The Christian Philosopher’s A.B.C.

by JOHN LIDDELL KELLY (1850-1926)

(ALPHABETICAL ACROSTIC)

Alone and hopeless in a world of woe,
By friends deceived, and spurned by many a foe,
Can man exist, and think, and act, nor feel
Despondency o’er all his being steal?
E‘en faith in God and His all-gracious plan
Fails when we lack man’s sympathy for man.
Give us,” we cry, “friends faithful and sincere—
Happy our present, and our future clear;
In peace, oh God, our cups with plenty fill,
Join earth to heaven, all sin and sorrow kill;
Kill want and woe, then we shall gladly own
Love rules the earth, and God doth reign alone—
Mercy His crown, and Righteousness His throne!”

Nay, speak not so, it ill becomes a clod
Of lowly earth to dictate to his God!
Put down rebellion in thee, and no more
Question those gifts God poureth from his store.
Remember whence thou art, and whither bent;
Say not ’tis evil which the Lord hath sent
To serve His gracious ends. He shall hold sway
Until each soul shall love him and obey.
Virtue brings peace. Seek her and thou shall find
What arms ‘gainst griefs the philosophic mind.
Xantippe might scold, yet Socrates pursued,
Year in, year out, his philosophic mood—
Zealous for God, and for the cause of good.

John Liddell Kelly

John Liddell Kelly was born near Airdrie, Scotland on Feb. 19, 1850. In his 30th year, He emigrated to New Zealand where he worked as a journalist and became assistant editor / editor of the Auckland Star; Auckland Observer; Lyttelton Times; and the New Zealand Times, as well as publishing his own works.

John Liddell Kelly Contemporaries
Paul Verlaine
James Whitcomb Riley
John Hay
Eugene Field

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