1 EXCEPT the Lord conduct the plan,
The best concerted schemes are vain,
And never can succeed;
We spend our wretched strength for nought:
But if our works in thee be wrought,
They shall be blest indeed.
2 Lord, if thou didst thyself inspire
Our souls with this intense desire
Thy goodness to proclaim,
Thy glory if we now intend,
O let our deed begin and end
Complete in Jesu's name!
3 In Jesu's name, behold, we meet,
Far from an evil world retreat,
And all its frantic ways;
One only thing resolved to know,
And square our useful lives below
By reason and by grace.
4 Not in the tombs we pine to dwell,
Not in the dark monastic cell,
By vows and grates confined;
Freely to all ourselves we give,
Constrained by Jesu's love to live
The servants of mankind.
5 Now, Jesus, now thy love impart,
To govern each devoted heart,
And fit us for thy will:
Deep founded in the truth of grace,
Build up thy rising church, and place
The city on the hill.
O let our lives to all around
With purest lustre shine!
That all around our works may see,
And give the glory, Lord, to thee,
The heavenly light divine.