Since Christ embraced the Cross itself, dare I
His image, th'image of his Cross deny?
Would I have profit by the sacrifice,
And dare the chosen altar to despise?
It bore all other sins, but is it fit
That is should bear the sin of scorning it?
Who from the picture would avert his eye,
How would he fly his pains, who there did die?
From me, no pulpit, nor misgrounded law,
Nor scandal taken, shall this Cross withdraw,
It shall not, for it cannot; for, the loss
Of this Cross, were to me another cross;
Better were worse, for, no affliction,
No cross is so extreme, as to have none.
Who can blot out the Cross, which th' instrument
Of God, dewed on me in the Sacrament?
Who can deny me power, and liberty
To stretch mine arms, and mine own cross to be?
Swim, and at every stroke, thou art thy cross,
The mast and yard make one, where seas to do toss.
Look down, thou spiest birds raised on crossed wings;
All the globe's frame, and sphere's, is nothing else
But the meridians crossing parallels.
Material crosses then, good physic be,
And yet spiritual have chief dignity.
These for extracted chemic medicine serve,
And cure much better, and as well preserve;
Then are you your own physic, or need none,
When stilled, or purged by tribulation.
For when that Cross ungrudged, unto you sticks,
Then are you to yourself, a crucifix.
As perchance, carvers do not faces make,
But that away, which hid them there, do take:
Let crosses, so, take what hid Christ in thee,
And be his image, or not his, but he.
But, as oft alchemists do coiners prove,
So may a self-despising, get self-love.
And then as worst surfeits, of best meats be,
So is pride, issued from humility,
For, 'tis no child, but monster; therefore cross
Your joy in crosses, else, 'tis double loss,
And cross thy senses, else, both they, and thou
Must perish soon, and to destruction bow.
For if the'eye seek good objects, and will take
No cross from bad, we cannot 'scape a snake.
So with harsh, hard, sour, stinking, cross the rest,
Make them indifferent; call nothing best.
But most the eye needs crossing, that can roam,
And move; to th' others th' objects must come home.
And cross thy heart: for that in man alone
Points downwards, and hath palpitation.
Cross those dejections, when it downward trends,
And when it to forbidden heights pretends.
And as the brain through bony walls doth vent
By sutures, which a cross's form present,
So when thy brain works, ere thou utter it,
Cross and correct concupiscence of wit.
Be covetous of crosses, let none fall.
Cross no man else, but cross thyself in all.
Then doth the Cross of Christ work fruitfully
Within our hearts, when we love harmlessly
That Cross's pictures much, and with more care
That Cross's children, which our crosses are.

The pure, the bright, the beautiful,
That stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulse to a wordless prayer,
The dreams of love and truth;
The longings after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The strivings after better hopes--
These things can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need,
The kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy gently breathed
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart--
These things shall never die.
The memory of a clasping hand,
The pressure of a kiss,
And all the trifles, sweet and frail,
That make up love's first bliss;
If with a firm unchanging faith,
And holy trust on high,
Those hands have clasped, those lips have met--
These things shall never die.
The cruel and the bitter word
That wounded as it fell;
The chilling want of sympathy
We feel but never tell;
The hard repulse that grieves the heart
Whose hopes were bounding high
In an unfading record kept--
These things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do;
Lose not a chance to waken love--
Be firm, and just, and true:
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee--
"These things shall never die."

      The cross of Jesus Christ was to the Greeks foolishness and a stumbling-block of the Jews. They could not see its meaning; just as I have walked out on the porch of a north Georgia home two hours before day, and in the dim starlight I could see only the faint outline of mountain and hill. I could not tell what they were. It was an indistinct picture that had in it no meaning to me. I have gone back to my room and after a while have walked out on the porch again. The sun had risen on the scene and bathed hill and mountain and valley in a flood of light, and then I looked and saw hills and mountains and valleys and streams that mine eyes had never seen before.-- "Famous Stories of Sam P. Jones."

Easter lilies, creamy white,
Blossomed in the morning light.
Lilies fair and pure and sweet;
Still with heart unsatisfied:
"All the lilies are so cold;
Ah, could but a rose unfold,
Warm from out the heart of June,
Fragrant in the April noon!"
Then the old man, pitying, smiled,
Half in mockery, on the child:
"Every season has its own;
No June rose was ever known
Rest and slumber to forego,
On an April morn to blow."
"Give me then an Easter rose
Wakeful through the frost and snows,"
Spake the maid, imperious still;
And the florist wrought her will.
On the next year's Easter morn,
Lo! the miracle was born,
And among the lilies came,
One fair rose without a name.
Outer petals white as snow;
Inner, with the tender glow
Of the blended hues of dawn,
Ere the morning's flush is gone--
Faintest tint of seashell rare,
Palest gold of mermaid's hair.
"Wake! O maiden, wake and see!"
Bent the fair head reverently.
"O, my queenly Easter rose,
Never summer flower that blows
"Sweet as thou, or can compare
With thy matchless beauty rare.
"So I think the Virgin stood,
Crowned in her motherhood;
"So I think the Virgin smiled,
Looking on the fair Christ-child.
"Ring out, all ye Easter bells!
Till each happy mother tells
"To the children at her side,
Of the Christ, the crusified;
"Of the babe of wondrous birth,
To the hour he rose from earth."
All that week the Easter rose
Bloomed amid the April snows.
Every morning's sunshine took
From it more of earthly look;
Every morn its petals wore
Paler tint than that before;
Till at last it shone as white
As an angel's wing of light.
Lower bent its regal head;
Faintly sweet, its perfume shed;
Bowed to earth in vesture fair,
As a maiden kneels in prayer;
Then its petals fell apart,
And revealed its virgin heart.
Let the rose, O maiden, be,
Emblem of thy life to thee.
Let each morning's sunlight draw
From it earthly stain or flaw;
Till the light of God shall shine
On no purer heart than thine.