Eternal God, Unchanging

Eternal God Unchnaging
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Eternal God, unchanging
Through all the changing years,
Whose hands all things created,
Who holds the countless stars;
Enthroned in heavenly glory,
Yet not a God afar,
Thou deignest to have dwelling
Here where Thy people are.

Forbid that man’s achievements
Should cause our faith to wane,
Or seek in human wisdom
Our spirit to sustain;
Lord, surely Thou art shaping
All things to Thy design,
And born of this conviction
Is faith to match our time.

And in a world divided
By selfishness and guile,
When truth is on the scaffold
And faith is standing trial,
Grant us, by inward knowledge
No learning can bestow,
A faith that answers firmly:
These things, these things I know.

Though men have wrought confusion,
Thy hand still holds the plan,
And Thou at length decideth
The destiny of man;
Dominions rise and perish;
The mighty have their day;
But still Thy Word abideth –
It shall not pass away.

Still at the beginning of a new year, with its inevitable changes, we have this hymn about our changeless God. Albert Dalziel lived from 1892 to 1974. Although he was born in England, one might be excused for considering him a Canadian, as he spent many years in Canada as a Salvation Army officer. He was bandmaster at his home corps before his officership, and conductor of the Cadets’ Band at the British Training College, while also serving as Assistant Cadets’Sergeant-Major, following his commissioning. He had several corps and divisional appointments in the U.K., before being appointed to the Training College staff there from 1923-30. This was followed by his appointment to the Training College for Officers in Winnipeg, in what was then Canada West Territory. Subsequently, he was the Divisional Commander in British Columbia, and then Principal of the Toronto Training College from 1937-39. Then it was back to the U.K. for several appointments of high responsibility, a term as Chief Secretary of South Africa, and finally his post as Provincial Commander for Newfoundland.

Colonel Dalziel wrote poetry and songs, sometimes working with General Albert Orsborn. In retirement, he helped compile Songs of Faith, a supplemental Salvation Army song book published in Canada in 1971, in which the above song was first printed. He was Promoted to Glory from Toronto in 1974.

Although this song was written over forty years ago, it still describes today’s world, unfortunately. Let’s hold onto the positive facts it gives, including the knowledge and faith that God’s hand still holds the plan!

God’s hand still holds the plan! Click To Tweet
WORDS: ALBERT DALZIEL MUSIC: TUNE, ALFORD – JOHN DYKES
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #12; 1987 EDITION, #6
REFERENCE: USAWEST.ORG

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