Number: 283
Title: God Marked a Line and Told the Sea
Composer: Attr. Elkanah Kelsay Dare As in Pilsbury's United States Harmony, 1799
Author: Thomas H. Troeger, 1986
Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17 Genesis 2:4-9
Theme: God

1.  God marked a line and told the sea
    Its surging tides and waves were free
    To travel up the sloping strand
    But not to overtake the land.

2.  God set one limit in the glade
    Where tempting, fruited branches swayed,
    And that first limit stands behind
    The limits that the law defined.

3.  The line, the limit, and the law
    Are patterns meant to help us draw
    A bound between what life requires
    And all the things our heart desires.

4.  But, discontent with finite powers,
    We reach to take what is not ours
    And then defend our claim by force
    And swerve from life's intended course.

5.  We are not free when we're confined
    To every wish that sweeps the mind,
    But free when freely we accept
    The sacred bounds that must be kept.