combin'd,
That stirs up faith within the human mind.
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