Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, 2 Corinthians 6:16
I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Words: John G. Whittier, 1864. These lines were adapted from Whittier’s Hymn for the Opening of Thomas Starr King’s House of Worship.
Music: Almsgiving (Dykes) John B. Dykes, in the musical edition of The Holy Year, 1865 (🔊 pdf nwc).
This poem was written by Mr. Whittier while he was a guest at the Asquam House [Holderness, New Hampshire]. A fair was being held in aid of the little Episcopal church at Holderness, and people at the hotel were asked to contribute. These lines were Whittier’s contribution, and the ladies in charge of the fair received ten dollars for them. They were written in an album now in possession of a niece of Whittier’s Philadelphia friend, Joseph Liddon Pennock.
S. T. Pickard
The Atlantic Monthly
December 1904, p. 795
Thy grace impart! In time to be
Shall one great temple rise to Thee—
Thy Church our broad humanity.
White flowers of love its walls shall climb,
Soft bells of peace shall ring its chime,
Its days shall all be holy time,
A sweeter song shall then be heard,
Confessing, in a world’s accord,
The inward Christ, the living Word,
That song shall swell from shore to shore,
One hope, one faith, one love restore
The seamless robe that Jesus wore,