Friday, September 4, 2009

A Prayer and a Hymn

A selection from a letter by Mary Jones, wife of the Rev. Charles Colcock Jones, to her granddaughter, Mary. She sent a prayer that she might say before a meal and a hymn for her to memorize. The letter was written March 30, 1864.

I am very much pleased to hear that you go to Sunday school and love your teacher. You must obey all she tells you, and always say your lessons well… The other day we went to Flemington, and Willie and Jimmie both repeated a beautiful hymn they had just learned, and did not miss a word of it—the hymn your mother and Uncle Charles and Uncle Joe used to say when they were small; so that Grandmama remembered it, and now writes it from memory for you and Brother to learn to say to me when I come up. Cousin Marion Glen, one of my dear friends, has been a week with me, and her niece Miss Laleah Dunwody, and she said a sweet little grace for Little Sister to learn; and I write it down here for you to say when there is no one to ask a blessing:

Lord, bless this food which now I take
To do me good, for Jesus’ sake

And this is the hymn:

My Heavenly Father, all I see
Around me and above
Sends forth a hymn of praise to Thee
And speaks Thy boundless love.

The clear blue sky is full of Thee,
The woods so dark and lone.
The soft south wind, the sounding sea
Worship the Holy One.

The humming of the insect throng,
The prattling, sparkling rill,
The birds with their melodious song
Repeat Thy praises still.

And Thou dost hear them every one;
Thou also hearest me.
I know that I am not alone
When I but think of Thee

The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War, edited by Robert Manson Myers, Yale University Press, 1972, pp. 1155-56. Iain Murray makes reference to this book of letters in a chapter on the Jones’s in his recent book, Heroes (published by The Banner of Truth Trust).

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