Archive for the ‘The United Methodist Church and Predecessors’ Category

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise   2 comments

Above:  Clouds on the Horizon

Photographer = William Henry Jackson (1843-1942)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a16709

Text (1867; subsequently modified) by Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908)

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Walter Chalmers Smith altered his text.  As best as I can determine, the original six-stanza version of the hymn was as follows:

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

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Unresting, unhasting, silent as light,

Nor striving, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;

Thy justice like mountains soaring above

Thy clouds which are are fountains of goodness and love.

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All live thou givest–to both great and small;

In all life livest, true life of all;

Thy blossom and flourish only are we,

To wither and perish–but nought changeth thee.

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Today and tomorrow with Thee still are now;

Nor trouble, nor sorrow, nor care, Lord, hast thou;

Nor passion doth fever, nor age can decay,

The same God for ever as on yesterday.

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Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,

Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;

But of all Thy good graces this grace, Lord, impart–

Take the veil from our faces, the veil from our heart.

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All laud we would render; O help us to see,

‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee;

And now let Thy glory to our gaze unroll

Through Christ in the story, and Christ in the soul.

Sources:  

The Church Hymnary–Revised Edition (1927), The Church of Scotland, The United Free Church of Scotland, The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Presbyterian Church of England, The Presbyterian Church of Wales, The Presbyterian Church of Australia, The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, and The Presbyterian Church of South Africa

Moffatt, James, ed. Handbook to The Church Hymnary–Revised Edition (1927)

Stulken, Mary Kay, and Catherine Salika.  Hymnal Companion to Worship–Third Edition (1998), Roman Catholic Church

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Since The English Hymnal (1906), however, the standard version has been four stanzas long.  This has resulted from various minor changes, the omission of the original fourth stanza, the omission of the second halves of the original fifth and sixth stanzas, and the creation of a new fourth stanza from the first halves of the original fifth and sixth stanzas.

I have italicized changes from the version above.

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Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

In light accessible hid from our eyes,

Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

Almighty, Victorious, Thy great name we praise.

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Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,

Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;

Thy justice like mountains high soaring above

Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

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To all life Thou givest–to both great and small;

In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;

We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,

And wither and perish–but nought changeth Thee.

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Great Father of Glory, pure Father of Light,

Thine Angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;

All laud we would render; O help us to see

‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.

Other Sources:

Moffatt, James, ed. Handbook to The Church Hymnary–Revised Edition (1927)

Young, Carlton R.  Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal (1993)

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Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown   1 comment

We Hope in Thee, O God!   1 comment

Above:  Evening Sun

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Marianne Hearn (1834-1909)

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1905), Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South

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We hope in thee, O God!

The day wears on to night;

Thick shadows lie across our world,

In thee alone is night.

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We hope in thee, O God!

The fading time is here,

But thou abidest strong and true

Though all things disappear.

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We hope in thee, O God!

Our joys go one by one,

But lonely hearts can rest in thee,

When all beside is gone.

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We hope in thee, O God!

Hope fails us otherwise;

But since thou art in all that is,

Peace takes the hand of care.

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We hope in thee, O God!

In whom none hope in vain;

We cling to thee in love and trust,

And joy succeeds to pay.

We Would See Jesus   2 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966), The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and The United Methodist Church (1968-)

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

The conflation of the birth narratives from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the first stanza annoys me.  Two years or so separate those stories.

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We would see Jesus; lo! his star is shining

Above the stable while the angels sing;

There in a manger on the hay reclining;

Haste, let us lay our gifts before the King.

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We would see Jesus, Mary’s son most holy,

Light of the village life from day to day;

Shining revealed through every task most lowly,

The Christ of God, the life, the truth, the way.

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We would see Jesus, in the mountain teaching,

With all the listening people gathered around;

While birds and flowers and sky above are preaching

The blessedness which simple trust has found.

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We would see Jesus, in his work of healing,

At eventide before the sun was set;

Divine and human, in his deep revealing,

Of God and man in loving service met.

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We would see Jesus; in the early morning

Still as of old he calleth, “Follow me”;

Let us arise, all meaner service scorning:

Lord, we are thine, we give ourselves to thee.

No Form of Human Framing/Wherever Men Adore Thee   1 comment

Ecclesia Militans

Above:  Ecclesia Militans

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1920-1921) by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and its three immediate predecessor bodies

The Evangelical and Reformed Church’s Hymnal of 1941 contains a rearranged (stanzas 3, 2, 1, and 4) version of the hymn, listed as “Wherever Men Adore Thee.”  The Hymnal Committee concluded that their arrangement was “more logical.”–Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), page 427

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1.  No form of human framing,

No bond of outward might,

Can bind Thy Church together, Lord,

And all her flocks unite;

But, Jesus, Thou hast told us

How unity must be:

Thou art with God the Father one,

And we are one in Thee.

2.  The mind that is in Jesus

Will guide us into truth,

The humble, open, joyful mind

Of ever-learning youth;

The heart that is in Jesus

Will lead us out of strife,

The giving and forgiving heart

That follows love in life.

Wherever men adore Thee,

Our souls with them would kneel;

Wherever men implore Thy help,

Their trouble we would feel;

And where men do Thy service,

Though knowing not Thy sign,

Our hand is with them in good work,

For they are also Thine.

4.  Forgive us, Lord, the folly

That quarrels with Thy friends,

And draw us nearer to Thy heart,

Where every discord ends;

Thou art the crown of manhood,

And Thou of God the Son:

O Master of our many lives,

In Thee our life is one.

At the Beginning of a New School Year   Leave a comment

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Above:  Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, 1914

J195906 U.S. Copyright Office

Image Source = Library of Congress

Prayer Source = The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992)

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At the beginning of a new school year, O God of wisdom,

we offer thanks and praise for the gift of new beginnings

and for the opportunity to learn and to wonder.

We pray for teachers, students, and staff

that this year might be rewarding for all.

Be with us as we face the challenge of new tasks,

the fear of failure, the expectations of parents, friends, and self.

In our learning and our teaching,

may we grow in service to others and in love for your world,

through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

For the Nation   Leave a comment

National Flags

Above:  National Flags, Pre-World War I

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-03927

Prayer from the Church of Pakistan (formed by a merger in 1970)

Quoted in The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992)

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Look graciously, O Lord, upon this land.

Where it is in pride, subdue it.

Where it is in need, supply it.

Where it is in error, rectify it.

Where it is in default, restore it.

And where it holds to that which is just and compassionate, support it.

Amen.