Scripture Verse

Increase our faith. Luke 17:5

Introduction

portrait
Anne Brontë (1820–1849)

Words: Anne Bron­të, 1843. First ap­peared in Po­ems by Cur­rer, El­lis, and Ac­ton Bell (Lon­don: Ay­lott & Jones, 1846). These words, dat­ed Sep­tem­ber 10, 1843, and orig­in­al­ly ti­tled A Doub­ter’s Pray­er, form one of sev­er­al re­li­gious po­ems by Bron­të.

Music: Tru­ro from Psal­mo­dia Ev­an­ge­li­ca, by Tho­mas Will­iams, 1789 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

Eternal Pow­er, of earth and air!
Unseen, yet seen in all around,
Remote, but dwell­ing ev­ery­where,
Though si­lent, heard in ev­ery sound.

If e’er Thine ear in mer­cy bent,
When wretch­ed mor­tals cried to Thee,
And if, in­deed, Thy Son was sent,
To save lost sin­ners such as me:

Then hear me now, while, kneel­ing here,
I lift to thee my heart and eye,
And all my soul as­cends in pray­er,
Oh, give me, give me faith! I cry.

Without some glim­mer­ing in my heart,
I could not raise this fer­vent pray­er;
But, oh! a strong­er light impart,
And in Thy mer­cy fix it there.

While faith is with me, I am blest;
It turns my dark­est night to day;
But while I clasp it to my breast,
I often feel it slide away.

Then, cold and dark, my spir­it sinks,
To see my light of life de­part;
And ev­ery fiend of Hell, me­thinks,
Enjoys the ang­uish of my heart.

What shall I do, if all my love,
My hopes, my toil, are cast away,
And if there be no God above,
To hear and bless me when I pray?

If this be vain de­lu­sion all,
If death be an eter­nal sleep,
And none can hear my sec­ret call,
Or see the si­lent tears I weep!

Oh, help me, God! For Thou alone
Canst my dis­tract­ed soul re­lieve;
Forsake it not: it is Thine own,
Though weak, yet long­ing to be­lieve.

Oh, drive these cru­el doubts away;
And make me know, that Thou art God!
A faith, that shines by night and day,
Will light­en ev­ery earth­ly load.

If I be­lieve that Je­sus died,
And, wak­ing, rose to reign above;
Then sure­ly sor­row, sin, and pride,
Must yield to peace, and hope, and love.

And all the bless­èd words He said
Will strength and ho­ly joy im­part:
A shield of safe­ty o’er my head,
A spring of com­fort in my heart.