For Thy Mercy and Thy Grace
For New Year's Day
Words: Henry Downton, 1841
Music: Georg Christoph Strattner, 1700s
Source: Hymns Ancient and Modern. London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd., 1922, #73, p. 71.
1. For Thy mercy and Thy grace,
Faithful through another year,
Hear our song of thankfulness;
Jesu our Redeemer hear.
2. In our weakness and distress,
Rock of strength, be Thou our Stay;
In the pathless wilderness
Be our true and living Way
3. Who of us death's awful road
In the coming year shall tread,
With Thy rod and staff, O God,
Comfort Thou his dying bed.
4. Keep us faithful; keep us pure
Keep us evermore Thine own
Help, O help us to endure
Fit us for the promised crown
5. So within Thy palace gate
We shall praise, on golden strings,
Thee the only Potentate,
Lord of lords and King of kings.
Sheet Music "Culbach" from Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), #48.
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Also found in Simon, William L., ed., The Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook. Pleasantville, NY: Readers Digest Association, revised 2003.
Simon adds this as the second verse:
2. Dark the future; let Thy light
Guide us, bright and morning star
Fierce our foes and hard the fight
Arm us Savior for the war
Simon notes that Downton was an official at Trinity College, Cambridge, and received his bachelorís degree there in 1840, and wrote this hymn in 1841. He provides the setting "Posen" written by Strattner, a leader in the German Reformed Church. Simon provides additional notes.
Also found in The Book of Common Praise, Being The Hymn Book Of The Anglican Church of Canada. Toronto: Oxford University Press, No Date, #89, p. 26:
Additional second and third verses found in this version:
2. Lo! Our sins on thee we cast,
Thee, our perfect sacrifice,
And, forgetting all the past,
Press towards our glorious prize.
3. Dark the future; let thy light
Guide us, bright and morning Star:
Fierce our foes, and hard the fight;
Arm us, Saviour, for the war.
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