Victory Over Self

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 5
I sought to conquer self, but knew not how;
I asked of man to teach me, but in vain;
All human rules and efforts, like a plough
That skimmed the surface, let the roots remain,
Which, when I thought them gone, sprang up
Self cannot cast out self; I’ve tried it well;
’Neath the monk’s cowl, as well as courtly dress,
In the low cottage you will find it dwell
As rank as in the palace; in distress
And poverty as splendid wealthiness.
One weapon only can its reign destroy;
It is the cross — the cross of Christ alone:
His cross who counted it supremest joy
To leave the glories of His heavenly throne,
And in unselfish love for sin atone.
Self-sacrificing love! O Jesus! name
Before which heartless selfishness expires,
And selfish pride looks black with hellish shame:
To be like Thee, O Lord, my heart aspires,
And, self to crucify, Thy grace desires.
O Lord, alas! My progress still is slow,
So hydra-headed is this monstrous ill;
When on the right I seem to lay him low,
Upon the left springs up the insidious foe;
I smite and wound him sore, but cannot kill.
But Thou wilt bruise him soon beneath my feet;
Oh, gladsome hour, when I from self am free!
When all Thy blessed work of grace complete,
Thou shalt Thy ransomed one in glory greet —
And all his soul be swallowed up in Thee.
J. G. Deck