Chesterton's 1906 hymn for the 21st century

Dear friends,
Lewis advocated the reading of old literature because, though past generations had their moral and philosophical blindspots, they were seldom the same blindspots we have today.

In an effort to liven up the discussion a bit, I’m going to propose that a perfect prophetic hymn for (or rather as an antidote against) the current intellectual and geopolitical climate is G.K.Chesterton’s “O God of earth(*) and altar”, which he wrote as an Anglican in 1906. (He didn’t convert to Catholicism until 1922, I believe).

It is psalm-like in its calling on God to come down and help us out of the horrible mess we’ve got ourselves into.
Here are just some of the images that resonate so well with the 2000/2021:

“Our earthly leaders falter, Our people (I take this to mean the Christians, not just the British) drift and die.”

“Walls of gold entomb us”

“Swords of scorn divide” – Example: I recently saw a whole comedy show from Germany’s 2nd oldest TV channel, ZDF, devoted entirely to ridiculing the almost 40% of the population who are refusing the 4 current COVID vaccines.

“Take away our pride”

“From all that terror teaches, from lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches that comfort cruel men…”

In the next reply I will paste the whole hymn.

Free Thulcandra!

(*) one commentator has suggested that Chesterton may have originally intended “hearth and altar”

G.K. Chesterton 1906

O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord.

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee.

An eerily accurate picture of current events. However, the current political environment is not a safe place to be, so without comment I will simply second this prayer.