March 09, 2005

9R Our God, Our God, Thou Shinest Here

Original Title: "Our God, Our God, Thou Shinest Here," Thomas Hornblower Gil (1846), CORONATION, 8.6.8.6.8.6., Oliver Holden (1793); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), MORNING SONG, 8.6.8.6.8.6., at­trib­ut­ed to Elkan­ah K. Dare (1782-1826), arranged by C. W. Douglas. Thomas Hornblower Gil was a lay English Unitarian hymn writer, who later joined the Congregational Church. He wrote nearly 200 hymns, and had definitive ideas about what a hymn should be: "Hymns are not meant to be theological statements, expositions of doctrine, or enunciations of precepts; they are utterances of the soul in its manifold moods of hope and fear, joy and sorrow, love, wonder, and aspiration. ... Hymns are meant and made to be sung. The best and most glorious hymns cannot be more exactly defined than as divine love songs." The lyrics here seem to speak of the Gospel of John: "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world." John 1:9. "[John] came as a witness to testify to the light." John 1:7a. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

MORNING SONG (8.6.8.6.8.6.)

1. Our God, our God, thou shin-est here,
thine own this lat-ter day.
To us thy ra-diant steps ap-pear,
here goes thy glo-rious way!
To us thy ra-diant steps ap-pear,
here goes thy glo-rious way!

2. We shine not on-ly with the light
thou shed-dest down of yore.
On us thou stream-est strong and bright,
thy com-ings are not o'er.
On us thou stream-est strong and bright,
thy com-ings are not o'er.

3. All op-en to our souls shall be
thy glo-ry's hi-ding-place.
Our mo-thers had not all of thee,
new births are in thy grace;
Our fa-thers had not all of thee,
new births are in thy grace.

4. Thou come-est here, thou stand-est by,
our work be-gins to shine.
Thou dwell-est with us migh-ti-ly,
on comes the years di-vine!
Thou dwell-est with us migh-ti-ly,
on comes the years di-vine!

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June 11, 2005

80R Immortal Love, Forever Full

Lyrics: John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), rev. REH (2005); Music: DUNDEE (C.M.), Scottish Psalter (1615). Psalm 89:1 (NRSV), "I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord;" see also Psalm 89:28. Genesis 1:2a, "[A] wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Isaiah 35:6, "[W]aters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;" see also Isaiah 41:17-18, Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13, Ezekiel 47:1-12. John 4:14, "The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life;" see also Revelation 21:6. 2 Corinthians 3:6b, "[T]he letter kills, but the Spirit gives life;" John 1:9, "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world."

DUNDEE (C.M.)

1. Im-mort-al Love, for-ev-er full,
for-ev-er flow-ing free,
for-ev-er shared, for-ev-er whole,
a nev-er ebb-ing sea!

2. Blow, winds of God, a-wake and blow
the mists of earth a-way:
Shine out, O Light di-vine, and show
thy wide and vast ar-ray.


3. O God and Sove-reign of us all,
what-e'er our name or sign,
we own thy sway, we hear thy call,
we test our lives by thine.

4. The let-ter fails, the sys-tems fall,
and ev-ery sym-bol wanes;
The Spir-it o-ver-brood-ing all,
E-ter-nal Love re-mains.

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June 12, 2005

81R Thou Life Within My Life

Original Title: "Thou Life Within My Life," Eliza Scudder (1871), ELLERS, 10.10.10.10., Edward John Hopkins (1868); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), FARLEY CASTLE, 10.10.10.10., Henry Lawes (c. 1637-38).

FARLEY CASTLE (10.10.10.10)

1. Thou Life with-in my life, than self more near,
Thou veil-ed Pres-ence in-fi-nite-ly clear,
From all il-lu-sive shows of sense I flee,
I find my cen-ter and my rest in thee.


2. Be-low all depths thy sav-ing mer-cy lies,
Through thick-est glooms I see thy light a-rise;
A-bove the high-est heavens thou art not found,
More sure-ly than with-in this earth-ly round.

3. Face earn-est-ly in life the doubts that rise,
And seek to know all e'en in dis-tant skies;
Face earn-est-ly in life the self that dares;
As-sume the bur-den of thy sins and cares.

4. How shall I call thee who art al-ways here?
How shall I praise thee who art still most dear?
What may I give thee save what thou hast given?
And whom but thee have I in earth or heaven?

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"Whom have I in heaven but thee?," Psalm 73:25 (KJV); "No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day," John 1:18 (The Message).

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Original lyrics from verse three as they appear in Hymns of the Spirit Two:

3. Take part with me against these doubts that rise,
And seek to throne thee far in dis-tant skies;
Take part with me against this self that dares;
As-sume the bur-den of these sins and cares.


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January 01, 2006

327R All Blessings Are Scattered

Original Title: "The Lord, In His Righteousness," Katharine Huntington Annin (1923), NETHERLANDS FOLKSONG, Irregular, Traditional Melody; New Title: "All Blessings Are Scattered," rev. REH (2006), DOWN AMPNEY, 6.6.11.6.6.11., Ralph Vaughn Williams (1906). Annin was an American Congregationalist. The revised version switches the position of stanzas one and two; thus the wholly dissimiliar names. "And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The Lord is our righteousness,'" Jeremiah 23:6. Luke 4:14-18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free;" see also Isaiah 61:1. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

DOWN AMPNEY (6.6.11.6.6.11.)

1. All bles-sings are scat-tered like rains from high~est heav-ens;
like dews on the fields when the grass is new mown;
peace is de-scend-ing, a~bun-dant, nev-er en-ding;
pris-oners and op-pressed are count-ed as God's own.

2. Sove-reign of right-eous-ness judg-eth all with~all jus-tice,
the moun-tains and hills by God's reign are se-cure;
peo-ples of all~na-tions through-out ge-ne-ra-tions
shall sing praise as long as the Sun shall en-dure.

3. From sea to sea shall be Love's true do-min-ion spread,
from the ends of the Earth to where riv-ers run;
the isles of deep~o-ceans shall of-fer de-vo-tions,
Ru-lers shall bow down, and all lands pray as one.

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January 07, 2006

556R There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

Original Title: "Souls of Men! Why Will Ye Scatter," Frederick William Faber (1854), WESTON, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., John E. Roe; New Title: "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy," rev. REH (2007), ST. MABYN, 8.7.8.7. D, Arthur Henry Brown (1889). "Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you," Luke 13:4-5a (NRSV). "His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation,” Luke 1:50. Zechariah 13:17 (ESV), "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered." Isaiah 60:20 (KJV), "Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." Luke 15:4-5, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing." Psalm 119:96 (ESV), "I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad." 1John 5:3 (NRSV), "For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome;" see also Romans 7:12. The hymn appears as no. 213 with three stanzas (from stanza one below, and the first half of stanza three) to the tune CHARLESTON, 8.7.8.7., in Singing the Living Tradition. It also appears as no. 23 in The New Century Hymnal to the tune IN BABILONE, 8.7.8.7.D, with two stanzas, with HOLY MANNA as an alternate.

ST. MABYN (8.7.8.7. D)

1. There's a wide-ness in God's mer-cy,
like the wide-ness of the sea;
there's a kind-ness in true jus-tice,
which is more than lib-er-ty.
For the love di-vine is broad-er
than the mea-sure of our mind;
and the heart of the E-ter-nal
is most won-der-ful-ly kind.

2. Souls on earth, why do you scat-ter
like a crowd of count-ing sheep?
Lone-some hearts, why do you wan-der
from a love so true and deep?
Do you know a kind-er shep-herd
half as gen-tle, half as sweet,
as the Sove-reign who would have us
turn to heav-en's mer-cy seat?

3. O we make love's law too nar-row
by false li-mits of our own;
and we mag-ni-fy God's strict-ness
with a zeal not heav-en's own.
If our lives were but more sim-ple,
we should live them in God's love;
then our lives would all be sun-shine
with a sweet-ness from a-bove.

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