Tag Archives: Immortal Invisible God Only Wise

A Hymn for Meditation

hymnalImmortal, 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. 

Thou reignest in glory;
Thou dwellest in light.
Thine angels adore thee,
All veiling their sight;
All laud we would render;
Oh, help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor
Of light hideth thee!

Walter Chalmers Smith

  •  Verse 1 praises the “immortal, invisible” God. How do you respond when someone asks you how you can possibly know a God who is immortal and invisible?
  • Explain the imagery of verse 2 when the hymnwriter gives goodness and love supremacy over justice.
  • What is the difference between something that is hidden by darkness and something that is hidden by light as described in verse 3? Why is that difference important to this hymn?
  • Where in the Bible do you find imagery comparable to this hymn? What is the purpose of this hymn?

 

 

 

 

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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?