The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

We Are But Little Children Weak

For the Holy Innocents

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1850

Music: “Alstone,” by Christopher Edwin Cumming Willing (1830-1904), 1868
Meter: L.M.

Source: Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), P. 333, #330.

1. We are but little children weak,
Nor born in any high estate;
What can we do for Jesus' sake
Who is so high and good and great?

2. We know the holy Innocents
Laid down for Him their infant life,
And martyrs brave and patient saints
Have stood for Him in fire and strife.

3. We wear the cross they wore of old,
Our lips have learned like vows to make:
We need not die; we cannot fight;
What may we do for Jesus' sake?

4. O day by day each Christian child
Has much to do, without, within;
A death to die for Jesus' sake,
A weary war to wage with sin.

5. When deep within our swelling hearts
The thoughts of pride and anger rise,
When bitter words are on our tongues,
And tears of passion in our eyes;

6. Then we may stay the angry blow,
Then we may check the hasty word
Give gentle answers back again,
And fight a battle for our Lord.

7. With smiles of peace and looks of love
Light in our dwellings we may make,
Bid kind good-humour brighten there,
And do all still for Jesus' sake.

8. There's not a child so small and weak
But has his little cross to take,
His little work of love and praise
That he may do for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Sheet Music "Alstone" by C. E. Willing from Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), P. 333, #330.

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