5/31 "Eternal Father"/The Navy Hymn

Today, in honor of my father who served in the U.S. Navy, and all the veterans who served and gave of their lives for all of us, I wanted to repost this devotion from the KJV Devos Blog. Thank you, soldiers!
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! the Lord of hill and plain,
O’er which our traffic runs amain,
By mountain pass or valley low;
Wherever, Lord, Thy brethren go,
Protect them by Thy guarding hand,
From every peril on the land!

O Spirit, whom the Father sent,
To spread abroad the firmament;
O wind of heaven, by Thy might,
Save all who dare the eagle’s flight.
And keep them by Thy watchful care,
From every peril in the air.

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoever they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad praise from air and land and sea.

Matthew 8:23-27
Psalm 91:1-9
Romans 1:20-21
Colossians 2:9-10
Mathew 11:28

Lyrics: William Whiting
Born: November 1, 1825, Kensington, London, England.
Died: May 3, 1878, Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Composer: John Bacchus Dykes
Born: March 10, 1823, Hull, England.
Died: January 22, 1876, Ticehurst, Sussex, England.


“Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” or known to many as the “Navy Hymn,” has often been cited as the most popular hymn for travelers in the English language. It was written, in 1860, by William Whitting and has gone through numerous revisions to the present time. The hymn text was so well thought of, when it was written, that it was included in the 1861 edition of the highly regarded, Anglican Church hymnal, Hymns Ancient and Modern. It was set to the fine “Melita” tune, especially composed for it by one of England’s highly esteemed church musicians of the nineteen century, John B. Dykes. The present version is taken from the 1937 edition of the Missionary Service Book, where one of the editors, Robert Nelson Spencer, added the second and third stanzas to include a plea for God’s protection for those who travel by land and air as well as those on the high seas.

...It is generally believed that Whiting’s text was inspired by the vivid description of the sea’s dangers and God’s promised deliverances as recorded in Psalm 107:23-32. ...It should be noted that the the first three stanzas of this hymn are each addressed to a different member of the Godhead:

Stanza 1 – To the Father who created and controls the sea (Job 38:10-11),
Stanza 2 – To the Son who has power to control the elements of nature (Matthew 8:23-27),
Stanza 3 – To the Spirit, who at the creation of the world “Brooded over the face of the waters” Genesis 1).

The fourth stanza petitions the love and power of the entire Trinity and urges men everywhere to “Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (Psalm 107:31). More... Also, more @ website HERE.

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