Our Day of Praise is Done

John Ellerton (1826-1893) wrote approximately 50 original hymns and translated several more from Latin. John Julian, in his Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) sums up Ellerton’s style:

The words which he uses are usually short and simple; the thought is clear and well stated; the rhythm is good and stately…His sympathy with nature, especially in her sadder moods, is great; he loves the fading light and the peace of eve, and lingers in the shadows. Unlike many writers who set forth their illustrations in detail, and then tie to them the moral which they are to teach, he weaves his moral into his metaphor, and pleases the imagination and refreshes the spirit together. Now and again he falls into the weakness of ringing changes on words; but taken as a whole his verse is elevated in tone, devotional in spirit, and elegant in diction. (Source: Hymnary)

Ellerton’s hymn below strikes a chord with me because of its theme of ceaseless praise to The Most High.

Our day of praise is done;
The evening shadows fall;
But pass not from us with the sun,
True Light that lightenest all.

Around the throne on high,
Where night can never be,
The white-robed harpers of the sky
Bring ceaseless hymns to Thee.

Too faint our anthems here;
Too soon of praise we tire;
But oh, the strains how full and clear
Of that eternal choir!

Yet, Lord, to Thy dear will
If Thou attune the heart,
We in Thine angel’s music still
May bear our lower part.

‘Tis Thine each soul to calm,
Each wayward thought reclaim,
And make our life a daily psalm
Of glory to Thy name.

A little while, and then
Shall come the glorious end;
And songs of angels and of men
In perfect praise shall blend.

Amen.

Pure

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Are there any faithful?
Is there anyone good?
Everyone lies to their neighbor,
Is there not One that’s pure?

Will You stop their boasting,
Those that deceive the poor,
And remove their flattering tongues,
Will You arise, O LORD?

Hide us in Your safety,
Refresh us with Your Word,
Purify us through Your furnace,
Until You are adored.

Then guard us forever,
Keep watch on ev’ry side,
Lord, lead us from the world’s vileness,
Protect us from our pride.

Only You are faithful,
And You alone are good,
Only You can save us from sin,
For You alone are Pure.

Behind the lines

Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.

Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man. (Psalm 12 ESV)

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