26. Lord of essential life, help me to die.
To will to die is one with highest life,
The mightiest act that to Will's hand doth lie--
Born of God's essence, and of man's hard strife:
God, give me strength my evil self to kill,
And die into the heaven of thy pure will.--
Then shall this body's death be very tolerable.
27. As to our mothers came help in our birth--
Not lost in lifing us, but saved and blest--
Self bearing self, although right sorely prest,
Shall nothing lose, but die and be at rest
In life eternal, beyond all care and dearth.
God-born then truly, a man does no more ill,
Perfectly loves, and has whate'er he will.
28. As our dear animals do suffer less
Because their pain spreads neither right nor left,
Lost in oblivion and foresightlessness--
Our suffering sore by faith shall be bereft
Of all dismay, and every weak excess.
His presence shall be better in our pain,
Than even self-absence to the weaker brain.
29. "Father, let this cup pass." He prayed--was heard.
What cup was it that passed away from him?
Sure not the death-cup, now filled to the brim!
There was no quailing in the awful word;
He still was king of kings, of lords the lord:--
He feared lest, in the suffering waste and grim,
His faith might grow too faint and sickly dim.
30. Thy mind, my master, I will dare explore;
What we are told, that we are meant to know.
Into thy soul I search yet more and more,
Led by the lamp of my desire and woe.
If thee, my Lord, I may not understand,
I am a wanderer in a houseless land,
A weeping thirst by hot winds ever fanned.
31. Therefore I look again--and think I see
That, when at last he did cry out, "My God,
Why hast thou me forsaken?" straight man's rod
Was turned aside; for, that same moment, he
Cried "Father!" and gave up will and breath and spirit
Into his hands whose all he did inherit--
Delivered, glorified eternally.
APRIL 1. LORD, I do choose the higher than my will.
I would be handled by thy nursing arms
After thy will, not my infant alarms.
Hurt me thou wilt--but then more loving still,
If more can be and less, in love's perfect zone!
My fancy shrinks from least of all thy harms,
But do thy will with me--I am thine own.
The above is excerpted from George MacDonald's A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul (Public Domain, 1880). For further information see this post.