Sunday, 21 October 2012

Christ the Heart of Heaven

This poem was written by Anne Ross Cousin, the author of The Sands of Time are Sinking, which was based on sayings of Samuel Rutherford. She was the wife of William Cousin, a Free Church minister in the Scottish Borders in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Andrew Bonar, in his Diary, mentions having a sweet prayer meeting with him. I have been reading her volume of poems called Immanuel's Land and Other Pieces, and one can see the influence of Rutherford in some of them. In it she has several poems describing heaven. This particular poem helped me today as I was thinking about heaven.

The harps of gold are ringing
across the crystal sea;
A gentle breath is bringing
their echoes down to me.
Now steals their soft outpouring,
now swells their clear acclaim;
Throughout, the deep adoring
of One Beloved Name.
Christ is the Heart of Heaven,
The theme of all the throng;
If Christ was not in heaven,
All silent were the song.

The sun of love is beaming
to dry the dew of tears;
Love’s golden sun, outstreaming
to bless the cloudless years.
Its shining beauty brightens
the summer land above;
With warm sweet smile it lightens –
That golden Sun of Love!
Christ is the Heart of Heaven,
Its glory and its light;
If Christ were not in heaven,
Its noonday were as night.

Each joy in heaven beareth
life’s freest bloom and breath;
Yet, won by blood, it weareth
the costliness of death.
From grief doth gladness borrow
the garland of the blest;
The cross of bleeding sorrow
endears the crowned rest.
Christ is the Heart of Heaven,
Triumphant now He stands,
The Sceptred Man in heaven,
With nail-prints in His hands.

O dower of passing sweetness!
O cup filled to the brim!
O perfect, pure completeness
that saints possess in Him!
O sweet unwearying story,
Sung in each various tone!
And O fair feast of glory,
that tastes of love alone!
Christ is the Heart of Heaven,
Its fulness and its bliss!
No banquet, e’en in heaven,
For hungering souls, like this!

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