May 23, 2005

63R Mysterious Presence, Source of All

Original Title: "Mysterious Presence, Source of All," Seth Curtis Brooks (1866), WAREHAM, L.M., William Knapp (1736); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), LUCIS CREATOR, L.M., Angers Church Melody. Seth Curtis Beach was an American Unitarian. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17 (KJV). Psalm 36:6, "Thy judgments are a great deep." Psalm 73:16, "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me." Psalm 77:19, "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." Romans 11:33, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unserachable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" "God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis 2:7 (NRSV); see also Genesis 1:30, 6:17, 7:15. "For with you is the fountain of life," Psalm 36:9, see also Psalm 68:26, Proverbs 5:18, 13:14, 14:17, 16:22, 18:4. "They have forsaken the fountain of the living water, the Lord," Jeremiah 17:13. Ezekiel 37:9, "Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy . . . and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." John 3:8 (KJV), "The wind bloweth where it listeth . . . so is everyone that is born of the spirit." Acts 2:2, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven of a rushing mighty wind." The hymn appears in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 92, to WAREHAM, using thee/thou. It does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

LUCIS CREATOR (L.M.)

1. Mys-ter-ious Pre-sence, Source of all;
The world with-out, the soul with-in,
Foun-tain of life, O hear our call,
and pour your liv-ing wat-ers in!

2. You breathe with-in the rush-ing wind;
Your Spir-it stirs in leaf and flower;
Nor will you from the will-ing mind
with-hold your light and love and power.


3. Your hand un-seen to ac-cents clear
a-woke the psal-mist’s tremb-ling lyre,
and touch-ed the lips of holy seer
with flame from your own al-tar fire.

4. That touch di-vine, ev-er im-part;
Still give the pro-phets' burn-ing word;
And, vo-cal in each wait-ing heart,
let liv-ing psalms of praise be heard.

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December 09, 2005

211R Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height

Original Title: "Not Long on Hermon's Holy Height," Theodore Claudius Pease (1891), ANGELUS, L.M., Cantica Spiritualia (1847), melody by Georg Joseph (1657); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Pease was a 19th Century American Congregationalist. Hermon is the name of a mountain, or chain of mountains, in northern Palestine, as in: "The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name," Psalm 89:12 (KJV). The location of the transfiguration in the New Testament is not explicit; see Matthew 17:1-6; Mark 9:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36; Origen (and other early Church scholars) believed that it occurred, in fact, on Mount Tabor (and close followers of Origen, an early Universalist, are welcome to substitute "Tabor" for "Hermon"). The hymn and the hymn tune do not appear in The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition.

ANGELUS (L.M.)

1. Not long on Her-mon's ho-ly height,
the heaven-ly vi-sion fills our sight,
we may not breathe that pur-er air,
nor build our tab-er-nac-les there.

2. If with the Teach-er we would go,
our feet must thread the vale be-low,
where dim the lone-ly path-ways wind,
the gold-en glo-ry left be-hind.


3. Where hung-ry souls ask to be fed,
where wand-er-ers cry to be led,
where help-less hearts in chains are bound,
the One Be-loved is ev-er found.


4. There, bend-ing pa-tient o'er a task,
no rai-ment white our eyes shall ask,
con-tent while through each cloud we trace,
the glo-ry of the Rab-bi's face.


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December 14, 2005

217R Not Only Where God's Free Wind Blows

Original Title: "Not Only Where God's Free Wind Blows," Shepherd Knapp (1908), LOBB GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN, 8.6.8.8.6., Nikolaus Hermann, harm. J.S. Bach; New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal, though the tune does appear to the broadly theistic hymn "Dear Weaver of Our Lives' Design," by Unitarian Universalist Nancy C. Dorian, as no. 22 in the former. Shepherd Knapp was an American Congregationalist. The lyrics seem to echo John 3:8, wherein Jesus is purported to have said that "the wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (NRSV)

LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN (8.6.8.8.6.)

1. Not on-ly where God's free winds blow
or in the si-lent wood,
but where the ci-ty's rest-less flow
is ne-ver still, God's love we know,
and find that pre-sence good.

2. Dear God, the sun whose light is sweet,
on hill and plain and sea,
does cheer the ci-ty's bu-sy street,
and they that pass with wea-ry feet
give thanks for light free-ly.

3. O boun-ties from the field and mine
come at the ci-ty's call;
the fire up-on the heart di-vine
and home, where lights of kind-ness shine,
the dear-est gift of all.

4. More near than out-ward gifts art thou,
Sove-reign of hu-man-kind,
yea, those who un-der bur-dens bow
of toil and care thou dost en-dow
with ri-ches of the mind.

5. But in the ci-ty's grief and shame
dost thou re-fuse a part?
Ah, no, for e're burns there a flame
of hu-man help in Christ's dear name;
There, most of all, thou art.

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