Scripture Verse

The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light. Isaiah 60:19


Thomas Binney

Words: Tho­mas Bin­ney, 1826.

Music: New­cas­tle (Mor­ley) Hen­ry K. Mor­ley, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Mor­ley (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Origin of the Hymn

It was set to mu­sic and pub­lished by Pow­er, of the Strand, on be­half of some char­it­a­ble ob­ject to which the pro­fits went. It was some lit­tle time since set to mu­sic by Mr. Bur­nett, of High­gate. It has ap­peared, I be­lieve, in one or two books of sac­red po­et­ry, and in a mu­ti­lat­ed state in a hymn-book in Am­er­i­ca.

Thomas Bin­ney, in Mill­er’s Sing­ers and Songs, 1866, p. 457


Eternal Light! eternal Light!
How pure the soul must be
When, placed within Thy searching sight,
It shrinks not, but with calm delight
Can live, and look on Thee!

The spirits that surround Thy throne
May bear the burning bliss;
But that is surely theirs alone,
Since they have never, never known
A fallen world like this.

O how shall I, whose native sphere
Is dark, whose mind is dim,
Before the Ineffable appear,
And on my naked spirit bear
That uncreated beam?

There is a way for man to rise
To that sublime abode:
An offering and a sacrifice,
A Holy Spirit’s energies,
An Advocate with God.

These, these prepare us for the sight
Of holiness above;
The sons of ignorance and night,
May dwell in the eternal Light,
Through the eternal Love.