1 MASTER supreme, I look to thee
For grace and wisdom from above;
Vested with thy authority,
Endue me with thy patient love;
2 That, taught according to thy will
To rule my family aright,
I may the appointed charge fulfil,
With all my heart, and all my might.
3 Inferiors as a sacred trust
I from the sovereign Lord receive,
That what is suitable and just
Impartial I to all may give:
4 O'erlook them with a guardian eye;
From vice and wickedness restrain;
Mistakes and lesser faults pass by,
And govern with a looser rein.
5 The servant faithfully discreet,
Gentle to him, and good, and mild,
Him would I tenderly entreat,
And scarce distinguish from a child.
6 Yet let me not my place forsake,
The occasion of his stumbling prove,
The servant to my bosom take,
Or mar him by familiar love.
7 Order if some invert, confound,
Their Lord's authority betray,
I hearken to the gospel sound,
And trace the providential way.
8 As far from abjectness as pride,
With condescending dignity,
Jesus, I make thy word my guide,
And keep the post assigned by thee.
9 O could I emulate the zeal
Thou dost to thy poor servants hear!
The troubles, griefs, and burdens feel
Of souls entrusted to my care:
10 In daily prayer to God commend
The souls whom Jesus died to save;
And think how soon my sway may end,
And all be equal in the grave!