March 16, 2005

16R Bearer of Being

Original Title: "Lord of All Being," Oliver Wendell Holmes (1859), TRANSYLVANIA, Hungarian chorale (16th Century); New Title: "Bearer of Being," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. The hymn appears in neither The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition. Holmes, a 19th century Unitarian from Massachusetts, taught at Har­vard, was a writer, father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and founder of Atlantic Magazine, where the lyrics of this hymn first appeared. "There before was a throne." Revelation 4:2; see also Psalm 103:19. Ephesians 4:25, 5:2, "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors . . . and live in love."

TRANSYLVANIA (L.M.)

1. Bear-er of be-ing, throned a-far,
Thy glo-ry flames from sun and star;
Cen-ter and soul of ev-ery sphere,
Yet to each lo-ving heart how near!

2. Sun of our life, thy quick-ening ray,
Sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, thy soft-ened light,
Cheers the long watch-es of the night.

3. Our mid-night is thy smile with-drawn;
Our noon-tide is thy gra-cious dawn;
Our rain-bow arch, thy mer-cy’s sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are thine.

4. Life of all life, be-low, a-bove,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Be-fore thy ev-er blaz-ing throne:
We ask no lus-ter of our own.

5. Grant us thy truth to make us free,
And kind-ling hearts that burn for thee,
Till all thy liv-ing al-tars claim
One ho-ly light, one heaven-ly flame. A-men.

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May 06, 2005

52R O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1891), STRACATHRO, C.M., alterantive tune, ST. AGNES (not shown), CHARLES HUTCHESON (1832); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2005), STRACATHRO, C.M. Frederick Lucian Hosmer was a Unitarian minister in the United States and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Romans 8:2 (NIV), "the Spirit of life set me free." "The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," Romans 8:16 (KJV). "The written code killeth, but the Spirit giveth life," 2 Corinthians 3:6 (RSV) "We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe," 1 Timothy 4:10. 1 Corinthians 13:13, "And now there doth remain faith, hope, love -- these three; and the greatest of these is love." Galatians 5:1, 5-6, "For freedom Christ has set us free . . . For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness . . . the only thing that counts is faith working through love." Ephesians 4:25, 5:2, "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors . . . and live in love." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal (though it should, on both counts).

STRACATHRO (C.M.)

1. O Thou whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we thy chil-dren are and heirs
of thine e-ter-ni-ty.


2. Here may this sim-ple faith sub-lime,
o’er-arch us like the sky;
Se-cure be-low the drift of time
its firm foun-da-tions lie.


3. Our thought o’er-flows each writ-ten scroll,
our creeds a-rise and fall;
The life of God with-in the soul
lives and out-lasts them all.


4. Here may that wit-ness clear-er grow,
each wait-ing heart with-in
the way of fil-ial du-ty show
and glad o-be-dience win.


5. Here be life’s sor-row sanc-ti-fied,
here truth its ra-diance pour;
While hope and faith and love a-bide
for-ev-er more and more! A-men.

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May 07, 2005

52S O You Whose Spirit Witness Bears

Original Title: "O Thou Whose Spirit Witness Bears," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1891), STRACATHRO, C.M., alterantive tune, ST. AGNES (not shown), CHARLES HUTCHESON (1832); New Title: "O You Whose Spirit Witness Bears," rev. REH (2005), NORWICH (OLD 137TH), C.M.D., Daye's Psalter (1563). Frederick Lucian Hosmer was a Unitarian minister in the United States and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Romans 8:2 (The Message), "The Spirit of life . . . like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from . . . brutal tyranny." "God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are," Romans 8:16. "The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit," 2 Corinthians 3:6. "We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers," 1 Timothy 4:10. 1 Corinthians 13:13, "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." Galatians 5:1, 5-6, "Christ has set us free to live a free life . . . We expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit . . . neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love." Ephesians 4:25, 5:2 (NRSV) "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors . . . and live in love." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition nor in The New Century Hymnal (though it should, on both counts).

NORWICH (OLD 137TH)(C.M.D.)

1. O You whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we your chil-dren are and heirs
of your e-ter-ni-ty.
Here may this sim-ple faith sub-lime,
shel-ter us like the sky;
Se-cure be-low the drift of time
its firm foun-da-tions lie.

2. Our thoughts flood out each writ-ten scroll,
our creeds a-rise and fall;
The life of God with-in the soul
lives and out-lasts them all.
Here may that wit-ness clear-er grow
each wait-ing heart with-in,
the way of ci-vic du-ty show
and faith-ful liv-ing win.

3. May life’s sor-rows be sanc-ti-fied,
may truth its ra-diance pour,
while hope and faith and love a-bide
for-ev-er more and more.
O You whose Spir-it wit-ness bears
with-in our spir-its free,
that we your chil-dren are and heirs
of your e-ter-ni-ty!

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May 24, 2005

66R Day By Day the Manna Fell

Original Title: "Day By Day the Manna Fell," Josiah Conder (1836), rev. REH (2005), NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND, 7.7.7.7., Enchiridion Oder Handbuchlein (1524), Bach. Mark 6:41, 50, "Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people . . . Immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid;'" compare lyrics "cast foreboding fears away." See also John 6:11; John 6:48, 51 "I am the bread of life." Numbers 11:5-6, "We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at;" compare Joshua 5:12. The New Century Hymnal and Singing the Living Tradition do not include the hymn.

NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND (7.7.7.7.)

1. Day by day the man-na fell;
O to learn this les-son well!
Still by cons-tant mer-cy fed,
Give me, God, my dai-ly bread.

2. "Day by day," the pro-mise reads,
dai-ly strength for dai-ly needs;
Cast fore-bod-ing fears a-way;
Take the man-na of to-day.

3. O my times are in thy hand;
All my san-guine hopes ex-pand.
On thy Wis-dom I re-cline,
and would make my pur-pose thine.

4. Thou my dai-ly task shalt give;
Day by day with thee I live;
So shall ad-ded years ful-fill,
still my own, and hea-ven’s will.

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June 01, 2005

71R "Where Is Your God?" They Say

Original Title: "'Where Is Your God?' They Say," James Martineau (1873), O GOTT, DU FROMMER GOTT, 6.7.6.7.6.6.6.6., Ahasuerus Fritsch, harm. J. S. Bach; New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. James Martineau was an English Unitarian of Huguenot descent, too often underappreciated in North America. Psalm 14:1-2, "Fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God' . . . The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God." 1 Kings 19:12, "A still, small voice." "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him," Job 23:8-9. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

O GOTT, DU FROMMER GOTT (6.7.6.7.6.6.6.6.)

1. "Where is your God?" they say:
An-swer them, O Most Ho-ly!
Re-veal your se-cret way
of vi-sit-ing the low-ly:
Not wrapped in mov-ing cloud,
or night-ly rest-ing fire;
But veiled with-in the shroud
of si-lent high de-sire.

2. Come not in flash-ing storm,
or burst-ing frown of thun-der:
Come in the view-less form
of waken-ing love and won-der;
In du-ty grown di-vine
the rest-less spir-it still;
in sor-rows taught to shine
as shad-ows of your will.


3. O God, the pure a-lone,
e'en in their deep con-fess-ing,
can see you as their own
and find a per-fect bless-ing.
Yet to each wait-ing soul
speak in your still small voice,
till brok-en love's made whole,
and sad-dened hearts re-joice.

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June 09, 2005

78R Who Fathoms the Eternal Thought

Original Title: "Who Fathoms the Eternal Thought," John Greenleaf Whittier; ST. BERNARD, C.M., Tochter Sion (1741). Psalm 46:10 (KJV), "Be still, and know that I am God;" Psalm 100:3, "Know ye that the Lord he is God;" see also Deuteronomy 4:35, 1 Kings 18:39, Ezekiel 34:30, Exodus 18:11. Isaiah 2:11, [T]he haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day;" see also 2 Corinthians 10:5. 1 Kings 19:12, "And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice;" 1 John 4:8-16 "God is Love." Psalm 78:41, "And still again they tried God, and set bounds to the Holy One of Israel;" see also Psalms 74:17, 148:6; Job 26:10, 38:10.

ST. BERNARD (C.M)

1. Who fath-oms the E-ter-nal Thought?
Which mor-tal hath all planned?
For God is God, who need-eth not
the schemes of hu-man hand.

2. I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
ye tread with bold-ness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
the love and power of God.

3. I know not what the fu-ture hath
of mar-vel or sur-prise,
as-sured a-lone that life and death
God's mer-cy un-der-lies.

4. I know not where God's is-lands lift
their frond-ed palms in air;
I on-ly know I can-not drift
be-yond such love and care.

5. And so be-side the si-lent sea
I wait the muf-fled oar;
no harm shall ev-er come to me
on o-cean or on shore.

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June 20, 2005

89R O God of Morning (and of Night)

Original Title: "Lord God of Morning and of Night," Francis Turner Palgrave (1860), MORNING HYMN, L.M., François Hippolyte Barthélémon (1785); New Title: "O God of Morning (and of Night)," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. Palgrave was an English Anglican. Psalm 130:6, "My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning."

MORNING HYMN (L.M.)

1. O God of morn-ing and of night,
we thank thee for thy gifts of light;
as in the dawn the sha-dows fly,
we seem to find thee now more nigh.


2. Fresh hopes have wak-ened in the heart,
fresh force to do our dai-ly part;
thy slum-ber gifts our strength re-store,
through-out the day to serve thee more.

3. Yet while thy will we would pur-sue,
oft what we would we can-not do;
the Sun may stand in ze-nith skies,
but on the soul thick mid-night lies.


4. O Light of lights, 'tis thou a-lone
canst make our sha-dowed hearts thine own;
though this new day with joy we see,
Great Dawn of God, we cry for thee.

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January 01, 2006

342R Turn Back

Original Title: "Turn Back, O Man, Forswear Thy Foolish Ways," Clifford Bax, OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10), Genevan Psalter (1551); New Title: "Turn Back," rev. REH (2008), same hymn tune. Ezekiel 18:32 (NRSV), "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live;" 2 Samuel 1:7-8, "Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad?" 2 Samuel 7:10, "And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more;" 2 Samuel 18:7-8, "The men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. The battle spread over the face of all the country;" 2 Samuel 23:3-4, "One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning." See also Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4. The hymn appears in Singing the Living tradition as hymn no. 120 also as "Turn Back;" it differs from the words here inasmuch as the SLT version assigns earth definitively to the "neutral" pronoun "it," rather than leaving earth's gender ambiguous as here. The words below likewise do not make use of the adjective "fair" in describing the earth, unlike in SLT and in the original version.

OLD 124TH (10.10.10.10)

1. Turn back, turn back, for-swear thy fool-ish ways;
Old now is earth, and none may count the days;
Yet thou, earth's child, whose head is crowned with flame;
Still wilt not hear thine in-ner God pro-claim,
"Turn back, turn back, for-swear thy fool-ish ways."

2. Earth might be free; all peo-ple glad and wise;
Age after age our tra-gic em-pires rise;
Built while we dream, and in that dream-ing weep:
Would we but wake from out our haunt-ed sleep;
Earth might be free; all peo-ple glad and wise.

3. Earth shall be free, and all earth's peo-ple one:
Nor till that hour shall God's whole will be done.
Now, even now, once more from earth to sky;
Peals forth in joy the old un-daunt-ed cry:
"Earth shall be free and all earth's folk be one!"

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January 04, 2006

447R O God, Unseen

Original Title: "O God, Unseen But Ever Near," Edward Olser, Samuel Longfellow (1864), GRÄFENBURG, C.M., Johann Crüger (1653); New Title: "O God, Unseen," alt. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Exodus:16:3-4,"'If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness' . . . Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I am going to rain bread from heaven for you.'" "The invisible God," Colossians 1:15. John 6:48, 51, "I am the bread of life." "I cannot perceive [God]," Job 23:8. The hymn does not appear in either The New Century Hymnal nor Singing the Living Tradition.

GRÄFENBURG (C.M.)

1. O God, un-seen but ev-er near,
our bless-ed rest are thou;
and we, in love that has no fear,
take re-fuge with thee now.

2. All soiled with dust our pil-grim feet
and wea-ry with the way;
we seek thy shel-ter from the heat
and burd-en of the day.

3. O wel-come in the wil-der-ness
the sha-dow of thy love;
the stream that springs our thirst to bless,
the man-na from a-bove!

4. A-while be-side the fount we stay
and eat this bread of thine,
then go re-joic-ing on our way,
re-newed with strength di-vine.

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July 14, 2006

610R My Soul Shall Bless the Soul of All

Title: "My Soul Shall Bless the Soul of All," William Cowper, Olney Hymns (London: 1779), TRURO, L.M., Thomas Williams, Psalmodia Evangelica, (1789); rev. REH (2006). Paraphrase of Pslam 34:1-8, which is a lectionary reading for All Saints A, Proper 14B/Ordinary 19B, and Proper 25B/Ordinary 30B.

TRURO (L.M.)

1. My soul shall bless the Soul of all,
my praise shall climb to God's a-bode;
O Ho-ly One, whose name I call,
the great Su-preme, the lov-ing God.

2. With-out be-gin-ning, or de-cline,
Ob-ject of faith, and not of sense;
e-ter-nal a-ges saw you shine,
and shine e-ter-nal a-ges hence.

3. Of all the crowns O God you bear,
for-give-ness is your dear-est claim;
that gra-cious sound well-pleased you hear,
who owns "God-with-us" as a name.


4. A cheer-ful con-fi-dence I feel,
my well-placed hopes with joy I see;
my bo-som glows with heaven-ly zeal
to wor-ship one who loves free-ly.

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August 03, 2006

618R Bendeciré a Jehová en todo tiempo

"Bendeciré a Jehová en todo tiempo," Salmo 34:1-4, del Himnario de la Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana y Reformada "Betel," en Lima, Perú (ieprp_betel@yahoo.com), 11.11.11.11. The first part of Psalm 34 is a lectionary reading for All Saints A, Proper 14B/Ordinary 19B and Proper 25B/Ordinary 30B.

1. Ben-de-ci-ré~a Je-ho-vá~en to-do tiem-po:
Su~a-la-ban-za de en bo-ca es-ta-rá
en Je-ho-vá se glor-iar-á mi al-ma;
Lo oi-rán los man-sos y se~a-le-gra-rán.

2. En-gran-de-ced a Je-ho-vá con-mi-go,
Y ex-al-te-mos a-un a su nom-bre.
Bus-qué a Je-ho-vá y Dios me~o-yó,
Y de to-dos mis tem-or-es me li-bró.

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