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 15, 2005

58R O Not In Far-Off Realms of Space

Original Title: "Go Not, My Soul, In Search of Him," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1879), first tune, OLD 137TH, C.M.D., One and fiftie Psalms of David (1556), second tune, STRACATHRO, C.M, Charles Hutcheson (1832); New Title: "O Not In Far-Off Realms of Space," Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1879), alt. REH (2006), OLD 137TH, C.M.D. Hosmer, born 1840, was an American Unitarian minister, and graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Hosmer's "Go Not My Soul in Search of Him," as it is called in Hymns of the Spirit Two, does not seem to be casually matched with OLD 137TH, but instead seems to take Psalm 137 as a point of radical departure. While the psalm asks how the songs of Zion might be sung in the land of Babylon, in the land of the tormentors, Hosmer to the contrary responds "Soul with soul hath kin." While the original psalm speaks of the throne of Jerusalem as the only throne, Hosmer in dialogue seems again to suggest the contrary, instructing us that the throne of God is not anywhere else but in each soul. When the psalmist tell us that if Zion fades, the psalmist's own strength will fade, Hosmer teaches that the "inward sign" will herald the entire earth shining with "Deity." Rather than looking to Jerusalem, he would have us "repair" to the Jerusalem of the soul. See also Psalm 42:2 (NRSV) "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" and ""Be still, and know that I am God!," Psalm 46:10. 'Thou hast visited the earth, thou hast watered it; thou greatly enrichest it," Psalm 65:9 (Darby). "All the earth is full of his glory," Isaiah 6:3 (KJV). "But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret," Matthew 6:6 (NRSV). Isaiah 40:22 (KJV), "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." Isaiah 54:2, "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition or in The New Century Hymnal.

OLD 137TH (C.M.D.)

1. O not in far-off realms of space
the Spir-it has a throne;
But in each heart finds a true place,
yet wait-ing to be known.
Search not, my soul, a-far in vain:
you will not find God there;
Nor in the depths of sha-dows wane,
nor in the heights of air.

2. Thought ans-wer-ing a-lone to thought,
as Soul with soul has kin;
The out-ward God one rec-kons not
who finds not God with-in.
And if the vi-sion comes rich-ly
re-vealed by in-ward sign,
Earth will be full of De-i-ty
and with full glo-ry shine!

3. You shall not want for com-pa-ny,
nor pitch a tent a-lone;
Th'in-dwell-ing God will go free-ly,
and show you of Life's own.
Search not for God a-far in space,
but to your-self re-pair;
Wait then with-in that si-lent grace,
and you shall find Love there!

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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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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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May 30, 2005

70R Lead Us, O Lead Us (In Paths of Peace)

Words: William Henry Burleigh (1868); rev. REH (2005); Music: SONG 24 (10.10.10. D), Orlando Gibbons (1623). Psalm 5:8 (NIV),"Lead me, O Lord." Psalm 23:2-3 (NRSV), "[The Lord] leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake." Luke 1:79, "To guide our feet into the way of peace," see also Isaiah 59:8, Romans 3:27. "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace," Proverbs 3:17. The hymn appears in neither Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal.

SONG 10 (10.10.10. D)

1. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of peace;
with-out thy guid-ing hand we go as-tray,
and doubts ap-pall, and sor-rows still in-crease;
lead us through Christ, thy true and li-ving way.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.


2. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of truth;
un-helped by thee, in er-ror's maze we grope,
while pas-sion strains, and fol-ly dims our youth,
and age comes on, un-cheered by faith and hope.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

3. Lead us, O lead us, in the paths of right;
dim-ly we stum-ble when we walk a-lone,
hid in the sha-dows of a fear-some night;
on-ly with thee we jour-ney safe-ly on.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

4. Lead us, O lead us, to thy heaven-ly rest,
how-ev-er rough and steep the path-way be;
through joy or sor-row, as fate deem-est best,
un-til our lives are per-fect-ed in thee.
Lead us, mothe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace;
Lead us, fathe-ring God, in ho-ly paths of peace.

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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 13, 2005

82R Thou Hidden Love of God

Original Title: "Thou Hidden Love of God," Gerhard Tersteegen (1729) trans. John Wesley (1738) GOTTLOB, ES GEHT, 8.8.8.8.8.8., German Chorale, harm. J. S. Bach (1747); New Title: Same hymn title, alt. REH (2008), same hymn tune.

GOTTLOB, ES GEHT (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. Thou hid-den love of God, whose height,
Whose depth un-fath-omed no one knows,
I see from far thy beau-teous light,
In-ly I sigh for thy re-pose;
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in thee.

2. Thy se-cret voice in-vites me still
The sweet-ness of thy yoke to prove;
And fain I would: but though my will
Seems fixed, yet wide my pas-sions rove;
Yet hind-ranc-es strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

3. 'Tis mer-cy all, that thou hast brought
My mind to seek true peace in thee;
Yet, while I seek but find thee not,
No peace my wand-'ring soul shall see.
Oh, when shall all my wand-'rings end,
And all my steps to thee-ward tend?

4. O Love, thy sove-reign aid im-part,
To save me from low-thought-ed care;
Chase this self-will through all my heart,
Through all its la-tent maz-es there;
Make me thy du-teous child, that I
Cease-less may Ab-ba, Ab-ba, cry!

5. Each mo-ment draw from earth a-way
My heart which low-ly waits thy call;
Speak to my in-most soul and say
'I am thy Love, thy God, thy All.'
To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love, be all my choice.

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Psalm 5:3 (NRSV), "O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch;" Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God!;" Psalm 108:4, "For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds;" Psalm 131:2, Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy;" Matthew 14:23, [H]e went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone;" Mark 1:35; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Ephesians 5:15-20.

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A PDF file can be prepared in a larger font should users wish to have a printout extend to two pages upon request. Differences from Hymns of the Spirit Two are truly minimal; in the first verse, the original reads "no man know;" in the third verse, it reads "her peace in thee;" in the fourth verse, "Abba, Father, cry!" I considered changing the third versed to "Abba, Amma, cry!," but rejected this in favor of something more "historically" accurate. Whatever gendered references there are to the divine here are subtle, and one can only hope more than acceptable given their provenance. In terms of balance, the "hidden love of God" and "thy secret voice" are considerably feminine images by way of contrast.

The Webmaster generally makes inquiry to anyone who may wish to undertake a translation of Gerhard Tersteegen's hymn, entitled "Verborgne Gottesliebe du," into something more (post-)modern while maintaining the integrity of the work.

The tune here, GOTTLOB, ES GEHT, appears to be related to an earlier hymn, GOTTLOB ES GEHT NUNMEHR ZU ENDE, 8.8.8.8. The former repeats the first eight measures of the later. The score of the hymn tune here is in F-sharp while in Hymns of the Spirit Two in appears in B-flat and in a slightly simpler rhythm.

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December 31, 2006

620R God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces

Title: "God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces," Edward Moran (2005), alt., CONVERSE, 8.7.8.7. D, C. C. Converse (1868). Moran is a Presbyterian who lives in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; many of the lyrics of the hymns he has written can be found in the "Hymn Texts" section of the website run by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Moran describes the work below as addressing "often-divisive issues of sexual diversity in the light of traditional images of Incarnation and Trinity." The lyrics have been edited lightly here. The second stanza originally read as a statement rather than a question, i.e., "Born of virgin, Word made flesh, dead and buried, still He rises!" The third stanza likewise read "Easter garments, at His order, Swaddle Her beloved One," without a question mark. Finally, the last stanza here reads "unbound God" in lieu of "Threesome God" as in Moran's original. The lyrics remain under copyright all the same, (c) Edward Moran 2006. They appear here by his kind permission. Users may wish to request permission to reproduce the hymn for local or congregational worship, or other purposes, by writing him at EMoran8688@aol.com. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart ... Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead," Deuteronomy 6:6, 8 (NRSV), see also Deuteronomy 11:18. "It is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:13. "My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," Song of Songs 2:10. "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt," 1 Samuel 18:3-4; see also 2 Samuel 1:26. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law," Romans 13:8, see also Romans 14:10, 12:4, 8:21. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me," 1 Corinthians 11:24, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb," John 20:2. "She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger," Luke 2:7, John 1:1. "Thus says the Lord ... I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," Isaiah 43:16, 19.

CONVERSE (ERIE) (WHAT A FRIEND)(8.7.8.7. D)

1. God of queer, trans-gress-ive spa-ces:
Lav-ish man-ger, emp-ty tomb,
wine-dark loaves and pre-cious gra-ces
bend our bar-ren lives to bloom.

2. God’s own de-vi-ance is Jes-us:
Born of vir-gin, word made flesh,
dead and bur-ied, and still ris-es?
What ab-norm-al world-li-ness!

3. Thank God for this grave dis-ord-er:
Shroud and sor-row fall un-done;
East-er gar-ments, at whose or-der,
swad-dle the be-lov-ed one?

4. Broth-ers, bind ye to each oth-er,
Sis-ters, too, and have no shame.
Sing with God our Fath-er-Moth-er,
Love that dares now speak its name.

5. With our un-bound* God con-fess-ing:
Turn all frac-ture in-to praise,
be-ne-dic-tion in-to bless-ing,
fab-u-lous and full of days.

* or 'threesome,' as in the original

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