…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Breathes a Pure and Holy Feeling

By Eric Chaffey


All Through the Night

Peace Attend Thee

I’ve been thinking a lot about a favorite song that has been a part of my family tradition for at least three generations. It is a lullaby from Wales called Ar Hyd y Nos. It’s probably known more by it’s English title All Through the Night. My mother’s father sang it to her. Evidently in her family her father was the one to most frequently sing the lullabies and hymns to his children. My mother passed on to me a love of this particular lullaby. One of my earliest memories is of her singing this to me. I can remember a number of years later coming across a copy of the LDS primary songbook entitled The Children Sing and being thrilled to find this favorite song in there. Still many years later I wrote an organ prelude on this beloved song.

As I was thinking about this song, I was reminded of several scriptural passages that speak of comfort. In the 66th chapter of Isaiah, the Lord says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13) David speaks of the Lord’s rod and staff being a comfort (Psalm 23). The Savior promises his beloved disciples that the Father would send them another comforter (John 14:16,26).  In the book of Revelation, John speaks of God wiping away all tears (Revelation 7:17).

When the various aspects of the world seem like they are about to overwhelm us, it is that love and comfort which sustains us and lifts us higher toward Heaven. In addition to the angels and saints of long ago, he sends beloved friends to comfort us in time of need. It seems even the night sky can be a great source of comfort. Through others, and through nature the Lord indeed sends us comfort and strength in times of need. And he is always there keeping watch over his children. What a great source of comfort that is that he is always there. As I’ve been thinking about it by his very nature as our beloved Father God in a way sings to us much as my mother did when I was a child:

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels, God will send thee,
All through the night.
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber steeping.
I my loving vigil keeping,
All through the night.

While the moon her watch is keeping,
All through the night.
While the weary world is sleeping,
All through the night.
O’er thy spirit gently stealing,
Visions of delight revealing.
Breathes a pure and holy feeling,
All through the night.

All Through the Night

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2 Responses to “Breathes a Pure and Holy Feeling”

  1. Rex Goode said:

    Eric, I love this hymn! I had no lullabies as a baby, but from the first time I heard this hymn, its melody has haunted me. It is so beautiful and its message too, even more so now that you’ve said such inspiring things about it.

  2. Eric said:

    Thanks Rex, I appreciate the feedback.

    Love ya,


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