The Excellency of the Holy Scriptures

Anne Steele (1717-1778) wrote this twelve verse hymn highlighting the infinite worth and beauty of Scripture. May the Divine Instructor teach us to love His Sacred Word. May God’s celestial lines cheer our fainting minds.

FATHER of mercies, in thy word
What endless glory shines!
For ever be thy name ador’d
For these celestial lines.

Here mines of heavenly wealth disclose
Their bright, unbounded store:
The glittering gem no longer glows,
And India boasts no more.

Here may the wretched sons of want
Exhaustless riches find:
Riches, above what earth can grant,
And lasting as the mind.

Here, the fair tree of knowledge grows,
And yields a free repast,
Sublimer sweets than nature knows,
Invite the longing taste.

Here may the blind and hungry come,
And light, and food receive;
Here beams the meanest guest have room,
And taste, and see, and live.

Amidst these gloomy wilds below,
When dark and sad we stray;
Here beams of heaven relieve our woe,
And guide to endless day.

Here springs of consolation rise,
To cheer the fainting mind;
And thirsty souls receive supplies,
And sweet refreshment find.

When guilt and terror, pain and grief,
United rend the heart,
Here sinners meet divine relief,
And cool the raging smart.

Here the Redeemer’s welcome voice,
Spreads heavenly peace around;
And life, and everlasting joys
Attend the blissful sound.

But when his painful sufferings rise,
(Delightful, dreadful scene!)
Angels may read with wondering eyes
That Jesus died for men.

O may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight,
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light.

Divine instructor, gracious Lord,
Be thou for ever near,
Teach me to love thy sacred word,
And view my Saviour there.

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