Ye little flock whom Jesus feeds,
Dismiss your anxious cares;
Look to the Shepherd of your souls,
And smile away your fears.
Though wolves and lions prowl around,
His staff is your defense:
Midst sands and rocks, your Shepherd's voice
Calls streams and pastures thence.
Your Father will a kingdom give,
And give it with delight;
His feeblest child his love shall call
To triumph in his sight.
(Ten thousand praises, Lord, we bring
For sure supports like these:
And o'er the pious dead we sing
Thy living promises.
For all we hope, and they enjoy,
We bless the Saviour's name:
Nor shall that stroke disturb the song
Which breaks this mortal frame.)
What can be more blessed than to be sustained and kept from falling by the staff and strength of the Most High?.....Notwithstanding, while we are here in this life, he feeds us with the sweet pastures of the wholesome herbs of his holy word, until we come to eternal life; and when we put off these bodies, and come into heaven, and know the blessed fruition and riches of his kingdom, then shall we not only be his sheep, but also the guests of his everlasting banquet; which, Lord, thou settest before all them that love thee in this world, and dost so anoint and make glad our minds with thine Holy Spirit, that no adversities nor troubles can make us sorry.....the Lord turned his soul, and led him into the pleasant pastures, where virtue and justice reigned, for his name’s sake, and not for any righteousness of his own; so saith he now, that being brought into the pastures of truth, and into the favour of the Almighty, and accounted and taken for one of his sheep, it is only God that keeps and maintains him, in the same state, condition, and grace. For he could not pass through the troubles and shadow of death..... but only by the assistance of God, and, therefore, he saith, he passes through all peril because he was with him.
John Hooper (martyr), 1495-1555