Letters - 12 February 2016

From 'What lies beyond' to ex-offenders and Meetings

‘What lies beyond’

Readers of an Anglican heritage will surely recognise the George Herbert poem, to which Roger Seal refers in his ‘Reflection’, (5 February) as being the hymn ‘Teach me, my God and King’. My 1950 copy of it has this as No 337.

Interestingly, the final verse of the hymn refers to ‘…the famous stone that turneth all to gold…’ which Roger also mentions.

Jan Lethbridge

I have always imagined that George Herbert’s poem, including the words ‘One who looks on glass, on glass may stay his eye, or if he pleases. Through it pass, and then the heaven espie’, that, some eighty-five years ago when I was an Anglican choirboy I sang as a hymn, was inspired by a passage from Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians: ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face.’ It is the passage that, in the King James translation of the Bible, begins: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’ It is Chapter 13 of Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians and stresses the overriding importance of charity/love/compassion in everything we do.

Advices & queries urges us to study the Bible (though not necessarily the King James version!) and what has been referred to as ‘the charity chapter’ of Paul’s epistle surely appeals particularly to Quakers.

Ernest Hall

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