Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hymn for the Year of Faith....

....you probably won't find this one in 'hymns New and Newer'.......
You could think of this as a kind of older version of "Shine, Jesus, Shine"....

O Lord when I look o'er the wide spreading world
How lovely and yet how unhappy it seems,
How full of realities, pure and divine,
Yet how bent on unworshipful dreams!

My heart swells within me with thankfullest joy
For the faith which to me Thou hast given;
For in all Thine amazing abundance of gifts,
Thou hast no better gift short of Heaven.

There was darkness in Egypt while Israel had sun,
And the songs in the corn fields of Gessen were gay,
And the chosen that dwelt with the heathen moved on,
Each threading the gloom with his own private day.

Ah! So it is now with the Church of Thy choice;
Her lands lie in light which to worldlings seems dim;
And each child of that Church who must live in dark realms,
Has a sun o'er his head which is only for him.

Yet it grieves me too, Lord! That so many should wander,
Should see nought before them but desolate night,
That men should be walled in with darkness around them,
When within and without there is nothing but light.

But still more I grieve for Thy glory, O Lord!
That the world should be only an Egypt for Thee,
That the bondsmen of error should boast of their chains,
And scoff at the love that would fain set them free.

Ah, Lord! They must learn that their light is but darkness;
They must come to believe that our darkness is light
They, who think they see far, must acknowledge their blindness,
And come to Thy Church to recover their sight.

But we who have light, we must make our light brighter,
And thus show our love to Thee, Lord! For Thy gift;
The faith Thou hast sent us our love can make greater,
And almost to sight our believing can lift.

Faith is sweetest of worships to Him who so loves
His unbearable splendours in darkness to hide;
And to trust to Thy word, dearest Lord! Is true love,
For those prayers are most granted which seem most denied.

Oh why hast Thou made then faith's field all so narrow,
Nor multiplied objects for childish belief;
For faith, though it is such a beautiful worship,
Is but earth's span of Heaven, too fleeting and brief.

Thou hast dealt better measure to hope than to faith;
Hope can hope for no more, since it hopes, Lord! For Thee;
Nought is lacking to love which has fastened on God;
It is love lost in love like a drop in the sea.


But faith throws her arms round all Thou hast told her,
And, able to hold as much more, can but grieve;
She could hold Thy grand Self, Lord! If Thou wouldst reveal it,
And love makes her long to have more to believe.
Fr Faber

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