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Thy Hand, O God, Has Guided

Representative Text

1 Thy hand, O God, has guided
thy flock, from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
full clear, on every page;
our fathers owned thy goodness,
and we their deeds record;
and both of this bear witness:
one Church, one faith, one Lord.

2 Thy heralds brought glad tidings
to greatest, as to least;
they bade men rise, and hasten
to share the great King's feast;
and this was all their teaching,
in every deed and word,
to all alike proclaiming
one Church, one faith, one Lord.

3 When shadows thick were falling,
and all seemed sunk in night,
thou, Lord, didst send thy servants,
thy chosen sons of light.
On them and on thy people
thy plenteous grace was poured,
and this was still their message:
one church, one faith one Lord.

4 Through many a day of darkness,
through many a scene of strife,
the faithful few fought bravely,
to guard the nation's life.
Their Gospel of redemption,
sin pardoned, man restored,
was all in this enfolded:
one Church, one faith, one Lord.

5 And we, shall we be faithless?
Shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
Shall we evade the conflict,
and cast away our crown?
Not so: in God's deep counsels
some better thing is stored;
we will maintain, unflinching,
one church, one faith, one Lord.

6 Thy mercy will not fail us,
nor leave thy work undone;
with thy right hand to help us,
the victory shall be won;
and then, by men and angels,
thy name shall be adored,
and this shall be their anthem:
one Church, one faith, one Lord.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #814

Author: E. H. Plumptre

Plumptre, Edward Hayes, D.D., son of Mr. E. H. Plumptre, was born in London, Aug. 6, 1821, and educated at King's College, London, and University College, Oxford, graduating as a double first in 1844. He was for some time Fellow of Brasenose. On taking Holy Orders in 1846 he rapidly attained to a foremost position as a Theologian and Preacher. His appointments have been important and influential, and include that of Assistant Preacher at Lincoln's Inn; Select Preacher at Oxford; Professor of Pastoral Theology at King's College, London; Dean of Queen's, Oxford; Prebendary in St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Professor of Exegesis of the New Testament in King's College, London; Boyle Lecturer; Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint, Oxford; Examine… Go to person page >


Scripture References: ref. = Eph. 4:4-6 Edward H. Plumptre (PHH 363) wrote this text entitled "Church Defence" and published it in Plumptre's Lazarus and Other Poems (1865). Republished in the 1889 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern, the text has gained much popularity in England. Of the original six stanzas, the Psalter Hymnal provides stanzas 1, 2, and 6 in modern language. The text affirms God's faithful hand of guidance and blessing on the church (st. 1), a church that has continually proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom (st. 2), and that, by God's power, will ultimately be victorious in its mission (st. 3). Each stanza leads directly into the powerful refrain line taken from Ephesians 4:4-5: “There is one body [the church of Christ] . . . one Lord, one faith. . . .” Liturgical Use: Festivals of the church; church anniversaries; mission services; Reformation celebrations; ordination/ commissioning services. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988



The Cyber Hymnal #6660
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 23 of 23)

Ancient and Modern #814

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #772

Church Family Worship #130

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #529


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #511

Common Praise (1998) #444

Common Praise #606


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #689

Complete Mission Praise #705


Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #196

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #171

Hymns and Psalms #784


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #536

Hymns Old and New #518

Text InfoTune InfoTextAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #509

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #351

Sing Glory #649

Singing the Faith #692


The Cyber Hymnal #6660


The New English Hymnal #485


Together in Song #456

Page Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #416


Voices United #274

Include 23 pre-1979 instances
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