1828–1896

Introduction

Born: Jan­u­a­ry 2, 1828, Ta­vi­stock, Dev­on­shire, Eng­land.

Died: March 28, 1896, Hamp­stead Heath, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Buried: Hamp­stead Par­ish Church, Hamp­stead, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Biography

Elizabeth was the daugh­ter of John Run­dle, bank­er and Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, and wife of bar­ris­ter An­drew Pa­ton Charles (mar­ried 1851).

Anglican by af­fil­i­a­tion, she was a gift­ed po­et, mu­si­cian, paint­er, and au­thor, and trans­lated a num­ber of hymns.

Publications

Poem

Ministry

Since service is the highest lot,
And all are in one Body bound,
In all the world the place is not
Which may not with this bliss be crown’d.

The sufferer on the bed of pain
Need not be laid aside from this,
But for each kindness gives again
This joy of doing kindnesses.

The poorest may enrich this feast;
Not one lives only to receive,
But renders through the hands of Christ
Richer returns than man can give.

The little child in trustful glee,
With love and gladness brimming o’er,
Many a cup of ministry
May for the weary veteran pour.

The lonely glory of a throne
May yet this lowly joy preserve,
Love may make that a stepping stone,
And raise I reign into I serve.

This, by the ministries of prayer,
The loneliest life with blessings crowds,
Can consecrate each petty care,
Make angels’ ladders out of clouds.

Nor serve we only when we gird
Our hearts for special ministry;
That creature best has ministered
Which is what it was meant to be.

Birds by being glad their Maker bless,
By simply shining sun and star;
And we, whose law is love, serve less
By what we do than what we are.

Since service is the highest lot,
And angels know no higher bliss,
Then with what good her cup is fraught
Who was created but for this!

Elizabeth Rundle Charles
Women of the Gospels: The Three
Wakings, and Other Poems
,
American edition, 1870

Sources

Lyrics

Translations

Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Charles (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?