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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Church Universal

By Samuel Longfellow (1819–1892)

[Born in Portland, Me., 1819. Died there, 1892. Hymns of the Spirit. 1864.]

ONE holy Church of God appears

Through every age and race,

Unwasted by the lapse of years,

Unchanged by changing place.

From oldest time, on farthest shores,

Beneath the pine or palm,

One Unseen Presence she adores,

With silence or with psalm.

Her priests are all God’s faithful sons,

To serve the world raised up;

The pure in heart her baptized ones,—

Love, her communion-cup.

The truth is her prophetic gift,

The soul her sacred page;

And feet on mercy’s errands swift

Do make her pilgrimage.

O living Church! thine errand speed;

Fulfil thy task sublime;

With bread of life earth’s hunger feed;

Redeem the evil time!