April 10, 2005

33R The Spacious Firmament On High

Original Title: "The Spacious Firmament On High," Joseph Addison (1712), CREATION, L.M.D., Franz Joseph Haydn (1798); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Paraphrase of Psalm 19:1-6. Addison was English and Anglican. The version of CREATION here is in a different key from the version in Hymns of the Spirit Two. The hymn appears in a version remarkably akin to this in Singing the Living Tradition as no. 283; it does not appear in The New Century Hymnal.

CREATION (L.M.D.)

1. The spa-cious fir-ma-ment on high,
with all the blue e-the-real sky,
and spang-led heavens, a shin-ing frame
their great O-rig-i-nal pro-claim.
Th’un-wea-ried sun, from day to day,
does its Cre-a-tor's power dis-play,
and pub-li-shes to eve-ry land
the work of an al-might-y hand.

2. Soon as the eve-ning shades pre-vail
the moon takes up the won-drous tale,
and night-ly to the liste-ning earth
re-peats the sto-ry of its birth;
While all the stars that round it burn
and all the pla-nets in their turn,
con-firm the ti-dings as they roll,
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

3. What though in sol-emn si-lence all
move round the dim ter-res-trial ball?
What though no re-al voice nor sound
a-mid the ra-diant orbs be found?
In rea-son's ear they all re-joice,
and ut-ter forth a glo-rious voice,
for-ev-er sing-ing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is di-vine."


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April 11, 2005

34R Heaven and Earth and Sea and Air

Original Title: "Heaven and Earth and Sea and Air," Joachim Neander (1680), trans. James Drummond Burns, POSEN, 7.7.7.7., Georg Christoph Strattner (1691); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), GOTT SEI DANK, 7.7.7.7., Johann A. Freylinghausen (1704). Psalm 57:7-11, 108:1-5; see also Psalm 19. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but it does appear in a version translated by Madeleine Forrell Marshall (1993) as no. 566, in five stanzas, also to the tune GOTT SEI DANK, in The New Century Hymnal. For Joachim Neander, see the entry under no. 7R.

GOTT SEI DANK (7.7.7.7.)

1. Heaven and earth, and sea and air,
all their mak-er’s praise de-clare;
Wake, my soul, a-wake and sing:
Now thy grate-ful prais-es bring.

2. See the glo-rious orb of day
break-ing through the clouds a-way;
Moon and stars with sil-very light
sing praise through the si-lent night.

3. O God's love hath eve-ry-where
made this earth so rich and fair;
hill and vale and fruit-ful land,
all life bears a ho-ly hand.

4. God, great won-ders work-est thou!
To thy sway all crea-tures bow;
Write thou deep-ly in my heart
what I am, and what thou art.


a. Him-mel, Er-de, Luft und Meer
zeu-gen von des Schöp-fers Ehr;
mei-ne See-le, sin-ge du,
bring auch jetzt dein Lob her-zu.


b. Seht das gro-ße Sonn-en-licht,
wie es durch die Wol-ken bricht;
auch der Mond, der Ster-ne Pracht
jauch-zen Gott bei still-er Nacht.

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May 24, 2005

67R O Thou Whose Power Over Moving Worlds Presides

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Power Over Moving World Presides," Boethius (480-525), trans. Samuel Johnson (1750), OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10), Genevan Psalter (1551); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Boethius was a Roman statesman; his most famous work was The Consolations of Philosophy. He has been thought both a Christian and indeed a Christian martyr, yet his most famous work does not mention Christ or the Christian religion, and seems in the eyes of some to speak only the language of neo-Platonism (in a narrow sense, "a philosophical dialogue modelled on strictly pagan productions"). Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), also the name of the Unitarian hymnwriter from the 19th century (see no. 219R), here refers instead to the Englishman from a century before. Johnson was the subject of perhaps the earliest and best-known biography in English, written by John Boswell. A stanza of Boethius' original Latin has been added. "legem pone mihi Domine in via tua et dirige me in semita recta propter inimicos meos," Pslam 26:11 (Vulgate); "But as for me, I will go on in my upright ways: be my saviour, and have mercy on me," Psalm 26:11 (BBE); see also Proverbs 15:24, 12:28. "Dominus solus dux eius fuit et non erat cum eo deus alienus," Deuteronomy 32:12 (Vulgate); "So the Lord only was his guide, no other god was with him," Deuteronomy 32:12 (BBE); Exodus 13:21, 15:13, Acts 1:16. "[T]imor Domini principium," Proverbs 1:7a (Vulgate); "Start with God- the first step in learning is bowing down to God," Proverbs 1:7a (The Message); see also Proverbs 4:7, Proverbs 9:10. "[Christ] is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead," Colossians 1:18a (YLT); "[] qui est principium primogenitus ex mortuis," Colossians 1:18a (Vulgate). Romans 11:33 (KJV), "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" 1 Corinthians 2:7 (KJV), "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory," see also 1 Corinthians 1:24. Psalms 104:24 (KVJ), "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom, hast thou made them all," see also Psalm 136:5, Proverbs 3:19. Jeremiah 10:12 (KJV), "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion." Genesis 1:14, "And God said, let there be lights," see also Genesis 7:24. The hymn is not included in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10)

1. O Thou whose power o'er mov-ing worlds pre-sides,
whose voice cre-a-ted, and whose wis-dom guides,
On the dim earth in pure ef-ful-gence shine,
and cheer the cloud-ed mind with light di-vine,
and cheer the cloud-ed mind with light di-vine.

2. 'Tis thine a-lone to calm the re-verent breast,
with si-lent con-fi-dence and ho-ly rest;
from thee, great God! we spring, to thee we tend,
Path, Mo-tive, Guide, O-rig-i-nal, and End!
Path, Mo-tive, Guide, O-rig-i-nal, and End!

a. Tu nam-que se-re-num,
Tu re-qui-es tran-quil-la pi-is.
Te cer-ne-re fi-nis,
Prin-ci-pi-um, Vec-tor, Dux,
Se-mi-ta, Ter-mi-nus, I-dem.

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June 26, 2005

95R O God, the Watches of the Night (Are O'er)

Original Title: "Father, the Watches of the Night Are O'er," Words: from the Disciples' Hymn-Book (c. 1855), rev. REH (2005); Music: BATTLE (10.10.10.10.), Henry Lawes (1638); alternate, Music: SKARA (10.10.10.10), Frank Sewall (c. 1910). Psalm 63:6 (NRSV), "I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;" see also Psalm 74:16, Psalm 19:2, Psalm 55:17, Psalm 104:23. The hymn does not appear in either Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal.

BATTLE (10.10.10.10.)

1. O God, the watch-es of the night are o'er;
To light and life the soul has risen once more;
Praised be, So-phi-a, who through help-less hours,
does keep in deep-est peace her slum-bering powers.

2. Fath-er, the watch-es of the day are here;
More than from those of night have we to fear;
By rude cares troub-led, by temp-ta-tions pressed,
through the day watch-es, dear God, give us rest!

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