Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things.
His own right hand and his holy arm have won for him the victory.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness towards the house of Israel,
and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; break into singing and make music.
Make music to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn sound praises before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, the world and all that dwell upon it.
Let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills ring out together before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.
O praise God in his holiness;
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet;
praise him upon the harp and lyre.
Praise him with timbrel and dances;
praise him upon the strings and pipe.
Praise him with ringing cymbals;
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Thus says the Lord:
Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is my resting-place?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine,
Thus says the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
to the humble and contrite in spirit,
who trembles at my word.
Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;
whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever presents a grain-offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;
whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways, and in their abominations they take delight;
I also will choose to mock them, and bring upon them what they fear;
because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my sight, and chose what did not please me.
Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word:
Your own people who hate you and reject you for my name’s sake have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified, so that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.
Listen, an uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the Lord, dealing retribution to his enemies!
Before she was in labour she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.
Who has heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?
Yet as soon as Zion was in labour she delivered her children.
Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord;
shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God.
Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her -
that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom.
The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us for ever:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.
Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
The children of your elect sister send you their greetings.
who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.