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December 05, 2005

207R When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)

Original Title: "When the Lord of Love Was Here," Stopford Augustus Brooke (1881), MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.), Robert L. Sanders (1932); New Title: "When Love's Sovereign Sojourned (Here)," rev. REH (2005), Same hymn tune. Neither hymn nor tune appears in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal. Brooke was a 19th Century Irish writer and churchman, first ordained in the Church of England, but later he officiated as a Unitarian minister at Bedford chapel, Bloomsbury. The hymn recollects the words of Jesus that we are to "love God," and "love our neighbors" (even our enemies) as ourselves, and that all the law and prophets rest on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27. Also echoed in the hymn is 1 John 4:19-21, which records that Jesus "loved us" before we loved him. The "parables of God" of which Brooke speaks are found through out the gospels, but above all in Mark, chapter 4:1-20, in a series of stories regarding seeds, birds, soil, and the transforming and self-producing power of the earth. "The outcasts" thronging to the Healer bring to mind the story of the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30, who, comparing herself with a "dog," argues with Jesus that he heal her daughter as even "dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs;" Jesus agrees. The UUA's Skinner House advises that it considers MISERICORDE to be in the public domain.

MISERICORDE (7.7.5.7.7.5.)

1. When Love's Sove-reign so-journed here,
hap-py hearts grew ev-er near,
though one heart was sad;
Worn and lone-some for our sake,
yet still turned a-side to make
all the wea-ry glad.

2. One who walked the fields, and drew
from the flowers and birds and dew
pa-ra-bles of God;
For with-in that heart of love
all the souls on earth did move,
God had an a-bode.

3. All the out-casts thronged to hear,
all the sor-row-ful drew near
to the Hea-ler's care;
deep and ear-thy were the ways
from which lov-ing grew to praise,
and from giv-ing, prayer.

4. O, be ours that power to keep
in the ver-y heart of grief,
and in tri-al, love;
In our weak-ness to be wise,
and through sor-rows to a-rise
to our God a-bove. A-men.

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Posted by rehurst at December 5, 2005 02:48 AM

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