The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandments of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes,
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever;
The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether….
–The Law Within (Psalm 19:7-9)—Moulton, the Modern Reader’s Bible, 1895
In Thee we trust, what’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small…
–Voyagers, Henry Van Dyke
Though long the weary way we tread,
And sorrow crowns each lingering year,
No path we shun, no darkness dread,
Our hearts still whispering, Thou are near!
When dropping pleasure turns to grief,
And trembling faith is changed to fear,
The murmuring wind, the quivering leaf,
Shall softly tell us, Thou art near!
–Hymn of Trust, Oliver Wendell Holmes
He has traveled further for me than any one;
He has done more;
Yet there is no price upon Love…
–A One Hundered Fifty-First Psalm, Henry Robins
Upon the threshold on another year
We stand again.
We know not what of gladness and good cheer,
Of grief or pain,
May visit us while journeying to its close,
In this we rest,
God dealeth out in wisdom what He knows
For us is best.
–New Year, Thomas Wearing
God of the past, our times in Thy Hand;
With us abide.
Lead us by faith to hope’s true Promised Land;
Be Thou our guide.
With Thee to bless, the darkness shines as light,
A faith’s fair vision changes into sight.
God of the coming years, through paths unknown
We follow Thee;
When we are strong, Lord, leave us not along;
Our refuge be.
Be Thou for us in life our Daily Bread,
Our heart’s true Home when all our years have sped.
–God of our Life, Hugh Thomson Kerr
Leave it all quietly to God, my soul…
–Leave It All Quietly to God (Psalms 62:1), The Old Testament, A New Translation by James Moffat, 1925
I am old and blind!
Men point at me as smitten by God’s frown:
Afflicted and deserted of my kind,
Yet am I not cast down…
I am weak, yet strong:
I murmur not that I no longer see;
Poor, old, and helpless, I the more belong,
Father Supreme, to thee!
All merciful One!
When men are furthest, then art thou most
When friends pass by, my weaknesses to shun,
Thy chariot I hear.
The glorious face
Is leaning toward me; and it holy light
Shines in upon my lonely dwelling place
And there is no more night.
I have naught to fear;
This darkness is the shadow of thy wing;
Beneath is I am almost sacred; here
Can come no evil thing…
Visions come and go;
Shapes of resplendent beauty around me throng;
From angel lips I seem to hear the flow
Of soft and holy song…
–Milton’s Prayer, Elizabeth Lloyd Howell
We cannot read thy will or know thy mind,
Baffled by one small world thou hast designed.
Awed by the grandeur of infinity.
He who can trace
The marching stars through space,
Measure the oceans, lift the mountains up,
Scatter the perfume in the lily’s cup,
Planning for aeons, measuring each year,
Will this God hear?…
–Prayer, Edward Bliss Reed
I hoped that with the brave and strong,
My portioned task might lie:
To toil amid the busy throng,
With purpose pure and high;
But God has fixed another part,
And he has fixed it well,
I said so with my breaking heart,
When first this trouble fell.
These weary hours will not be lost,
These days of misery,
These nights of darkness, anguish-tossed,
Can I but turn to Thee;
With secret labour to sustain
In patience every blow
To gather fortitude from pain,
And holiness from woe.
If Thou shouldst bring me back to life,
More humble I should be,
More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
More apt to lean on Thee;
Should death be standing at the gate,
Thus should I keep my vow;
But, Lord, whatever by my fate,
O let me serve Thee now!
–He Doeth All Things Well, Anne Bronte
…O Poet-heart of Space and Time,
O Maker and immortal Soul,
Within whose glowing rings are bond,
Out of whose sleepless heart had birth
The cloudy blue, the starry round,
And this small miracle of earth;
Who liv’st in every living thing,
And all things are thy script and chart,
Who rid’st upon the eagle’s wing,
And yearnest in the human heart;
O Riddle with a single clue,
Love, deathless, protean, secure,
The ever old, the ever new,
O Energy, serene and pure.
Thou, who are also part of me,
Whose glory I have sometime seen,
O Vision of the Ought-to-be,
O Memory of the Might-have-been,
I have had glimpses of thy way,
And move with winds and walked with stars,
But, weary, I have fallen astray,
And, wounded, who shall count my scars?…
–Peccavi, Domine, Archibald Lampman
The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes; the bed
In the darkling house is spread;
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great wood are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord by Thy Will;
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered
The breeze from the embalmed land
Blows sudden towards the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal Lord—I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes, I will eat and sleep and will not
–Evensong, Robert Louis Stevenson
A mighty Fortess is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle
And through this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That world above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth:
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also:
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdon is forever.
–A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Martin Luther