O'er the trackless ocean guided

Representative Text

1 O'er the trackless ocean guided
By Thy hand our fathers came;
They, O Lord, in Thee confided,
Loved Thy day, revered Thy name;
Nor would we, their faith despising,
False to their devotion be,
But, on wings of prayer arising,
Lift our contrite hearts to Thee.

2 In the new land, wild and lonely,
Rude the homes which they upraised,
There they sought unto Thee only,
There Thy love and mercy praised;
In our fairer habitations,
May their zeal in us increase,
While Thy gracious consolations
Prove our everlasting peace.

3 Where, in wilderness extending,
Every creature had his lair,
Now behold us humbly bending
In this holy place of prayer;
Let the world transformed around us
Witness be of change within
Joy divine that God hath found us,
Healed the deadly wounds of sin.

4 Destined for their fathers' places,
Age on age until the end,
Keep, O keep, our children's faces
Turned to Thee, our changeless Friend;
And may all who boon of heaven
Now or evermore shall crave,
Know on earth Thy blessing given,
Glory find beyond the grave.

Source: Methodist Hymn and Tune Book: official hymn book of the Methodist Church #655

Author: William Henry Adams

Adams, William Henry. (Ullastone, England, July 3, 1864-January 25, 1932, Aurora, Ontario.). Methodist/United Church. After graduating from Richmond (England) Theological College, he came in 1886 as a missionary to Newfoundland, serving at Burgeo, Topsail, and St. John's West. In 1891 he transferred to Ontario, where he was pastor at Haliburton (1891-1893), St. Ola (1893-1895), Dalrymple (1895-1897), Ivanhow (1897-1899), Orono (1899-1901), Claremont (1901-1903), Tamworth (1903-1905), Norwood (1905-1909), Penetanguishene (1909-1912), Downsview (1914-1918), Don Mills (1918-1920), Thornton (1920-1925), and Beeton (1925-1928). While he contributed much verse to magazines, only his hymn "for a pioneer service" spoke directly to those generations… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O'er the trackless ocean guided
Author: William Henry Adams
Copyright: Public Domain



John Zundel's BEECHER (named after Henry Ward Beecher, his pastor) was first published in his Christian Heart Songs (1870) as a setting for Charles Wesley's "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" (568). The tune is also known as ZUNDEL. Approximating the shape of a rounded bar form (AA'BA'), BEECHER is…

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Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed REX GLORIAE for this text; the hymn was published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. Stanley L. Osborne (PHH 395) suggests that Smart initially intended REX GLORIAE as a tune for children. Derived from the topic of Wordsworth's text, the tune's name m…

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The Cyber Hymnal #5400
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The Cyber Hymnal #5400

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