Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti is one of my favourite poets. She began writing poems when she was a teenager, and wrote an average of a poem a month for the remainder of her 64 years. A deep thinker, she was spiritually minded and introspective. A recurrent theme in her writing was that of human frailty contrasted with divine faithfulness.

O Lord, I cannot plead my love of Thee:
I plead Thy love of me:
- The shallow conduit hails the unfathomed sea.

God is the one Who keeps us. We only love Him because He first loved us.

The contrast between God and man is demonstrated in the third line. In contrast to the immeasurable, immense ocean, we are nothing but a little dip in the road for the water to run into the sewer.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Christina was astute enough to recognize and battle her worst enemy: self.

Who Shall Deliver Me?
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.

I, too, need my God to harden me against myself - this coward with pathetic voice who yearns for rest, and peace, and joys. Thank the Lord, He is the One who breaks my yoke and sets me free. We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is the propitiation for my sins. I cannot plead with God because of my great love for Him. But because of His great love for me, I boldly approach the throne of grace.

Three things may give boldness in prayer. We have a Father to pray to, and the Spirit to help us to pray, and an Advocate to present our prayers.

God’s children should in all their troubles run to their heavenly Father, as the sick child in 2 Kings 4: 19: ‘He said unto his father, My head, my head.’ So pour out thy complaint to God in prayer. ‘Father, my heart, my heart; my dead heart, quicken it; my hard heart, soften it in Christ’s blood. Father, my heart, my heart.’ Surely God, who hears the cry of ravens, will hear the cry of his children! –Thomas Watson

More on Christina will follow.


  1. Love Christina Rosetti.

    Liked this post. Looking forward to more.

  2. I have never heard of her, but anticipate more. Thanks for the good post.

  3. I love her, too.

    Looking forward to more! :D


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