Moral Courage

How little thou knewest, O Daniel,Thou man "greatly beloved,"In that time so far removed from ours,How thy undaunted faithfulnessTo the God whom thou alone wouldst glorify,Should shine adown the years,Bringing courage high to heartsTorn with terrifying doubts and fearsAt error's rampant claim to law and power.Thou wast not shaken by the king's decree,Through which base evil sought to cast thee down.For thou hadst proved when but a childThat God is th' all-sustaining power;And having spiritual law whereon to lean,Thou didst not quail before the human counterfeit.Unwavering trust flooding thy heart with light,Moment by moment was thy thought held trueTo God Himself, unerring and divine;And so, when error, hate-inflamed,Had cast thee headlong into the lions' den,Seeking to destroy that for which thou stood'st,It found within thy thought no echo to its evil claim;No anger hot flamed up within thy heart,But deep-toned confidence that never failed;Knowledge and purity formed then a strong defense,Impregnable, secure.And so thou stood'st, facing the light—Truth infinite—Serene and calm;Absent thou wast from bodyBut present ever with the God of love.And so the lions, snarling round thy feet,Found naught on which their carnal sense could feed.Then, lifted high above the things that seemed,And filled, thy consciousness, with Spirit's might,Thou turnedst, facing that motley throng,So cleaned thy thought from sense of mortal strifeThat hate and envy, jealousy and fear,Shrank back abashed, stilled by pure holiness.Thy God whom thou hadst served,Acknowledging no presence but His own,Was found to be at hand—An ever present help in time of need.And so thou couldst speak to the kingIn vibrant tones and clear:O king, forever live!Seeming in him no power which would destroy,But only sonship with the Father, God.

And when we, too, have tried to serveThe one great Spirit, God, continually,And evil, striking at the power of Truth it feels,Would cast us, too, within the lions' den,Oh, may we stand as steadfastly as thou,Though we may seem surrounded, too,By snarling beasts of sense!We only need to face the lightWhich Truth is ever shedding o'er our path—

The Most Troublesome Patient
November 26, 1927

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