The Young Christian
by Margaret Mauro

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 13:13


The Young Christian

I cannot give it up,
  The 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 O, I may enjoy the world
  And be a Christian still!

I love the hour of prayer,
  I love the hymns of praise,
I love the blessed Word which tells
  Of God's redeeming grace.
But—I am human still!
  And while I dwell on earth,
God surely will not grudge the hours
  I spend in harmless mirth!

These things belong to youth,
  And 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
That my small corner of the world
  Should please and hold me still.

And yet— "outside the camp"—
  'Twas there my 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 there 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 unaware, 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! While I have Thy love,
  What can I want beside?
Thyself, blest Lord, art now
  My free and loving choice,
In Whom, though now I see Thee not,
  Believing, I rejoice!

Shame on me that I sought
  Another joy than this,
Or dreamed a heart at rest with Thee
  Could crave for earthly bliss!
These vain and worthless things,
  I put them all aside:
His 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 peace and home for me.
Thy dear reproach to bear
I'll count my highest gain,
Till Thou return, Rejected One,
To take Thy power, and reign!
  —Margaret Mauro (age 22)

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