Sunday, 14 June 2015

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind Hymn Lyrics and History

The author of this beautiful and well loved hymn, "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind", is John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92). He was from Massachussetts and wrote poetry and found early inspiration from Robert Burns.

He spent time as journalist and editor and became Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. This hymn was written against the background of boisterous revival meetings of the time.

He was a quaker who believed in worshiping God in silent meditation and deplore the histrionics associated with the Evangelical movement. 

He originally wrote this poem as a meditation poem and did not expect this hymn to be sung. It should however be pointed out that he did allow the verses to be used in a hymn book published in 1884.

This hymn has long been regarded as an excellent statement that Christians should learn the virtue of silence and humility before God. From this they will learn what is the will of God.
John Greenleaf Whittier - Dear Lord and Father of Mankind Hymn

Below are the lyrics of this hymn, "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind."

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. O sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

4. 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.

5. 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.

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