Friday, July 10, 2009

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

In my dissertation work, I've come across a hymn that has been missing from Baptist hymnals since the New Baptist Hymnal of 1926, to our detriment. It's a hymn by George Washington Doane, who was the Episcopal bishop of New Jersey in the early nineteenth century (there's a memorial to him at St. Peter's Morristown, although he's buried in Burlington, NJ).

It's still a well-known hymn in Anglican circles, and has continued to be published in some Presbyterian and Lutheran hymnals, as well. It takes Jesus' statement "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" as its basis, and builds its poetic structure around that text.

1. Thou art the Way,—to thee alone
     From sin and death we flee:
And he who would the Father seek,
     Must seek him, Lord, by thee.

2. Thou art the Truth,—thy word alone
     True wisdom can impart;
Thou only canst instruct the mind,
     And purify the heart.

3. Thou art the Life,—the rending tomb
     Proclaims thy conquering arm;
And those who put their trust in thee,
     Nor death nor hell shall harm.

4. Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life;
     Grant us that way to know,
That truth to keep, that life to win,
     Whose joys eternal flow.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.