This is the original text of this hymn as it appeared in the 1827 Hymns adapted to the Weekly Service of the Church Year. It was used in that hymnal for St. John the Evangelist’s Day (Dec. 27).
Oh God! who gav’st thy servant grace,
Amid the storms of life distrest,
To look on thine incarnate face,
And lean on thy protecting breast;
To see the light that dimly shone,
Eclips’d for us in sorrow pale,
Pure Image of the Eternal One!
Through shadows of thy mortal veil!
Be ours, oh King of Mercy! still
To feel thy presence from above,
And in thy word, and in thy will,
To hear thy voice, and know thy love;
And when the toils of life are done,
And Nature waits thy dread decree,
To find our rest beneath thy throne,
And look, in humble hope, to Thee!
Words: Reginald Heber, 1827.
Tune: “Alsace” Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827).