The Means of Grace are in My Hand

Here is a beautiful hymn, penned by the 18th century minister John Berridge. Charles Spurgeon wrote of him in his book Eccentric Preachers; the chapter may be found here. Berridge writes his hymn well aware of the great responsibilities attending the Christian Ministry (for it is the Christian Minister who is the ‘Steward of the mysteries of God’ (1 Corinthians 4:1)), acknowledging that only the Lord is able to give eternal blessing to the preaching of the word and administration of the sacraments. This is a God-centered view of the Gospel Ministry indeed!

The means of grace are in my hand
The blessing is at God’s command
Who must the work fulfill;
And though I read, and watch and pray,
Yet here the Lord directs my way
And worketh all things still.

I cannot speak a proper word,
Nor think aright, but from the Lord
Preparing heart and tongue;
In Nature I can see no good,
But all my good proceeds from God,
And does to grace belong.

I see it now, and do confess
My utter need of Jesus’ grace,
And of His Spirit’s light;
I beg his kind and daily care;
O Lord, my heart and tongue prepare
To think and speak aright.

Prepare my heart to love thee well,
And love Thy truth which doth excel,
And love thy children dear;
Instruct me how to live by faith,
And feel the virtue of Thy death,
And find Thy presence near.

Prepare my tongue to pray and praise,
To speak of providential ways,
And heavenly truth unfold;
To strengthen well a feeble soul,
Correct the Wanton, rouse the dull,
And silence sinners bold.