May 02, 2005

50S Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Original Title: "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," Charles Wesley (1747), first tune, HYFRYDOL, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., Rowland Hugh Pritchard (1855), second tune, BEECHER, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7., John Zundel (1870); New Title: Same hymn title, rev. REH (2006), BEECHER, 8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7. The hymn first appeared in Hymns For Those That Seek, and Those That Have Redemption (1747). Charles Wesley, father of the Methodist movement, who wrote over 6,500 hymns, is said to have been inspired by the song "The Song of Venus" from John Dryden's play King Arthur. The hymn originally had four verses, and suggested that one could be completely cleansed of sin in this life. This prompted Charles' brother John Wesley to change the lyrics. It appeared with two verses only in Hymns of the Spirit Two (1937). In that version, "Jesus, thou art all compassion," became "Father, thou art all compassion." Here, "Jesus" has been restored, and lines from the original third and fourth verses have been combined to create a third verse. The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition (that said, the tune HYFRYDOL should be well known in most Unitarian Universalist congregations all the same, as it is used for no. 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City," and no. 166, "Years Are Coming," and no. 207, "Earth Was Given As a Garden"). The hymn does appear in The New Century Hymnal to the tune BEECHER (though HYFRYDOL is suggested as an alternative) as no. 43, with four stanzas. 1 John 4:16, "God is Love," Malachi 3:1, "The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts." "And all of us ... seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another," 2 Corinthians 3:18. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation." Luke 7:13, "Jesus had compassion on her;" see also Matthew 14:14; Matthew 20:29-34. "All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it," 1 Corinthians 10:13b (The Message). "[N]ew creation," 2 Corinthians 5:17.

BEECHER (8.7.8.7.8.7.8.7.)

1. Love Di-vine, all loves ex-cell-ing,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us a hum-ble dwell-ing;
All your faith-ful mer-cies crown!
Jes-us, life of all com-pas-sion,
Pure un-bound-ed love all taught;
Let that love be our sal-va-tion,
En-ter-ing each trem-bling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe a lov-ing spir-it,
In-to eve-ry trou-bled breast!
Let us all in you in-her-it;
Let us find a prom-ised rest.
Give to us your love of lov-ing,
Al-pha and O-me-ga be;
End of faith, as its be-gin-ing;
Set our hearts at li-ber-ty.

3. Come, al-migh-ty to de-liv-er,
Let us all your life re-ceive;
Gra-cious-ly re-turn and ne-ver,
Ne-ver more your tem-ples leave.
Her-ald-ing a new cre-a-tion;
Heaven and earth take now their place;
Let us see that great sal-va-tion;
Lost in won-der, love, and praise.

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July 12, 2006

609R Your Burning Love

Title: "Your Burning Love," adaped by REH (2007) from The Psalter (1912), Psalm 30; MEIRIONYDD, 7.6.7.6. D, William Freeman Lloyd (1840). Psalm 30 is an appointed reading for Epiphany 6B, Proper 8B/Ordinary 13B, Easter 3C, Proper 5C/Ordinary 10 and Proper 9C/Ordinary 14C.

MEIRIONYDD (7.6.7.6. D)

1. Your burn-ing love de-liv-ered;
in sweet love songs I cried;
my harsh-est cri-tics suf-fered
in si-lence midst my slide.
O Hard-ened Truth, I sought you;
your strength my heart did save;
O you did teach me wis-dom,
whose path is long and brave.

2. Love's ho-ly name re-mem-ber,
all souls, give thanks and praise!
Life's sor-rows last a mo-ment;
God's fa-vor lasts al-ways;
for sor-row, like a pil-grim,
may come to stay the night,
but joy the soul will glad-den
when dawns the mor-ning light.

3. In gol-den days I boast-ed,
"A moun-tain I re-main!"
O God, with pleas-ing fa-vor,
the high-land crests sus-tain.
Then my life near-ly crumb-led,
no more I heard you speak,
and cried a-loud, "O dear God;"
your mys-tery did I seek.

4. Who'd pro-fit if we per-ished,
if our lives were not spared?
Would dust then sing out prais-es;
how would Truth be de-clared?
O God, send down com-pass-ion,
and our de-si-res hear;
the heart needs you as lov-er:
O Spir-it soon ap-pear!

5. Lo, heart-ache turns to dan-ces,
to you great thanks all raise,
who took a-way this sad-ness,
and lift-ed all in praise!
So now, no lon-ger si-lent,
with burn-ing love all sing:
"O Sweet-est God, for-ev-er,"
and thanks on high do bring!

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July 28, 2006

615R All Praise the Life (Which Gives Us Voice)

Original Title: "I'll Praise My Maker," Isaac Watts (1719), OLD 113TH, 8.8.8.8.8.8., attributed to Matthäus Greiter, Strassburger Kirchenamt (1525); New Title: "All Praise the Life (Which Gives Us Voice)," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. A paraphrase of Psalm 146, all or parts of which are a lectionary reading for Advent 3A, Proper 18B/Ordinary 23B, Proper 26B/Ordinary 31B, Proper 27B/Ordinary 32B, Proper 5C/Ordinary 10C and Proper 21C/Ordinary 26C. Though the hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, nor in The New Century Hymnal, but some may find the John Wesley version of Isaac Watts' hymn, that appears as no. 253 in a further revised version (1988) in The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990), "I'll Praise My Maker," OLD 113TH, of use in their local or congregational settings.

OLD 113TH (8.8.8.8.8.8.)

1. All praise the Life which gives us voice!
Sing out songs, cease-less-ly re-joice!
Praise shall em-ploy our no-blest drives;
rul-ers de-part; their pomp, their power;
vain thoughts, all van-ish in the hour:
But Time's e-ter-ni-ty sur-vives.

2. Hap-py are all whose dreams re-ly
on An-cients' God who made their sky,
and earth, and seas, with all their train:
whose truth for-ev-er stands se-cure,
who frees cap-tives and feeds the poor;
we serve them too, else trust in vain.

3. Di-vine vis-ion aids ev-ery eye;
Our So-phi-a sooths the mind's cry;
O God, O Wis-dom, ev-er reigns:
Let eve-ry tongue, let eve-ry age,
in Love's ex-al-ted work en-gage;
Sing praise in ev-er-last-ing strains!

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