Charles Wesley: While Dead in Trespasses I Lie, Thy Quickening Spirit Give Sunday, Jul 7 2013 

Charles_wesleyJesu, if still thou art to-day
As yesterday the same,
Present to heal, in me display
The virtue of thy name.

If still thou goest about to do
Thy needy creatures good
On me, that I thy praise may show,
Be all thy wonders showed.

Now, Lord, to whom for help I call,
Thy miracles repeat;
With pitying eyes behold me fall
A leper at thy feet.

Loathsome, and vile, and self-abhorred
I sink beneath my sin;
But, if thou wilt, a gracious word
Of thine can make me clean.

Thou seest me deaf to thy command,
Open, O Lord, my ear;
Bid me stretch out my withered hand,
And lift it up in prayer.

Silent, (alas! thou know’st how long)
My voice I cannot raise;
But O! when thou shalt loose my tongue,
The dumb shall sing thy praise.

Lame at the pool I still am found;
Give, and my strength employ;
Light as a hart I then shall bound,
The lame shall leap for joy.

Blind from my birth to guilt and thee,
And dark I am within;
The love of God I cannot see,
The sinfulness of sin.

But thou, they say, art passing by;
O let me find thee near!
Jesu, in mercy hear my cry,
Thou Son of David, hear!

Behold me waiting in the way
For thee, the heavenly light;
Command me to be brought, and say
“Sinner, receive thy sight!”

While dead in trespasses I lie,
Thy quickening Spirit give;
Call me, thou Son of God, that I
May hear thy voice and live.

While, full of anguish and disease
My weak distempered soul
Thy love compassionately sees,
O let it make me whole!

Cast out thy foes, and let them still
To Jesu’s name submit;
Clothe with thy righteousness, and heal
And place me at thy feet.

To Jesu’s name if all things now
A trembling homage pay,
O let my stubborn spirit bow,
My stiff-necked will obey!

Impotent, dumb, and deaf, and blind,
And sick, and poor I am,
But sure a remedy to find
For all in Jesu’s name.

I know in thee all fulness dwells,
And all for wretched man;
Fill every want my spirit feels,
And break off every chain.

If thou impart thyself to me,
No other good I need;
If thou, the Son, shalt make me free,
I shall be free indeed.

I cannot rest till in thy blood
I full redemption have;
But thou, through whom I come to God,
Canst to the utmost save.

From sin, the guilt, the power, the pain,
Thou wilt redeem my soul;
Lord, I believe, and not in vain,
My faith shall make me whole.

I too with thee shall walk in white,
With all thy saints shall prove
What is the length, and breadth, and height,
And depth of perfect love.

Charles Wesley (1701-1778; Church of England): Hymns, 135-6.

Rupert of Deutz: The Power of God and the Justice of the Eternal King Wednesday, Apr 24 2013 

Rupert_von_Deutz_-_Federzeichnung_Codec_lat._11355(On Revelation chapter 15)

Let us sing to the Lord, great is his renown! Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.

It is common knowledge that the song of Moses recorded in the Book of Exodus can be understood in a spiritual sense as pointing forward to the Gospel teaching on regeneration.

[…] The author of the Apocalypse is therefore correct in describing the hymn sung by the saints in heaven as the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.

By giving it this title, he is linking together a historical event and a spiritual reality.

The crossing of the sea under the leadership of Moses is seen as a foreshadowing of what Christ, the Lamb of God, does for us in the regenerating waters of Baptism.

‘Lamb of God’ is used here as a richly evocative designation for the son of God, into whose death we have been baptized.

When Moses first intoned his song, he did so in honour of an event that had begun with the slaying of a lamb.

God himself had ordained that on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month a lamb should be sacrificed.

The slaughter of that lamb prefigured the death of Christ, the Son of God, who was destined to be slain in expiation of our sins.

[…] The saints, therefore, are described as singing the song of Moses because they resemble Moses both in their singing and in the subject matter of their song.

But while they too praise the Lord with joy and thanksgiving to the accompaniment of harps, their song consists of one short verse only.

This single verse contains none the less two all-important themes: the power of God and the justice of the Eternal King.

Great and wonderful are your deeds is a proclamation of God’s power. Just and true are your ways is an acknowledgement of his justice.

Of the two it is surely more meritorious to confess the second than the first. If we fear and praise God as the most powerful of spirits because we witness his marvellous deeds, our confession is certainly not lacking in merit.

But if we can discern the divine justice underlying these same deeds and strenuously uphold it in the face of every denial, we shall gain a far greater blessing.

And the same is true even when discernment fails us: we are blessed indeed if we still bow down in loving adoration of God’s justice, worshiping him in the words the Apostle Paul teaches each one of us to say:

O the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, how unfathomable his designs!

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): In Apoc. 9.15 (PL 169:1109-1110); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Wednesday of the 4th Week in Eastertide, Year 1.

Robert Hugh Benson: Mary Magdalen and the Risen Jesus Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

“Mary!”

“Rabboni!”

But there is still one more lesson for her to learn.

As she throws herself forward, speechless with love and desire, to grasp His Feet

– to assure herself even by touch that it is these same feet indeed which she kissed in the Pharisee’s house, and on the Cross of Calvary

– that it is Himself, and no phantom

– He moves back from her.

“Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.”

“Do not touch me.” . . .

That Friendship is not what it used to be: it is infinitely higher.

It is not what it seemed to be, since the limitations of that Sacred Humanity are gone

– those limitations by which It was here and not there; by which It could suffer and grow weary and hunger and weep

– limitations that endeared It to Its lovers, since they could indeed minister to It, comfort It, and hold It up.

And Its expansion in Glory is not yet consummated – “I am not yet ascended to my Father” –

that expansion of the Ascension and the Nine Days’ Journey through the Heavenly Hierarchy, from the position “a little lower than the angels” to the Session and Coronation at the right Hand of the Majesty on high

– that expansion of which the Descent of the Holy Ghost is the expression, and the Sacramental Presence of that same Humanity on a hundred altars the result.

And then, Mary, the Friendship shall be given back in “good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over.”

Then that which thou hast known on earth confined by time and space shall be given back to touch and handling once more.

Again thy Friend shall be thine own.

The Creator of Nature shall be present in that Nature, unlimited by its limitations.

He who took Humanity shall be present in Humanity.

He who spoke on earth “as one having authority” shall speak again in the same accent.

He who healed the sick shall heal them in the Gate called Beautiful; He who raised the dead shall raise Dorcas in Joppa; He who called Peter in Galilee, shall call Paul in Damascus.

A Friend again He shall be, as never before: a Creature exercising the power of the Creator: a Creator clothed with the sympathy of the Creature; God suffering on earth, and Man reigning in Heaven.

But a Friend, first and last, in Alpha and Omega; a Friend who has died in the humiliation of Friendship; who has risen and reigns in its Eternal Power.

Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914): The Friendship of Christ, chapter13.