R3785-167 Poem: The Angel Of Gethsemane

::R3785 : page 167::


‘Twas midnight, and the Man of Sorrows took his chosen three,
And sought with weary step the shelter of Gethsemane
To pray, his soul exceeding sorrowful, e’en unto death,
And heavy laden with the sin and woe of all the world.
In agony of bloody sweat he fell upon his face,
And cried, with tears, “My God, my Father, if it be thy will,
Oh, let this cup of shame and numbering with transgressors pass,—
If it be possible! Yet, not my will, but thine be done!”
And then his thoughts turned to the sacrifice,—a fear bore down
With agonizing weight upon his heart, lest to comply
With every jot and tittle of the Law, he might have failed!
He saw the priestly type, he knew eternal death awaited,
Should he seek to pass the second vail unworthily.
Eternal death! Oh, anguish inexpressible,—to see
No more his Father’s face! He sought his well-beloved three,
Perchance they might refresh his fainting heart with some sure word
Of prophecy. Alas, their eyes were heavy and they slept.
Three times he sought them, and three times in vain! Yet he was heard
In that he feared. The Father sent a heavenly comforter
To touch with tender, strengthening hand that dear, devoted head,
And whisper, “‘I the Lord in righteousness have called thee, I
Will hold thine hand and keep thee, neither shalt thou fail nor be
Discouraged.’ Lo, thou art ‘a priest forever, and a king
Upon thy throne, like to Melchizidek.’ And thou shalt see
The travail of thy soul, and shalt be satisfied.” His heart
Revived, he knew his Father’s faithful word could never fail;
He knew it would accomplish that whereunto it was sent.
He rose, and from that hour went forth to trial and to death,
In peace,—a calmness born of perfect confidence in God.

How oft, throughout the many-centuried “night” of this dark age,
The Father’s “little ones” have knelt in sad Gethsemane
To pray! E’en now the Garden’s shade re-echoes with the cry
Of God’s elect, “How long, oh Lord, how long until we see
The travail of our soul? How long until thou shalt avenge
Thine own elect, who cry to thee, with tears, both night and day?”

* * *

Dear Lord, oh, use me as the angel in Gethsemane!
Oh, fill me with thy holy Spirit of divinest love!
Oh, make me sympathetic, wise, that every anguished heart
May come, nor seek in vain for consolation from thy Word,
And strengthened, comforted, go forth to prison and to death,
To suffer patiently the cruel mockings of the tongue;
To bear the cross unto the bitter end, then calmly say,
“‘Tis finished,” and with faith unwavering pass beneaththe vail!”
G. W. Seibert, May 6, 1906.


— June 1, 1906 —