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They to their charge may turn, and thankful see
Thy mark upon us still;
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Colossians iv. 14.
Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world. Only Luke is with me.
2 Tim. iv. 10, 11.
Two clouds before the summer gale
In equal race fleet o'er the sky :
Together pine, together die.
But two capricious human hearts
Nor sage's rod may track their ways,
eye pursue their lawless starts
He only, by whose sovereign hand
Even sinners for the evil day* Were made—who rules the world he plann'd,
Turning our worst his own good way ;
He only can the cause reveal,
Why, at the same fond bosom fed, Taught in the self-same lap to kneel
Till the same prayer were duly said,
Brothers in blood and nurture too,
Aliens in heart so oft should prove ; One lose, the other keep, Heaven's clue;
One dwell in wrath, and one in love.
He only knows-for He can read
The mystery of the wicked heart,Why vainly oft our arrows speed
When aim'd with most unerring art;
While from some rude and powerless arm
A random shaft in season sent
a Proverbs xvi. 4. The Lord hath made all things for himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Shall light upon some lurking harm,
And work some wonder little meant.
Doubt we, how souls so wanton change, ,
Leaving their own experienc'd rest ? Needs not around the world to range; One narrow cell
teach us best.
Look in, and see Christ's chosen saint
In triumph wear his Christ-like chain; No fear lest he should swerve or faint ;
“ His life is Christ, his death is gain."
Two converts, watching by his side,
Alike his love and greetings share; Luke the belov’d, the sick soul's guide,
And Demas, nam'd in faltering prayer.
Pass a few years—look in once morem
The saint is in his bonds again ; Save that his hopes more boldly soar",
He and his lot unchang'd remain. b Philip. i. 21.
c In the Epistle to the Philippians, know that I shall continue with you all : I count not myself to have apprehended." i. 25. iii. 13.
In 2 Tim. “ I have finished my course,” &c. iv. 7, 8.
But only Luke is with him now :
Alas! that even the martyr's cell,
For the false world's seducing spell.
'Tis sad—but yet ’tis well, be sure,
We on the sight should muse awhile,
Even in the Church's holiest aisle.
Vainly before the shrine he bends,
Who knows not the true pilgrim's part :
To him, who wants the martyr's heart.
But if there be, who follows Paul
As Paul his Lord, in life and death,
Ready to speed and take no breath ;
Whose joy is, to the wandering sheep
To tell of the great Shepherd's love“;
d The Gospel of St. Luke abounds most in such passages as the parable the lost sheep, which display God's mercy to penitent sinners.
To learn of mourners while they weep
The music that makes mirth above ;
Who makes the Saviour all his theme,
The Gospel all his pride and praise-
That round the martyr's death-bed plays :
Thou hast an ear for angels' songs,
A breath the Gospel trump to fill,
Her hymns of high thanksgiving stille.
Ah ! dearest mother, since too oft
The world yet wins some Demas frail
May thy tried comforts never fail ?
When faithless ones forsake thy wing,
Be it vouchsaf'd thee still to see
Cling closer to their Lord and thee.
© The Christian hymns are all in St. Luke: the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis.