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