God’s angels! not only on high do they sing,
And soar through our skies with invisible wing;
But here, on the earth, where in wretchedness lie
Its sin-stricken children to struggle and die.
They come, in their mercy and power, to dispel
The spectres of gloom from the prisoner’s cell;
In love’s name to say to the stricken one there,
That God still hath ear, and an answer to prayer.
And strong grows the heart of the outcast—and soon
In that dim prison come the pure light-gleams of noon;
The resolve and the faith of the sinner forgiven,
Send him back to the world with a heart seeking heaven.
God’s angels! Love speed them o’er earth’s wide domain!
New aids to impart, and new triumphs to gain;
Till the wrathful and wrong from our world shall retire,
And humanity’s groans in her praises expire.
For the promise of truth—though the doubting deny—
Is, that love shall prevail in the earth as on high;
Its life-waters healing, wherever they flow,
With the angels above, or the angels below.
Adams, John Greenleaf. Co-editor with Dr. E. H. Chapin of the Universalist Hymns for Christian Devotion, 1846; and, alone, of the Gospel Psalmist, 1861. He was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1810. The collections named contain in each case 16 hymns by him. They are not, however, received outside his sect. The best are:—
1. Heaven is here, its hymns of gladness. [Peace.] Contributed to the Hymns for Christian Devotion, 1846, No. 419, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines.
2. God's angels! not only on high do they sing. [Ministry of Angels.] No. 830 in his Gospel Psalmist, 1861, and No. 240 in Longfellow and Johnson's Hymns of the Spirit, Boston, 1864. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, (1907)
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