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The Young Christian

I cannot give it up, this little world I know,

The innocent delights of youth, the things I cherish so;

“Tis true I love my Lord, and long to do His will

But oh! I may enjoy the world and be a Christian still.

I love the hour of prayer, and love the hymns of praise,

And love the blessed Word which tells of God’s redeeming grace;

But I am human still, and while I’m here on earth

God surely will not grudge the hours I spend in harmless mirth.

These things belong to youth; they are its natural right;

My dress, my pastimes, and my friends, the merry and the bright;

My Father’s heart is kind; He will not count it ill

If my small corner of the world should please and hold me still.

And yet, outside the camp, ‘twas there the Saviour died;

It was the world that cast Him forth and saw Him crucified.

Can I take part with those who nailed Him to the tree?

And where His name is never praised, is that the place for me?

Nay, world, I turn away, though thou seem fair and good,

That friendly, outstretched hand of thine is stained with Jesus’ blood;

If in thy least device I stoop to take a part,

All unawares thine influence steals God’s presence from my heart.

I miss my Saviour’s smile whene’er I walk thy ways.

Thy laughter drowns the Spirit’s voice and chokes the springs of praise;

Whene’er I turn aside to join thee for an hour

The face of Christ grows blurred and dim, and prayer has lost its power.

Farewell!  Henceforth my place is with the Lamb who died;

My Sovereign, since I have Thy love, what want I more beside?

Blest Thou, Thou’rt now my free and loving choice

In whom though now I see Him not, believing, I rejoice.

Shame on me!  That I sought another joy than this,

Or dreamt a soul at peace with Thee could crave for earthly bliss;

These vain and worthless things, I lay them all aside,

Thy goodness fills my longing soul, and I am satisfied.

Lord Jesus, let me dwell outside the camp with Thee,

Since Thou art there, then there alone, is rest and peace for me;

Thy dear reproach to bear, I’ll count my highest gain,

Till thou return, rejected One, to take Thy power and reign.