Scripture Verse

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16


John Bowring
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: John Bow­ring, Ma­tins and Ves­pers (Lon­don: G. & W. B. Whit­ta­ker, 1824), num­ber 246.

Music: Ado­ro Te (Barn­by) Jo­seph Barn­by, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Joseph Barnby


Let those who doubt the heavenly source
Of revelation’s page divine,
Use as their weapons fraud and force—
No such unhallowed arms are mine.
I only wield its holy word—
Reason its shield, and truth its sword.

I doubt not—my religion stands
A beacon on the eternal rock—
Let malice throw her fiery brands;
Its sacred fane has stood the shock
Of ages—and shall tower sublime
Above the waves and winds of time.

Infinite wisdom formed the plan;
Infinite power supports the pile;
Infinite goodness poured on man
Its radiant light—its cheering smile.
Need they thy aid? Poor worm! Thy aid?
O mad presumption—vain parade!

Thou wilt not trust th’Almighty One
With His own thunders—thou wouldst throw
The bolts of Heaven! O senseless son
Of dust and darkness! Spider! Go,
And with thy cobweb bind the tide,
And the swift, dazzling comet guide.

Yes! Force has conquering reasons given,
And chains and tortures argue well—
And thou hast proved thy faith from Heaven,
By weapons thou hast brought from hell.
Yes! Thou hast made thy title good,
For thou hast signed the deed with blood.

Daring impostor! Sure that God
Whose advocate thou feign’st to be,
Will smite thee with that awful rod
Which thou wouldst seize—and pour on thee
The vial of that wrath, which thou
Wouldst empty on thy brother’s brow.