“The War is O’er” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Papauer I ‘Morpheus’. [Memorial Day Poppy] (1768-1786)

THE WAR IS O’ER

The guns are still, the war is o’er,

The boys come home from foreign shore;

As they now reach their journey’s end

They’re met by relative and friend:

Their medals won, their ribbons gay

Are marked with pride for many a day.

We think of those who lonely dwell,

And tears are shed for those who fell.

But now we note how selfish greed

Has fastened on our country’s need:

The gangster in the market black

Does scrupple not his land to sack:

Base men lead forth the strike parade

Till we a stricken land are made:

And gamblers follow in their wake,

And liquor men their booty take.

The world seems just a sorry mess

Where few care ought for righteousness;

The nations growl and lust for power,

And hasten not the peaceful hour;

The starving millions cry for bread;

Whole nations face a future dread:

Although a righteous few are left,

They seem well nigh of power bereft.

But what means all this wrack to us?

We’re told by Christ it should be thus.

This is the day the Lord has made:

We have the Son of God to aid:

Our lives in Christ can be as grand

As any lived in any land;

In meeting new the world’s deep need,

We can make great our heavenly meed.

We turn aside on this spring day

To honor those who’ve passed away.

(When our day too on earth is done,

What victory then shall we have won?)

We honor those who wrought to win

These labors we have entered in.

Although we seem both few and weak,

In us will Christ the victory see.
Image above:
Image ID: 1161429. Papauer I ‘Morpheus’. [Memorial Day Poppy] (1768-1786)
Retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1161429

“My Easter Prayer” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943

EASTERBLESSING

Easter Blessings Be Thine”, ca. 1912

MY EASTER PRAYER – 1943

Jesus help me know thy love,

Love that brought thee  to our earth.

Leaving realms of brightest glory,

For a lowly manger birth.

Love that chose the hasty Peter,

Cleansed the striken Magdalen.

Patiently endured the traitor,

Made the vilest sinner clean.

Love that led thee to the cross,

Round thee there with fetters strong.

Though a word from thee had scattered,

Those who thought they did thee wrong.

Love that suffered for my sins,

Took their sorrow in my stead.

That I might rejoice in heaven,

Ransomed ever from the dead.

Love that’s mine in this today,

Guiding me while earth I roam.

Shaping me into thy image,

Bringing me to thy own home.

Jesus help me feel thy love,

At this joyous Easter season.

When I view again thy passion,

And thy sacrifice envision.

When I try to comprehend,

Its significance to thee.

Wonder what thou didst endure,

That I might from death be free.

When I seek to understand,

Its significance to us.

How for all who will believe,

This is made our righteousness.

When I would appreciate,

Thy unfathomed love divine.

That I might express my thanks,

That this love is truly mine.

Jesus may I have thy love,

Poured into this sluggish heart.

Filling me with love for others,

Making me of love a part.

That I may this love imbibe,

May I yield my will to thee.

Holding not a purpose back,

Living only thine to be.

That I may with love be filled,

May I linger long in prayer.

That thou mayest possess me wholly,

And have me thy image wear.

Jesus, may I show thy love,

First to thee my loving Lord.

Thou has always so loved me,

I deserved to be abhorred.

Then to those within thy church,

Those whom thou has rendered clean.

These are they beloved of thee,

In their lives thou now art seen.

Next to my own kind and kin,

These my first and dearest charge.

May they have of love my best,

May my heart to them enlarge.

And to others far and wide,

Neighbors, fellow workers, friends.

Enemies who injured me,

Those far off where my light ends.

 

Image above retrieved from:

digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065612&imageID=1587604&word= easter blessing&s=1¬word=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=12&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=9

Image Details

Image Title:  Easter blessings be thine. Published Date: ca. 1912.Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Religious. Source Description: 96 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – ReligiousDigital. ID: 1587604. Record ID: 1065612.  Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012

“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff

HAPPYEASTER

“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)

MY EASTER MESSAGE

Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your service render.

Others are the world reminding,

What they want in Christ they’re finding:

In this life of thrill and action,

They are finding satisfaction.

When the shades of night are fallen,

And our lives are past recalling,

Are you sure that you’ll be voicing

Songs of heaven’s glad rejoicing?

You today may this be knowing

And like Jesus, too be growing

If you come to Jesus merely,

And accept Him now sincerely.

Image above retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065603&imageID=1587578&total=18&num=0&word=jesus%20christ%20resurrection&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=14&e=w

Image Details

Image Title:  Buona Pasqua. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 14 x 9 cm.

 Notes: Gold metallic accents. Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Foreign. Source Description: 16 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – Foreign. Digital ID: 1587578. Record ID: 1065603. Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012.

“For the Jones Family of Bristol Springs” and “Only One Way” by Darius M. Ratcliff

GuideMeOThouGreatJehovah

FOR THE JONES FAMILY OF BRISTOL SPRINGS
Mr. and Mrs. Ward (Irene E.) Jones, Julia E. and Virginia A.

Yours is the home where the singers dwell,

Oft have I listened to their songs glad swell:

As they have followed the day’s occupations

Voices were raised in joyous pulsations.

Gone are the song birds now from their nest,

Stilled are the echoes that never knew rest,

Caught in the whirl of the maddening rush,

Stifling out music and bidding it hush.

Oh, may they sing through the world’s dark night

Songs of the gospel of light:

Hearts may they gladden by the songs that they sing,

Souls may they save by the message they bring.

ONLY ONE WAY
Changed from one by Mrs. Ward Jones. Written for Virginia to sing.

There’s only one way to heaven,

From palace or from slum;

Only one way to the Pearly Gate,

Only one way to come.

This is the way called Jesus,

The Glorious Son of God;

Jesus the world’s one Savior,

Who once here on earth has trod.

There’s only one way to Jesus,

But the gate is open wide;

There’s only one way to enter,

And be at the Savior’s side.

The way by the cross of Jesus:

To there be crucified,

Just by the cross of Jesus,

The cross where our Savior died.

“A Welcome to Rev. and Mrs. Frank Sperduto” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Presbyterian Church
Naples, Ontario County, New York


A WELCOME TO REV. AND MRS. FRANK SPERDUTO

You’ve made, by now, your own preview;

My welcome can be hardly new:

I’ll add tonight of words a few:

This for my church I gladly do:

A welcome warm to both of you.

A lovely lake our border makes,

Its charming shore affection takes:

The sportive trout its water breaks,

To joyous beauties the heart awakes:

A welcome to our land of lakes.

We once were noted for our mills;

We boast some shaded woodland rills;

For those who practice climbing skills,

Our peaks afford real mountain thrills:

A welcome to our land of hill.

If you grow tired of stuffy dens,

And of wise words from prophets’ pens,

And wish a rest from sung “amens,”

We have a world shut out from men’s:

A welcome to our land of glens.

Our orchard trees will you salute,

They with the vines some farms dispute;

Their blossoms preach with voices mute,

Their autumn offerings your taste will suit:

A welcome to our land of fruit.

It matters not what church you’re of,

Our game is not to push and shove;

Our bird is just the friendly dove,

Our model is the God above:

A welcome to our land of love.

Now, I’m a Baptist, through and through,

And I am loyal to that view;

But God loves Presbyterians, too,

And they to Him can be as true:

The Baptist Church here welcomes you.

And as our work together blends,

And prayer to God from each ascends,

And each to work of Christ attends,

And grace from Him to both descends:

May we become the best of friends.

Naples Baptist and Presbyterian Churches
Naples, Ontario County, New York

Reference:
http://www.fultonhistory.com
Newspaper: “The Naples News”, Naples, New York; Wednesday, March 3, 1943, Volume XXXXV, Number 9; “Rev. Sperduto To Be Installed”.

On Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 according to Presbyterian custom,the Rev. Frank Sperduto, will be installed as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Naples.”

 “The participating clergymen at the service will be: Rev. D. M.Ratcliff, Baptist Church, Naples ; Rev..J. Wesley Babock, Methodist Church, Naples; Rev. Luther Bostrom, Seneca  Presbyterian Church, No. 9 and Moderator of the Presbytery of Geneva; Rev.William Halbert Campbell, First Presbyterian church, Waterloo; and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery; Rev. Angus J. MacMillan, Oak Corners Presbyterian Church, Waterloo; and Frederick L. Harper, First Presbyterian Church, Geneva.”

Churches of Naples, Ontario County,  New York (Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist)
Artist: Donald Gelder of Naples, New York

Images above:
 Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

Rev. Frank Sperduto

RACINE – Rev. Frank Sperduto, 86, passed away at Lincoln Lutheran Care Center on Saturday, February 10, 2001. He was born in Sommerville, Mass. on November 18, 1914, son of the late James and Annina (nee: DiTucci) Sperduto. On August 24, 1941, he was united in marriage to Ruth M. Roth. Rev. Sperduto was ordained on July 11, 1939, in Chicago, Ill. He subsequently served churches in Naples, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Ithaca, N.Y., Wichita, Kan., and then in 1962, he was called to Milwaukee to Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served for 18 years, retiring in 1980. He then came to Racine, where he assisted at the First Presbyterian Church for four years and had remained a member until present. Rev. Sperduto was a member and past President of the Kiwanis Golden K’s. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling with his family. His survivors include his wife, Ruth; his son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; his daughter, Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; his five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Eau Claire, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Elk Mound, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Flagstaff, Ariz., Heidi Doe of Franksville; his great-grandson, Ian Matthew Figlmiller; brother, Rev. Ted (Muriel) Sperduto of Annandale, Va.; sister, Civita (Ray) Trotto of South Weymouth, Mass.; brother-in-law, Albert Roth of Atlanta, Ga.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his three sisters, Mary Camelio, Rose Camelio, and Nancy CiCicco; and an infant brother, Raymond. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, on Friday, February 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush and Rev. Steve Fringer officiating. Interment will follow at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Milwaukee. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: February 14, 2001

http://journaltimes.com/wednesday-feb/article_b302dc0f-bd69-5ee7-b6f5-6f35ed439282.html

RACINE – Ruth M. (nee: Roth) Sperduto, 89, passed away at the Kenosha Care Center Saturday, May 8, 2004.

Ruth was born in Ridgeway, Pa. on January 14, 1915, daughter of the late Albert and Susanne (nee: Kubli) Roth. On August 24, 1941, Ruth was united in marriage to the Rev. Frank Sperduto, who preceded her in death February 10, 2001.

Ruth was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church. She had previously taught and cared for pre-school children at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where her husband, Frank had served as Associate Pastor for 18 years. Ruth enjoyed her times spent with her family. She will be sadly missed.

Survivors include her son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; her daughter,Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; her five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Minnesota, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Eau Claire, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Parker, Colo., Heidi (Ernesto) Lopez of Racine; five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Ruth was also preceded in death by four brothers.

Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, Saturday, May 15, 2004, 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush officiating.

Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Interment will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church or to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: May 11, 2004

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_950b06a7-6967-540c-b073-7a86c5f369d4.html

“Moonlight Devotion” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Moonlight on the Lake
Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York

MOONLIGHT – DEVOTIONAL

 When on days of balmy June

The sun at last withdraws its light

Then you bring a mystic glow

To lovers strolling in the night.

The moon enriches us on earth, by soft and welcome light. But of itself the moon has no light. It only reflects the light of the sun. From this we can learn a lesson. Christ is introduced in these passages from Gospel of John. “….In him was life and the life was the light of men.” If man had ever had light on his own, by sin he had lost it. “….I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “When I am in the world I am the light of the world.” “….Yet a little while is the light among you. Work while you have the light, that darkness overtake you not; and he that walketh in darkness knoweth not where he is going. While you have the light believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.”

But while Jesus was with us in visible form, the time was short, very short; and the territory he could cover was small, very small. But he had his followers “As the Father sent me into the world, I am sending you.”

The church is well called the body of Christ. Christians by abiding in Christ and he abiding in them can reflect his lights to all the world till the end of time. So Jesus told his disciple “You are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

We then have the supreme opportunity of earth, and the responsibility is equally grave. In our day and in our time there are those whom we can so bring the light of Christ, they will eternally share with us the love and joy, and glory as the children of God. If we fail that will be forever lost to them. Let your light shine now and where you are.

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?79477
Source: Detroit Publishing Company postcards / Unnumbered cards
Digital ID: 79477

 

“Down Where the River Flows” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Joseph Martin Kronheim‘s (1810-1896) Baxter process illustration of Revelation 22:17


DOWN WHERE THE RIVER FLOWS

 

The summer day is warm and fair,

And balmy sweetness fill the air,

And beauties greet me everywhere.

Away with toil! Away with care!

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

An old, old man with withered look

Is wading slow the running brook,

And casting out a line and hook,

And searching every quiet nook;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

A farmer lad is whistling gay;

He tosses out some new mown hay

In lowland meadows where they lay

Along the river’s winding way;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

The music running waters make,

As they o’ver stones in ripples break

Some childhood’s long lost memories wake

And I must still my lone heart ache;

Down where the river flows,

Down were the river flows.

Some wading birds with wagging tails

Are searching in the river shales

Perhaps for bugs or tiny snails,

Or what to them for food avails,

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

A church bell sounds a solemn call.

The saints of God now worship all.

The hopes of old I must recall.

My heart turns pleasures into gall;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

They bear the burdens of the day.

For such as I they meet to pray.

They now deny some pleasures gay,

The things they know will pass away;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

Shall I go down the world’s broad way

While others for salvation pray?

And shall I live in pleasures gay

While others work while its today;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.

No, I will now in tears repent,

Although the years my God has lent

I have in selfish ways misspent

I know the Lord for me was sent;

Down where the river flows,

Down where the river flows.


Image above retrieved from:
http://www.theworkofgodschildren.org/collaboration/index.php?title=File:The_Sunday_at_Home_1880_-_Revelation_22-17-_Joseph_Martin_Kronheim.jpg

Source: The Sunday at Home: A Family Magazine for Sabbath Reading, 1880 [collected volume], London, Religious Tract Society, Paternoster Row, 164 Picadilly.
Description: Joseph Martin Kronheim’s (1810 – 1896) Baxter process illustration of Revelation 22:17 from page 366 of the 1880 omnibus printing of The Sunday at Home.

“At Church” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Young girl going to church, Bologna, 16th century (1859-1860)
by Etienne Huyot, Engraver


AT CHURCH

Vonda with the pale rose coat,

And hair so flowing soft;

Your girlish face is sweet and fair

As you glance upwards oft.

Are you to your own parents dear

As my child is to me?

And do they for you dream and pray,

Wherever you may be?

Just what may be your thought today,

As you the sermon hear?

Do peace and joy possess your heart

As you to Christ draw near?

And have you seen the cross of Christ?

And have you with Him died?

To all the world does offer you,

That you might His abide?

And do you have the SPIRIT, child?

And do you through Him LIVE?

And do you serve the Christ, my dear?

Your all in service give?

And sees some youth in all his dreams

Sweet visions of that face?

And is he praying for the day,

When he will you embrace?

Is there somewhere a sailor lad,

A boy who’s won your heart?

In all your dreams of future days,

Does this one have a part?

To fathom those deep thoughts of yours,

I know I never can:

For God has made you, you, you see,

And made me just a man.

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?811554

Image Title:  Young girl going to church, Bologna, 16th century
Creator : Huyot, Etienne, b. 1808 — Engraver
Published Date: 1859-1860
Original Source: From Costumes anciens et modernes : habiti antichi e moderni di tutto il mondo.(Paris : Firmin Didot, 1859-1860) Vecellio, Cesare (ca. 1521-1601), Author.
 Source: Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection / Costume — 1500s — Italian

“Now I Dream of Heaven” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Soul Carried to Heaven by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905)

NOW I DREAM OF HEAVEN

 

And now I dream of heaven,

Of heaven bright and fair:

I know it won’t be long

Before my welcome there.

I’m old I know, past eighty,

My friends have gone before;

I’ll not be sad nor lonely

Upon the glory shore.

Through life my God has been

So very good to me;

To Him I must be grateful,

As grateful as can be.

My Bible tells how all

Are lost in sin and woe;

Yet how in Christ we can

Be saved while here below.

I’ve cast myself on Him,

A sinner at His feet;

I trust His grace to give me

Salvation full complete.

As he on earth did suffer

On cross atonement make

I shall now live forever

Accepted for his sake.

I’m very near the river

Near my eternal home,

Where I shall joy forever

Before my Savior’s throne.

Image above retrieved from:

Source: http://www.oceansbridge.com/oil-paintings/product/55530/soulcarriedtoheaven

“I Wonder” by Darius M. Ratcliff

For Such is the Kingdom of Heaven by Frank Bramley, 1891

I WONDER

Written after talking to a woman who wondered why misfortune happened to her. She had not been so bad.

 

I wonder at my burdened lot:

I have not been so bad.

I thought perhaps I’d happy be,

That life would make me glad.

I’d dreamed such happy dreams in youth: –

In those blessed golden years.

I’ve seen my hopes all withered die

Amid bitter tears.

I saw the undeserving gain

The things I so had sought:

The wicked blessed and happy too:-

It seemed they should have nought.

The sands of time are running out,

My hopes have proved in vain:

I have no longer time nor strength

My goals to now attain.

I looked today and saw anew

A figure on a cross.

He left the gains and joys of heaven

For such an awful loss.

I know at last that I have sinned.

My pride had made me blind

To deep rebellion in my heart,

To worldliness of mind.

He gave Himself for sins of mine;

For He no difference knew;

For all have sinned and fallen short,

And must be born anew.

All this he did to save me from

This present evil world;

And here I am bemoaning sore

The loss of such a world.

My life is hid with Christ in God,

And Christ is now my all;

My gain is everlasting life,

My loss is earthly, small.

In heaven I my treasures store

Where nothing can destroy;

When earthly treasures all dissolve

My treasures I’ll enjoy.

If I am put to grief today

While living here on earth,

I’ll count that grief far better than

The world’s poor passing mirth.

If I now fail to understand

All that on earth I see,

I’ll trust His wisdom, love, and might

Who loved and died for me.

No longer is my wonder now

Why I must burdened be:

I wonder rather why my Lord

Should do so much for me.

I wonder at His dying love

For such a one as I;

I wonder at the awful price:-

That He for me should die.

I wonder at my sonship too:-

A child of God above.

I wonder at a thousand things,

The tokens of His love.

I wonder at the kingdom great

Prepared for me on high;

I wonder at eternity

My heaven by and by.

Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Bramley_-_Kingdom_Of_Heaven_1891.jpg
Source: Art Knowledge Daily
Permission: photograph reproduction in the public domain