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The Calvinist

A Poem by John Piper

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See him on his knees, Hear his constant pleas: Heart of ev’ry aim: “Hallowed be Your name.” See him in the Word, Helpless, cool, unstirred, Heaping on the pyre Heed until the fire. See him with his books: Tree beside the brooks, Drinking at the root Till the branch bear fruit. See him with his pen: Written line, and then, Better thought preferred, Deep from in the Word. See him in the square, Kept from subtle snare: Unrelenting sleuth On the scent of truth. See him on the street, Seeking to entreat, Meek and treasuring: “Do you know my King?” See him in dispute, Firm and resolute, Driven by the fame Of his Father’s name. See him at his trade. Done. The plan is made. Men will have his skills, If the Father wills. See him at his meal, Praying now to feel Thanks and, be it graced, God in ev’ry taste. See him with his child: Has he ever smiled Such a smile before, Playing on the floor? See him with his wife, Parable for life: In this sacred scene She is heaven’s queen. See him stray. He groans. “One is true,” he owns. “What is left to me? Fallibility.” See him in lament “Should I now repent?” “Yes. And then proclaim: All is for my fame.” See him worshipping. Watch the sinner sing, Spared the burning flood Only by the blood. See him on the shore: “Whence this ocean store?” “From your God above, Thimbleful of love.” See him now asleep. Watch the helpless reap, But no credit take, Just as when awake. See him nearing death. Listen to his breath, Through the ebbing pain: Final whisper: “Gain!”