Scripture Verse

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3


Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr. (1825–1906)

Words: Ed­ward H. Bick­er­steth, Jr., 1875. Bick­er­steth was va­ca­tion­ing in Har­ro­gate, Eng­land, where he heard a ser­mon on Isai­ah 26:3 by Can­on Gib­bon. The min­is­ter re­lat­ed that the He­brew text used the word peace twice to indicate ab­so­lute per­fect­ion. The idea was still on Bick­er­steth’s mind when he vis­it­ed a dy­ing re­la­tive that af­ter­noon. To soothe the man’s emo­tion­al tur­moil, Bick­er­steth opened his Bi­ble to read from Isai­ah 26:3. He wrote down these ly­rics, just as they ap­pear today, and read them to the man: per­haps the last thing he heard before Je­sus called him to Hea­ven’s per­fect peace.

Music: Pax Te­cum George T. Cald­beck and Charles J. Vin­cent, 1876 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Caldbeck (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Peace, per­fect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Je­sus whis­pers peace within.

Peace, per­fect peace, by throng­ing du­ties pressed?
To do the will of Je­sus, this is rest.

Peace, per­fect peace, with sor­rows surg­ing round?
On Je­sus’ bo­som naught but calm is found.

Peace, per­fect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Je­sus’ keep­ing we are safe, and they.

Peace, per­fect peace, our fu­ture all un­known?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, per­fect peace, death sha­dow­ing us and ours?
Jesus has van­quished death and all its pow­ers.

It is enough: earth’s strug­gles soon shall cease,
And Je­sus call us to Hea­ven’s per­fect peace.

After one of Bick­er­steth’s sis­ters point­ed out the hymn had noth­ing spe­ci­fic about phys­ic­al suf­fer­ing, he replied, That is soon re­me­died. He took up an en­vel­ope and wrote the fol­low­ing verse (ap­par­ent­ly ne­ver pub­lished) on the back…

Peace, per­fect peace, ’mid suf­fer­ing’s sharp­est throes?
The sym­pa­thy of Je­sus breathes re­pose.