Pressed out of measure, and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul;
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;
Pressure by foes, and pressure by friends;
Pressure on pressure till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod;
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things;
Pressed into living a life in the Lord;
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.
“I ask’d the Lord that I might grow
in faith and love, and ev’ry grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
“‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answer’d prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
“I hoped that in some favour’d hour
At once He’d answer my request,
And by His Love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
“Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
“Yea, more; with His own hand he seem’d
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross’d all the fair designs I schem’d,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
“‘Lord, why is this?’ I trembling cried;
‘Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?’
”Tis in this way,’ the Lord replied,
‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.
“‘These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in Me.'”
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside,
Into the shadows where we could confide.
Away from the bustle where all the day long
I hurried and worried when active and strong.
I needed the quiet though at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things.
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay.
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.
I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead–
A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide.
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside.
Alice Hansche Mortenson
You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.
Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.
O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.
Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.
[Elisha A. Hoffman, copyright 1900)