Project Canterbury

The Baptism and Daily Life of the Christian Child.

New York: E.P. Dutton, 1876.

Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2012


Wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God,
and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven.—(Church Catechism.)

IN baptism I was made
God's own adopted child—
Member of Christ, and heir of Heaven,
That kingdom undefiled.

I am a Christian child;
The Cross is on my brow,
And I must fight right manfully,
Beneath Christ's banner now.

My warfare is with sin,
Which I am bound to hate;
And I must look for strength to Him
Who called me to this state.

Three things for me were promised,
Which I am bound to do—
If I God's favor would retain,
And be a soldier true.

First, that I should renounce,
Oppose with all my might,
Whate'er would tempt my soul astray
From what I know is right.

No bitter, angry words,
No language that's profane,
No foolish talking or untruth
My Christian lips must stain.

When wicked thoughts arise,
Oh! I must bid them flee,
And pray the Holy Ghost to dwell
Continually with me.

And next, the Christian Faith
I humbly should receive,
And all God's Holy Word doth teach
Undoubtingly believe.

Thirdly, that I should keep
The pure and perfect way.
Of God's commands, and walk therein
By grace, from day to day.

Until my life shall end,
I should in these abide;
Nor let temptations, snares, or foes
E'er turn my feet aside.

And shall I not believe
That I am bound to do
All that was promised once for me,
And be a soldier true?

Yes, verily, I will;
But God must give me aid.
I thank Him now with all my heart
That I His child am made.

For me my dearest Lord
Endured the Cross and shame;
For me He shed His precious blood;
Oh! blessed be His name.

For me He left the light
Of His example pure;
And now He offers-grace and strength,
To make my victory sure.

I am a Christian child;
The Cross is on my brow;
Could I dishonor Christ, my Lord,
And sell my birthright now?

When in the clouds He comes,
And every eye shall see,
Oh! then if I have faithful been,
He'll own and honor me.

The Daily Life of the Christian Child

COME hither, little Christian,
And hearken unto me!
I'll teach thee what the daily life
Of a Christian Child should be.

When a Christian Child awaketh,
He should think of God in heaven;
And softly say, "I thank Thee, Lord,
For the sleep which Thou hast given."

He must say, when he ariseth,
"From evil and from harm
Defend Thy little child, O Lord,
With Thine everlasting arm."

The water that he useth
Must remind him of the day
When baptismal waters cleansed him,
And washed his sins away,—

And, low in tone and earnest,
He must say, "This day renew,
O loving Lord, the saving grace
Of my baptismal dew."

Then, dressing very quietly,
The Christian Child should say,
"With Thy spotless robe of righteousness,
Lord, clothe my soul, I pray."

He reverently kneeleth,
To pray beside his bed;
With closed eyes and humble voice
His holy prayers are said.

And as he thus approacheth
The God of heaven above,
He looketh down and smileth on
His little child in love.

He goeth from his chamber,
To his work, or to his play,
But the prayers that he hath prayed he
Must keep in mind all day.

He hath ask'd to be obedient,
And so he must fulfil
His parents' bidding cheerfully,
With a glad mind and will.

In all his daily duties
He diligent must be;
And say, "Whate'er I do, O Lord,
I do it unto Thee."

When the little Christian playeth,
He must use no angry word;
For his little fellow Christians
Are members of the Lord.

If a playmate take his playthings,
He must not rudely try
To snatch them back; but mildly ask,
Or meekly pass them by.

He hath ask'd to be made holy,—
So he must strive all day
To "yield his will to others' will,
His way to others' way."

No greedy thoughts dishonor
The Christian Child at meals;
He eateth what God giveth him,
And ever thankful feels.

Whene'er the Cross he seeth
On chancel, church, or tower,
In human form, in beast or bird,
In insect, tree, or flower,

To his Crucified Redeemer
He must turn in thought and say,
"May the Cross upon my forehead shine
With living light alway!"

When no human eye can see him,
He knoweth God is nigh,—
And that darkness cannot cover him
From His All-seeing eye.

When in a fault he falleth,
He must not hide the stain,—
Repentance and confession
Must yield their healing pain;

He must kneel then in his chamber,
Confess what he hath done,
And ask to be forgiven
For the sake of God's dear Son.

Again, when evening cometh,
The Christian Child will pray,
And praise the Lord for blessings given
To him throughout the day.

Then his soul to God committing,
He quietly may sleep;
God and His holy Angel hosts
Will watch around him keep.

God bless thee, little Christian!
Be holy, humble, mild,
Obedient, truthful, diligent,
A truly Christian Child.

God bless thee, little Christian!
And bid thou God bless me!
I've taught thee what the daily life
Of a Christian Child should be.

Brought Home at Even

UPON the hills the wind is sharp and cold,
The sweet young grasses wither on the wold,
And we, O Lord! have wandered from Thy Fold;
But evening brings us home.

Among the mists we stumbled, and the rocks
Where the brown lichen whitens, and the fox
Watches the straggler from the scattered flocks;
But evening brings us home.

The sharp thorns prick us, and our tender feet
Are cut and bleeding, and the lambs repeat
Their pitiful complaint:—Oh, rest is sweet,
When evening brings us home!

We have been wounded by the hunter's darts.
Our eyes are very heavy, and our hearts
Search for Thy coming; when the light departs
At evening, bring us home!

The clouds are round us, and the snow-drifts thicken.
O Thou, dear Shepherd! leave us not to sicken
In the waste night; our tardy footsteps quicken;
At evening, bring us home!

The Boy with the Five Loaves


"If thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little."

WHAT time the Saviour spread His feast
For thousands on the mountain's side,
One of the last and least
The abundant store supplied.

Haply, the wonders to behold,
A boy 'mid other boys he came,
A lamb of Jesus' fold,
Though now unknown by name.

Or for his sweet obedient ways
The Apostles brought him near, to share
Their Lord's laborious days,
His frugal basket bear.

Or might it be his duteous heart,
That led him sacrifice to bring
For his own simple part,
To the world's hidden King?

Well may I guess how glow'd his cheek,
How he look'd down, half pride, half fear:
Far off he saw one speak
Of him in Jesus' ear.

"There is a lad—five loaves hath he,
And fishes twain:—but what are they,
Where hungry thousands be?"—
Nay, Christ will find a way.

In order, on the fresh green hill,
The mighty Shepherd ranks His sheep
By tens and fifties, still
As clouds when breezes sleep.

Oh, who can tell the trembling joy,
Who paint the grave endearing look,
When from that favored boy
The wondrous pledge He took?

Keep thou, dear child, thine early word;
Bring Him thy best: who knows but He
For His eternal board
May take some gift of thee?

Thou prayest without the veil as yet;
But kneel in faith: an arm benign
Such prayer will duly set
Within the holiest shrine.

And prayer has might to spread and grow.
Thy childish darts, right-aim'd on high,
May catch Heaven's fire, and glow
Far in the eternal sky:

Even as He made that stripling's store,
Type of the Feast by Him decreed,
Where Angels might adore,
And souls forever feed.

Project Canterbury