Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Camp Meeting

Daily Readings
Psalm 76 + Joshua 18 + Amos 6 + Colossians 3:1-4:1

Quote of the Day
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Daily Text: Joshua 18:1-4, 8-10

Then the whole congregation of the Israelites assembled at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.
2 There remained among the Israelites seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned. 3So Joshua said to the Israelites, "How long will you be slack about going in and taking possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you? 4Provide three men from each tribe, and I will send them out that they may begin to go throughout the land, writing a description of it with a view to their inheritances. Then come back to me. 8So the men started on their way; and Joshua charged those who went to write the description of the land, saying, "Go throughout the land and write a description of it, and come back to me; and I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh." 9So the men went and traversed the land and set down in a book a description of it by towns in seven divisions; then they came back to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh, 10and Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD; and there Joshua apportioned the land to the Israelites, to each a portion.

Camp Meeting
The distribution of land to the remaining seven tribes came at Joshua’s insistence rather than the tribe’s. Unlike the other five who individually insisted on their inheritance, these ‘Northern Seven’ had to be organized three men from each tribe to describe the Promised Land remaining. They did so, describing seven equal allotments, thus relieving Joshua of any need to decide what a fair allotment might be. Which particular allotment was received by a given tribe, however, was decided by ‘lot,’ presumably the Urim and Thummim.

Normally, the Urim and Thummin were read by Eleazar the high priest. If it appears that Joshua acts by himself in Shiloh, this is corrected in chapter 19 verse 51.While it is not inconceivable that at Shiloh in the Tent of Meeting Joshua acts as priest as Moses often did with Aaron, such a suggestion is unnecessary.

Whatever occurred, the theology is clear. God gives the land fulfilling his promise. The tribes in response need to trust his gift, obey his commands and take, by force as necessary, the lands allotted to them. After 45 plus years the land is committed into the care of the tribes and clans while the entire congregation gathered at least this one last time around the Tent of Meeting in the camp at Shiloh. What a joyous gathering this must have been.

Peace and Joy
from “The Suffering God”
G. A. Studdert-Kennedy

Peace does not mean the end of all our striving,
Joy does not mean the drying of our tears;
Peace is the power that comes to souls arriving
Up to the light where God Himself appears.
Joy is the wine that God is ever pouring
Into the hearts of those who strive with Him,
Light’ning their eyes to vision and adoring,
Strength’ning their arms to warfare glad and grim.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Environmental Degradation

Daily Readings
Psalm 75 + Joshua 17 + Amos 5 + Colossians 2

Quote of the Day
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream. Amos 5:24

Daily Text: Joshua 17:1-6, 14-18

Then allotment was made to the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a warrior. 2And allotments were made to the rest of the tribe of Manasseh, by their families, Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph, by their families. 3Now Zelophehad son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Machir son of Manasseh had no sons, but only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4They came before the priest Eleazar and Joshua son of Nun and the leaders, and said, "The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance along with our male kin." So according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the kinsmen of their father. 5Thus there fell to Manasseh ten portions, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is on the other side of the Jordan, 6because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance along with his sons. The land of Gilead was allotted to the rest of the Manassites.
14 The tribe of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, since we are a numerous people, whom all along the LORD has blessed?" 15And Joshua said to them, "If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest, and clear ground there for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you." 16The tribe of Joseph said, "The hill country is not enough for us; yet all the Canaanites who live in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel." 17Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, "You are indeed a numerous people, and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, 18but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong."

Environmental Degradation
Three matters draw attention in this passage: the daughters of Zelophehad inherit west of the Jordan each equally with the sons of Machir, five of ten allotments, Joshua is seen as judge for the first time since the distribution began and strong evidence that Manasseh was instructed to denude forested regions for the sake of agriculture.

The Zelophehad daughters do not require further mention except to say that in later Samaritan records towns named for some of the daughters were recorded. Joshua comes into his role as judge as the Josephite clans complain about the restricted nature of their allotment. They were given Beth-shean and the Valley of Jezreel both of which were highly defended Canaanite towns that resisted occupation by the Israelites, and they when they became strong enough to defeat them they allowed them to continue to live in the land. There is the sense in vss. 14-18 that they are not given enough land, in fact, they say they are given only one allotment between them and Joshua does not disagree. Rather he points to vast tracts of forested land in the hill country that they are free to settle in. The sense is that the Josephite clans have a sense entitlement. Could it be that remembering that Joseph provided for the survival of the entire twelve tribes in Egypt, they should be given special treatment in the promised land? Joshua goes to some lengths not to bow to this pressure, but he does allow them a second allotment, not of settled agricultural land for which they wished, but this forested land for which they will have to labor for years.

The Fertile Crescent continues as a label for this land in which Israel was settled, but today it seems anything but fertile. Without extensive irrigation, it would not be agriculturally productive. But in pre-historic times it was extensively forested, well-watered and fertile. Like agricultural settlement everywhere, this condition has been radically altered. Lawrence E. Stager in his doctoral thesis entitled “Ancient Agriculture in the Judean Desert” documents this deforestation. “Almost all of the original forests that characterize the climax vegetation of the hills and mountains in the Mediterranean zone have disappeared. Man has cleared them away to extend his agriculture onto the hillsides, particularly for olive and grape cultivation. He also made extensive use of wood for fuel, charcoal production, and building materials. [419:419]” Evidently, the Josephites cleared the land of trees rather than Canaanites and so failed to live up to the Lord’s command. How often we fail to see ‘lord’ in the word ‘dominion,’ and forget that ‘lordship’ requires great care for that which is within our possession.

Living with the Trees
Bliss Carmen

In the Garden of Eden, planted by God,
There were goodly trees in the springing sod

Trees of beauty and height and grace,
To stand in splendor before His face.

Apple and hickory, ash and pear,
Oak and beech and the tulip rare,

The trembling aspen, the noble pine,
The sweeping elm by the river line;

Trees for the birds to build and sing,
And the lilac tree for a joy in spring;

Trees to turn at the frosty call
And carpet the ground for their Lord’s footfall;

Trees for fruitage and fire and shade,
Trees for the cunning builder’s trade;

Wood for the bow, the spear, and the flail,
The keel and the mast of the daring sail;

He made them of every grain and girth,
For the use of man in the Garden of Earth.

Then lest the soul should not lift her eyes
From the gift to the Giver of Paradise,

On the crown of a hill, for all to see,
God planted a scarlet maple tree.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Divine Fidelity and Human Failure

Daily Readings
Psalm 74 + Joshua 16 + Amos 4 + Colossians 1

Quote of the Day
For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

Daily Text: Joshua 16:4, 8b-10
4The Josephites--Manasseh and Ephraim--received their inheritance. 8Such is the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites by their families, 9together with the towns that were set apart for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites, all those towns with their villages. 10They did not, however, drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer: so the Canaanites have lived within Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.

Divine Fidelity and Human Failure
The Josephites are the sons of Joseph who were taken by Jacob for his own [Genesis 48] and together fulfill Jacob’s promise to Joseph that he will be doubly represented among the twelve. They take the place of the Levites who do not inherit. Ephraim inherits first, as the one blessed by Jacob over his older brother. These little consistencies do not seem to ever escape the biblical writers. Politics, inheritance, boundaries, and precedence are all cited to show the faithfulness of God in carrying out his promise to these people and then in vs. 10 the failure of the people to carry out their promise to God is flashed on to the screen of biblical memory. The exiles are never left in doubt as to why they are where they are. Christians need also be reminded that grace is no excuse for infidelity.

Palm Sunday and Monday
Edwin McNeill Poteat

They pluck their palm branches and hail Him as King,
Early on Sunday;
They spread out their garments; hosannas they sing,
Early on Sunday.

But where is the noise of their hurrying feet,
The crown they would offer, the sceptre, the seat?
Their King wanders hungry, forgot in the street,
Early on Monday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Nagging for Water

Daily Readings
Psalm 73 + Joshua 15 + Amos 3 + Philippians 4

Quote of the Day
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Daily Text: Joshua 15:13-19, 63
13 According to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, he gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). 14And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. 15From there he went up against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16And Caleb said, ‘Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife.’ 17Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. 18When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. As she dismounted from her donkey, Caleb said to her, ‘What do you want?’ 19She said to him, ‘Give me a present; since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me springs of water as well.’ So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
63 But the people of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so the Jebusites live with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.

Nagging for Water
Suspicions are aroused in this Caleb passage that one is getting a birds eye view into some messy family triangle. Caleb was an eminent prince, one of two adults closely associated with Moses. To be closely allied to him would bring some prominence, so when Caleb offers his daughter Achsah to the man who takes Debir, Othniel, his brother’s son, takes up the challenge and wins the girl. But the aftermath creates the impression that Othniel may have succeeded economically only to be saddled with a woman who would not fulfill the image of a good wife in Proverbs 31! Could Achsah have been a woman with few marriage prospects without this economic benefit? Given to Othniel, either he nags her to request a piece of tillable land or she nags him to do so. Boling (419) suggests that Othniel nags Achsah and she asks her father. Most translators see it the other way, and Judges 1 suggests they are correct. Either way, it happens and Caleb gives them a poor piece of land that is very like the Negeb, that is dry land, ‘Hebron’s Southland, the hills falling away to the desert fringe[419:375], for their inheritance. Then Achsah comes [again?] to her father and her father simply seeing her ride up on her donkey knows something is wrong. He doesn’t hesitate ask what it is? One suspects that this daughter is so querulous that the father simply wants to be shed of her. She asks for a well, cisterns being of little use in such dry land, and gets two of them and we hear no more of her, though Othniel becomes the first and perhaps only judge of the southern tribes [cf. Judges 3:7-11]. This man was a warrior and had the ability to act when the need and opportunity arose. One way and another Caleb is getting his life in order, possessing his inheritance and settling family arrangements. His image is a little tarnished in this intimate glimpse of his family life as he moves from nomadic warrior to settled prince, but it also gives us an insight into God’s continued blessing in his life.

from The Dying Soldier of Joshua
Alexander S. Arnold

A veteran of Joshua was breathing out his last,
The crimson tide was flowing out and life was ebbing fast,
And yet upon his dying face a look exultant shone
As he heard shouts of victory upon the zephyrs blown;
For tho he lay all helpless there beneath the tenting sky,
His soul was filled with thankful joy suppressing every sigh.
An hour before in fierce assault his strokes had counted well,
His weapon wielding to the last; yea, fighting as he fell;
And now, as he lay dying there upon the bloody field,
His right hand clutched his weapon and the left his leathern shield.
But who approaches? Who bends o’er the dying soldier’s head?
Is it a vile idolator to mock and strip the dead?
No, no; but his dear soldier friend! Ah, this indeed is joy!
For they had come from Egypt’s land, when each was but a boy,
And through the sea together went and on the other side
Beheld their foul pursuers sink beneath the whelming tide;
For God’s winds swayed the Red Sea waves on that eventful morn,
And Israel trod the causeway safe and Liberty was born!
“Tell me, my comrade,” murmured he, “before my life be spent;
Yea, tell me how the contest raged and how the battle went.”
The Lord of hosts was with us and the God of Jacob’s aid
Gave us the glor’ous victory and sharpened spear and blade!
The land is ours! And nought can stay our march o’er the city wall!
Nor bow, nor spear, nor pagan hordes prevent their utter fall!
Yea, even those proud Jebusites shall fall beneath our rod,
And strong Jerusalem become the city of our God!
The splendor of our nation’s sheen what prophet’s tongue can tell?
The glory of our people and the God of Israel?
The stars above shall sparkle on, the pale moon shed her light,
The sun shall rise in majesty, dispelling darkest night;
Yea, earth and sky and all therein proclaim our Maker’s grace,
And glory, honor, power and praise shall come to Israel’s race!”
A veteran of Joshua was breathing out his last,
The crimson tide was flowing out and life was ebbing fast,
And yet upon his dying face a look exultant shone;
As shouts of victory arose upon the zephyrs borne;
And as his comrade kissed him there and closed his warrior tale
A glow of life’s departing flame lit up the face so pale:
‘Twas like the candle’s fitful glow, the last expiring gleam;
The soldier raised his broken blade ere crossing death’s cold stream:
“Fight on!” he said, “my comrade true, the God of battles trust!
The Lord of hosts be with you all, when I return to dust.
The gates are lifted high.” He ceased, his arm sank to his side.
And with a ling’ring look of joy the Hebrew soldier died.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Daily Readings
Proverbs 13 + Joshua 14 + Amos 2 + Philippians 3:1b-21

Quote of the Day
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. Philippians 3:8b, 9

Daily Text: Joshua 14:1, 2, 5, 6-8, 13
These are the inheritances that the Israelites received in the land of Canaan, which the priest Eleazar, and Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families of the tribes of the Israelites distributed to them. 2Their inheritance was by lot, as the LORD had commanded Moses for the nine and one-half tribes. 5The Israelites did as the LORD commanded Moses; they allotted the land.
6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal; and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. 7I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land; and I brought him an honest report. 8But my companions who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God. 13Then Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.

Tribal Friction
Two of the twelve sent by Moses to spy out the land, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones to come back with a good report. One would think that these two would have been bonded by their trust in the Lord and the risk they took to give a good report, an honest report, as Caleb puts it, to Moses in the face of an overwhelming majority of bad (dishonest?) reports. And yet there is no evidence that the two were close. Joshua was always a favorite of Moses; Caleb, other than his wonderful reputation, seems not to be a part of leadership,other than in his own tribe, Judah. Caleb had to come to Gilgal before Joshua and request what had been promised him. Joshua gave it him and blessed him as well. The blessing was of great importance, notwithstanding that it served to remind them both who was the more powerful. Blessing was believed to confer God’s continued smile upon the recipient. And Caleb would need God’s blessing, for characteristically he asked for his inheritance in the hill country, as yet unconquered, and the inhabitants were the Anakim, giants among men.

One of the remarkable tributes to this man, Caleb, is the reference in vss. 8, 9 that Caleb ‘wholeheartedly followed the LORD….’ Only one other time in scripture was this phrase used, making the point clear that here was an example for all Israel to follow, and follow it they did not. But the point is made: Follow God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will not only fulfill the torah, you will be the recipient of the goodness of God.

God Meets Me in the Mountains
Badger Clark

God meets me in the mountains when I climb alone and high,
Above the wrangling sinners and the jangling devotees,
Up where the tapered spruce will guide my glances to the sky
And canyon walls will mutely preach their mighty homilies
In hush so dense that I can sense—is it my pulses drumming?
Or God’s light footfall, coming through the silvery aspen trees?

Some way I seem to lose him in the jostle of the street,
But on a twisty deer trail, as I trudge along alone,
A mystic presence in the forest often stays my feet—
No vision borrowed from a saint, but awesomely my own.
I feel it smite my spirit white, the prophet’s taintless passion,
As ancient as the fashion of the pine tree’s rugged cone.

For me no school could give it life, as none can deal it death.
Up through the pines’ red pillars and across the snow and shale.
Where science and theology alike are but a breath,
I follow marks that make the wisest book an idle tale.
Why should I squint at faded print to glimpse his timeworn traces?
God walks the lonely places yet, where men first found his trail.

Where pines reach up the mountains and the mountains up the blue,
And tense with some expectancy, the lifting edges frown,
The high desire of the hills is my desire too,
For there my spirit laughs to fling its worldly duffle down
And, shaking free exultantly, calls to its great companion!
God meets me in the canyon when I miss him in the town.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Action and Teaching

Daily Readings
Proverbs 30 + Joshua 13 + Amos 1 + Philippians 2:1-3:1

Quote of the Day
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Daily Text: Joshua 13:1-7
Now Joshua was old and advanced in years; and the LORD said to him, "You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land still remains to be possessed. 2This is the land that still remains: all the regions of the Philistines, and all those of the Geshurites 3(from the Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron, it is reckoned as Canaanite; there are five rulers of the Philistines, those of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron), and those of the Avvim, 4in the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites, 5and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath, 6all the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians. I will myself drive them out from before the Israelites; only allot the land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded you.
7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh."

Action and Teaching
At this point in the book of Joshua the author makes a turn from seeing Israel as a people who have been promised a land to conquer, to a people who have conquered and now begin to settle that land. Joshua is to distribute the land that he has gained and he is to do this before he dies. His age is catching up with him and in 13:1, 2 this is brought to his own and our attention. He is also to teach the people how to live as people of God in this land and this comes in chapter 23 with the same words as we see introducing chapter 13. In between are ten chapters demonstrating that Joshua distributed the land as commanded by God. The broad outlines of the land yet to be conquered are sketched by the divine voice in verses 2-6a, and then God promises to be responsible for conquering this remaining land. What he wants Joshua to do is distribute the land he already holds [vs. 7].

Joshua continues to be portrayed as the faithful leader of God’s people. He follows Moses’ commands and Moses’ example in this. In the last half of this chapter, there is a retelling of how Moses distributed immediately what he conquered on the East side of the Jordan River. Israel has been well-led through the Exodus and into the land. Remembering that the Deuteronomist is compiling these words for the encouragement of Israelites in exile eight centuries later, we see clearly how important this record of faithful leadership is, for that has not been the experience of the Israelites who have followed. The prophet Ezekiel says it most clearly in chapter 45:8, 9 “…my princes shall no longer oppress my people; but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes. Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and do what is just and right. Cease your evictions of my people, says the Lord God.”

The textual study of this section of Joshua has been studied and restudied, interpreted and reinterpreted by many scholars. The boundary lists and town lists in these next chapters have been thoughtfully subjected to critical literary scrutiny and many possible interpretations have been levied. Butler’s [Joshua, 1983] summaries and theological interpretations will be used as a guide as we sort our way through these texts. While these lists hold little interest for the average Christian, anyone who has ever bought a piece of property and walked its boundaries can catch a glimpse of the interest that Jewish tribal descendants have had for these descriptions. All of it bespeaks a God who has been faithful, and leaders who are willing to be faithful.

The Master
Thomas Curtis Clark
We need him now—his rugged faith that held
Fast to the rock of Truth through all the days
Of moil and strife, the sleepless nights; upheld
By very God was he—that God who stays
All hero-souls who will but trust in Him,
And trusting, labor as if God were not.
His eyes beheld the stars, clouds could not dim
Their glory; but his task was not forgot:
To keep his people one; to hold them true
To that fair dream their fathers will to them—
Freedom for all; to spur them; to renew
Their hopes in bitter days; strife to condemn.
Such was his task, and well his work was done—
Who willed us greater tasks, when set his sun.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

He Has Not Forgotten

Daily Readings
Proverbs 29 + Joshua 12 + Nahum 3 + Philippians 1

Quote of the Day
Discipline your children, and they will give you rest;
they will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 29:17

Daily Text: Joshua 12:1, 6,7

He Has Not Forgotten
Simply lists, two of them, of the kings and cities conquered by Moses and Joshua. The lists are ancient, probably more ancient than the story they tell. They reflect both battles won and battles to be won, for some of these areas were given as inheritance to tribes and clans that then needed to go on to claim them. Overall, they bespeak the fulfillment of God’s promise to Moses and Israel for a new land. Dry and matter of fact they may be, but for the Deuteronomist who is compiling this record they speak volumes of the faithfulness of the God of Israel.

They also in a backhand sort of way honor the peoples of the conquered lands, for these lists go back to the beginnings of history and the peoples, through their rulers, are named and thus remembered, transitory though they may be. How many peoples and nations have vanished without a trace in the historical record? The archaeological record may be complete, but so much of it is unread, and even read may say little of the names of the people who created it. All are essentially forgotten in a human sense. Our God is a God of all peoples, Adon Olam, Lord of the whole world. He has not forgotten.

Adon Olam
D. A. de Sola

Lord over all! whose power the sceptre swayed,
Ere first Creation’s wondrous form was framed,
When by His will divine all things were made;
Then King Almighty was His name proclaimed!

When all shall cease—the universe be o’er,
In awful greatness He alone will reign,
Who was, who is, and who will evermore
In glory most refulgent still remain.

Sole God! unequalled, and beyond compare,
Without division or associate;
Without commencing date or final year,
Omnipotent He reigns in awful state.

To Him, no like, no equal e’er can be;
He, without change or substitute remains,
Without divisibleness or adjunct, He
In highest might and power supremely reigns.

He is my God! my living Savior He!
My sheltering Rock in sad misfortune’s hour!
My standard, refuge, portion, still shall be,
My lot’s Disposer when I seek His power.

Into His hands my spirit I consign
Whilst wrapped in sleep, that I again may wake:
And with my soul, my body I resign;
The Lord with me,--no fears my soul can shake.