Charlotte Mason wrote six volumes of original poetry inspired by the Gospel history of the life of Christ. She published the volumes between 1908 and 1914. She intended to write two more volumes, but it has been assumed that she never started them. Recently, however, Linda Fern recognized that some of the handwritten pages in Charlotte Mason’s archive are actually the unpublished draft of volume 7. It is not clear who, if anyone, has ever read these beautiful Christ-centered poems. But doubtless they have been hidden away in a folder for a hundred years.
Some things are just too good to escape the notice of divine providence. Mason wrote these beautiful verses but never brought them to the publisher. God had other plans, and now Mason’s words of beauty and power speak to us as if they were penned only yesterday. This particular poem is notable for its depth of theological insight and its dramatic implications for spiritual formation. Please read it carefully, with your heart and your mind, because this one packs a punch.
Increase our faith
Your servant ploughs for you or keeps your sheep;
Returns he tired at the day’s end. What say
Ye to the man, ‘Sit down to meal, my friend?’
Or rather, say ye not, ‘Prepare my meal,
Make yourself neat and serve me; after that,
When I have eaten, ‘tis your turn to sit
And eat what is left over!’
E’en see ye,
Who thinks to keep the law at every point—
And leave your God your debtor, what to Him
Taskmaster’s service every while fulfilled?
A man must do his duty, none can more,
Nought bring ye to your Lord; ashamed ye cry,
‘Unprofitable slaves, we do but that
We must for ‘tis our duty!’
Nought have ye,
Toiling all day, serving all night, to bring
To your Father who loves you well; add faith,—
The child’s regard fixed on the Father’s face
With outgoings of love, behold, your works,
Your labors manifold, are well fulfilled.
And God receives them as a Mother takes
Her little child’s first gift made by his hands;
Your God becomes your Debtor.