A Hymn for Meditation

Immortal, Invisible

Immortal, invisible,
God only wise,
In light inaccessible
hid from our eyes.
Most blessed, most glorious,
The Ancient of Days
Almighty, victorious,
Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting,
And silent as light
Nor wanting, nor wasting,
Thou rulest in might.
Thy justice like mountains
High soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains
Of goodness and love.

To all, life thou givest,
To both great and small.
In all life thou livest,
The true life of all.
We blossom and flourish
Like leaves on the tree
And wither and perish,
But naught changeth thee.

Walter Chalmers Smith

  • Read the first verse of the hymn. Then read Exodus 24:9-10, Daniel 7:9-10, Revelation 4:1-11. Can you find the source of the hymnwriter’s image?
  • How could you restate the second verse in prose that a child might understand?
  • How would you explain this hymn to secular thinkers?
  • The hymnwriter considers life to be a great gift from God. He says, In all life thou livest, the true life of all.” How would you explain this line? If someone asks you what you think about abortion, would this line help you answer?

3 thoughts on “A Hymn for Meditation”

  1. Thank you. I’m not familiar with this hymn, so I’m glad to read the words that express worship so well. I especially like it because, unlike so many hymns that are about God, it directly addresses God. Many hymns address the congregation around us. This is one I’ll add to my notebook.


  2. Katherine, I don’t know some of the hymns you share, but I’m blessed by reading them. The ones I do know, I sing in my head as you remind me of the profound truth behind them. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for your comments. As I find them, I love to share them. Hymnwriters inspire us to think deeply about our faith.


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