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Edward Henry Bickersteth   Leave a comment

Above:  Edward Henry Bickersteth

Image in the Public Domain

Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1905) was the Anglican Bishop of Exeter from 1885 to 1900.


Not Worthy, Lord:

Saviour, Breathe an Evening Blessing:


Posted May 7, 2017 by neatnik2009 in Sources B

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Saviour, Breathe an Evening Blessing   2 comments


Above:  Night, Between 1910 and 1920

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-72241

Hymn Source (Stanzas #1 and  2) = The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian

Hymn Source (Stanza #3) = New Worship and Song (1942), Congregational Christian Churches (U.S.A.)

Stanzas #1 and 2 (1820), by James Edmeston (1791-1867)

Stanza #3 (1876) by Edward Henry Bickesteth (1825-1905)


1.  Saviour, breathe an evening blessing

Ere repose our spirits seal;

Sin and want we come confessing:

Thou canst save, and Thou canst heal.

Though destruction walk around us,

Though the arrow past us fly,

Angel guards from Thee surround us;

We are safe if Thou art nigh.

2.  Though the night be dark and dreary,

Darkness cannot hide from thee;

Thou art He who, never weary,

Watchest where Thy people be.

Should swift death this night o’ertake us,

And our couch become our tomb,

May the morn in heaven awake us,

Clad in light and deathless bloom.

3.  Father, to thy holy keeping

Humbly we ourselves resign;

Saviour, who hast kept our sleeping,

Make our slumbers pure as thine;

Blessed Spirit, brooding o’er us,

Chase the darkness of our night,

Till the perfect day before us

Breaks in everlasting light.

Not Worthy, Lord, by Edward Henry Bickersteth   2 comments

Ceiling of the Church of St. Peter, also known as Exeter Cathedral, in England

Image Source = Official Website of the Cathedral (

Hymn Source = Service Book and Hymnal (1958), of predecessor bodies of the American Lutheran Church (1960) and the Lutheran Church in America (1962)

Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1905) was a poet and hymn writer, as well as a priest and bishop of the Church of England.  He was Bishop of Exeter from 1885 to 1900.



1.  Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs

With trembling hand, that from thy table fall,

A weary, heavy-laden sinner comes

To plead thy promise and obey thy call.

2.  I am not worthy to be thought thy child,

Nor sit the last and lowest at thy board;

Too long a wanderer, and too oft beguiled,

I only ask one reconciling word.

3.  I hear thy voice; thou bidd’st me come and rest;

I come, I kneel, I clasp thy pierced feet;

Thou bidd’st me take my place, a welcome guest

Among thy saints, and of thy banquet eat.

4.  My praise can only breathe itself in prayer,

My prayer can only lose itself in thee;

Dwell thou forever in my heart, and there,

Lord, let me sup with thee; sup thou with me.


Below:  The High Altar at Exeter Cathedral