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Congratulations to a Friend, upon Believing in Christ6666Probably addressed to John Wesley, on the occasion of his “finding peace,” by his brother Charles. Part of the first verse is adapted from his brother Samuel’s verses on Bishop Atterbury’s birthday; for which see his “Poems” in Nichols’s edition, 1862, p.431.

What morn on thee with sweeter ray,

Or brighter lustre e’er hath shined?

Be blest the memorable day

That gave thee Jesus Christ to find!

Gave thee to taste His perfect grace,

From death to life in Him to pass!

O, how diversified the scene,

Since first that heart began to beat!

Evil and few thy days have been:

In suffering, and in comfort, great,

Oft hast Thou groan’d beneath thy load,

And sunk into the arms of God!

Long did all hell its powers engage,

And fill’d thy darken’d soul with fears:

Baffled at length the dragon’s rage,

At length the atoning blood appears:

Thy light is come, thy mourning’s o’er,

Look up; for thou shalt weep no more!

Blest be the Name that sets thee free,

The Name that sure salvation brings!

The Sun of Righteousness on thee

Has rose with healing in His wings.

Away let grief and sighing flee;

Jesus has died for thee—for thee!

And will He now forsake His own,

Or lose the purchase of His blood?

No! for He looks with pity down,

He watches over thee for good;

Gracious He eyes thee from above,

And guards and feeds thee with His love.

Since thou wast precious in His sight,

How highly favour’d hast thou been!

Upborne by faith to glory’s height,

The Saviour-God thine eyes have seen,

Thy heart has felt its sins forgiven,

And tastes anticipated heaven.

Still may His love thy fortress be,

And make thee still His darling care,

Settle, confirm, and stablish thee,

On eagle’s wings thy spirit bear:

Fill thee with heaven, and ever shed

His choicest blessings on thy head.

Thus may He comfort thee below,

Thus may He all His graces give:

Him but in part thou here canst know:

Yet here by faith submit to live;

Help me to fight my passage through,

Nor seize thy heaven till I may too.

Or, if the sovereign wise decree

First number thee among the blest,

(The only good I’d envy thee,)

Translating to an earlier rest;

Near in thy latest hour, may I

Instruct, and learn of thee, to die.

Mix’d with the choirs that hover round

And all the adverse powers control,

Angel of peace may I be found

To animate thy parting soul,

Point out the crown, and smooth thy way

To regions of eternal day.

Fired with the thought, I see thee now

Triumphant meet the King of Fears!

Steadfast thy heart, serene thy brow;

Divinely confident appears

Thy mounting soul, and spreads abroad,

And swells to be dissolved in God.

Is this the soul so late weigh’d down

By cares and sins, by griefs and pains?

Whither are all thy terrors gone?

Jesus for thee the victory gains;

And death, and sin, and Satan yield

To faith’s unconquerable shield.

Blest be the God that calls thee home;

Faithful to thee His mercies prove:

Through death’s dark vale He bids thee come,

And more than conquer in His love;

Robes thee in righteousness Divine,

And makes the crown of glory thine!



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