On the Downward Way

Wide is the gate that leads to death,
Smooth is the slope for steps that stray,
Broad is the road for the sinner’s feet,
The easy path of the downward way;
But close beside you at every turn
Love and pardon and welcome wait,
Close beside you the Savior walks,
Down, clear down to the last dark gate.

Down, clear down to the gates of death;
Deep are the billows that meet you there,
Swift are the waves your feet must pass,
Chill are the waters your soul must dare;
Down, clear down to the gates of hell,
And Christ is calling you, every day,
Christ is pleading at every step,
Christ is loving you all the way.

And when sometimes on the downward way
You heart grows sick with a sudden fear,
If you breathe His name it will be enough,
For the ear of the Lord is quick to hear;
If you reach your hand through the lonely dark,
His hand will clasp it, for He is nigh,
His heart is waiting to heed your call,
His voice will answer your faintest cry.

—Annie J. Flint