The heavier the cross, the nearer God;
No cross without, no God within!
The prince of darkness thus is trod,
Amid the world's false glare and din.
Oh, happy he, with all his loss,
Whom God hath set beneath the cross.
The heavier the cross, the better saint;
This is the touchstone God applies.
The gardens many would be faint,
Unwet by showers from weeping eyes!
The gold by fire is purified;
The saint is by much trouble tried.
The heavier the cross, the stronger faith:
The loaded palm strikes deeper root;
The vine juice sweetly issueth
When men have pressed the clustered fruit;
And courage grows where dangers come,
Like pearls beneath the salty foam.
The heavier the cross, the deeper prayer;
The bruisèd herbs most fragrant are.
If sky and wind were always fair,
The sailor would not watch the star;
And David's Psalms had ne'er been sung
If grief his heart had never wrung.
The heavier the cross, the more inspired;
From vales to climb to mountain crest;
The pilgrim, of the desert tired,
Longs for the Canaan of his rest.
The dove has here no rest in sight,
And to the ark she wings her flight.
The heavier the cross, the easier to die;
Death is a kinder face to see;
Our life's decay we dare defy,
From life's distress we then are free.
The cross sublimely lifts our faith
To Him who triumphed over death.
Thou Crucified! The cross I bear.
The longer, may it dearer be;
And lest I faint while ling'ring here,
Implant Thou such a heart in me
That faith and love may flourish e'er,
Till for the cross the crown I wear.