Eternal Word, clothed in human dust

Daily Reading for March 20 • The Second Sunday in Lent

When Jesus in the wild the conquest won,

Then His prophetic office was begun,

He faithful, no one saving truth conceal’d,

He gracious, the right way to Heaven reveal’d,

Some He exhorted, others He reproved,

Our fears and hopes by threats and blessings moved,

Condemn’d the errors which in public reign’d,

Mysterious types and prophecies explain’d,

Spake things celestial with celestial grace,

All prejudice inveterate to erase. . . .

He, God Incarnate, could the mind inspect,

And with sweet force the heart to God inflect.

His life, from His conception to His grave,

Strong demonstrations of Messiah gave;

Divinity shined bright in all He taught,

God-like benignity in all He wrought;

His miracles He graciously design’d,

To cure, convince, convert, endear mankind.

Eternal Word, who, clothed in human dust,

Didst teach lapsed man the wisdom of the just;

Illustrate by example Thy discourse,

Confirm it by a wonder-working force;

Open my ears, my eyes, my tongue unloose,

Into my heart Thy heavenly truth infuse;

That I Thy praise incessantly may sing,

That love may give my heart a heavenward spring!

That I may never more towards earth propend,

In vigorous, sweet efforts to Thee ascend;

Thy bright idea in my heart encase,

To copy out each imitable grace.

All praise to our great Prophet, by whose light

The world, born blind, receives its ghostly sight;

Glory to Jesus, o’er the mount was heard,

For doctrine, life, and miracles, revered.

From the Lenten hymn “The Life of Jesus” by Thomas Ken, in Bishop Ken’s Christian Year, or Hymns and Poems for the Holy Days and Festivals of the Church (London: B. M. Pickering, 1868).

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