"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23)
TUNE: Nothing in particular in mind. Any suggestions?
O holy Love, who gave Yourself for all
To win us from our selfishness and pride:
Feed us Your body, broken yet made whole,
That as one body, one accepted bride,
We may tear down the love of self, that wall
That each from each, and from You, would divide;
So live in us that Your love may control
Our life in You, and You be glorified.
O other-worldly Joy, that will not wane
Despite life's woe, death's fear, the world's despite:
Give us to drink Your blood, that vintage fine,
Which cannot fail to give the heart delight.
Thus, in dry hours of sorrow, guilt and pain,
We may rejoice with You to fight the fight,
Till this cup passes and we taste the wine
Reserved for the inheritance of light.
O Prince of Peace, who swore with Your last breath
That our strife with God's wrath was at an end;
Then, raised up three days later, did bequeath
Sin-loosing power on those whom You would send:
Give pardoning peace, sealed by Your righteous death;
Peace to the heart which pangs of shame still rend;
Peace, lest one at another set his teeth;
Peace that alone all broken bonds can mend.
O long-forbearing Patience, by whose love
Earth's watery unmaking was held back,
Till by his word and water You might save
Both Noah and his kin from sin's attack:
Now we, reborn by water from above,
Appeal for cleansing of a conscience black:
Forbear with us, whom to Yourself You lave;
Help us bear all, nor mourn for any lack.
O Kindness, who sends sun and rain alike
On good and evil, asking no return:
We sinners beg You, for Your kindness' sake,
Do not withhold the grace we cannot earn.
Lest we, wherever want or woe may strike,
Neglect to show unprejudiced concern,
Let Your feast, kindly laid, our kindness wake
Till we not sacrifice but mercy learn.
O Goodness, purest Light, of all things best,
Whom our world's dark pollution could not hold
While, rather, You brought glory to our flesh:
Remember not our evil deeds of old,
Nor let our faults divide us from the blest.
Make good Your word to us; no good withhold
Till, steeped in Your good Spirit, made afresh,
We bring forth goodly fruit, a hundredfold.
O Faithfulness incarnate, hold us fast
Through life's swift changes and our fiery trial;
As we face nothing that You have not faced,
You know best how to ease the coming while.
Console us with Your Word until the last,
And fix our eyes on You through every mile
Till, by Your nail-marked hands both led and braced,
We follow you by faith, and scorn denial.
O Gentleness of God, both meek and strong,
Who humbly bore the Servant's form, and who
Restrained Your pow'r till on a cross You hung:
Implant us with the mind that was in You.
As You serve us in preaching, rite, and song,
Fit us to serve all men, and as we do,
To trust Your promises, to which they clung
Who will, with us, inherit all things new.
O Self-Control, who governs all things well,
You govern best Yourself, as when you kept
Your silence in the dreaded judgment hall,
Content to die where others had misstepped:
Forgive us when we restlessly rebel;
Uphold us in our weakness; and accept
Our souls and bodies, yes, our very all,
Till all awake who in Your strength have slept.
UPDATE: I eventually wrote the following tune for this hymn, titled FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.