Hymns For Ordination and Installation VIII

John Pierpont

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When on the sun's broad splendors
The gates of evening close,
And darkling earth surrenders
Her children to repose,
The azure paths above us
By sons of light are trod,
Who watch, as those who love us,
And tell us of our God.

So, Father, since the portals,
Round which thine angels press,
Shut from the eyes of mortals
The Sun of Righteousness,
The world he blessed hath never
Of light been all bereft;
The heralds of thy favor,
Thy watchmen, still are left.

They come, when we are weeping,
To wipe our tears away;
They wake, while we are sleeping,
And for our peace they pray;
Or, in the congregation,
To plead thy cause they stand;--
O God of our salvation,
Uphold them with thy hand.

And let that spirit fervent,
Which loves to labor thus,
Abide upon thy servant,
Who comes, this day, to us;
That, when his strength is failing,
Those he hath led may say,
"Our star is only paling
In heaven's advancing day."

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