Archive for the ‘The Methodist Hymnal (1935)’ Category

Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown   1 comment

No Form of Human Framing/Wherever Men Adore Thee   1 comment

Ecclesia Militans

Above:  Ecclesia Militans

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1920-1921) by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and its three immediate predecessor bodies

The Evangelical and Reformed Church’s Hymnal of 1941 contains a rearranged (stanzas 3, 2, 1, and 4) version of the hymn, listed as “Wherever Men Adore Thee.”  The Hymnal Committee concluded that their arrangement was “more logical.”–Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), page 427

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1.  No form of human framing,

No bond of outward might,

Can bind Thy Church together, Lord,

And all her flocks unite;

But, Jesus, Thou hast told us

How unity must be:

Thou art with God the Father one,

And we are one in Thee.

2.  The mind that is in Jesus

Will guide us into truth,

The humble, open, joyful mind

Of ever-learning youth;

The heart that is in Jesus

Will lead us out of strife,

The giving and forgiving heart

That follows love in life.

Wherever men adore Thee,

Our souls with them would kneel;

Wherever men implore Thy help,

Their trouble we would feel;

And where men do Thy service,

Though knowing not Thy sign,

Our hand is with them in good work,

For they are also Thine.

4.  Forgive us, Lord, the folly

That quarrels with Thy friends,

And draw us nearer to Thy heart,

Where every discord ends;

Thou art the crown of manhood,

And Thou of God the Son:

O Master of our many lives,

In Thee our life is one.

God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest   2 comments

Apotheosis of War

Above:  Apotheosis of War, by Vasily Vereshchagin

Image in the Public Domain

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This is a hymn for use in time of war.  Sadly, we human beings keep acting is ways which keep the sentiments of the hymn current.

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This is one of those great Anglican contributions to English-language hymnody.

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PART THE FIRST:  THE BEGINNING

The story begins with Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808-1872), a Quaker-born novelist, playwright, libretticist, and literary and music critic in London, England, the United Kingdom.  In 1842 he published a hymn, “God, the All-Terrible! Thou Who Ordainest.”  My sources identified the the publication as having occurred in Part Music (1842), by John Pike Hullah (1812-1884).  A search at hymnary.org led me to my reprint of the Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes (Henry Ward Beecher, Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1855), where I found these verses:

1.  God, the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest

Thunder Thy clarion, and lightning Thy sword;

Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God, the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger,

Watching invisible, judging unheard;

Save us in mercy, O save us from danger,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the all-merciful! earth hath forsaken

Thy ways all holy, and slighted Thy word;

But not Thy wrath in its terror awaken,

Give to us pardon and peace, O Lord.

4.  So will Thy people with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,

Peace to the nations, and praise to the Lord.

(Hymn #1101)

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PART THE SECOND:  UNITARIANS DURING THE CIVIL WAR

Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864), included an abbreviated and different version of the text, starting with the second stanza.  Thus the hymn became “God, the Omnipotent! Mighty Avenger!”  The context of the U.S. Civil War was evident:

1.  God the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger!

Watching invisible, judging unheard!

Save Thou our land in the hour of her danger,

Give to us peace in Thy time, O Lord!

2.  Thunder and lightnings Thy judgment have sounded;

Letters of flame have recorded Thy word,

‘Only in righteousness true peace is founded’:

Give us that peace in Thy time, O Lord!

3.  So shall the people, with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,–

‘Peace to the nation, and praise to the Lord!’

(Hymn #262)

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PART THE THIRD:  ENTER JOHN ELLERTON

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), John Ellerton (1826-1893), a priest of The Church of England and author of no fewer than 86 hymns, wrote “God the Almighty One, Wisely Ordaining,” based on Chorley’s hymn.  The text debuted in Robert Brown-Borthwick’s Select Hymns for Church and Home (The Church of England, 1871).  I found the original version of that hymn via Google Books.

1.  God the Almighty One, wisely ordaining

Judgments unsearchable, famine and sword;

Over the tumult of war Thou are reigning;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

2.  God the All-righteous One! man hath defied Thee;

Yet to eternity standeth Thy word;

Falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside Thee;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

3.  God the All-pitiful, is it not crying,

Blood of the guiltless like water outpoured?

Look on the anguish, the sorrow, the sighing;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

4.  God, the All-wise! by the fire of Thy chastening

Earth shall to freedom and truth be restored;

Through the thick darkness Thy kingdom is hast’ning,

Thou wilt give peace in Thy time, O Lord!

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PART THE FOURTH:  THE JOINING AND SUBSEQUENT VARIATIONS AND ALTERATIONS

The first joining of the Chorley and Ellerton texts occurred in the 1874 revision of Church Hymns (The Church of England, 1871), as one can read for oneself by following the hyperlink and seeking hymn #262.  Since then many hymnals have contained various composites of the Chorley and Ellerton texts, frequently with alterations to them.  The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contained the hymn, but listed it as “God, Lord of Sabaoth, Thou Who Ordainest.”  The hymn was “God the All-Merciful! Earth Hath Forsaken” in the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917) but “God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest” in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958).  The influential Hymnal (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895) and its successor from 1911 listed the hymn as “God, the All-Terrible,” but The Hymnal (1933) changed the title to “God the Omnipotent.”  Among more conservative Presbyterians (especially in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America) who use either the 1961 or the 1990 versions of the Trinity Hymnal, God remains “All-terrible.”  God was “All-terrible” in The Methodist Hymnal (Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1905), but “Omnipotent” in The Methodist Hymnal of 1935 (Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestant Church, and Methodist Episcopal Church, South; later The Methodist Church, 1939-1968).  As late as The Hymnal of 1918 (Episcopal Church, authorized in 1916) God was “All-Terrible,” but the deity was “Omnipotent” instead in The Hymnal 1940 (published in 1943).  The consensus among hymnal committees is that God is “Omnipotent,” not “All-terrible.”

The variation on the hymn in The Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal Church, 1985) contains four stanzas–two from Chorley, two from Ellerton, and all of them altered.  This is the version I sing in church:

1.  God the Omnipotent! King, who ordainest

thunder thy clarion, the lightning thy sword;

show forth thy pity on high where thou reignest:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God the All-merciful! earth hath forsaken

thy ways all holy, and slighted thy word;

bid not thy wrath in its terrors awaken:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the All-righteous One! earth hath defied thee;

yet eternity standeth thy word,

falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside thee:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

4.  God the All-provident! earth by thy chastening

yet shall to freedom and truth be restored;

through the thick darkness thy kingdom is hastening:

thou wilt give peace in thy time, O Lord.

Hymn writer Brian Wren (1936-) wrote of hymns in Praying Twice:  The Music and Words of Congregational Song (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2000, page 297):

I have shown that congregational songs are communal.  Though they usually originate from particular authors, their primary purpose is to give shared expression to shared experience, not parade the author’s personality.  Because they are communal a faith community may, in principle amend them.

The story of “God the Omnipotent!” fits that statement well.

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PART THE FIFTH:  DROPPING THE HYMN

Denominations revise their official hymnals from time to time.  In so doing they add some texts and remove others.  Here is a partial list of denominations which have removed “God the Omnipotent!” (however they have listed it) from their official hymnody as of 2015, based on hymnals of which I own physical copies:

  1. the American Baptist Churches U.S.A., during their transition from the Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970) to no official hymnal;
  2. the Anglican Church of Canada, during the transition from The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971) to Common Praise (1998);
  3. the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, during the transition from The Covenant Hymnal (1973) to The Covenant Hymnal:  A Worshipbook (1996);
  4. the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, during the transition from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006);
  5. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996);
  6. the Free Methodist Church of North America and the Wesleyan Church, during their transition from Hymns of Faith and Life (1976) to no official hymnal;
  7. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, during its transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Lutheran Worship (1982) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006);
  8. the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), by way of its predecessors, the Presbyterian Church in the United States and The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., during the transition from The Hymnbook (1955) to The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972);
  9. the Reformed Church in America, during its transition from Rejoice in the Lord:  A Hymn Companion to the Scriptures (1985) to Lift Up Your Hearts:  Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (2013);
  10. the Southern Baptist Convention, during the transition from Baptist Hymnal (1956) to Baptist Hymnal (1975); the text is absent even from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship‘s Celebrating Grace Hymnal (2010);
  11. the Unitarian Universalist Association, sometime after Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864) and before Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America, 1937);
  12. The United Methodist Church, during its transition from The Hymnal of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1957) and The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966) to The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1992); and
  13. the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993); neither is the hymn present in Christian Worship:  Supplement (2008).

That list covers a wide theological range.  So does the list of denominations which have retained it–from The Episcopal Church to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to the United Church of Christ to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.  The list of denominations which have never added it to their official hymnody is also diverse, ranging from the Christian Reformed Church of North America to the Church of Nazarene.  Sometimes the presence or absence of the hymn indicates more about tastes in hymnody and worship style than about theology.

Another piece of supporting evidence for that conclusion comes from two non-denominational Evangelical hymnals Tom Fettke edited:  The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (1986) and The Celebration Hymnal:  Songs and Hymns for Worship (1997).  The former contains the hymn which is the subject of this post, but the latter does not.  A Victorian hymn set to the majestic former Russian national anthem does not fit with contemporary worship, with its seven-eleven songs, does it?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 21, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF J. B. PHILLIPS, BIBLE TRANSLATOR AND ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Posted July 21, 2015 by neatnik2009 in Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), Community and Country 1800s, Desperation and Suffering 1800s, Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), Lent/Confession of Sin 1800s, Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), Service Book and Hymnal (1958), The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971), The Hymnal (1895), The Hymnal (1911), The Hymnal (1933), The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Hymnal 1940 (1943), The Hymnal 1982 (1985), The Hymnbook (1955), The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Methodist Hymnal (1905), The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Hymnal (1966), The United Methodist Hymnal (1989)

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Come, Holy Ghost, in Love   3 comments

TC_1724

Above:  The Right Reverend Keith Whitmore, Assistant Bishop of Atlanta, at Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia, Pentecost, May 19, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and its immediate predecessors

Original Latin text (twelfth or thirteenth century), the Veni Sancte Spiritus, by Anonymous

English Translation (1859) by Ray Palmer (1808-1887), U.S. Congregationalist minister

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1.  Come, Holy Ghost, in love,

Shed on us from above

Thine own bright ray!

Divinely good Thou art;

Thy sacred gifts impart

To gladden each sad heart:

O come today!

2.  Come, tenderest Friend, and best,

Our most delightful Guest,

With soothing power:

Rest, which the weary know;

Shade, ‘mid the noontide glow;

Peace, when deep griefs o’erflow:

Cheer us, this hour!

3.  Come, Light serene, and still

Our inmost bosoms fill,

Dwell in each breast;

We know no dawn but Thine,

Send forth Thy beams divine,

On our dark souls to shine,

And make us blest!

4.  Come, all the faithful bliss;

Let all who Christ confess

His praise employ;

Give virtue’s rich reward,

Victorious death accord,

And, with our glorious Lord,

Eternal joy!

How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours   1 comment

How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours

Above:  Part of the Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1935), Methodist Episcopal Church; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and Methodist Protestant Church to 1939; The Methodist Church from 1939

Words by John Newton (1725-1807)

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1.  How tedious and tasteless the hours

When Jesus no longer I see!

Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers,

Have all lost their sweetness to me;

The midsummer sun shines but dim,

The fields strive in vain to look gay;

But when I am happy in Him,

December’s as pleasant as May.

2.  His Name yields the richest perfume,

And sweeter than music His voice;

His presence disperses my gloom,

And makes all within me rejoice;

I should, were He always thus nigh,

Have nothing to wish or to fear;

No mortal so happy as I,

My summer would last all the year.

3.  Content with him beholding His face,

My all to His pleasure resigned,

No changes of season or place

Would make any change in my mind:

While blest with a sense of His love,

A palace a toy would appear;

And prisons would palaces prove,

If Jesus would dwell with me there.

4.  Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,

If Thou are my sun and my song,

Say, why do I languish and pine,

And why are my winters so long?

O drive these dark clouds from my sky,

Thy soul-cheering presence restore;

Or take me to Thee up on high,

Where winter and clouds are no more.

Silent Night   3 comments

Silent Night

Above:  Part of the Hymn, from Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013)

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Silent Night (Stille Nacht in the original German) is the great Christmas hymn by Father Franz Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), dating to 1816 and published in 1818.  The note in Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013) mentions the 1816 date, which means that Mohr had the text sitting around long before the Christmas Eve service of 1818.  This fact overturns the part of the traditional story which had the priest writing the text in 1818.

There are English translations of the German text, but the most famous one is that of John Freeman Young (1820-1885), from 1863.  He served as the Episcopal Bishop of Florida from 1867 to 1885.  The most common variations over time in his text explain the difference between

Silent night! Holy night!

and

Silent night, holy night!

The Young text, as reprinted in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), follows:

1.  Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright,

Round yon Virgin mother and Child.

Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

2.  Silent night! Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight.

Glories stream from heaven afar;

Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia;

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

3.  Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Marilyn Kay Stulken, in the Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1981), tells me that the above lyrics were anonymous until 1957.  This is consistent with my survey of old hymnals in my collection.  And I have one hymnal published in 1994 which continues to list the author of these lyrics as anonymous.

These words, the John Freeman Young lyrics, remain unaltered (except for the discrepancy between a comma and an exclamation point) in most contemporary hymnals.  Even The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s Lutheran Worship (1982), which turns My Faith Looks Up to Thee into My Faith Looks Trustingly, leaves Silent Night as it was.  Yet The New Century Hymnal (1995), United Church of Christ, which contains rewrites of almost all hymns therein, changes the third verse so that

Son of God

becomes

Child of God

and

thy

becomes

your.

I started thinking about the lyrics of Silent Night late last night, when I picked up my copy of Concordia:  A Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1917) and flipped through its Christmas section.  There I found different lyrics, which The Lutheran Hymnary (1935) replicates.  These words follow:

1.  Holy night! peaceful night!

Through the darkness beams a light,

Yonder, where they sweet vigils keep

O’er the Babe who in silent sleep,

Rests in heavenly peace,

Rests in heavenly peace.

2.  Silent night! holiest night!

Darkness flies, and all is light!

Shepherds hear the angels sing:

Jesus the Savior is here!

Jesus the Savior is here!

3.  Silent night! holiest night!

Guiding Star, O lend thy light!

See the eastern wise men bring

Gifts and homage to our King!

Jesus the Savior is here!

Jesus the Savior is here!

4.  Silent night! holiest night!

Wondrous Star, O lend thy light!

With the angels let us sing,

Hallelujah to our King!

Jesus our Savior is here!

Jesus our Savior is here!

I have seen this fourth stanza accompany the Young lyrics in modern hymnals.  Sometimes these volumes attribute the final verse to Bishop Young, sometimes to Anonymous, and to Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817-1878) on other occasions.  I do not know how many other stanzas she translated, but I know that she deserves the credit for the first verse of the version of the hymn from The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.:

1.  Silent night! holy night!

All is dark, save the light

Yonder, where they sweet vigil keep

O’er the Babe who in silent sleep

Rests in heavenly peace,

Rests in heavenly peace.

2.  Peaceful night! holiest night!

Darkness flies, all is light;

Shepherds hear the angels sing:

“Alleluia! hail the King!

Christ the Saviour is here!

Christ the Saviour is here!”

3.  Silent night! holiest night!

Child of heaven, O how bright

Thou didst smile on us when Thou wast born!

Blest indeed that happy morn,

Full of heavenly joy!

Full of heavenly joy!

I have found various composite versions in The Evangelical Hymnal (1921) and The Methodist Hymnal (1935), both forebears of The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), as well as in the American Lutheran Hymnal (1930).  The latter volume contains the John Freeman Young version then an alternative rendering, a composite which includes the second Young verse.  The first and third stanzas of that composite version follow:

1.  Silent night, holy night!

Golden stars shed their light.

While yon virgin tenderly wakes

At the manger till morning breaks

O’er the heavenly Child,

O’er the heavenly Child.

3.  Silent night, holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Shines so sweetly out of Thine eyes;

‘Tis the light of salvation we prize,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

In 1881 Stopford Brooke (1832-1916), an Irish Anglican clergyman who had converted recently to Unitarianism, published Christian Hymns, reissued twelve years later.  This book included his translation of the Mohr text:

1.  Still the night, holy the night!

Sleeps the world! yet the light

Shines where Mary watches there,

Her child Jesus loved and fair.

Sleeping in heavenly rest;

Sleeping in heavenly rest.

2.  Still the night, holy the night!

Shepherds first told aright

How the Angel of the star

Sang so clear from near and far–

Jesus, a Saviour, is born;

Jesus, a Saviour, is born.

3.  Still the night, holy the night!

Little child, O how bright

Love is smiling from thy face!

Now strikes sweet the hour of grace;

Jesus, our Master, is here,

Jesus, our Master, is here.

The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian, contains a related translation based on the Brooke version:

1.  Still the night, holy the night!

Sleeps the world; hid from sight,

Mary and Joseph in stable bare

Watch o’er the Child beloved and fair,

Sleeping in heavenly rest,

Sleeping in heavenly rest.

2.  Still the night, holy the night!

Shepherds first saw the light,

Heard resounding clear and long,

Far and near, the angel-song,

“Christ the Redeemer is here!

Christ the Redeemer is here!”

3.  Still the night, holy the night!

Son of God,O how bright

Love is smiling from Thy face!

Strikes for us now the hour of grace,

Saviour, since Thou art born!

Saviour, since Thou art born!

I wonder how many other English-language versions I will find.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLEMENT OF ROME, BISHOP

THE FEAST OF MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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When By Fear My Heart Is Daunted   1 comment

STCH_0784

Above:  St. Christopher’s at the Crossroads Episcopal Church, Perry, Georgia, October 27, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5939573913241556177/5939573916986874370?banner=pwa&pid=5939573916986874370&oid=114749828757741527421)

Words (1931) by Percy Dearmer (1867-1936)

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1935)

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1.  When by fear my heart is daunted,

Thou dost hold me in Thy hand;

Prayerless, anxious, vainly haunted,

Thou dost make my courage stand:

Foolish worries, fretting troubles,

Melt away at Thy command.

2.  God, Thou art unfailing treasure,

Refuge Thou, and faithful Friend;

Thy resources none can measure,

Naught Thy steadfastness can bend.

Life and light and love immortal,

Firmly we on Thee depend.

3.  Held by love, to peace I win me,

Confident whate’er betide;

Safe in hope, Thy spirit in me,

With th’eternal power I hide;

Strength and health are mine, and valor–

Bravely over care I ride.