General (Vol. 2)

War and Peace

Part i.

  1. Your power poured out in boundless love
    Beyond the wit of man,
    Eternal presence in our world
    And Before it began:
    Exert a focus in the Grace
    The Spirit now imparts
    To form a knot of power and love
    Within our worried hearts.
  2. We may be led through rash response
    To damage and to kill,
    Too keen on provocation
    To renounce an act of will:
    We may forget Your living pain
    Turning the other cheek,
    Thinking it only hastens war
    By making us seem weak.
  3. Let us remember in this hour
    The depth of sacrifice
    Paid by men other than ourselves,
    Corpses of our advice:
    May we be sure the price we ask
    Is worthy of the prize,
    Knowing we would be glad to pay
    The price that we advise.
  4. Let us recall the misery
    Arising from excess,
    Not thinking war and strategy
    Are variants of chess:
    But if we see Your will in war,
    Though such time must be rare,
    Whether we win or lose the fight
    We know You will be there.

Part ii.


  1. Power of love and power of will
    Are the gifts that haunt us still:
    Gifts that trap and gifts that tower,
    That swamp forever in the hour.
    Gifts that of themselves combine
    Human traits and the divine
    Making us both blessed and cursed
    In what cannot be reversed.
  2. Had our fate at Adam's hand
    In his quest to understand
    Been confined to innocence
    Or benign indifference
    We could not humbly aspire
    To conflate suffering with desire
    But this alloy is the price
    Of Our Saviour's sacrifice.
  3. Those who do not know The Lord
    In His flesh and in The Word
    Strive for contract and content,
    Art, good deeds and government
    But we are not circumscribed
    By that which can be described
    But seek and, knowing, know the loss
    For failing to redeem the Cross.

Part iii.

  1. As Samson cried
    The dark air clarified
    The Lord's will
    That to be justified
    His power would still abide
    With Israel.
  2. That blinded pride
    In crude strength horrified
    Those who looked on;
    In one great stride
    He pushed pillars aside,
    Left blood and bone.
  3. My Saviour died,
    Tortured and crucified
    That I might know
    The power inside
    Is old strength ratified
    With new love's glow.


Part iv.

  1. The Ark too abstract, threatening to rebel
    You granted Kings to fractious Israel
    But in His manly summons to the meek,
    Jesus bade us to turn the other cheek:
    The Old resort in struggle with the New
    Call us in prayer to reconcile the two.
  2. Though we might put our weapons at Your feet
    Laid open to destruction in defeat,
    Can this be proxy for our neighbours' will
    Who do not wish to suffer earthly ill:
    In risking our own children's health and breath
    Can we condemn our neighbour's child to death?
  3. Better it is to suffer than to sin
    By giving way, though never giving in,
    The easy moral is a harsh constraint
    Which calls on everyone to be a saint:
    Though Abram humbly offered his own son
    He took no other that God's will be done.
  4. Yet if the passive risk presages fall,
    Pre-emptive action risks the lives of all
    Except confronted by clear, imminent harm,
    Aggression promised, failure to disarm:
    Where dangers of the counter are intense,
    Imagination seeks cause for offence.
  5. The earthly power You gave for human plea
    Sits oddly with Your Son's loving decree:
    But, evil being integral to our lives,
    We must aim to curtail it where it thrives,
    Our last resort, unworthy of Your Son
    Yet, though imperfect, still it must be done.

Part v.


  1. They stiffly bow
    Each proud to plant a wreath,
    Thinking of heroes
    Not the child wraith,
    With conscience clear in outcome and belief:
    One man's conscience is another's death.
  2. This soldier, brave
    But voluntary corpse,
    One of a hundred
    From a factory lapse,
    Most were bewildered exiles in a copse:
    One man's triumph is a town's eclipse.
  3. Justice extorts
    Where mercy might succeed,
    Heroes and victims
    Badged not understood,
    One Victor's history turns mess into good;
    Losers are barely read.

Part vi.


  1. We see the fallen not those yet to fall,
    Towers and troopers more alive on screen
    Than domes and maidens on the bunker wall
    Whose fate is crossed, anonymous and clean.
  2. Too late we wring our hands and Holy Writ,
    Having wished evil's labyrinths away
    We lift our prayer portmanteau and get out of it
    Leaving those we sent along the way.
  3. Evil and war are the world's worst kept secret
    Where peace and subtlety brim with surprises:
    Trapped in a culture of backwards regret,
    We miss the future the present devises.

Part vii.


  1. Eternal peace
    Deeper than all we know,
    Too bright for Space
    Yet we perceive its glow:
    Were there account for every human tear
    And every woe in every woeful year
    All would be cancelled in the instant calm
    Of heaven's sweet commandment to disarm.
  2. Eternal peace
    Beyond all we enjoy,
    Slaves of caprice
    To conquer and destroy:
    Were there repose for every human heart
    With all the solace nature could impart
    It would not rank beside the soul's content
    In sacred comradeship and government.
  3. Eternal peace
    Past all our will to love,
    Accorded place
    By what we strive to prove:
    Were we to love in body and in mind
    With all the grace The Spirit has refined
    It would be pale as water in plain glass
    As rich will be the love that will surpass.
  4. Eternal peace
    Before the scheme of time,
    Sharp as the blunt device
    Of single prime:
    Though we be factious in our cramped dissent
    Usurping Your eternal government
    No fortress built by human can withstand
    The gentle armaments at Your command.
  5. Eternal peace
    From exercise of will,
    No stretch to race, no promise to fulfil:
    Though we have loved You in the Spirit's glow
    And striven to the nearest we can know
    Our souls yearn for the time that strife will cease
    And bring us to our last, eternal peace.