Scripture Verse

The shield of faith…the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:16–17


Thomas T. Lynch

Words: Tho­mas T. Lynch, The Ri­vu­let (Lon­don: Ro­bert The­o­bald, 1855), num­ber 55.

Music: The Staff of Faith, var­i­ous­ly des­cribed as tra­di­tion­al Swiss tune, or an Eng­lish folk­song (🔊 pdf nwc).


My faith, it is an oaken staff,
The traveler’s well-loved aid;
My faith, it is a weapon stout,
The soldier’s trusty blade:
I’ll travel on, and still be stirred,
By silent thought or social word,
By all my perils undeterred,
A soldier-pilgrim staid.

I have a captain, and the heart
Of every private man
Has drunk in valor from His eyes
Since first the war began:
He is most merciful in fight,
And of His scars a single sight
The embers of our failing might
Into a flame can fan.

I have a guide, and in His steps
When travelers have trod,
Whether beneath was flinty rock
Or yielding grassy sod,
They cared not, but with force unspent,
Unmoved by pain, they onward went,
Unstayed by pleasures, still they bent
Their zealous course to God.

My faith, it is an oaken staff,
Oh, let me on it lean;
My faith, it is a trusty sword,
May falsehood find it keen!
Thy Spirit, Lord, to me impart,
O make me what Thou ever art—
Of patient and courageous heart,
As all true saints have been.