May 10, 2005

55R Spirit of Life, Attend Our Prayer

Original Title: "Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayer," Andrew Reed (1829), adapted by Samuel Longfellow, first tune, PRESERVATION, C.M., Johann Georg Christian Stoerl, second tune, ARLINGTON, C.M., Thomas Augustine Arne (1762); New Title: "Spirit of Life, Attend Our Prayer," rev. REH (2006), WINDSOR, C.M., Damon's Psalmes (1591). "Prophesy unto the Spirit, prophesy, son of man, and thou hast said unto the Spirit: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: From the four winds come in, O Spirit, and breathe on these slain, and they do live," Ezekiel 37:9 (YLT); see also Isaiah 34:16. Psalm 143:10, "Thy Spirit [is] good, Lead me into a land of uprightness," see also Psalm 51:11, Psalm 139:7, John 16:13. Acts 2:3 (KJV), "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," see also Isaiah 6:6-7, Hebrews 1:7, I Chronicles 21:26, Psalm 39:3. Romans 8:2 (KJV), "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Proverbs 1:20-23 (NRSV), "Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice . . .'I will pour out my thoughts to you,'" see also Proverbs 8:1, Proverbs 9:1,6, Proverbs 22:11-12. Ephesians 6:18 (KJV), "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal includes the hymn.

WINDSOR (C.M.)

1. Spir-it of Life, at-tend our prayer,
and make our hearts your home;
de-scend with all your gra-cious power;
O come, great Spir-it, come!


2. Come as the light! to us re-veal
The truth we long to know;
And lead us in the path of life
Where all the vir-tuous go.

3. Come as the fire! and cleanse our hearts,
with sanc-ti-fy-ing flame,
till our whole souls de-vo-tion make
in love's re-deem-ing name.

4. Come as the dew, and sweet-ly bless
this con-sec-rat-ed hour;
till eve-ry bar-ren place shall own
with joy your quicken-ing power.


5. Come as the wind, O breath of God!
O Wis-dom-bear-ing grace!
Come, make your great sal-va-tion known,
wide as the hu-man race.

6. Spir-it Di-vine, at-tend our prayer;
Make a lost world thy home;
Des-cend with all thy gra-cious powers,
O come, great Spir-it, come.

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May 12, 2005

56R O Love Divine

Original Title: "O Love Divine, Whose Constant Beam," adapted from John Greenleaf Whittier, first tune, PUER NOBIS NASCITUR, L.M., Michael Praetorius (1609), alternative tune, ROCKINGHAM, L.M., second tune, RIVAULX, John Bacchus Dykes (1866); New Title: "O Love Divine," rev. REH (2006), MONTE CASSINO, L.M., Italian Hymn Melody. " I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream," Numbers 12:6, see also Job 33:15, Genesis 20:3-7. Genesis 28:12, "And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Jeremiah 23:25, "I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed." "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," Acts 2:3, see also Acts 2:7-11, Acts 10:44-46, 1 Corinthians 12:10, Mark 16:17. John 1:32, " I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove," see also Matthew 3:16, Song of Solomon 2:14, 5:2, 12. "God planted a garden eastward in Eden," Genesis 2:8 see also Genesis 2:15. Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." "Do good to them that hate you . . . for [God] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust," Matthew 5:44-45. Neither Singing the Living Tradition nor The New Century Hymnal includes the hymn.

MONTE CASSINO (L.M.)

1. O Love Di-vine, whose con-stant stream
yet flows when we can-not per-ceive,
and waits to bless all, while we dream;
O stay though we may turn from thee!

2. All souls oft strug-gle and as-pire,
all hearts through thee rest still and deep;
And, dim or clear, thy tongues of fire,
on dusty lands and cen-tu-ries sleep.

3. And eve-ry-where the Spir-it moves
with all, as un-der Ed-en's trees,
in gard-ens of the heart, faith proves,
speak-ing in ma-ny, var-ied tongues.

4. Nor bounds, nor clime, nor creed thou know'st,
wide as our need thy fa-vors fall;
The white wings of the Ho-ly One
stoop, un-seen, o'er the heads of all.

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May 19, 2005

60R O You Whose Presence Glows In All

Original Title: "O God, Whose Presence Glows in All," Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham (1828), O SALUTARIS HOSTIA, L.M., Abbè Duguet (1767), alternative tune, WAREHAM, L.M., William Knapp (1738); New Title: "O You Whose Presence Glows in All," rev. REH (2005), O SALUTARIS HOSTIA, L.M. Forthingham (1793-1870), was an American Unitarian and minister at First Church in Boston. The hymn appears in neither The New Century Hymnal nor in Singing the Living Tradition. "May your love and your truth always protect me," Psalm 40:10-11 (NIV), see also Psalm 26:3, 52:3. "Speaking the truth in love," Ephesians 4:15 (Webster's Bible), see also Colossians 1:5. 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NRSV), "[Love] does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth," see also 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:18, 2 John 1:3. "In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them," Isaiah 63:9.

O SALUTARIS HOSTIA (L.M.)

1. O You whose pre-sence glows in all,
with-in, a-round us, and a-bove,
your words we bless; your names we call,
your words are Truth; your names spell Love.

2. The truth be with the heart be-lieved,
of all who seek this sa-cred place,
with power pro-claimed, in peace re-ceived,
our spir-its light, your spir-it's grace.

3. May Love its ho-ly in-fluence pour
to keep us hum-ble; make us true;
and free us with its bless-ings more
round each with all, and all with You.

4. Send down Love's an-gel to our side,
send in Love's calm up-on the breast;
For we would know no oth-er guide;
We have no need of oth-er rest.

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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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January 04, 2006

431R All Souls, O God, Are Thine

Original Title: "All Souls, O Lord, Are Thine," Epes Sargent (1813-1880), LANGRAN, 10.10.10.10., James Langran (1863); New Title, "All Souls, O God, Are Thine," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Sargent was a Universalist minister in the United States. "[Christ] has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth," Ephesians 1:9-10. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man," Hebrews 2:9. "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," 1 John 2:2. "The Savior of all, especially those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10. "God [is] All in All," 1 Corinthians 15:28. The hymn does not appear in The New Century Hymnal nor (astonishingly) in Singing the Living Tradition.

LANGRAN (10.10.10.10.)

1. All souls, O God, are thine, as-sur-ance blest!
Thine, not our own to rob of help di-vine;
not ours to doom by an-y hu-man test,
but thine, O gra-cious God, and on-ly thine.

2. Thine, by thy va-rious dis-ci-plines, to lead
to heights where heaven-ly truths im-mort-al shine,
truths none e-ter-nal-ly shall fail to heed;
for all, O God, are thine, for-ev-er thine.

3. For-give the thought, that ev-er-last-ing ill
to a-ny can be part of thy de-sign;
fi-nite, im-per-fect, er-ring, guil-ty-- still
all souls, great God, are thine-- and mer-cy thine. A-men.

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January 05, 2006

546R Faith of the Martyrs, Living Still

Original Title: "Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still," adapted from Frederick William Faber (1849), ST. CATHERINE, 8.8.8.8.8.8., Henri Frederick Hemi (1865); New Title: "Faith of the Martyrs," rev. REH (2006), same hyme tune. Though the son of an Anglican cleric, Faber was a Roman Catholic priest. The hymn speaks of the persecution of Catholics in Britain; the original spoke of "Mary's prayers" that would set Britain free. Its position in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937) is of note; as no. 546, it is the first hymn in the section marked "SUPPLEMENT." Many of these hymns were reckoned to be tunes of lesser quality, popular with the more rural Universalists. Oddly, however, "Faith of Our Fathers" does not appear in the prior hymnal published by the Universalists, Hymns of the Church (Boston: 1917) (though Reginald Heber's "Forth From the Dark and Stormy Sky" appears therein to ST. CATHERINE, a tune which does not appear anywhere other than at no. 546 in Hymns of the Spirit Two). It may be that its Catholic pedigree (Universalists were generally less anti-Catholic than Unitarians and other Protestants of the day) and the theme of persecution made the hymn appropriate for the "Universalist" section. In New England, the Unitarians were originally part of the "Standing Order" of (state-supported) Puritan/Congregational churches until in some cases the middle part of the 19th century; such standing did not apply to the (relatively speaking, persecuted) Universalists. The lyrics echo Hebrews 11:1-2 (NRSV), "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval." They also obliquely refer to the story in Mark regarding John the Baptist, "she rushed back to the king and requested, 'I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter,' . . . Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter," Mark 6:25-28. One too is reminded of Job in the Hebrew Bible, "But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold," Job 23:10. "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: . . . Gird up your loins . . . I will question you, and you shall declare to me," Job 38:1-3. "Then Job answered the Lord: 'I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted,'" Job 42:1-2. The hymn's lyrical change to "Faith of Our Mothers" is more than fanciful political correction; while the Congregational Church claims the first woman ordained to Christain ministry in the United States, the Universalists claim the first woman approved to the ministry at the denominational level, in the person of Olympia Brown. In the Midwest, female preaching "circuit riders" (including the celebrated Iowa Sisterhood) famously spread the liberating gospel of the faith. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear as "Faith of the Martyrs, Living Still," as no. 381, in The New Century Hymnal.

ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. Faith of the mar-tyrs, liv-ing still,
in spite of dun-geon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
when-e'er we hear that glo-rious word!
Faith of the mar-tyrs, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

2. Faith of our fa-thers, we will strive
to dwell with all souls peace-ful-ly;
and through the truth that comes from God,
we all shall then be tru-ly free.
Faith of our fa-thers, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

3. Our for-bears chained in pri-son dim
were still in heart and con-science free;
and blessed would be our own lives' fate
if we, like them, should live for thee.
Faith of our for-bears, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

4. Faith of our mo-thers, we will love
both friend and foe in all our strife;
and preach thee, too, as love knows how
by kind-ly words and vir-tuous life.
Faith of our mo-thers, ho-ly faith!
We will be true through life and death.

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