From the January/February, 2018 issue of Touchstone
literature A Pen for the Lord by S. M. Hutchens

Quodlibet

A Pen for the Lord

Reflecting on our thirtieth anniversary, it seemed to me that the theme of the Touchstone masthead is well-represented by G. K. Chesterton's hymn, "O God of Earth and Altar":

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.

A different and more universal nation than Chesterton's is in view here, but the spirit of the prayer, in all its submissive militancy, is the same as that of our founding. My prayer for this journal has always been that when it dies, as all such things must, it expires from wounds inflicted by God's enemies rather than acedia or the living death of apostasy.

—S. M. Hutchens


more on literature from the online archives

24.1—January/February 2011

Secular Grendel

Ruminations on the Monstrous Envy of the Soul-Devouring State by Anthony Esolen

30.2—March/April 2017

Rescuing Cervantes

on Reading Don Quixote in Its Original Christian Context by Luis Cortest

30.4—July/Aug 2017

Soul Comforter

on Emily Dickinson & the Source of Our Hope by Josh Mayo

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more from the online archives

22.8—November/December 2009

The Origin of Aesthetics

Looking for Beauty & Justice 150 Years After Darwin’s Classic by Charles Taliaferro

29.3—May/June 2016

Health of the Nation

A Deathbed Reflection on Catholic Social Teaching & Our Future Prospects by Karl D. Stephan

23.1—January/February 2010

The Audacity of the State

It’s Bent on Bringing Down the House on the Family & the Church by Douglas Farrow

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