"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We have not known Thee as we ought

I’ve already highlighted Thomas Pollock’s Hymn: “Jesus with Thy Church Abide.” Another Of Thomas Pollock’s hymns I’ve come to love is “We have not known Thee as we ought.” It is a hymn of confession. Typically, we like to sing songs that are victorious (“God reigns”), or dutiful (“I will praise You”), but rarely do our hymns match the diversity of the Psalms, which included hymns of praise (Psalm 67), lament (Psalm 22), longing (Psalm 13), and confession (Ps 41:4, Ps 51:4). It was not always this way. When I look at many who lived before this hollowing out of the totality of Christian experience, I find descriptions that match not just the good times of Ecclesiastes 3, but the bad as well. There is a time to be victorious, but there is a time to confess. This side of heaven, there are more times to confess than we currently give time to:

“We have not known Thee as we ought”
By Thomas Pollock, 1889 [
Modern Version here]

We have not known Thee as we ought,
Nor learned Thy wisdom, grace and power;
The things of earth have filled our thought,
And trifles of the passing hour.
Lord, give us light Thy truth to see,
And make us wise in knowing Thee.

We have not feared Thee as we ought,
Nor bowed beneath Thine awful eye,
Nor guarded deed and word and thought,
Remembering that God was nigh.
Lord, give us faith to know Thee near,
And grant the grace of holy fear.

We have not loved Thee as we ought,
Nor cared that we are loved by Thee;
Thy presence we have coldly sought,
And feebly longed Thy face to see.
Lord, give a pure and loving heart
To feel and know the love Thou art.

We have not served Thee as we ought,
Alas, the duties left undone,
The work with little fervor wrought,
The battles lost or scarcely won!
Lord, give the zeal, and give the might,
For Thee to toil, for Thee to fight.

When shall we know Thee as we ought,
And fear and love and serve aright?
When shall we, out of trial brought,
Be perfect in the land of light?
Lord, may we day by day prepare
To see Thy face and serve Thee there.

No comments: