Christ My Song - 530
Not far from any one of us - The fellowship of the unseen
(Horatius Bonar/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
The fellowship of the unseen.
2. Nearest of all that are to us most near,
of matter or of spirit, seen, unseen;
nothing to sever or to come between,
dearest of all that are to us most dear.
3. No love, O loving Lord, no love like thine!
fullest and sweetest of all loves that fill
the human heart or mould the human will;
replenish us with this thy love divine.
4. To know the love that passeth knowledge, this
is the ambition of our longing heart.
Deny us not; God of our life, impart
this fulness of true joy, this sum of bliss!
5. Sunshine is near, but not so near as thou;
the air we breathe is near, thou nearer still;
this earth is near, with stream, and wood, and hill,
thou nearer than all nearnesses below.
6. This hand I clasp, this well-known face I see;
how close the union that makes up the whole
of human oneness, knitting soul to soul!
But all is distance when compared with thee.
7. In thee we live and move, in thee we are;
nearer art thou than we can think or deem.
Thy nearness is no nearness of a dream,
we cannot turn the near into the far.
8. Oh, take our hand, and clasp it close in thine!
Oh, speak to us, as now we speak to thee!
We would not though we could thy presence flee;
give us each hour thy fellowship divine.
9. Oh, love us, bless us, bind us to thy side,
make our communion yet more warm and sweet,
even here on this cold earth, until we meet
where all is perfected and glorified.
10. The age of the unseen will soon be done,
the day of conscious nearness comes apace;
then shall we see thee fully face to face,
then shall we know thee even as we are known.
Horatius Bonar, Hymns of the Nativity, 1879, 38-40.