Lesser-Known Incarnation Hymnody

Some of us deeply appreciate A.W. Tozer’s writings on, well, just about anything. Tozer also wrote some poetry, which while not masterful, is a good attempt at meaningful hymnody, and that by a busy pastor. It ought to encourage those of us who have tried our clumsy hands at the task to keep at it. His poem “Word of the Father” was sung by Ray McAfee on several occasions, to the tune of Schubert’s Ave Maria.

Word of the Father! Light of light;
Eternal praise is Thine alone;
Strong in Thy uncreated might,
Sweet with a holy fragrance all Thine own.
The dark beginnings of creation
Had their first rise and spring in Thee;
The universe, Thy habitation,
Which art, and evermore shalt be.
Word of the Father!

Word of the Father! Truly God,
And truly man by incarnation,
Born to endure the thorns, the rod,
The shameful wounds for our salvation.
Our sins, our woes come all before us,
We have no friend, no friend but Thee;
O spread Thy saving mantle o’er us,
And set our mourning spirits free.
Word of the Father!

Word of the Father! Hear our prayer!
Send far the evil tempter from us,
And make these souls Thy tender care
Lest sin and Satan overcome us.
O conquering Christ! Deep hell, despairing,
Must bow and own Thy right to reign,
When Thou, with joy beyond comparing
Shalt bring Thy ransomed ones again.
Word of the Father!

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