April 28, 2005

48R Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Original Title: "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart," George Croly (1854), first tune, SONG 12, 10.10.10.10., rhythmed altered from Orlando Gibbons, second tune, MORECAMBE, 10.10.10.10., ascribed to Federick Cook Atkinson (1870); New Title: Same hymn title, no changes to lyrics, SONG 12, 10.10.10.10. Croly was a graduate of Dublin University; he later took holy orders. He left Ireland in 1810 for London. His works include Scenes from Scripture and Other Poems (1851) and Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854). The original version consisted of five verses; the fourth verse was not included in Hymns of the Spirit Two. "Live by the spirit, I say ... If you are led by the spirit, you are not subject to the law," Galatians 5:16; see also 18-25. "Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay," Job 13:12. Matthew 3:16, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him," see also John 1:32; Matthew 22:37, Acts 8:17. Proverbs 1:28, "Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me." The hymn does not appear in Singing the Living Tradition, but does appear, in revised form in five stanzas, to the tune MORECAMBE, as no. 290, in The New Century Hymnal.

SONG 22 (10.10.10.10.)

1. Spir-it of God, de-scend up-on my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its puls-es move;
Stoop to my weak-ness, might-y as thou art;
And make me love thee as I ought to love.

2. I ask no dream, no pro-phet ec-sta-sies,
no sud-den rend-ing of the veil of clay,
no an-gel vi-si-tant, no open-ing skies;
But take the dim-ness of my soul a-way.

3. Teach me to feel that thou art al-ways nigh;
Teach me the strug-gles of the soul to bear.
To check the ris-ing doubt, the re-bel sigh,
teach me the pa-tience of un-an-swered prayer.

4. Teach me to love thee as thine an-gels love,
one ho-ly pas-sion fill-ing all my frame;
The kind-ling of the heaven-de-scend-ed dove,
My heart an al-tar, and thy love the flame. A-men.

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Shadows for dimness?

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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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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 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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June 08, 2005

77R One Thought I Have

"One Thought I Have, My Ample Creed," Frederick L. Hosmer, Chicago Unity Hymns and Carols (1880), ST. BERNARD, C.M. No changes here from the lyrics in Hymns of the Spirit Two. Psalm 94:19 (KJV), “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul;” Psalm 43:3, "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me;" see also Psalms 63:5-6, 77:2; Jeremiah 20:12. Romans 5:4 (NRSV), "[E]ndurance produces character, and character produces hope;" 1 Peter 1:7, "[T]he genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

ST. BERNARD (C.M.)

1. One thought I have, my am-ple creed,
so deep it is and broad,
and e-qual to my ev-ery need—
it is the thought of God.

2. Each morn un-folds some fresh sur-prise,
I feast at life’s full board;
and ris-ing in my in-ner skies
shines forth the thought of God.

3. At night my glad-ness is my prayer;
I drop my dai-ly load,
and eve-ry care is pillow-ed there
up-on the thought of God.

4. I ask not far be-fore to see,
but take in trust my road;
Life, death, and im-mort-al-i-ty
are in my thought of God.

5. To this their se-cret strength they owed
the mar-tyr's path who trod;
The foun-tains of their pa-tience flowed
from out their thought of God.

6. Be still the light up-on my way,
my pil-grim staff and rod,
my rest by night, my strength by day
O bless-ed thought of God.

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