How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

A Catechism of Our Faith by the Rt. Rev. George Sumner


The Church-Floor

Mark you the floor? that square and speckled stone, Which looks so firm and strong, Is Patience: And th' other black and grave, wherewith each one Is checkered all along, Humilitiy: The gentle rising, which on either hand Leads to the Choir above, Is Confidence: But the sweet cement, which in one sure band Ties the whole frame, is Love And Charitiy. Hither sometimes Sin steals, and stains The marble's neat and curious veins: But all is cleansed when the marble weeps. Sometimes Death, puffing at the door, Blows all the dust about the floor: But while he thinks to spoil the room, he sweeps. Blessed be the Architect, whose art Could build so strong in a weak heart -- By George Herbert

The Windows

Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word? He is a brittle crazy glass; Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford This glorious and transcendent place, To be a window, through thy grace. But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story, Making thy life to shine within The holy preachers, then the light and glory More reverend grows, and more doth win; Which else shows waterish, bleak, and thin. Doctrine and life, colors and light, in one When they combine and mingle, bring A strong regard and awe; but speech alone Doth vanish like a flaring thing, And in the ear, not conscience, ring. -- By George Herbert