April 19, 2005

41R O God, Your Wonders

Original Title: "Father, Thy Wonders Do Not Singly Stand," Jones Very (1839, 1846), OLD FIRST, 10.10.10.10., later form of melody in Genevan Psalter (1542); New Title: "O God, Your Wonders (Do Not Singly Stand)," rev. REH (2007), TOULON, 10.10.10.10., abridged from Genevan Psalter (1551). The hymn is based on two poems, both called "The Spirit-Land," one written in 1839 and which begins "Father, thy wonders do not singly stand; the second, written in 1846 of the same title, begins "Open our eyes . . ." Very was a Unitarian minister, and Transcendentalist poet, contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who is said to have "gone mad" at an early age. "Spirit land" seems to be an invocation (albeit infrequent) of heaven even in conventional Christian hymns. For example, Samuel Greg's 1854 hymn, "Stay, Master, Upon This Heavenly Hill," entreats Jesus to "let us linger a little longer . . . and catch a glimpse into spirit land." Very seems, by contrast, to place this spirit land not somewhere distant or obscure, but rather somewhere "richly . . . displayed," in an "enchanted land" that lies ever around us. God gave us inspiration and intuition; Very seems to tell us we should not waste these precious gifts that are "at hand;" that is, available to us. Such is the language Jesus used too in speaking of the Kingdom of God, in images so often misunderstood by his followers. Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15. "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?,” Mark 10:17. "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11 (NRSV). The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

TOULON (10.10.10.10.)

1. O God! your won-ders do not sing-ly stand,
nor far re-moved where feet have sel-dom strayed;
A-round us ev-er lies th'en-chant-ed land;
Rich mar-vels to your child-ren thus dis-played.

2. In find-ing you are all things round us found;
In los-ing you are all things lost be-side;
Ears have we but in vain strange voic-es sound,
and to our eyes the vi-sion is de-nied.


3. O-pen our eyes that we that world may see,
o-pen our ears that we your voice may hear,
and in the spir-it-land may ev-er be,
and feel your pre-sence with us al-ways near.

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December 14, 2005

219R All My Hope On God Is Founded

Originally set to MEINE HOFFNUNG in Hymns of the Spirit Two at no. 219 under the name "All My Hope on God is Founded;" under the same name it appears as no. 408 in The New Century Hymnal to the tune MICHAEL. The hymn echoes Pslam 62; to some extent 71 and others. "Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord," Jeremiah 17:7 (NRSV)

ALBERT (8.7.8.7.7.7.)

1. All my hope on God is found-ed
who does still my trust re-new,
I through change and chance am guid-ed,
on-ly good and on-ly true.
Deep un-known, who a-lone,
calls my heart to be God's own.

2. Our pride and our earth-ly glo-ry,
sword and crown be-tray-ing trust;
what with care and toil we've built up,
tower and tem-ple fall to dust.
But God's power, hour by hour,
is my tem-ple and my tower.

3. God's great good-ness e'er en-dur-ing;
Holy wis-dom pass-ing thought:
Splen-dor, light and life at-tend-ing,
beau-ty that springs out of naught.
Ev-er-more from God's store
new-born worlds rise and a-dore.


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All materials may be reproduced for non-profit local and congregational use. We request notification of use, in addition to notification of any changes made when materials are used so we might benefit from the insight of others. Any materials used or reproduced in any way must bear the notation "(c) 2005 Richard E. Hurst, for non-profit local and congregational use only, all other rights reserved."

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