Reality by Francis R. Havergal

“Father, we know the REALITY of Jesus Christ.”—
Words used by a workman in prayer

Reality, reality,
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art to me!
From the spectral mists and driving clouds,
From the shifting shadows and phantom crowds;
From unreal words and unreal lives,
Where truth with falsehood feebly strives;
From the passings away, the chance and change,
Flickerings, vanishings, swift and strange,
I turn to my glorious rest on Thee,
Who art the grand Reality.

Reality in greatest need,
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art indeed!
Is the pilot real, who alone can guide
The drifting ship through the midnight tide?
Is the lifeboat real, as it nears the wreck,
And the saved ones leap from the parting deck?
Is the haven real, where the barque may flee
From the autumn gales of the wild North Sea?
Reality indeed art Thou,
My Pilot, Lifeboat, Haven now!

Reality, reality,
In brightest days Thou art to me!
Thou art the sunshine of my mirth,
Thou art the heaven above my earth,
The spring of the love of all my heart,
And the Fountain of my song Thou art;
For dearer than the dearest now,
And better than the best, art Thou,
Belovèd Lord, in whom I see
Joy-giving, glad Reality.

Reality, reality,
Lord Jesus, Thou hast been to me.
When I thought the dream of life was past,
And “the Master’s home-call” come at last;
When I thought I only had to wait
A little while at the Golden Gate,—
Only another day or two,
Till Thou Thyself shouldst bear me through,
How real Thy presence was to me,
How precious Thy Reality!

Reality, reality,
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art to me!
Thy name is sweeter than songs of old,
Thy words are better than “most fine gold,”
Thy deeds are greater than hero-glory,
Thy life is grander than poet-story;
But Thou, Thyself, for aye the same,
Art more than words and life and name!
Thyself Thou has revealed to me,
In glorious Reality.

Reality, reality,
Lord Jesus Christ, is crowned in Thee.
In Thee is every type fulfilled,
In Thee is every yearning stilled
For perfect beauty, truth, and love;
For Thou art always far above
The grandest glimpse of our Ideal,
Yet more and more we know Thee real,
And marvel more and more to see
Thine infinite Reality.

Reality, reality
Of grace and glory dwells in Thee.
How real Thy mercy and Thy might!
How real Thy love, how real Thy light!
How real Thy truth and faithfulness!
How real Thy blessing when Thou dost bless!
How real Thy coming to dwell within!
How real the triumphs Thou dost win!
Does not the loving and glowing heart
Leap up to own how real Thou art?

Reality, reality!
Such let our adoration be!
Father, we bless Thee with heart and voice,
For the wondrous grace of Thy sovereign choice,
That patiently, gently, sought us out
In the far-off land of death and doubt,
That drew us to Christ by the Spirit’s might,
That opened our eyes to see the light
That arose in strange reality,
From the darkness falling on Calvary.

Reality, reality,
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art to me!
My glorious King, my Lord, my God,
Life is too short for half the laud,
For half the debt of praise I owe
For this blest knowledge, that “I know
The reality of Jesus Christ,”—
Unmeasured blessing, gift unpriced!
Will I not praise Thee when I see
In the long noon of Eternity,
Unveiled, Thy “bright Reality!”

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