Poems by William J. McClure

The One Who Took “The Lowest Room”

Creation (Job 38:4-7)

By faith we scan the universe,
And see Thee on the throne;
The heavenly host, adoring,
All Thy high glories own.

The Cherubim and Seraphim
Proclaim Thy might, O Lord
The Holy, Holy, Holy One,
For evermore adored.

Such was Thy majesty divine
When sang “the sons of God,”
While gazing on that universe
Brought forth by Thine own word.

Incarnation (Luke 2:9-14)

And when again they sang with joy
’Twas not at earth’s fair birth,
But at that wondrous birth of Thine,
The Lord of heaven and earth.

Emmanuel, even “God with us,”
Jesus, Thou Prince of Peace,
“The Word made flesh,” true Deity,
Whose praises never cease.

Though lowly in the manger crib,
Thou was the Lord from heaven:
To the incarnate God—God manifest—
This humblest place was given.

Humiliation (Luke 14:7-11)

Though higher than earth’s highest ones,
Thou took’st “the lowest room,”
The greater than the greatest,
A servant to become.

And, oh, what grace excelling,
Lord Jesus, in Thee shone:
Of all the kingdom’s servants
Thou wast the lowliest One!

Exaltation (Phil. 2:5-11)

“Give this Man place,” the Father saith,
“The highest place and name
Belong to Him, to Him alone,
Who the Slave of slaves became.”

Although creation’s sovereign Lord,
In grace He stooped to fill
The lowliest place upon the earth;
He served and serveth still.

The Name that once was banned by men,
In heaven is praised alone;
Jesus, Jehovah’s Servant,
Is on Jehovah’s Throne.

God’s Good Pleasure

Oh, wondrous theme for endless praise
That ransomed souls shall ever raise—
“It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.”
The Father owns the Eternal Son,
The seraphs the thrice-holy One,
The hosts of heaven adore Him.

His pleasure was to do God’s will—
’Twas thus He bore sin’s awful ill
In Calvary’s dark hour.
Comforters He sought, but found not one,
For there God left His Holy One
In man and Satan’s power.

But now in heavenly glory bright,
We see the Son in power and might,
The only worthy One.
In Him the Godhead’s fullness dwells
And Heaven’s praise for ever tells
God’s pleasure in His Son.

God is now “pleased” to set apart
Those vessels fashioned by His art
His wisdom to declare;
And “pleased” to make the Gospel story
Bring many sons to Him in glory,
Who shall Christ’s image bear.

“There is one body,” Christ its Head;
The members, those for whom He bled,
Each in the body set;
It hath “well pleased” His sovereign will
That all their proper place might fill,
And thus their needs be met.

Soon shall we see Jehovah’s pleasure,
Prosper through Christ in fullest measure,
His Son with glory crowned.
That glory, soon to dawn, shall show
God’s joy, the fruit of deepest woe,
God’s King by all be owned.

“The Heavens Were Opened”

Four Glimpses Into the Glory

The Father, the Son, and the Spirit of God
(Matt 3:16)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand:
O Israel, hail the day:
Ye sinful sons of Jacob, attend,
And hasten obey:
Repent, repent, and owning your guilt,
Be buried in Jordan’s flood,
Confessing you sin of a broken Law,
And deserving the wrath of God.
In the river of death, ‘the Descender,’
Find in Jordan your fittest place:
‘Legal works’ no longer render,
But take the ground of ‘grace.’”
To John the sinners and publicans came,
Confessing, their guilt deserved wrath,
And with eyes suffused, heads bowed in shame,
They were plunged in the river of deat.

But mystery great of love divine,
We see God’s only Son,
Into that river of death descend,
O’erwhelming the Holy One.
But He arose again from the watery grave
And now, with what joy do we hear
The silence of centuries broken at last,
By a Voice speaking loud and clear:
“This is My Son, My Beloved,
In Whom is all My delight!”
And then, from the same opened Heavens,
We see God’s Spirit alight
On the head of Him who descended,
But rose again in might.

Foretold thus in type and figure
Was the day when wrath’s billows did roll
Over Christ immersed in God’s judgment,
When the water came into His soul,
But out of the darkness of judgment
He arose, by His own holy might:
From the darkness of death and hades
He returned to Heaven’s light.
And the Father, to show His good pleasure
In the finished work of His Son,
Sent the Spirit “to take out a peple”
Unto Christ the risen One.

Crowned With Glory and Honor
(Acts 7:56)

Once more the heavens are opened
Revealing our Lord within,
No longer the humble, the lowly,
Who came to suffer for sin:
For while Stephen, His faithful martyr,
Stands before his foes serene
He looks up into the heavens
And is transported with the scene.
Sees there in that brightest glory,
Upon the Father’s throne,
A Man at the right hand of power,
And Jesus is that One.
And thus all Israel must learn,
Yes, the sons of Jacob, must see
That their blessing entirely dependeth
On the Man they impaled on the Tree.

Christ and the Church
(Rev. 4:1-4; 5:6-12; 19:11-14)

Once again heaven’s door is opened,
Oh, wonderous and blessed thought!
’Tis opened wide that we may see
The saints to glory brought.
Both as “kings” and as “priests” they are sealed
Within that heavenly realm:
As “the living ones” is their “royal” type
While “the elders” their “priesthood” proclaim
The time has now come that the earth
Shall be ruled by the Christ of God,
And one with Him in that heavenly rule
Is His Church redeemed by blood:
They shared His humiliation,
For Him they suffered loss:
Enduring for Him tribulation
They did not shun the cross.
Now, as triumphant victors,
They follow in His train:
Those linked with Him in the desert,
Now share in His glorious reign.
For the might of hell He did vanquish
When, on Calvary, in weakness, He died,
And the saints, the fruit of that anguish,
With Him in victory ride.

“The Son of God”—“The Son of Man”
(Ezek. 1:26; Rev. 4:2-3)

Do you ask of my peace the secret,
Poor and sinful though I am:
Behold on ‘the throne of glory’
“One like to the Son of Man.”
Once on the Cross of sorrow,
On Him my guilt was laid,
Now seated, enthroned in yon glory,
Proves atonement has been made.
For constancy in suffering
Read the lesson of the Cross:
And learn that those who Him honor,
Shall never suffer loss.
Our path must still be downward
To be like unto His own,
But it leads, as it led our Leader,
To the glory and the Throne.