Father of peace, and God of love!

Full Text

1 Father of peace, and God of love!
we own your power to save,
that power by which our Shepherd rose
victorious o’er the grave.

2 Him from the dead you brought again,
when, by his sacred blood,
confirmed and sealed forevermore
the eternal covenant stood.

3 O may your Spirit seal our souls,
and mould them to your will,
that our weak hearts no more may stray,
but keep your precepts still;

4 That to perfection's sacred height
we nearer still may rise,
and all we think, and all we do,
be pleasing in your eyes.

Source: Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #272

Author: Philip Doddridge

Doddridge, Philip, D.D., was born in London, June 26, 1702. His grandfather was one of the ministers under the Commonwealth, who were ejected in 1662. His father was a London oilman. He was offered by the Duchess of Bedford an University training for ordination in the Church of England, but declined it. He entered Mr. Jennings's non-conformist seminary at Kibworth instead; preached his first sermon at Hinckley, to which Mr. Jennings had removed his academy. In 1723 he was chosen pastor at Kibworth. In 1725 he changed his residence to Market Harborough, still ministering at Kibworth. The settled work of his life as a preceptor and divine began in 1729, with his appointment to the Castle Hill Meeting at Northampton, and continued till in the… Go to person page >

Text Information


Father of Peace and God of Love. P. Doddridge. [Holiness desired.] This hymn, from its historical connection with the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases of 1745 and 1781, has more than usual interest Its history in detail is this:—
i. In Doddridge's manuscript in the "Booker mss." No. iii. the text in his own handwriting is as follows:—
" ii. The Christian Perfected by the Grace of God in Christ; from Heb. xiii. 20, 21.

“Father of Peace, and God of Love,
We own thy pow'r to save;
That pow'r by which our Shepherd rose
Victorious o'er the Grave.
"We triumph in that Shepherd's name,
Still watchful for our good;
Who brought th' eternal cov'nant down
And seal'd it with his blood.
"So may thy spirit seal my soul,
And mould it to thy will;
That my fond heart no more may stray,
But keep thy cov'nant still.
"Still may we gain superior strength,
And press with vigour on;
Till full perfection crown our hopes,
And fix us near thy throne."

Another manuscript of Doddridge's Hymns is in the possession of the writer, dated Mar. 16, 1739-40. This hymn is No. 2, and reads, stanza i. line 3 Saviour for Shepherd; stanza iii. line 4, that for thy; and stanza iv. 1. 7, crowns for crown.
ii. Through the kind offices of Robert Blair a copy of the hymn fell into the hands of the Committee appointed to compile the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, and by them was included therein as No. 34, in 1745, with stanza ii. line 1, "Saviour’s name" for "Shepherds name," and stanza iii. "our souls" for "my soul," "them to" for "it to," and "our weak hearts" for ”my fond heart."
iii. In the revised edition of the same work, in 1751, it was altered thus: stanza i. as above; at. ii.:—

"Him from the Dead thou brought'st again,
When, by his sacred Blood,
Confirm'd and seal'd for evermore
th' eternal Cov'nant stood.
3. "0 may thy Spirit seal our Souls,
and mould them to thy Will;
That our weak Hearts no more may stray,
but keep thy Precepts still.
4. "Work in us all thy holy Will
to man by Jesus shown:
Till we, thro' him, improving still,
at last approach thy Throne."

iv. In 1755, Job Orton included the text as in the "Hooker mss." in Doddridge's Hymns, No. 325, and the same text was included in the edition published by J. D. Humphreys in 1839.
v. In 1781 the Scottish Committee included the form of the text now in common use in the Translations and Paraphrases., No. LX. It is thus composed:—
Stanza 1. Original as in "Booker mss."
Stanza 2 and 3, corresponding stanzas from the revised edition of Translations and Paraphrases, 1751, as above.
Stanza 4, a new stanza by W. Cameron, thus :—

"That to perfection's sacred height
we nearer still may rise,
And all we think, and all we do,
be pleasing in thine eyes."

This arrangement and last stanza are assigned to Cameron on the authority of his daughter. This form of the hymn is in somewhat extensive use in all English-speaking countries. It should be designated, "P. Doddridge, Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1751, and W. Cameron.”

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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