Archive for the ‘The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935)’ Category

O Master of the Callous Hand   Leave a comment

Carpenter's Chisels

Above:  Carpenter’s Chisels, 1878

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-jpd-01268

Text (1912) by George E. Day, a minister of the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), General Council of Congregational Christian Churches

Day was an advocate of missions work, a professor at Yale Divinity School, and the Secretary of the Committee, and of the Old Testament Committee of the American Standard Version of the Bible (1901).

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O Master of the callous hand,

The workshop and the bench and plane,

We know that thou canst understand

Our hopes, our labors and our pain.

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We see the drops of honest toil

With which thy hardy face was wet,

And in thy beauty-loving eye

The craftsman’s kindling pleasure glow.

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To see the finished work put by,

The joy thy patient workmen know;

We answer gladly to thy call,

O Master Workman of us all.

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O rugged Master of the hills,

The desert and the storm-swept sea,

Our eager heart responsive thrills

In our enlarging tho’t of thee.

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Thou lovedst well the open road,

The pilgrim staff, the pilgrim load,

As o’er the hills of Palestine,

Beneath the parching eastern blaze.

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Those eager, tireless feet of thine

Trod joyously the crowded days,

To minister to human need,

Thou Saviour of the world, indeed.

Before the Cross Our Lives Are Judged   2 comments

Easter Cross

Above:  Easter Cross, 1877

Copyright by Gibson and Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-01328

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), General Council of Congregational Christian Churches

Text (1928) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966)

Dr. Blanchard answered Armin Hauessler’s request for information regarding the origin of this hymn.  Haeussler reported an edited version of the reply in The Story of Our Hymns (1952), the companion volume for The Hymnal (1941), the Evangelical and Reformed Church:

In reply to your letter…I would say that what suggested my writing the hymn was the desire to have some words which could be sung to what I always thought was the very beautiful tune of ST. CHRISTOPHER, by Frederick C. Maker.  The words ordinarily associated with it begin, as you know, “Beneath the cross I Jesus I fain would take my stand.”  They are words of a peculiar type of piety which never appealed to me, and I wanted some words which would have a modern appeal.  I therefore appealed the words of the hymn concerning which you wrote.  This was in the year 1928….The hymn was written for my own congregation and without a thought it would travel far.

–Page 292

That congregation was Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, which has been South Euclid United Church of Christ since the summer of 2014.

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Before the cross of Jesus

Our lives are judged today;

The meaning of our eager strife

Is tested by his Way.

Across our restless living

The light streams from his cross,

And by its clear, revealing beams

We measure gain and loss.

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The hopes that lead us onward,

The fears that hold us back,

Our will to dare great things for God,

The courage that we lack,

The faith we keep in goodness,

Our love, as low or pure–

On all, the judgment of the cross

Falls steady, clear, and sure.

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Yet humbly, in our striving,

O God, we face its test,

We crave the pow’r to do thy will

With him who did it best.

On us let now the healing

Of his great Spirit fall,

And make us brave and full of joy

To answer to his call.

Star of Peace to Wanderers Weary   1 comment

Ship and Its Furniture

Above:  The Ship and Its Furniture, 1850

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-06010

Text (1830) by Jane Cross Bell Simpson (1811-1886); debuted in The Seaman’s Devotional Assistant (1830)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Congregational Christian Churches

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Star of peace to wand’rers weary,

Bright the beams that smile on me;

Cheer the pilot’s vision dreary,

Far, far at sea;

Cheer the pilot’s vision dreary,

Far, far at sea.

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Star of hope, gleam on the billow;

Bless the soul that sighs for thee;

Bless the sailor’s lonely pillow,

Far, far at sea;

Bless the sailor’s lonely pillow,

Far, far at sea.

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Star of faith, when winds are mocking

All his toil, he flies to thee;

Save him on the billows rocking,

Far, far at sea;

Save him on the billows rocking,

Far, far at sea.

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Star Divine, oh, safely guide him;

Bring the wand’rer home to thee;

Sore temptations long have tried him,

Far, far at sea;

Sore temptations long have tried him,

Far, far at sea.

O God, Above the Drifting Years   1 comment

John Wright Buckham

Above:  John Wright Buckham

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Congregational Christian Churches

Text (1916) by John Wright Buckham (1864-1945), for the fiftieth anniversary of the Pacific Theological Seminary, the Pacific School of Religion since 1916

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O God, above the drifting years,

The shrines our fathers founded stand,

And where the higher gain appears,

We trace the working of thy hand.

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From out their tireless prayer and toil

Emerge the gifts that time has proved,

And seed laid deep in sacred soil

Yields harvests rich in lasting good.

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The torch to their devotion lent,

Lightens the dark that round us lies;

Help us to pass it on unspent,

Until the dawn lights up the skies.

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Fill thou our hearts with faith like theirs,

Who served the days they could not see;

And give us grace, through ampler years,

To build the Kingdom yet to be.

O Jesus, Thou Wast Tempted   2 comments

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness James Tissot

Above:  Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness, by James Tissot

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Congregational Christian Churches

Text (1913) by John Edgar Park (1879-1956)

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O Jesus, thou was tempted,

Alone in deserts wild:

No human friend was near thee,

The evil tempter smiled.

O Jesus, thou didst conquer

By God’s own pow’r in thee.

Help me, O Christ, to conquer,

Give me the victory!

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O Jesus, thou wast tempted

To meanness, greed and shame,

In all points like I am,

In ev’ry way the same.

With God’s great words of promise

Thy memory was stored,

And mean things lost their favor

Beside God’s holy word.

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O Jesus, thou wast tempted

To live for self alone,

To be great, rich and pow’rful,

To get, to keep, to own.

Thou didst not bow to Mammon,

But chose to worship God,

O give me strength to follow,

To walk where thou hast trod!

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O Jesus, in thy conquest

Fair angels came to bless,

White-winged they flocked around thee

In the lone wilderness.

May noble thoughts and mem’ries,

Like angels dwell within,

O fill my life, Lord Jesus,

And leave no room for sin!

Our Father, Thy Dear Name Doth Show   Leave a comment

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Above:  Service of Reconciliation, the Cathedral of St. Philip, October 22, 2014

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Text (1910) by Charles Herbert Richards (1839-1925)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Congregational Christian Churches

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Our Father, thy dear name doth show

The greatness of thy love;

All are thy children here below

As in thy heav’n above;

One family on earth are we

Thro’out its wildest span:

O help us ev’rywhere to see

The brotherhood of man.

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Alike we share thy tender care;

We trust one heav’nly Friend;

Before one mercy-seat in pray’r

In confidence we bend;

Alike we hear thy loving call,

One heav’nly vision scan,

One Lord, one faith, one hope for all,

The brotherhood of man.

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Bring in, we pray, the glorious day

When battle cries are still’d;

When bitter strife is swept away

And hearts with love are fill’d.

O help us banish pride and wrong,

Which since the world began

Have marr’d its peace; help us make strong

The brotherhood of man.

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Close knit the warm fraternal tie

That makes the whole world one;

Our discords change to harmony

Like angel-songs begun:

At last, upon that brighter shore

Complete thy glorious plan,

And heav’n shall crown forevermore

The brotherhood of man.

Every Morning Mercies New   1 comment

Early Morning

Above:  Early Morning

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1863) by Greville Phillimore (1821-1884), altered

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Congregational Christian Churches

This is among Phillimore’s most popular hymns, based on frequency of publication in hymnals.   All instances of the hymn in hymnals, to the best of my knowledge, are of a slightly altered version of the text, for the original text, as in In Memoriam (1884), begins:

Every morning they are new,

Fresh as falls the early dew;….

 The altered version is clearer.  Some hymnals (especially those of Presbyterian denominations) note the alteration of the first two lines.

My choice to quote the text from The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935) is purely arbitrary.

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Ev’ry morning mercies new

Fall as fresh as morning dew;

Ev’ry morning let us pay

Tribute with the early day;

For thy mercies, Lord, are sure,

Thy compassion doth endure.

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Still the greatness of thy love,

Daily doth our sins remove,

Daily, far as east from west,

Lifts the burden from the breast,

Gives unbo’t, to those who pray,

Strength to stand in evil day.

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Let our pray’rs each morn prevail,

That these gifts may never fail;

And, as we confess the sin

And the tempter’s power within,

Ev’ry morning, for the strife,

Feed us with the bread of life.

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As the morning light returns,

As the sun with splendor burns,

Teach us still to turn to thee,

Ever blessed Trinity,

With our hands our hearts to raise,

In unfailing pray’r and praise.

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