1 Mark the soft-falling snow,
And the descending rain!
To heaven, from whence it fell,
It turns not back again;
But waters earth through every pore,
And calls forth all her secret store.
2 Arrayed in beauteous green,
The hills and valleys shine,
And man and beast are fed
By providence divine:
The harvest bows its golden ears,
The copious seed of future years.
3 So, saith the God of grace,
My gospels shall descend,
Almighty to effect
The purpose I intend;
Millions of souls shall feel its power,
And bear it down to millions more.
Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #8
Mark the soft-falling snow. P. Doddridge. [Natural things emblematical of things Spiritual.] First pub.lished in J. Orton's posthumous ed. of Doddridge's Hymns, 1755, No. Ill, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed "Fruitful Showers, Emblems of the salutary Effects of the Gospel." In that and subsequent editions to 1839, the opening lines read:—
"Mark the soft-falling Snow,
And the diffusive Rain;
To Heav'n, from whence it fell,
It turns not back again."
In 1839 J. D. Humphreys, in reprinting the Hymns from the original manuscript corrected from the MS. of this hymn the grammatical error of “it” for "they" in these lines, and drew special attention thereto in the Preface to the Hymns, as evidence of his charge against Job Orton as a careless editor. Amongst modern collections the text of 1755 is retained in the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, and that of the original MS. in Martineau's Hymns, 1840.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)