July 31, 2013

Immortal, Invisible

Unresting, Unhasting, and Silent as Light

Immortal, Invisible, God was written by the Scottish poet and clergyman, Walter C. Smith (1824-1908). It was first published in 1867 as part of his collection: Hymns of Christ and the Christ­ian Life. Smith was a prominent  pastor in the Free Church of Scotland and was elected it's moderator in 1893. He was well known for his poetry, and published a number of volumes. Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise is sung to the tune: St. Den­io, a Welsh ballad of unknown authorship first published in 1839 as part of the collection Can­ai­dau y Cyssegr, edited by John Ro­berts (1807-1876). In the Divine Office it is used with the Office of Readings.

Tune: St. Den­io

IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE by Wal­ter C. Smith, 1876 (Public Domain)

1. Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

2. Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

3. To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

4. Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

5. All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

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