Scripture Verse

The church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages. Ephesians 3:21


Horatius Bonar

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, Ap­ril 1856. Ap­peared in his Hymns of Faith and Hope (Lon­don: James Nis­bet, 1857), pag­es 44–46.

Music: Ham­mer­smith (Fil­by) Will­iam C. Fil­by, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1889 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Fil­by (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Far down the ages now,
Her journey well nigh done,
The pilgrim Church pursues her way,
In haste to reach the crown.

The story of the past
Comes up before her view;
How well it seems to suit her still,
Old, and yet ever new.

’Tis the same story still,
Of sin and weariness,
Of grace and love still flowing down
To pardon and to bless.

’Tis the old sorrow still,
The briar and the thorn;
And ’tis the same old solace yet—
The hope of coming morn.

No wider is the gate,
No broader is the way,
No smoother is the ancient path
That leads to light and day.

No lighter is the load
Beneath whose weight we cry,
No tamer grows the rebel flesh,
Nor less our enemy.

No sweeter is the cup,
Nor less our lot of ill;
’Twas tribulation ages since,
’Tis tribulation still.

No greener are the rocks,
No fresher flow the rills,
No roses in the wilds appear,
No vines upon the hills.

Still dark the sky above,
And sharp the desert air;
’Tis wide, bleak desolation round,
And shadow everywhere.

Dawn lingers on yon cliff,
But, oh, how slow to spring!
Morning still nestles on yon wave,
Afraid to try its wing.

No slacker grows the fight,
No feebler is the foe,
Nor less the need of armor tried,
Of shield and spear and bow.

Nor less we feel the blank
Of earth’s still absent king;
Whose presence is of all our bliss
The everlasting spring.

Thus onward still we press,
Through evil and through good,
Through pain and poverty and want,
Through peril and through blood.

Still faithful to our God,
And to our captain true,
We follow where He leads the way,
The kingdom still our view.