The Beshara Lecture 2016

Love Beyond Belief
Opening the eye of the heart in the mirror of religious truth


By Alan Williams
University of Manchester
Given at Chisholme House, June 19, 2016 at the end of his one-week residential seminar:
The Text as Teacher: Rumi's Masnavi

I would like to dedicate this lecture to Rokus de Groot, who worked so hard with me to make this course a success here at the Chisholme Institute, and to thank him I would like to play one of my most favourite songs.
Early, O Lord, my fainting soul (1680) by Henry Purcell, words by John Patrick, paraphrase of Psalm 63, for two trebles, tenor and bass.

Early, O Lord, my fainting soul
Thy mercy does implore
No traveller in distant lands
Can thirst for water more.
I long to appear as I was wont,
within thy holy place,
Thy pow’r and glory to behold,
And to partake thy grace.
For life itself, without thy love,
No relish can afford;
No other joys can equal this,
To serve and praise the Lord.
I therefore make my pray’rs to thee,
And bless thee whilst I live;
This, like the choicest dainties,
will Both food and pleasure give.
When others sleep, my wakeful thoughts
Present thee to my mind;
And in the night I think how good
My God has been, and kind.
Since thou alone hast been my help,
To thee alone I fly;
And on thy watchful providence
With cheerfulness rely.
Dangers, whilst thou art near to me,
Do threaten me in vain;
When I keep close to God his care
And pow’r will me sustain.

Listen to a recording here