Archive for the Puritans Category

God Our Help in Ages Past and Years To Come

Posted in Heaven, Hymns, John Bunyan, Puritans, Suffering, The Pilgrim's Progress, Valley of Vision on January 29, 2015 by kevinwilkening

My younger brother’s thirteen year old daughter, Eilise, has been diagnosed with a pinealblastoma: an aggressive brain tumor. After hanging up the phone, having heard the news through my brother’s breaking voice, and our short but meaningful tear-filled conversation, I was reminded once again of The Pilgrim’s ProgressThe Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory that was written by John Bunyan, and published in February 1678.

I began thinking particularly of a couple sections. First, when night is falling, and Christian has entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Christian finds himself in the middle of the valley amidst gloom and terror, but then he hears the words of the Twenty-third Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Christian makes it through the night trusting that God is with him. Then, he leaves valley as the sun rises on a new day.

The second is when Christian and Hopeful, having just visited Vanity Fair, are traveling along a particularly rough section of road. They leave the highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow. However, there is a rainstorm that forces them to spend the night, and in the morning, they are captured by Giant Despair who takes them to his Doubting Castle where they are imprisoned, beaten and starved. The Giant Despair wants them to commit suicide, but they endure his misery until Christian realizes that he has a key called Promise, which will open all the doors and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key, they escape. Eventually, Christian and Hopeful come upon some shepherds in the Delectable Mountains. And the shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as “Immanuel’s Land.”

What a helpful allegory for the Christian life. I love The Pilgrim’s Progress for several reasons. However, the one I will highlight today is that this story reminds us that our lives are all pilgrimages, or journeys, or voyages. And all pilgrimages, journeys, or voyages have real danger, and put us in real peril. However, for the Christian, the peril is never experienced apart from God’s grace. Oh, for more grace!
valleyofvisionHere is a Puritan prayer entitled “Voyage.” I have posted this before. However, it is the prayer that I immediately think of when my friends or family find themselves in the midst of this life’s raging storms. So, today I pray this for my brother and his family, and to The Lord of the Oceans!

O Lord of the Oceans,

My little bark sails on a restless sea, grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely; suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course; let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals; bring me to harbour with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.

I ask great things, expect great things, shall receive great things. I venture on thee wholly, fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defense.

The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless, but my helm is held steady, thy Word secures safe passage, they grace wafts me onward, my haven is guaranteed. This day will bring me nearer home, grant me holy consistency in every transaction, my peace flowing as a running tide, my righteousness as every chasing wave.

Help me to live circumspectly, with skill to convert every care into prayer, halo my path with gentleness and love, smooth every asperity (harshness) of temper; let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief; may I strive to bind up every wound, and pour oil on all troubled waters. May the world this day be happier and better because I live.

Let my mast before me be the Saviour’s cross, and every oncoming wave the fountain in His side.  Help me, protect me in the moving sea until I reach the shore of unceasing praise.

In the words of the great hymn writer, Isaac Watts, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.” ~ O God, Our Help in Ages Past ~ by Isaac Watts, 1719.

My brother, may our faithful God grace you on your pilgrimage, and shelter you in the midst of your current storm.

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God Our Help in Ages Past and Years To Come

Posted in Books, Grace, Heaven, John Bunyan, Mercy, Puritans, Suffering, The Pilgrim's Progress, Valley of Vision on March 15, 2013 by kevinwilkening

This has been a particularly difficult couple of weeks. My best friend’s father passed away. A good friend’s mother passed away. Yesterday, my sister-in-law’s father suffered a severe stroke and it looks like he may not make it through the day. In addition, last night the Neely’s one-month old son passed away. All of this sorrow and heartache has once again reminded me of The Pilgrim’s ProgressThe Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory that was written by John Bunyan, and published in February 1678.

I was thinking particularly of a couple sections. First, when night is falling, and Christian has entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Christian finds himself in the middle of the valley amidst gloom and terror, but then he hears the words of the Twenty-third Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Christian makes it through the night trusting that God is with him. Then, he leaves valley as the sun rises on a new day.

The second is when Christian and Hopeful, having just visited Vanity Fair, are traveling along a particularly rough section of road. They leave the highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow. However, there is a rainstorm that forces them to spend the night, and in the morning, they are captured by Giant Despair who takes them to his Doubting Castle where they are imprisoned, beaten and starved. The Giant Despair wants them to commit suicide, but they endure his misery until Christian realizes that he has a key called Promise, which will open all the doors and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key, they escape. Eventually, Christian and Hopeful come upon some shepherds in the Delectable Mountains. And the shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as “Immanuel’s Land.”

What a helpful allegory for the Christian life! I love The Pilgrim’s Progress for many reasons. However, the reason screaming most loudly to me this morning is: our lives are all pilgrimages, or journeys, or voyages. And all pilgrimages, journeys, or voyages have real danger, and put us in real peril. However, for the Christian, the peril is never experienced apart from God’s grace and His enabling power. Oh, for more grace!

Here is a Puritan prayer entitled “Voyage.” I pray this for my friend, and to my God!

O Lord of the Oceans,

My little bark sails on a restless sea, grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely; suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course; let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals; bring me to harbour with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.

I ask great things, expect great things, shall receive great things. I venture on thee wholly, fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defense.

The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless, but my helm is held steady, thy Word secures safe passage, they grace wafts me onward, my haven is guaranteed. This day will bring me nearer home, grant me holy consistency in every transaction, my peace flowing as a running tide, my righteousness as every chasing wave.

Help me to live circumspectly, with skill to convert every care into prayer, halo my path with gentleness and love, smooth every asperity (harshness) of temper; let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief; may I strive to bind up every wound, and pour oil on all troubled waters. May the world this day be happier and better because I live.

Let my mast before me be the Saviour’s cross, and every oncoming wave the fountain in His side.  Help me, protect me in the moving sea until I reach the shore of unceasing praise.

In the words of the great hymn writer, Isaac Watts, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.” ~ O God, Our Help in Ages Past ~ by Isaac Watts, 1719.

My friends, may our faithful God grace you on your pilgrimage, and shelter you in the midst of your current storm.

Starbucks and Healthcare

Posted in Doug Wilson, Healthcare, Puritans, Reformation, Starbucks, The Gospel on June 29, 2012 by kevinwilkening

Studying in Starbucks this morning a conversation began with my “neighbors.” An elderly gentlemen commented on a bookmark that I had sitting inside of G.K. Beale’s The Book of Revelation (NIGTC). The bookmark looks like a million dollar bill (I am not sure where I received it, and it is not important). What is important is that the elderly man commented that I would need this million dollars to pay for the healthcare of my family due to the recent Supreme Court ruling. This comment sparked an interesting conversation from my surrounding “neighbors.” Seven people of varying ages and backgrounds converged on my table and began to either praise or lament the current ruling; depending upon their political persuasion. However, one thing was clear by the end of the forty-five minute discussion: Everyone knows there must be reform, and no one knows to bring about reform.

This reminded me of Doug Wilson’s clarion call in Mother Kirk: Essays on Church Life. I will not quote the entire introduction to this book, but it is worth the read.

And this brings us to the point of this book, which is reformation of the Church. The first duty of all Christian churches is to proclaim clearly the gospel of Christ as Scripture has revealed it to us.

… The message is that man by nature is a deserving object of God’s wrath, utterly without hope of saving Himself. Dead in his filthiness, he is without God and without hope in the world. But before all worlds, God the Father selected by name a people to be called by His name, the number of whom cannot be increased, diminished, our counted by man. When the appointed time for their redemption came, God the Son took on human flesh and was born of a woman. According to the predetermined plan of God, the eternal Word of God died on a tree as a perfect and efficacious substitute for His people, those whom the Father had given to Him. As the message of this gospel progresses throughout the world, God the Spirit comes upon the men and women selected for salvation and in a wonderful and effectual way, regenerates them; those whom God has ordained to eternal life believe. This being the case, what shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? No true child of God will ever fall from the everlasting arms.

The message of the gospel is clear in Scripture. We must confess that our sinful neglect of the Bible has blurred it for us. As the church returns to a clear understanding of the gospel message, other important doctrinal reformation will follow.

The point of this book is the reformation of the Church, and not the reformation of nations and cultures. Nevertheless, if the Church were to be reformed, it would have a dramatic impact on the surrounding nations and cultures.

The state is … in shambles. At the very beginning of the coming cultural reformation, our civil magistrates must repent of their blasphemous delusion that the civil government is in anyway competent to be a savior for man [emphasis added] … Through them, we have sinned in rejecting the biblical doctrine of God’s predestination. Not surprisingly, unbelieving man seeks to fill the void of what he calls “chance” with his own form of total and absolute control–bureaucratic predestination by man [emphasis added]. The result is an all-encompassing totalitarian state at war with the living God.

… No thoughtful Christian can consider the state of our culture today without considerable grief. The lawless are in power, the innocent suffer, the gullible believe, the taxable pay, the sages are befuddled, and everything gets progressively worse. One political party wants to drive us toward the cliff at seventy miles per hour, and the loyal opposition wants to go fifty. In such a situation, it is perilously easy for Christians (always in the back seat) to begin to think that we have an obligation to “get involved,” change our country, turn this thing around, and so on.

And so we do have an obligation–but not in the way most frequently suggested. The humanists who currently run the show believe that politics is our savior [emphasis added]. It would be unthinkable for a major political figure to state publicly that some widespread cultural problem (drugs, say) [or we could add healthcare or immigration] had “no political solution,” and that he, Senator Snoutworst, was therefore going to “do nothing” about it. The ensuing commotion would be a sight to behold, the good senator having blasphemed against the reigning god. For unbelievers, politics provide the only possible answer. The problem is that many of the Christians who have “gotten involved” have assumed that the difference between the believers and unbelievers concerns simply the agenda for action–“what should our leaders do?” But they agree on the fact that there is a political solution. But for Christians who seek to think biblically, the problem is far more fundamental than this.

Any serious attempt at cultural reform, based upon “traditional values,” which precede a reformation and revival in the Church, should be considered by Christians as worthless reforms. As a pretty woman without discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, so is a reformation of law without reformation of the people. Our nations has progressed as far as she has in her moral corruptions because the Church has diluted her message and consequently find the surrounding culture baffling. She was appointed as the pillar and ground of truth, and she has found the task wearisome. Contending for the faith delivered to the saints has become too much of a nuisance, and too likely to bring on controversy. We can’t have that.

Our civic leaders who have not believed God, and who have plunged our nation into this flood of dissipation, were simply acting according to their unregenerate natures. They are without God and without hope in the world. The only way the unbelieving world can be constrained in its external actions, in a way contrary to that unregenerate nature, is when the Church is salty.

… The central problem in America today is the refusal of the Church to act as salt. Salt is controversial. Salt is troublesome. Salt is a nuisance. Salt is divisive. Salt is too doctrinal and theological. Salt is a pain in the neck. Salt is–well, salty.

… The Puritans are remembered (rightly) for the political impact they had. Hundreds of years after their time, we still owe may of our civil liberties to their teaching and to the sacrifices they made for the sake of their Lord and ours. But the Puritans got their name not because their first goal was to “purify” the politics of the day, but rather because they wanted to purify the Church. The Church of their day needed it, as does our. But their should be no confusion on this point; the Churches that need to be reformed are not the liberal and apostate Churches. The greatest need for reformation is with the evangelical church.

Revelation 3:17–18 (ESV) — For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

Modern evangelicals in our culture have gotten money, power, and influence, and it has been like giving whiskey to a two-year-old. But the need of the hour is theological, not political. The arena is the pulpit and the table, not the legislative chamber. The message is Christ crucified and rinse for His chosen sinners and now acknowledged Lord of all. This risen and conquering Christ is the Head of the Church. Before we are equipped to proclaim His lordship to the inhabitants of all the earth, we must live as though we believed it in the Church (Doug Wilson, Mother Kirk: Essays on Church Life, excerpts from pages 17-22).

Preparation for the Lord’s Table

Posted in Communion, Grace, John Owen, Puritans, The Lord's Table, Valley of Vision on June 4, 2010 by kevinwilkening

As we prepare ourselves for Sunday morning and our observance of the Lord’s Table, I was reminded that the grace that allows us to come to the Lord’s Table is a “purchased grace.”  Apart from Christ purchasing grace for us, we could not commune with our great God and Savior.  But, because Christ did purchase grace for us, and we are in Him, we have freedom to live in communion with Him as His people this Sunday morning.

What is “purchased grace?” Purchased grace is: all the righteousness and grace which Christ has obtained for us, or produced for us, or by any means makes us partakers of with Him, or imparts to us for our benefit . . . by anything that He has done, or He has suffered, or by anything He continues to do as Mediator on our behalf” (paraphrase of John Owen in Communion with the Triune God, pg. 271).

As God’s people, we are now in communion with God.  And because we are in Christ, there is almost nothing that Christ has done, but we are said to do with Him.  We are crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20); we are dead with Him (2 Timothy 2:11; Colossians 3:3); we have been made alive with Him (Colossians 2:13); we have risen with Him (Colossians 3:1); and we are made to sit with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5 – 6).  Therefore, because of Christ and His works on our behalf (His purchased grace for us), there is such a sure foundation laid for us that we are said to have done the same things with Christ.

What great life, and confidence, and power, and assurance does our union and communion with Christ give us?  Can any of us help but be amazed by the grace of God to us?

I would like the Puritan’s to lead us in a prayer that exalts the grace of God, and asks God for more of His grace.

The prayer is entitled, Amazing Grace (The Valley of Vision, pg. 110).

O Thou Giving God,

My heart is drawn out in thankfulness to thee, for thy amazing grace and condescension to me in influences and assistances of thy Spirit, for special help in prayer, for the sweetness of Christian service, for the thoughts of arriving in heaven, for always sending me needful supplies, for raising me to new life when I am like one dead.

I want not the favour of man to lean upon for thy favour is infinitely better.  Thou art eternal wisdom in dispensations toward me; and it matters not when, nor where, nor how I serve thee, nor what trials I am exercised with, if I might be prepared for thy work and will.

No poor creature stands in need of divine grace more than I do, and yet none abuses it more than I have done and still do.  How heartless and dull I am!

Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.  Every time I exercise any grace renewedly I am renewedly indebted to thee, the God of all grace, for special assistance.  I cannot boast when I think how dependent I am upon thee for the being and every act of grace; I never do anything else but depart from thee, and if ever I get to heaven it will be because thou willest it, and for no reason beside.

I love, as a feeble, afflicted, despised creature, to cast myself on thy infinite grace and goodness, hoping for no happiness but from thee; give me special grace to fit me for special services, and keep me calm and resigned at all times, humble, solemn, mortified, and conformed to thy will.”

Grace Greater than All Our Sin by Julia Johnston in 1911.

Mavelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.

Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin.”

God Our Help in Ages Past and Years To Come

Posted in John Bunyan, Puritans, Suffering, The Pilgrim's Progress, Valley of Vision on January 13, 2010 by kevinwilkening

A great friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. Hearing the news, I was reminded of The Pilgrim’s ProgressThe Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory that was written by John Bunyan, and published in February 1678.

I was thinking particularly of a couple sections.  First, when night is falling, and Christian has entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Christian finds himself in the middle of the valley amidst gloom and terror, but then he hears the words of the Twenty-third Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Christian makes it through the night trusting that God is with him.  Then, he leaves valley as the sun rises on a new day.

The second is when Christian and Hopeful, having just visited Vanity Fair, are traveling along a particularly rough section of road.  They leave the highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow.  However, there is a rainstorm that forces them to spend the night, and in the morning, they are captured by Giant Despair who takes them to his Doubting Castle where they are imprisoned, beaten and starved. The Giant Despair wants them to commit suicide, but they endure his misery until Christian realizes that he has a key called Promise, which will open all the doors and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key, they escape.  Eventually, Christian and Hopeful come upon some shepherds in the Delectable Mountains.  And the shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as “Immanuel’s Land”.

What a helpful allegory for the Christian life!  I love The Pilgrim’s Progress for several reasons.  However, the one I will highlight is it reminds us that our lives are all pilgrimages, or journeys, or voyages. And all pilgrimages, journeys, or voyages have real danger, and put us in real peril. However, for the Christian, the peril is never experienced apart from God’s grace. Oh, for more grace!

Here is a Puritan prayer entitled “Voyage.” I pray this for my friend, and to my God!

O Lord of the Oceans,

My little bark sails on a restless sea, grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely; suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course; let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals; bring me to harbour with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.

I ask great things, expect great things, shall receive great things. I venture on thee wholly, fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defense.

The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless, but my helm is held steady, thy Word secures safe passage, they grace wafts me onward, my haven is guaranteed. This day will bring me nearer home, grant me holy consistency in every transaction, my peace flowing as a running tide, my righteousness as every chasing wave.

Help me to live circumspectly, with skill to convert every care into prayer, halo my path with gentleness and love, smooth every asperity (harshness) of temper; let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief; may I strive to bind up every wound, and pour oil on all troubled waters. May the world this day be happier and better because I live.

Let my mast before me be the Saviour’s cross, and every oncoming wave the fountain in His side.  Help me, protect me in the moving sea until I reach the shore of unceasing praise.

In the words of the great hymn writer, Isaac Watts, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.” ~ O God, Our Help in Ages Past ~ by Isaac Watts, 1719.

Friend, may our faithful God grace you on your pilgrimage, and shelter you in the midst of your current storm.

O Christ, Sovereign Commander of the Universe

Posted in Puritans, Suffering, Valley of Vision on January 12, 2010 by kevinwilkening

As some of you have already heard, my sister-in-law (the wife of my youngest brother) has been diagnosed with a mass behind her right eye. In the next week or two there will have to be a surgery to remove that mass. As I thought about my brother’s family, and all that God has placed before them at this time, my mind was drawn again to the Puritan prayers. The Puritans had the language to speak both of a wholly Sovereign God who commands all things, and the language to speak of our truly human emotions during times of distress and grief. The blessed doctrine of God’s sovereignty does not remove our very real experiences in this life. So here is doctrinally sound, yet highly emotion-filled prayer found in The Valley of Vision (a book of Puritan prayers).  This one is entitled Peril.

Sovereign Commander of the Universe,

I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness. My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude, and I cannot act faith at all. My heavenly Pilot has disappeared, and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages; I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves, in horror and distress unutterable.

Help me, O Lord, to throw myself absolutely and wholly on thee, for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless.  Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind, morning of joy that comes after night of heaviness; water my soul richly with divine blessings; grant that I may welcome thy humbling in private so that I might enjoy thee in public; give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.

Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am vile as he; yet thou hast made me a monument of mercy, a trophy of redeeming power; in my distress let me not forget this.

All-wise God, thy never-failing providence orders every event, sweetens every fear, reveals evil’s presence lurking in seeming good, brings real good out of seeming evil, makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon, to show me what a short-sighted creature I am, and to teach me to live by faith upon thy blessed self.

Out of my sorrow and night give me the name Naphtali – “satisfied with favour” – help me to love thee as thy child, and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.

Brother, may God cradle you in the palm of His sovereign hand, and in the midst of your distress give you the name Naphtali – “satisfied with favour.” God’s grace and peace to you!

A Kid Named Paul and The Valley of Vision

Posted in Prayer, Puritans, Suffering, Valley of Vision on October 27, 2009 by kevinwilkening

valleyofvisionIn my humble estimation, apart from studying the Bible itself, studying the Puritans is one of the most profitable religious exercises a believer can undertake. I say this with great bias, because it is the Puritans who have so ministered to my own soul.  I scarcely have a sound theological thought that cannot be traced back, in some way, to the Puritans.

In God’s providence, what made the Puritans so special?  And why should we care about them today? The reason is simple. They had a two-fold ideology about them, 1) They knew the content of their Bibles, and consequently wrote deeply and passionately about it, and 2) They put their knowledge about Christ into action. Compared to the 21st century church, the Puritans were intellectual and spiritual giants. They delighted in, and longed for, a holy life that could only be found in union and communion with the person and work of Jesus Christ.  This yearning and desire for a pure spiritual experience was so overwhelming that they were religiously zealous for the Kingdom of God, for purity of doctrine, for the purity of the church, and purity of their own lives.  And nothing held them back from this God-centered, Christ-exalting hunger for God.

The reason I am writing about the Puritans this morning is because I have a brother who is currently serving as a pastor in Texas.  In their youth group they have a young man named Paul who is having surgery this morning to receive an artificial heart until the doctors can find a heart transplant.  My mind immediately rushed to The Valley of Vision: A Collections of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Nearly every day I read this book.  It goes with me everywhere I go.  I am rarely without this book at my side.  I pray that it will minister to you as much as it has me.

On behalf of Paul and his family, I would like you to pray with me the prayer entitled: Blessing.

Thou Great Three-One,

Author of all blessings I enjoy,

of all I hope for,

Thou hast taught me

that neither the experience of present evils,

nor the remembrances of former sins,

nor the remonstrances [arguments] of friends,

will or can affect a sinner’s heart,

except though vouchsafe [promises] to reveal thy grace

and quicken the dead in sin

by the effectual working of thy Spirit’s power.

Thou hast shown me

that the sensible effusions [pouring out] of divine love

in the soul are superior to and distinct from

bodily health,

and that oft-times spiritual comforts are

at their highest when physical well-being is

at its lowest.

Thou has given me the ordinance of song

as a means of grace;

Fit me to bear my part in that music ever new,

which elect angels and saints made perfect

now sing before thy throne and before the Lamb.

I bless thee for tempering every distress with joy;

too much of the former might weigh me down,

too much of the latter might puff me up;

Thou are wise to give me a taste of both.

I love thee

for giving me clusters of grapes

in the wilderness,

and drops of heavenly wine

that set me longing to have my fill.

Apart from thee I quickly die,

bereft of thee I starve,

far from thee I thirst and droop;

But thou art all I need.

Let me continually grasp the promise,

“I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”  Amen.

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