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Whose arm doth bind the restless wave

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Savior, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walk'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amid its rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Sacred Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give us light and truth and peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

I found the credits to this video as moving as the video itself.

The hymn is used by both the Royal Navy and the US Navy. (Personal note - my uncle George Gleason served with the US Navy in North Africa during World War II.) The words of the hymn are often changed a little, sometimes to include the soldiers of all the Armed Forces. Some people today detest our Armed Forces. They are hopeful that talking and the passing of laws will change the world.

If only that were true!

The slave trade would never have ended without the Royal Navy. Men were lost, and hundreds of thousands of men and women were saved.

Greece would not have been freed from the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire without the Royal Navy (and French and Russian squadrons). Navy men were lost, and the misery of millions was lifted.

The Royal Navy defended Britain from invasion many times. Men were lost but the British people were not ruled by foreigners.

The Royal Navy helped to defeat Nazi Germany and with the US Navy maintained the freedom of the seas from pirates from 200 years. Men and women were lost, but millions were freed from a fate worse than death.

The music is by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) who was assistant organist at St John's Church when he was ten years old. He wrote more than 300 hymns, including The King of love my Shepherd is. The words are by William Whiting.

Thanks to Maggie's Farm for the tip.

Comments (1)

James D. Haeberle:

Reading the lyrics to Eternal Father here makes me a bit misty. My dear father, now 80 years old, enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in 1945. I believe that no more holy alliance was ever formed than that which brought the might and manhood of Britain and America together against the Axis. I taught History for 20 years and am still moved by the stories of self-sacrifice and phenomenal courage shown by boys - mere boys - from both lands. I pray that our close affiliation will always endure.

Jim Haeberle
Chubbuck, Idaho

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