Sovereign Ruler of the skies,
Ever gracious, ever wise;
All my times are in thy hand,
All events at thy command.
His decree who formed the earth
Fixed my first and second birth;
Parents, native place, and time,
All appointed were by him.
He that formed me in the womb,
He shall guide me to the tomb:
All my times shall ever be
Ordered by his wise decree.
Times of sickness; times of health;
Times of poverty and wealth;
Times of trial and of grief;
Times of triumph and relief;
Times the tempter’s power to prove;
Times to taste the Savior’s love;
All must come, and last, and end,
As shall please my heavenly Friend.
Plagues and deaths around me fly
Till he bids, I cannot die;
Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit.
John Ryland (1753-1825)