Dear Lord and Father of mankind
The second line runs, “Forgive our foolish ways…..”, which I’m sure we quickly forget !
Notes on the music by our organist
This is one of the hymns where music and words are so inextricably married to each other. Hubert Parry wrote the tune, but it was the director of music at Repton School who took the words of John Greenleaf Whittier and put the music to them. The tune is called Repton in hymnbooks because of this history. Although organists, in our early years of training, are discouraged from too much ‘word painting’ (trying too tiresomely to match individual words to various expressive devices: let the people express themselves!), there is a delicious contrast of words in the final verse that is too tempting not to execute in organ voicing. ‘Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still small voice of calm…’
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
John Greenleaf Whittier
A favourite hymn of Prue Ballmer