A Little Flock

Representative Text

1 A little flock! So calls He thee,
Who bought thee with His blood;
A little flock, disowned of men,
But owned and loved of God.

2 A little flock! So calls He thee;
Church of the first-born, hear!
Be not ashamed to own the name;
It is no name of fear.

3 A little flock! Yes, even so;
A handful among men,
Such is the purpose of thy God;
So willeth He, Amen!

4 Not many rich or noble called,
Not many great or wise;
They whom God makes His kings and priests,
Are poor in human eyes.

5 Church of the everlasting God,
The Father’s gracious choice,
Amid the voices of this earth,
How feeble is thy voice!

6 Thy words amid the words of earth,
How noiseless and how low!
Amid the hurrying crowds of time,
Thy steps how calm and slow!

7 But ’mid the wrinkled brows of earth,
Thy brow how free from care;
’Mid the flushed cheeks of riot here,
Thy cheek how pale and fair!

8 Amid the restless eyes of earth,
How steadfast is thine eye,
Fixed on the silent loveliness
Of the far eastern sky.

9 A little flock! ’Tis well, ’tis well;
Such be her lot and name;
Thro’ ages past it has been so,
And now ’tis still the same.

10 But the chief Shepherd comes at length;
Her feeble days are o’er,
No more a handful in the earth,
A little flock no more.

11 No more a lily among thorns;
Weary, and faint, and few,
But countless as the stars of heaven,
Or as the early dew.

12 Then entering the eternal halls,
In robes of victory,
That mighty multitude shall keep
The joyous jubilee.

13 Unfading palms they bear aloft,
Unfaltering songs they sing;
Unending festival they keep,
In presence of the King.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #11252

Author: Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: A little flock, so calls He thee
Title: A Little Flock
Author: Horatius Bonar
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


A little flock! So calls He thee. H. Bonar. [Church of Christ.] A poem, in 13 stanzas of 4 lines on the Church as "The Little Flock." It appeared in the 1st series of his Hymns of Faith and Hope, 1857; and later editions. In Kennedy, 1863, No. 1404, it is re-arranged in three parts: (1) "Church of the everlasting God"; (2) “A little flock! So calls He thee"; (3) "A little flock! 'Tis well, 'tis well." In the American Manual of Praise, 1880, there is a cento beginning with the first stanza, and in the College and other hymn-books a second, as "Church of the Everliving God."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


DUNDEE (Ravenscroft)

DUNDEE first appeared in the 1615 edition of the Scottish Psalter published in Edinburgh by Andro Hart. Called a "French" tune (thus it also goes by the name of FRENCH), DUNDEE was one of that hymnal's twelve "common tunes"; that is, it was not associated with a specific psalm. In the Psalter Hymnal…

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The Cyber Hymnal #11252
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The Cyber Hymnal #11252

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