1 O God! Thy children, gathered here,
Thy blessing now we wait;
Thy servant, girded for his work,
Stands at the temple's gate.
2 A holy purpose in his heart
Has deepened calm and still;
Now from his childhood's Nazareth
He comes, to do Thy will.
3 O Father! keep his soul alive
To every hope of good;
And may his life of love proclaim
Man's truest brotherhood!
4 O Father! keep his spirit quick
To every form of wrong;
And in the ear of sin and self
May his rebuke be strong!
5 And as he doth Christ's footsteps press,
If e'er his faith grow dim,
Then, in the dreary wilderness,
Thine angels strengthen him!
6 And give him in Thy holy work
Patience to wait Thy time,
And, toiling still with man, to breathe
The soul's serener clime.
7 O grant him many hearts to lead
Into Thy perfect rest;
Bless Thou him, Father, and his flock:
Bless! and they shall be blest!