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May 15, 2005

58R O Not In Far-Off Realms of Space

Original Title: "Go Not, My Soul, In Search of Him," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1879), first tune, OLD 137TH, C.M.D., One and fiftie Psalms of David (1556), second tune, STRACATHRO, C.M, Charles Hutcheson (1832); New Title: "O Not In Far-Off Realms of Space," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1879), alt. REH (2006), OLD 137TH, C.M.D. Hosmer, born 1840, was an American Unitarian minister, and graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Hosmer's "Go Not My Soul in Search of Him," as it is called in Hymns of the Spirit Two, does not seem to be casually matched with OLD 137TH, but instead seems to take Psalm 137 as a point of radical departure. While the psalm asks how the songs of Zion might be sung in the land of Babylon, in the land of the tormentors, Hosmer to the contrary responds "Soul with soul hath kin." While the original psalm speaks of the throne of Jerusalem as the only throne, Hosmer in dialogue seems again to suggest the contrary, instructing us that the throne of God is not anywhere else but in each soul. When the psalmist tell us that if Zion fades, the psalmist's own strength will fade, Hosmer teaches that the "inward sign" will herald the entire earth shining with "Deity." Rather than looking to Jerusalem, he would have us "repair" to the Jerusalem of the soul. See also Psalm 42:2 (NRSV) "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" and ""Be still, and know that I am God!," Psalm 46:10. 'Thou hast visited the earth, thou hast watered it; thou greatly enrichest it," Psalm 65:9 (Darby). "All the earth is full of his glory," Isaiah 6:3 (KJV). "But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret," Matthew 6:6 (NRSV). Isaiah 40:22 (KJV), "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." Isaiah 54:2, "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

OLD 137TH (C.M.D.)

1. O not in far-off realms of space
the Spir-it has a throne;
But in each heart finds a true place,
yet wait-ing to be known.
Search not, my soul, a-far in vain:
you will not find God there;
Nor in the depths of sha-dows wane,
nor in the heights of air.

2. Thought ans-wer-ing a-lone to thought,
as Soul with soul has kin;
The out-ward God one rec-kons not
who finds not God with-in.
And if the vi-sion comes rich-ly
re-vealed by in-ward sign,
Earth will be full of De-i-ty
and with full glo-ry shine!

3. You shall not want for com-pa-ny,
nor pitch a tent a-lone;
Th'in-dwell-ing God will go free-ly,
and show you of Life's own.
Search not for God a-far in space,
but to your-self re-pair;
Wait then with-in that si-lent grace,
and you shall find Love there!

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Posted by rehurst at May 15, 2005 10:18 PM

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