The Man of Sorrows

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 1
O ever homeless Stranger!
Thus dearest friend to me:
An outcast in the manger
That Thou might’st with us be.
How rightly rose the praises
Of heaven that wondrous night,
When shepherds hid their faces
In brightest angel light.
More just those acclamations
Than when the glorious band
Chanted earth’s deep foundations,
Just laid by God’s right hand.
Come now and view that manger
The Lord of glory see,
A houseless, homeless stranger
In this poor world for thee.
To God in th’ highest glory
And peace on earth to find,
And learn that wondrous story—
Good pleasure in mankind.
O strange, yet fit beginning,
Of all that life of woe,
In which Thy grace was winning
Poor man his God to know
Bless’d babe who lowly liest,
In manger-cradle there;
Descended from the Highest,
Our sorrows all to share.
Oh, suited now in nature
For love’s divinest ways,
And make the fallen creature
The vessel of Thy praise.
Oh love all thought surpassing,
That Thou should’st with us be;
Not yet in triumph passing
But human infancy.
We cling to Thee in weakness,
The manger and the cross—
We gaze upon Thy meekness,
Through suffering, pain, and loss.
There see the Godhead glory
Shine through that human vail,
And willing hear the story
Of love that’s come to heal.
My soul in secret follows
The footsteps of His love—
I trace the Man of Sorrows
His boundless grace to prove.
A child in growth and stature,
Yet full of wisdom rare:
Sonship in conscious nature
His words and ways declare.
Yet still in meek submission,
His patient path He trod;
To wait His heav’nly mission,
Unknown to all but God.
But who, Thy path of service,
Thy steps removed from ill,
Thy patient love to serve us,
With human tongue can tell?
Midst sin and all corruption,
Where hatred did abound,
Thy path of pure perfection
Was light to all around.
In scorn, neglect, reviling,
Thy patient grace stood fast,
Man’s malice unavailing
To move Thy heart to haste
O’er all, Thy perfect goodness
Rose blessedly divine—
Poor hearts oppressed with sadness
Found ever rest in Thine.
The strong man in his armor
Thou mettest in Thy grace,
Didst spoil the mighty charmer
Of our unhappy race.
The chains of man, his victim,
Were loosened by Thy hand—
No evils that afflict him
Before Thy power could stand.
Disease, and death, and demon,
All flee before Thy word,
As darkness the dominion
Of day’s returning lord!
The love that bore our burden
On the accursed tree,
Would give the heart its pardon,
And set the sinner free.
Love that made Thee a mourner
In this sad world of woe,
Made wretched man a scorner
Of grace that brought Thee low.
Still in Thee, love’s sweet savor
Shone forth in every deed,
And showed God’s loving favor
To every soul in need.
I pause,-for on Thy vision
The day is hast’ning now,
When for our lost condition
Thy holy head shall bow.
When deep to deep still calling,
The waters reach Thy soul,
And death and wrath appalling
Their waves shall o’er Thee roll.
O day of mightiest sorrow—
Day of unfathomed grief—
When thou should’st taste the horror
Of wrath without relief.
O day of man’s dishonor,
When, for Thy love supreme,
He sought to mar Thine honor,
Thy glory turn to shame.
O day of our confusion—
When Satan’s darkness lay,
In hatred and delusion,
On ruined nature’s way.
Thou soughtest for compassion
Some heart Thy grief to know,
To watch Thine hour of passion,
For comforters in woe.
No eye was found to pity—
No heart to bear Thy woe:
But shame, and scorn, and spitting;
None cared Thy name to know.
The pride of careless greatness
Could wash its hands of Thee:
Priests that should plead for weakness
Must Thine accusers be.
Man’s boasting love disowns Thee;
Thine own the danger flee—
A Judas only owns Thee,
That thou may’st captive be.
O man, how hast thou proved,
What in thy heart is found—
By grace divine unmoved,
By self in fetters bound.
Yet with all grief acquainted,
The Man of Sorrows view,
Unmoved—by ill unstained,
The path of grace pursue.
In death, obedience yielding,
To God, His Father’s will:
Love still its power is wielding
To meet all human ill.
On him who had disowned Thee,
Thine eye could look in love:
Midst threats and taunts around Thee,
To tears of grace to move.
What words of love and mercy
Flow from those lips of grace,
For foll’wers that desert Thee,
For sinners in disgrace.
The robber learned beside Thee,
Upon the cross of shame,
While taunts and jeers deride Thee,
The Saviour of Thy name.
Then finished all in meekness,
Thou to Thy Father’s hand—
Perfect Thy strength in weakness,
Thy spirit dost commend.
O Lord, Thy wondrous story,
My inmost soul cloth move;
I ponder o’er Thy glory—
Thy lonely path of love.
But oh Divine Sojourner,
Midst man’s unfathomed ill,
Love that made Thee a mourner,
It is not man’s to tell.
We worship when we see thee,
In all Thy sorrowing path—
We long soon to be with Thee;
Who bore for us the wrath.
Come then, expected Saviour—
Thou Man of Sorrows, come!
Almighty, Blest Deliv’rer,
And take us to Thee, home!