Hymn to a Gracious Sovereign

Full Text

1. O God the deep immutable,
the changeless, wise and still,
You’re the absolute, eternal One;
You wield the sovereign will.
Deep Heav’n itself and even time
must bend beneath your sway.
With a whispered thought you banish night
in a flash of blinding day.

2. The seas are boundaried by your word;
great mountains heed your call.
Majestic swirls of galaxies
adorn your royal hall.
The centuries are lumps of clay
shaped by your strength and skill.
You mold the long millennia to
the dictates of your will.

3. The boundless, black-robed skies proclaim
your vast, astonishing might:
Their flaming jewels rejoice for you
in silent shouts of light.
With sure and sovereign strokes your hands
finger the cosmic strings,
And play celestial symphonies
as all creation sings.

4. And silent now, the angels stare;
stunned seraphs blush, amazed;
Great Michael sheaths the sword that at
the Gate of Eden blazed.
Mighty Gabriel sets his trump aside,
and listens to his Lord,
As Love incomprehensible
enfleshes the Living Word.

5. Now space and time have cracked before
the size of this event:
The Godhead shudders as the
glorious Son to Hell is sent.
Though Very God of Very God,
He counts it all but loss,
And comes and suffers as a man,
from the manger to the Cross.

Author: Neil Barham

Neil grew up in Lou­i­si­a­na and has lived all over the south­ern Unit­ed States. He was trained as a Pres­by­ter­i­an pas­tor and served as a teach­er in Chris­tian schools in Georg­ia, Ten­nes­see, and Lou­i­si­a­na. As of 2005, he lived in Mi­a­mi, Flor­i­da, where he, his wife Ju­lie, and his child­ren Han­nah, Seth, and Le­ah were mem­bers of the Ken­dall Pres­by­ter­i­an Church. Neil be­gan writ­ing hymns to com­bat spir­it­u­al de­press­ion.  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O God the deep immutable
Title: Hymn to a Gracious Sovereign
Author: Neil Barham (2005)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: © 2005 Neil Barham. These lyrics may be freely reproduced or published for Christian worship, provided they are not altered, and this notice is on each copy. All other rights reserved.



Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold,…

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