Archive for the ‘William Whiting’ Tag

Eternal Father, Strong to Save   1 comment

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy

Image in the Public Domain

Words by William Whiting (1825-1878), an English poet and hymn writer

Whiting wrote the original words in 1860 and made slight changes in them during his lifetime.  Members of succeeding generations have continued this practice.  I have consulted my collection of hymnals and identified slight variations in words, such as “O Holy Spirit” versus “O sacred Spirit,” both of which Whiting wrote.  The 1933 Hymnal, of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., and the 1917 Common Service Book, of the United Lutheran Church in America, each contain slightly different versions of the hymn; the Presbyterians present the 1860 version and the Lutherans print the 1869 version.  And the 1886 Presbyterian Hymnal, of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., prints three, not four verses.  Choose your version of the hymn.

I have chosen to search old hymnals in my effort to get as close as possible to the original words, or perhaps to those words.

I present the hymn according to The Hymnal (1895), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.:

1.  Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

2.  O Saviour, whose almighty word

The winds and waves submissive heard,

Who walkedst on the foaming deep

And calm amid its rage didst sleep:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

3.  O sacred Spirit, who didst brood

Upon the chaos dark and rude,

Who bad’st its angry tumult cease,

And gavest light and life and peace:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

4.  O Trinity of love and power,

Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;

From rock and tempest, fire and foe,

Protect them whersoe’er they go;

And ever let there rise to Thee

Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.