The history that I find of this hymns is really quite strange. It is part of a much larger poem that tells of a drug-induced state for a pagan ritual and then the closing of the poem is what has been extracted for this hymn. (source: History of Hymns) The truth of that seems likely since it is found on several sites. I find that quite interesting and see such a connection to the current day. Maybe not in drug induced states but definitely in finding things other than God to focus on. When I am focusing on things other than God – be it writing, or schooling, or homemaking, or whatever – I am lacking the purer life mentioned in the first stanza.
I find this a calming hymn. It recognizes my lack. I need the forgiveness God offers. I need to be reclothed. I need to be seeking ways to serve and praise Him. The final stanza gives more ways I should seek to be like Him – quietness, peace, and an ordered life. Through Him, we have a beauty that can only be found through His peace.
May you find the best way to follow the Lord, seeking His way.
Lori, At Home.
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
lyrics: John Whittier Greenleaf (1872)
music: Frederick C Maker (1887)
1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.
2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
3 O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
4 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.