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

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

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