Scripture Verse

Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter. Isaiah 64:8

Introduction

Words: Will­iam En­field, A Se­lect­ion of Hymns for So­cial Wor­ship (Nor­wich, Eng­land: 1795).

Music: Fe­ne­lon Na­than­i­el D. Gould, 1833 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of En­field or Gould (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

Wherefore should man, frail child of clay,
Who, from the cradle to the shroud,
Lives but the insect of a day—
Oh why should mortal man be proud?

His brightest visions just appear,
Then vanish, and no more are found:
The stateliest pile his pride can rear,
A breath may level with the ground.

By doubts perplexed, in error lost,
With trembling step he seeks his way:
How vain, of wisdom’s gift the boast!
Of reason’s lamp, how faint the ray!

Follies and crimes, a countless sum,
Are crowded in life’s little span:
How ill, alas, does pride become
That erring, guilty creature, man!

God of my life! Father divine!
Give me a meek and lowly mind:
In modest worth oh let me shine,
And peace in humble virtue find.