::R1914 : page 8::
STILL LET OUR HALLOWED ALTARS BURN
THE following lines were prepared by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes (now deceased) and read at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organization of the Young Men’s Christian Association, in Boston. They voice well our sentiments for the New Year 1896 for all of God’s children awakening from the errors of the “dark ages.” As errors are discovered and discarded, may the truths, old as well as new, become all the more precious to us all.
“Our Father, while our hearts unlearn
The creeds that wrong thy name,
Still let our hallowed altars burn
With faith’s undying flame.
“Not by the lightning gleams of wrath
Our souls thy face shall see,
The star of love must light the path
That leads to heaven and thee.
“Help us to read our Master’s will
Through every darkening stain
That clouds his sacred image still,
And see him once again,—
“The brother man, the pitying friend,
Who weeps for human woes,
Whose pleading words for pardon blend
With cries of raging foes.
“If ‘mid the gathering storms of doubt
Our hearts grow faint and cold,
The strength we cannot live without
Thy love will not withhold.
“Our prayers accept; our sins forgive;
Our youthful zeal renew;
Shape for us holier lives to live,
And nobler work to do.”
— January 1, 1896 —