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    Marah and Elim

    Today ‘tis Elim with its palms and wells,
    And happy shade for desert weariness;
    ‘Twas Marah yesterday, all rock and sand,
    Unshaded solitude and dreariness.
    Yet the same desert holds them both, the same
    Hot breezes wander o’er the lonely ground;
    The same low stretch of valley shelters both,
    And the same mountains compass them around.
    So it is here with us on earth, and so
    I do remember it has ever been;
    The bitter and the sweet, the grief and joy,
    Lie near together, but a day between.
    Sometimes God turns our bitter into sweet,
    Sometimes He gives us pleasant watersprings;
    Sometimes He shades us with His pillar cloud,
    And sometimes to a blessed palm shade brings.
    What matters it? The time will not be long;
    Marah and Elim will alike be passed;
    Our desert wells and palms will soon be done,
    We reach the “City of our God” at last.
    O happy land! beyond these lonely hills,
    Where gush in joy the everlasting springs;
    O holy Paradise! above these heavens,
    Where we shall end our desert wanderings.
    MHH 142.4

    —Horatius Bonar.MHH 143.1

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