“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

HAPPYEASTER

“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)

MY EASTER MESSAGE

Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your…

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“My Easter Prayer” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 194

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

EASTERBLESSING

Easter Blessings Be Thine”, ca. 1912

MY EASTER PRAYER – 1943

Jesus help me know thy love,

Love that brought thee to our earth.

Leaving realms of brightest glory,

For a lowly manger birth.

Love that chose the hasty Peter,

Cleansed the striken Magdalen.

Patiently endured the traitor,

Made the vilest sinner clean.

Love that led thee to the cross,

Round thee there with fetters strong.

Though a word from thee had scattered,

Those who thought they did thee wrong.

Love that suffered for my sins,

Took their sorrow in my stead.

That I might rejoice in heaven,

Ransomed ever from the dead.

Love that’s mine in this today,

Guiding me while earth I roam.

Shaping me into thy image,

Bringing me to thy own home.

Jesus help me feel thy love,

At this joyous Easter season.

When I view again thy passion,

And thy sacrifice envision.

When I…

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“Moonlight Devotion” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Moonlight on the Lake
Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York

MOONLIGHT – DEVOTIONAL

 When on days of balmy June

The sun at last withdraws its light

Then you bring a mystic glow

To lovers strolling in the night.

The moon enriches us on earth, by soft and welcome light. But of itself the moon has no light. It only reflects the light of the sun. From this we can learn a lesson. Christ is introduced in these passages from Gospel of John. “….In him was life and the life was the light of men.” If man had ever had light on his own, by sin he had lost it. “….I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “When I am in the world I am the light of the world.” “….Yet a little while is the light among you. Work while you have the light, that darkness overtake you not; and he that walketh in darkness knoweth not where he is going. While you have the light believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.”

But while Jesus was with us in visible form, the time was short, very short; and the territory he could cover was small, very small. But he had his followers “As the Father sent me into the world, I am sending you.”

The church is well called the body of Christ. Christians by abiding in Christ and he abiding in them can reflect his lights to all the world till the end of time. So Jesus told his disciple “You are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

We then have the supreme opportunity of earth, and the responsibility is equally grave. In our day and in our time there are those whom we can so bring the light of Christ, they will eternally share with us the love and joy, and glory as the children of God. If we fail that will be forever lost to them. Let your light shine now and where you are.

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?79477
Source: Detroit Publishing Company postcards / Unnumbered cards
Digital ID: 79477

 

“Down Where the River Flows” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Joseph Martin Kronheim‘s (1810-1896) Baxter process illustration of Revelation 22:17


DOWN WHERE THE RIVER FLOWS

 

The summer day is warm and fair,

And balmy sweetness fill the air,

And beauties greet me everywhere.

Away with toil! Away with care!

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

An old, old man with withered look

Is wading slow the running brook,

And casting out a line and hook,

And searching every quiet nook;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

A farmer lad is whistling gay;

He tosses out some new mown hay

In lowland meadows where they lay

Along the river’s winding way;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

The music running waters make,

As they o’ver stones in ripples break

Some childhood’s long lost memories wake

And I must still my lone heart ache;

Down where the river flows,

Down were the river flows.

Some wading birds with wagging tails

Are searching in the river shales

Perhaps for bugs or tiny snails,

Or what to them for food avails,

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

A church bell sounds a solemn call.

The saints of God now worship all.

The hopes of old I must recall.

My heart turns pleasures into gall;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

They bear the burdens of the day.

For such as I they meet to pray.

They now deny some pleasures gay,

The things they know will pass away;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

Shall I go down the world’s broad way

While others for salvation pray?

And shall I live in pleasures gay

While others work while its today;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

No, I will now in tears repent,

Although the years my God has lent

I have in selfish ways misspent

I know the Lord for me was sent;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.


Image above retrieved from:
http://www.theworkofgodschildren.org/collaboration/index.php?title=File:The_Sunday_at_Home_1880_-_Revelation_22-17-_Joseph_Martin_Kronheim.jpg

Source: The Sunday at Home: A Family Magazine for Sabbath Reading, 1880 [collected volume], London, Religious Tract Society, Paternoster Row, 164 Picadilly.
Description: Joseph Martin Kronheim’s (1810 – 1896) Baxter process illustration of Revelation 22:17 from page 366 of the 1880 omnibus printing of The Sunday at Home.

“At Church” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Young girl going to church, Bologna, 16th century (1859-1860)
by Etienne Huyot, Engraver


AT CHURCH

Vonda with the pale rose coat,

And hair so flowing soft;

Your girlish face is sweet and fair

As you glance upwards oft.

Are you to your own parents dear

As my child is to me?

And do they for you dream and pray,

Wherever you may be?

Just what may be your thought today,

As you the sermon hear?

Do peace and joy possess your heart

As you to Christ draw near?

And have you seen the cross of Christ?

And have you with Him died?

To all the world does offer you,

That you might His abide?

And do you have the SPIRIT, child?

And do you through Him LIVE?

And do you serve the Christ, my dear?

Your all in service give?

And sees some youth in all his dreams

Sweet visions of that face?

And is he praying for the day,

When he will you embrace?

Is there somewhere a sailor lad,

A boy who’s won your heart?

In all your dreams of future days,

Does this one have a part?

To fathom those deep thoughts of yours,

I know I never can:

For God has made you, you, you see,

And made me just a man.

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?811554

Image Title:  Young girl going to church, Bologna, 16th century
Creator : Huyot, Etienne, b. 1808 — Engraver
Published Date: 1859-1860
Original Source: From Costumes anciens et modernes : habiti antichi e moderni di tutto il mondo.(Paris : Firmin Didot, 1859-1860) Vecellio, Cesare (ca. 1521-1601), Author.
 Source: Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection / Costume — 1500s — Italian

“Now I Dream of Heaven” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Soul Carried to Heaven by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905)

NOW I DREAM OF HEAVEN

 

And now I dream of heaven,

Of heaven bright and fair:

I know it won’t be long

Before my welcome there.

I’m old I know, past eighty,

My friends have gone before;

I’ll not be sad nor lonely

Upon the glory shore.

Through life my God has been

So very good to me;

To Him I must be grateful,

As grateful as can be.

My Bible tells how all

Are lost in sin and woe;

Yet how in Christ we can

Be saved while here below.

I’ve cast myself on Him,

A sinner at His feet;

I trust His grace to give me

Salvation full complete.

As he on earth did suffer

On cross atonement make

I shall now live forever

Accepted for his sake.

I’m very near the river

Near my eternal home,

Where I shall joy forever

Before my Savior’s throne.

Image above retrieved from:

Source: http://www.oceansbridge.com/oil-paintings/product/55530/soulcarriedtoheaven

“I Wonder” by Darius M. Ratcliff

For Such is the Kingdom of Heaven by Frank Bramley, 1891

I WONDER

Written after talking to a woman who wondered why misfortune happened to her. She had not been so bad.

 

I wonder at my burdened lot:

I have not been so bad.

I thought perhaps I’d happy be,

That life would make me glad.

I’d dreamed such happy dreams in youth: –

In those blessed golden years.

I’ve seen my hopes all withered die

Amid bitter tears.

I saw the undeserving gain

The things I so had sought:

The wicked blessed and happy too:-

It seemed they should have nought.

The sands of time are running out,

My hopes have proved in vain:

I have no longer time nor strength

My goals to now attain.

I looked today and saw anew

A figure on a cross.

He left the gains and joys of heaven

For such an awful loss.

I know at last that I have sinned.

My pride had made me blind

To deep rebellion in my heart,

To worldliness of mind.

He gave Himself for sins of mine;

For He no difference knew;

For all have sinned and fallen short,

And must be born anew.

All this he did to save me from

This present evil world;

And here I am bemoaning sore

The loss of such a world.

My life is hid with Christ in God,

And Christ is now my all;

My gain is everlasting life,

My loss is earthly, small.

In heaven I my treasures store

Where nothing can destroy;

When earthly treasures all dissolve

My treasures I’ll enjoy.

If I am put to grief today

While living here on earth,

I’ll count that grief far better than

The world’s poor passing mirth.

If I now fail to understand

All that on earth I see,

I’ll trust His wisdom, love, and might

Who loved and died for me.

No longer is my wonder now

Why I must burdened be:

I wonder rather why my Lord

Should do so much for me.

I wonder at His dying love

For such a one as I;

I wonder at the awful price:-

That He for me should die.

I wonder at my sonship too:-

A child of God above.

I wonder at a thousand things,

The tokens of His love.

I wonder at the kingdom great

Prepared for me on high;

I wonder at eternity

My heaven by and by.

Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Bramley_-_Kingdom_Of_Heaven_1891.jpg
Source: Art Knowledge Daily
Permission: photograph reproduction in the public domain