Smite Us and Save Us All

This past Sunday, the Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, my church sang G.K. Chesterton’s hymn, O God of Earth and Altar. It is a beautiful and powerful hymn, especially appropriate for our current political situation, I thought. And thus I share it here:

O God of earth and altar,
    Bow down and hear our cry. 
Our earthly rulers falter,
    Our people drift and die; 
The walls of gold entomb us,
    The swords of scorn divide, 
Take not thy thunder from us,
    But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
    From lies of tongue and pen, 
From all the easy speeches
    That comfort cruel men, 
For sale and profanation
    Of honour and the sword, 
From sleep and from damnation,
    Deliver us, good lord.

Tie in a living tether
    The prince and priest and thrall, 
Bind all our lives together,
    Smite us and save us all; 
In ire and exultation
    Aflame with faith, and free, 
Lift up a living nation,
    A single sword to thee.

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