Saturday, May 11, 2019

[providence] ordered and sure, wisdom unerring [and true], love unbounded [and eternal]

"Teach us, O God, to trust your providence, ordered and sure; to accept your wisdom, unerring and true; and to rejoice in your love, unbounded and eternal; through Christ our Lord. Amen."

     Charles Simeon, supposedly (hat tip Kendall Harmon).  But though I have not yet completed an exhaustive search, I suspect that this prayer was rather constructed by someone else on the basis of these words, pronounced from his sick bed on 22 October 1836 (Simeon lived until 13 November):
What is before me I know not; whether I shall live or die.  But this I know, that all things are ordered and sure.  Everything is ordered with unerring wisdom and unbounded love.  He shall perfect everything; though at present I know not what He is about to do with me.  But about this I am not in the least degree anxious.
Memoirs of the life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, M.A., . . . with a selection from his writings and correspondence, ed. William Carus (London:  Hatchard and Son; Cambridge:  Deightons, and Macmillan & Co., 1847), 808, underscoring mine.  Please let me know if I've overlooked the prayer in Simeon himself, as I think it lovely.  But I see that Lesser feasts and fasts 2000 (and probably also, therefore, Holy women, holy men: celebrating the saints (2010)), hews more closely to the text I've discovered (more evidence of its fame, unknown to me before undertaking this research):
O loving God, we know that all things are ordered by your unerring wisdom and unbounded love:  Grant us in all things to see your hand, that, following the example of your servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve you with a quiet and contented mind; through. . . .
By contrast, the Church of England's Common worship (under Lesser festivals) makes no use of it:
Eternal God, who raised up Charles Simeon to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and inspire your people in service and mission:  grant that we with all your Church may worship the Saviour, turn in sorrow from our sins and walk in the way of holiness; through. . . .
     Here, by the way, is an unrelated mid-19th-century occurrence of "wisdom unerring and true" (apparently missing in Simeon himself):  "Mysteries," The Ladies' magazine and album 11 (November 1848):  113 (112-113).

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