Scripture Verse

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32


Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, Hymns of Faith and Hope (Lon­don: James Nis­bet, 1857), pag­es 123–26. At the end of the hymn, a foot­note quotes Atha­na­si­us of Alex­an­dria: Τῶν ἀγγέλων χαι τῶν ἁγίων ἀει ἑοϱταζοντων.

This hymn is some­times pub­lished in cen­to form, start­ing with Church of the ev­er­last­ing God (Julian, page 2).

Music: Dun­dee Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1615 (🔊 pdf nwc).


A lit­tle flock! So calls He thee,
Who bought thee with His blood;
A lit­tle flock, dis­owned of men,
But owned and loved of God.

A lit­tle flock! So calls He thee;
Church of the first-born, hear!
Be not ashamed to own the name;
It is no name of fear.

A lit­tle flock! Yes, ev­en so;
A hand­ful among men,
Such is the pur­pose of thy God;
So will­eth He, Amen!

Not ma­ny rich or no­ble called,
Not many great or wise;
They whom God makes His kings and priests,
Are poor in hu­man eyes.

Church of the ev­er­last­ing God,
The Fa­ther’s gra­cious choice,
Amid the voic­es of this earth,
How fee­ble is thy voice!

Thy words amid the words of earth,
How noise­less and how low!
Amid the hur­ry­ing crowds of time,
Thy steps how calm and slow!

But ’mid the wrin­kled brows of earth,
Thy brow how free from care;
’Mid the flushed cheeks of ri­ot here,
Thy cheek how pale and fair!

Amid the rest­less eyes of earth,
How stead­fast is thine eye,
Fixed on the si­lent love­li­ness
Of the far east­ern sky.

A lit­tle flock! ’Tis well, ’tis well;
Such be her lot and name;
Thro’ ag­es past it has been so,
And now ’tis still the same.

But the chief Shep­herd comes at length;
Her fee­ble days are o’er,
No more a hand­ful in the earth,
A lit­tle flock no more.

No more a li­ly among thorns;
Weary, and faint, and few,
But count­less as the stars of hea­ven,
Or as the ear­ly dew.

Then en­ter­ing the eter­nal halls,
In robes of vic­to­ry,
That migh­ty mul­ti­tude shall keep
The joy­ous ju­bi­lee.

Unfading palms they bear aloft,
Unfaltering songs they sing;
Unending fes­tiv­al they keep,
In pre­sence of the King.