From the Minister's Study

Another translation from me for the summer letter! Once again I’ve taken on the enjoyable challenge of putting a Finnish rendering of a Namibian song into the best English I can. Hopefully there will be a good time to sing this during Sunday worship sometime soon! To be washed down with some words of wisdom from William Law…

“There is nothing that so clears a way for your prayers, nothing that so disperses dullness of heart, nothing that so purifies the soul from poor and little passions, nothing that so opens heaven, or carries your heart so near it, as songs of praise.

The difference between singing and reading a psalm will easily be understood, if you consider the difference between reading and singing a common song that you like. Whilst you only read it, you only like it, and that is all; but as soon as you sing it, then you enjoy it, you feel the delight of it; it has got hold of you, your passions keep pace with it, and you feel the same spirit within you that seems to be in the words.

If you were to tell a person that has such a song, that he need not sing it, that it was sufficient to peruse it, he would wonder what you meant; and would think you as absurd as if you were to tell him that he should only look at his food, to see whether it was good, but need not eat it: for a song of praise not sung, is very like any other good thing not made use of.”

(William Law: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1729)

 

Here at the gates of mercy

Here at the gates of mercy,
O Lord, your people’s rock,
listen, for on your doorstep,
your children stand and knock;
open the door, O father,
so we can all come through,
into that place of perfect peace Lord,
where we can be with you.

Truly the Lord has spoken,
and will not change his mind:
“Knock and it shall be opened;
seek and ye shall find.”
Father, upon those promises,
by grace alone we stand:
remember our fragility,
and shield us with your hand.

Born unto toil and trouble
like sparks that upward fly,
our lives are like the bubbles
on time’s stream rushing by;
comfort us all, our father,
with hope born from above,
scatter our sorrow, end our night,
enfold us in your love.

With love,

Ewan


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