Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet, and a Light Unto My Path

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet, and a Light Unto My Path.

When Israel knew not where to go
God made the fiery pillar glow;
By night, by day, above the camp
It led the way—their guiding lamp:
Such is Thy holy Word to me
In day of dark perplexity.
When devious paths before me spread,
And all invite my foot to tread,
I hear Thy voice behind me say—
“Believing soul, this is the way;
Walk thou in it.” O gentle Dove,
How much thy holy law I love!
My lamp and light
In the dark night.

When Paul amid the seas seemed lost,
By Adrian billows wildly tossed,
When neither sun nor star appeared,
And every wave its white head reared
Above the ship, beside his bed
An angel stood, and “Fear not” said.
Such is Thy holy Word to me
When tossed upon affliction’s sea:
When floods come in unto my soul
And the deep waters o’er me roll,
With angel voice Thy Word draws near
And says, “Tis I” why shouldst thou fear?
Through troubles great my saints must go
Into their rest, where neither woe
Nor sin can come; where every tear
From off the cheek shall disappear,
Wiped by God’s hand. “O gentle Dove”
Thy holy law how much I love?
My lamp and light
In the dark night.

When holy Stephen dauntless stood
Before the Jews, who sought his blood,
With angel face he looked on high,
And wondering through the parted sky
Saw Jesus risen from His throne
To claim the martyr as His own.
Angelic peace that sight bestowed,
With holy joy his bosom glowed;
And while the murderous stones they hurled,
His heaven–wrapt soul sought yonder world
Of rest. “My spirit, Saviour, keep,”
He cried, he kneeled, he fell asleep.
Such be Thy holy Word to me
In hour of life’s extremity!
Although no more the murdering hand
Is raised within our peaceful land—
The church has rest, and I may ne’er
Be called the martyr’s crown to wear:
Yet still, in whatsoever form
Death comes to me—in midnight storm
Whelming my bark, or in my nest
Gently dismissing me to rest—
O grant me in thy Word to see
A risen Saviour beckoning me.
No evil then my heart shall fear
In the dark valley. Thou art near!
My trembling soul and Thou, my God
Alone are there; Thy staff and rod
Shall comfort me. O gentle Dove.
How much Thy holy law I love!
My lamp and light
In the dark night.
By Robert Murray McCheyne
May 1838

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