Christ My Song - 857
The Master saith, 'My time is now at hand' - The Master's voice
(Horatius Bonar/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
The Master's voice.
2. Prepare. O Master, these dull hearts of ours
for this thy feast, else all in vain is spread;
prepare our hearts, that with new-quickened powers
we may converse with thee, and eat the blessed bread.
3. The Master saith, 'Be ready, for I come;'
we hear his warning voice, and we prepare.
It is a voice which bids us hasten home,
which bids us rise from earth to meet him in the air.
4. O Master, we have heard thy loving voice;
rouse our cold spirits with thy solemn word:
Say, 'It is I,' and bid our souls rejoice;
fit us for meeting thee, our long, long absent Lord.
5. These sounds of earth the heavenly voices drown,
we scarce can hear thee through this daily din:
oh, speak in yet more penetrating tone;
let thy voice reach our ears, and thy words enter in.
6. Let discords die away, and let us hear
the melody beyond of joy and love;
silence the jar of earth, and let our ear
take in the far-off notes descending from above
7. But not the world alone, with its rude noise,
absorbs the heavenly melody beyond:
the church of God, raising her angry voice,
in the ambitious brawl drowns every holy sound.
8. Once thou didst put aside the sword, and say,
'It is enough;' oh, speak that word again:
curb the self-will, the pride and strife allay;
the noise of scornful words and carnal wrath restrain.
9. Her Babel-voices soon will silence thine;
thou must withdraw, and speak to her no more.
Oh, how unlike the unity divine,
that marked her early days, – the days of love and power!
10. The tempest is within her; untamed wills
have stirred its fury. Is the Master dumb?
To him we cry, who the wild tempest stills;
'tis the fourth watch of night, and yet thou art not come!
11. Carest thou not that we are perishing?
Awake, O Lord, speak louder than the wave:
with thine own kingly touch the calmness bring;
say, Peace be still; arise, thy broken church to save.
12. Let not her worldliness and strife and sin
provoke thy Spirit to return no more;
and if she must be wrecked, let all within,
though in strange ways and divers, find the holy shore.
Horatius Bonar, The Song of the New Creation, 1872, 103-105.