March 15, 2005

15R O God to Whom in Ancient Time

Original Title: "O Thou to Whom in Ancient Time," John Pierpont (1824), LUTON, L.M., George Burder (1760); New Title: "O God to Whom in Ancient Time," rev. REH (2005), ST. BARTHOLOMEW, L.M., Ed­ward H. Thorne, Se­lect­ion of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1858). A Unitarian, Pierpont wrote this hymn for the dedication of the 1824 dedication of the In­de­pend­ent Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Bar­ton Square, Sa­lem, Mass­a­chu­setts. "[W]orship the Father in spirit and in truth," John 4:23. "Praise Him with the Lute and Harp," Psalm 150:3b. Genesis 26:15-18, Isaac re-digs Abraham's wells. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW (L.M.)

1. O God to whom, in an-cient time,
the lyre of He-brews' bards was strung,
whom roy-als praised in song sub-lime,
and pro-phets praised with glow-ing tongue.

2. Not now in Zi-on's height a-lone
the fa-vored wor-ship-er may dwell,
nor where, at sul-try noon, thine own
sat wea-ry by the el-ders' well.


3. From eve-ry place be-low the skies,
the grate-ful song, the fer-vent prayer,
the in-cense of the heart, may rise
to heaven, and find ac-cep-tance there.

4. O God to whom, in an-cient time,
the lyre of pro-phet bards was strung,
to whom at last in ev-ery clime,
shall tem-ples rise and praise be sung!

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April 27, 2005

47R Come Thou Almighty Will!

Original Title: "Come Thou Almighty Will," Hymns of the Spirit One (1864), ITALIAN HYMN, 6.6.4.6.6.4., adapted from Felice Giardini (1769); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Hymns of the Spirit One (1864) was edited by Samuel Longfellow. The hymn recites numerous names and titles for the spirit of God; "Almighty Will," echoing the spirit that blowest "where it listeth," John 3:8 (KJV); "Calm of faith's confidence," recalling the title "Comforter" from John 4:16 and John 15:26; "most Tender Love," suggesting the "Love of God" in 1 John 4:9 and the equivalence of "God is Love" from 1 John 14:16; see also Romans 5:5, "Light serene," remembering too that "God is light," 1 John 1:5; Psalm 27:1. "Quickener," as quicken is now in most translations "revive," suggests the "giver of life" from the historic creeds, or the "spirit of life," Romans 8:2 (NRSV); Revelations 11:11 (KJV) and the "breath of the almighty," Job 33:4. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal.

ITALIAN HYMN (6.6.4.6.6.6.4.)

1. Come, thou Al-might-y Will!
Our faint-ing bos-soms fill
with thy great power:
Strength of our good in-tents,
our tempt-ed hour's de-fense,
calm of faith's con-fi-dence,
come, in this hour!

2. Come, thou most ten-der Love!
With-in our spir-its move,
their sweet-est guest:
Ex-alt each low de-sire,
trans-form-ing pas-sion's fire,
to deeds of love in-spire,
Quicken-er and Rest!

3. Come, Light ser-ene and still!
Our gloom-y spir-its fill
with thy clear day:
Guide of the fee-ble sight,
Star of grief's low-est night,
re-veal the path of right,
show us thy way! A-men.


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May 04, 2005

51R O Love Divine, of All That Is

Original Title: "O Love Divine, of All That Is," arranged from John White Chadwick (1865), BANGOR, C.M., William Tans'ur's Compleat Melody (1734); New Title: Same hymn title, no change in lyrics here, same hymn tune. Chadwick was a 19th Century American Unitarian minister, who was graduated from Harvard Divinity in 1864, and ordained at Second Unitarian in Brooklyn; he wrote for both the AUA publication The Christian Register and Harper's. Psalm 139:2, 4, 23, "Thou . . . understandest my thought afar off . . .For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo . . . thou knowest it altogether . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth [God's] love toward us." "Keep on asking . . . Keep on looking . . . Keep on knocking," Matthew 7:7-8; see also Mark 11:24. The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition, and is not included in The New Century Hymnal.

BANGOR (C.M.)

1. O Love Di-vine, of all that is,
the sweet-ness still and best,
ea-ger I come and rest my heart
up-on thy faith-ful breast.

2. I pray thee turn me not a-way,
for sin-ful though I be,
thou know-est eve-ry-thing I need,
and all my need of thee.


3. I do not pray be-cause I would,
I pray be-cause I must:
There is no mean-ing in my prayer
but thank-ful-ness and trust.


4. And thou wilt hear the thought I mean
and not the words I say;
Wilt hear the thanks a-mong the words
that on-ly seem to pray.

5. Thou dost not wait un-til I urge
my way-ward steps to thee;
But in the dark-ness of my life
art com-ing still to me.


6. And while it hea-vy sighed, my heart
has sung it-self to rest,
O Love Di-vine, for-ev-er near,
up-on thy faith-ful breast. A-men.

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May 05, 2005

51S O Love Divine, of All That Is

Original Title: "O Love Divine, of All That Is," arranged from John White Chadwick (1865), BANGOR, C.M., William Tans'ur's Compleat Melody (1734); New Title: "O Love Divine, of All That Is," rev. REH (2005), ELLACOMBE, C.M.D., Gesangbuch der Herzogl, Wirtermbergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle (1784). Chadwick was a 19th Century American Unitarian minister, who was graduated from Harvard Divinity in 1864, and ordained at Second Unitarian in Brooklyn; he wrote for both the AUA publication The Christian Register and Harper's. Psalm 139:2, 4 (The Message), "God, . . . I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking . . . You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence." Romans 5:8, "God put [God's own] love on the line for us." "Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need," Matthew 7:7; see also Mark 11:24. The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition, and is not included in The New Century Hymnal.

ELLACOMBE (C.M.D.)

1. O Love Di-vine, of all that is,
the sweet-ness still and best,
ea-ger I come and rest my heart
up-on your faith-ful breast.
I pray you turn me not a-way,
what-e'er my va-ni-ty,
you know well eve-ry-thing I need;
My needs to you I plea.

2. I do not pray be-cause I wish,
I pray be-cause I must:
There is no mean-ing in my prayer
but thank-ful-ness and trust.
And you will hear the thought I mean
and not the words I say;
You hear the thanks a-mong the words
that on-ly seem to pray.

3. You do not wait un-til I move
my way-ward steps toward you;
And through the sor-rows of my life
you still my soul pur-sue.
And while it hea-vy sighed, my heart
has sung it-self to rest,
O Love Di-vine, for-ev-er near,
up-on your faith-ful breast.

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May 14, 2005

57R Spirit of Truth, You Who Make Bright

Original Title: "Spirit of Truth, Who Makest Bright," Thomas Hornblower Gil (1819-1906), WARRINGTON, L.M., Ralph Harrison (1784); New Title: "Spirit of Truth, You Who Make Bright," Thomas Hornblower Gill, rev. REH (2005), VON HIMMEL HOCH, L.M., Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig (1539). For biographical information about Gil, see no. 9R. "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth," John 16:13 (New Living Translation), see also John 15:26, 1 John 4:6. " For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you," Romans 8:2, see also Romans 8:13, 15:13, 15:19, 1 Samuel 10:16, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 2 Corinthians 6:6, Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 1:12. "The spirit of life from God entered them, and they stood up," Revelation 11:11, see also Revelation 22:17. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," John 4:24. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

VON HIMMEL HOCH (L.M.)

1. Spir-it of Truth, you who make bright
all souls that long for heaven-ly light,
ap-pear, and on our sad days shine;
Des-cend, and be our Guide Di-vine.

2. Spir-it of Power, whose strength does dwell
full in the souls that love you well,
un-to these beat-ing hearts draw near,
and be our dai-ly Quick-en-er

3. Spir-it of Life, who makes all glad
each brok-en heart by sin made sad,
pour on these mourn-ing souls your cheer;
Grant your bless-ings, O Com-for-ter!


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May 27, 2005

68R Holy Spirit, Love Divine

Original Title: "Holy Spirit, Light Divine," Andrew Reed (1788-1862) & Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), LYNE, 7.7.7.7., Magadalen Chapel Hymns (c. 1760); New Title: "Holy Spirit, Love Divine," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Samuel Longfellow was a Unitarian poet, and editor of Hymns of the Spirit One; Andrew Reed was an English Congregationalist. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but in another form it does appear in The New Century Hymnal under the name "Holy Spirit, Truth Divine," to the tune MERCY, without the revisions by Reed. John 4:24, "God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth." Psalm 51:2, "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin"

LYNE (7.7.7.7.)

1. Ho-ly Spir-it, Love Di-vine,
glow with-in this heart of mine;
Kind-le eve-ry high de-sire;
cleanse my soul in your pure fire.

2. Ho-ly Spir-it, Light Di-vine,
shine up-on this heart of mine;
As the night soon fades a-way,
turn my thoughts toward your new day.


3. Ho-ly Spir-it, Peace Di-vine,
still this rest-less heart of mine;
Speak to calm the toss-ing sea,
stayed in your tran-quil-i-ty.


4. Ho-ly Spir-it, Power Di-vine,
lift this guil-ty heart of mine;
May the mark be missed no more,
though each soul has failed be-fore.

5. Ho-ly Spir-it, Joy Di-vine,
cheer this sad-dened heart of mine;
Bid my troub-led thoughts be still,
with your peace my spir-it fill.

6. Ho-ly Spir-it, All Di-vine,
dwell with-in this heart of mine;
Cast down eve-ry i-dol high,
reign su-preme, a-bide e'er nigh. A-men


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June 08, 2005

77R One Thought I Have

"One Thought I Have, My Ample Creed," Frederick L. Hosmer, Chicago Unity Hymns and Carols (1880), ST. BERNARD, C.M. No changes here from the lyrics in Hymns of the Spirit Two. Psalm 94:19 (KJV), “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul;” Psalm 43:3, "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me;" see also Psalms 63:5-6, 77:2; Jeremiah 20:12. Romans 5:4 (NRSV), "[E]ndurance produces character, and character produces hope;" 1 Peter 1:7, "[T]he genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

ST. BERNARD (C.M.)

1. One thought I have, my am-ple creed,
so deep it is and broad,
and e-qual to my ev-ery need—
it is the thought of God.

2. Each morn un-folds some fresh sur-prise,
I feast at life’s full board;
and ris-ing in my in-ner skies
shines forth the thought of God.

3. At night my glad-ness is my prayer;
I drop my dai-ly load,
and eve-ry care is pillow-ed there
up-on the thought of God.

4. I ask not far be-fore to see,
but take in trust my road;
Life, death, and im-mort-al-i-ty
are in my thought of God.

5. To this their se-cret strength they owed
the mar-tyr's path who trod;
The foun-tains of their pa-tience flowed
from out their thought of God.

6. Be still the light up-on my way,
my pil-grim staff and rod,
my rest by night, my strength by day
O bless-ed thought of God.

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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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December 03, 2005

205R Jesus, the Very Thought of You

Original Title: "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee," Bernard of Clairvaux (12th Century), trans. Edward Caswall (1858), WINDSOR, C.M., Damon's Psalmes (1591); New Title: "Jesus, the Very Thought of You," rev. REH (2005), FIRST MODE MELODY, C.M.D., Thomas Tallis (1505-1585). Bernard in his time was seen as the embodiment of its ideal: that of medieval monasticism at its highest development; he is considered both a saint in the Roman and Anglican churches (he is the patron of bees, beekeepers, candles and wax). The original Latin title is "Jesu, Dulcis Memoria." Caswall was an English Anglican priest, who converted to Roman Catholicism. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition, but the hymn does appear under the name "Jesus-The Very Thought to Me," to the tune ST. AGNES in The New Century Hymnal. The lyrics speak of of the Pauline epistles, who tell us to find the joy of God through Jesus. 1 Peter 1:8, Philemon 2:1-11, Romans 5:11, Philippians 2:9-11. Ephesians 3:19, "to know the love of Christ . . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God," compare with the lyrics "Jesus ... with sweetness fills the breast."

FIRST MODE MELODY (C.M.D.)

1. Je-sus, the ve-ry thought of you
with sweet-ness fills the breast;
But sweet-er far your face to view,
and in your pre-sence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
nor can the mem-ory find
a sweet-er sound than your blest name,
bear-er of hu-man-kind!

2. When once you do vi-sit the heart,
then truth be-gins to shine,
then earth-ly van-i-ties de-part,
then kind-les love di-vine.
O Je-sus, light of all be-low,
and fount of liv-ing fire,
sur-pass-ing all the joys we know,
and all we can de-sire.

3. O Je-sus, you beau-ty im-part
of an-gel worlds a-bove;
Your name is mu-sic to the heart,
in-flam-ing it with love.
Je-sus, the ve-ry thought of you
with sweet-ness fills the breast;
But sweet-er far your face to view,
and in your pre-sence rest.

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