May I, this Sunday morning, bring outsome learned lore
To show you what can happen when men their wrong adore?
This is an ancient story brought down from olden time,
But not before related in modern verse and rhyme,
A certain party preacher, like many
in the land,
Assayed to mend the gospel and change the Lord's command.
He was a proud exhorter of stiff and stately mein,
A Doctor of Divinity, with honors from the Dean!
The text that caused him trouble,
and vexed him deep and sore,
Was that which says, "We're buried," in Romans six and four.
He figured and he twisted; he wrestled day and night.
And then he preached a sermon to set the passage right.
He said, "It is a figure as
you can plainly see:
The sinner's heart is sprinkled, his soul from sin to free.
Of course it says we're buried, but not in earthly sod,
Nor in a pond of water, but hid with Christ in God.
"And so, I sprinkle water upon
a person's head--
An outward sign, or symbol, that he is really dead."
He closed his searching sermon and made his way toward home;
Assured he had convinced them immersion was dethroned.
His thoughts: "A great
sensation that sermon will produce."
Just then his carriage wobbled--he'd hit and killed a goose.
Then, turning to his son with face that showed his fret
He said, "Go find some distant spot and bury there your pet."
So Johnny took the goose along, and
by the garden fence,
He held a little funeral with faithful diligence.
Said he, "This goose has perished--assuredly it's dead,
And so I will now bury, as father's sermon said."
So he took a little dirt--a
spoonful--in his hand,
And on the lifeless feathers, he sprinkled bits of sand.
"Now goose," said he, "You're buried--in figure and in thought:
You're planted, and you're hidden, as Daddy plainly taught."
The preacher soon discovered the
goose above the ground,
And then his indignation knew neither length nor bound.
He called up little Johnny; he seized a hickory lath,
And gave an exhibition of certain righteous wrath.
"You are a trifling
urchin," he said with upraised hand,
"To disregard my orders and break my plain command.
My words were plainly spoken; I said to bury it.
But there it is NOT buried; that much you must admit.
"Why, Dad, the goose IS
buried--it's planted in the sod.
I kept your word as strictly as you obeyed your God.
To bury means to sprinkle--you said so, Sunday morn.
The dust I surely sprinkled; what is there now to mourn?"
This story has its lesson--a child
can see it through.
Why, even I can see it; just why can't you and YOU?
Remember this, my fellow, the Lord speaks PLAINLY, too.
His "Bury" means to BURY, and nothing else will do!