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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Hymns. I. Psalm LXXXIV. (“How honoured, how dear”)

Josiah Conder (1789–1855)

HOW honoured, how dear,

That sacred abode,

Where Christians draw near

Their Father and God!

’Mid worldly commotion,

My wearied soul faints

For the house of devotion,

The home of Thy saints.

The birds have their home;

They fix on their nest:

Wherever they roam,

They return to their rest:

From them fondly learning,

My soul would take wing;

To Thee so returning,

My God and my King.

O happy the choirs,

Who praise Thee above!

What joy tunes their lyres;

Their worship is love.

Yet, safe in Thy keeping,

And happy they be,

In this world of weeping,

Whose strength is in Thee.

Though rugged their way,

They drink, as they go,

Of springs that convey

New life as they flow:

The God they rely on,

Their strength shall renew,

Till each, brought to Zion,

His glory shall view.

Thou Hearer of prayer!

Still grant me a place,

Where Christians repair

To the courts of Thy grace.

More blest beyond measure,

One day so employed,

Than years of vain pleasure,

By worldlings enjoyed.

Me more would it please

Keeping post at Thy gate,

Than lying at ease

In chambers of state:

The meanest condition

Outshines, with Thy smiles,

The pomp of ambition,

The world with its wiles.

The Lord is a sun!

The Lord is a shield!

What grace has begun,

With glory is sealed.

He hears the distressèd,

He succours the just,

And they shall be blessèd,

Who make Him their trust.