Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (31), January 30, 1986

Quoting a Psalm from the Bible

Having read John Rankin’s letters in the Gloucester Daily Times, and the many replies, I would like to quote the following verses from Psalm 139 from the applied translation of the Holy Bible.

Psalm 139 verses 11-17: “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, and the night shall be the only light about me. Even the darkness hides nothing from you, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to you.

“For you did form my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

“I will confess and praise you, for you are fearfully wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought (as if embroidered with various colors in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]).

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in your book all the days of my life were written, before ever they took shape when as yet there were none of them.

“How precious and weighty also are your thoughts to me, O God!”

This psalm is one of my favorites. Whenever I read it I marvel anew at the wonder of human birth. To me it is saying in these verses that a baby is not only known to God at conception, but also before that soul is clothed with substance.

Arvilla G. Wass, 4 Millbrook Park, Rockport

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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.