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

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.

Almighty Father, Who Dost Give   2 comments

Christ Pantocrator Icon

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Text (1922) by John Howard Bertram Masterman (1867-1933), Anglican Bishop of Plymouth (1923-1933)

Hymn Source = The Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1941)

The Christian Youth Hymnal (1948) contains three of the four stanzas and lists the second stanza as the first and the first stanza as the third.

The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966) uses only the first three stanzas and reorders them:  2, 3, 1.  The hymn becomes, “Lift Up Our Hearts, O King of Kings.”

I care about what people wrote and in what order they arranged their stanzas.

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1.  Almighty Father, who dost give

The gift of life to all who live,

Look down on all earth’s sin and strife,

And lift us to a holier life.

2.  Lift up our hearts, O King of kings,

To brighter hopes and kindlier things;

To visions of a larger good,

And holier dreams of brotherhood.

3.  Thy world is weary of its pain,

Of selfish greed and fruitless gain,

Of tarnished honor, falsely strong,

And all its ancient deeds of wrong.

4.  Hear Thou the prayer Thy servants pray,

Uprising from all lands today,

And o’er the vanquished powers of sin

O bring Thy great salvation in.

At the Beginning of a New School Year   Leave a comment

6a03981r

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.

In Time of Natural Disaster   Leave a comment

04024v

Above:  A Barber Shop Located in the Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana, Damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-04024

Prayer by Andy Langford

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

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O God, you divided the waters of chaos at creation.

In Christ you stilled storms, raised the dead,

and vanquished demonic powers.

Tame the earthquake, wind, and fire,

and all the forces that defy control or shock us by their fury.

Keep us from calling disaster your justice.

Help us, in good times and in distress,

to trust your mercy and yield to your power, this day and for ever.

Amen.

God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest   2 comments

Apotheosis of War

Above:  Apotheosis of War, by Vasily Vereshchagin

Image in the Public Domain

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This is a hymn for use in time of war.  Sadly, we human beings keep acting is ways which keep the sentiments of the hymn current.

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This is one of those great Anglican contributions to English-language hymnody.

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PART THE FIRST:  THE BEGINNING

The story begins with Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808-1872), a Quaker-born novelist, playwright, libretticist, and literary and music critic in London, England, the United Kingdom.  In 1842 he published a hymn, “God, the All-Terrible! Thou Who Ordainest.”  My sources identified the the publication as having occurred in Part Music (1842), by John Pike Hullah (1812-1884).  A search at hymnary.org led me to my reprint of the Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes (Henry Ward Beecher, Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1855), where I found these verses:

1.  God, the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest

Thunder Thy clarion, and lightning Thy sword;

Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God, the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger,

Watching invisible, judging unheard;

Save us in mercy, O save us from danger,

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the all-merciful! earth hath forsaken

Thy ways all holy, and slighted Thy word;

But not Thy wrath in its terror awaken,

Give to us pardon and peace, O Lord.

4.  So will Thy people with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,

Peace to the nations, and praise to the Lord.

(Hymn #1101)

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PART THE SECOND:  UNITARIANS DURING THE CIVIL WAR

Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864), included an abbreviated and different version of the text, starting with the second stanza.  Thus the hymn became “God, the Omnipotent! Mighty Avenger!”  The context of the U.S. Civil War was evident:

1.  God the Omnipotent! mighty Avenger!

Watching invisible, judging unheard!

Save Thou our land in the hour of her danger,

Give to us peace in Thy time, O Lord!

2.  Thunder and lightnings Thy judgment have sounded;

Letters of flame have recorded Thy word,

‘Only in righteousness true peace is founded’:

Give us that peace in Thy time, O Lord!

3.  So shall the people, with thankful devotion,

Praise Him who saved them from peril and sword;

Shouting in chorus, from ocean to ocean,–

‘Peace to the nation, and praise to the Lord!’

(Hymn #262)

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PART THE THIRD:  ENTER JOHN ELLERTON

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), John Ellerton (1826-1893), a priest of The Church of England and author of no fewer than 86 hymns, wrote “God the Almighty One, Wisely Ordaining,” based on Chorley’s hymn.  The text debuted in Robert Brown-Borthwick’s Select Hymns for Church and Home (The Church of England, 1871).  I found the original version of that hymn via Google Books.

1.  God the Almighty One, wisely ordaining

Judgments unsearchable, famine and sword;

Over the tumult of war Thou are reigning;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

2.  God the All-righteous One! man hath defied Thee;

Yet to eternity standeth Thy word;

Falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside Thee;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

3.  God the All-pitiful, is it not crying,

Blood of the guiltless like water outpoured?

Look on the anguish, the sorrow, the sighing;

Give to us peace in our time, O Lord!

4.  God, the All-wise! by the fire of Thy chastening

Earth shall to freedom and truth be restored;

Through the thick darkness Thy kingdom is hast’ning,

Thou wilt give peace in Thy time, O Lord!

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PART THE FOURTH:  THE JOINING AND SUBSEQUENT VARIATIONS AND ALTERATIONS

The first joining of the Chorley and Ellerton texts occurred in the 1874 revision of Church Hymns (The Church of England, 1871), as one can read for oneself by following the hyperlink and seeking hymn #262.  Since then many hymnals have contained various composites of the Chorley and Ellerton texts, frequently with alterations to them.  The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contained the hymn, but listed it as “God, Lord of Sabaoth, Thou Who Ordainest.”  The hymn was “God the All-Merciful! Earth Hath Forsaken” in the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917) but “God the Omnipotent! King, Who Ordainest” in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958).  The influential Hymnal (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895) and its successor from 1911 listed the hymn as “God, the All-Terrible,” but The Hymnal (1933) changed the title to “God the Omnipotent.”  Among more conservative Presbyterians (especially in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America) who use either the 1961 or the 1990 versions of the Trinity Hymnal, God remains “All-terrible.”  God was “All-terrible” in The Methodist Hymnal (Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1905), but “Omnipotent” in The Methodist Hymnal of 1935 (Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestant Church, and Methodist Episcopal Church, South; later The Methodist Church, 1939-1968).  As late as The Hymnal of 1918 (Episcopal Church, authorized in 1916) God was “All-Terrible,” but the deity was “Omnipotent” instead in The Hymnal 1940 (published in 1943).  The consensus among hymnal committees is that God is “Omnipotent,” not “All-terrible.”

The variation on the hymn in The Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal Church, 1985) contains four stanzas–two from Chorley, two from Ellerton, and all of them altered.  This is the version I sing in church:

1.  God the Omnipotent! King, who ordainest

thunder thy clarion, the lightning thy sword;

show forth thy pity on high where thou reignest:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

2.  God the All-merciful! earth hath forsaken

thy ways all holy, and slighted thy word;

bid not thy wrath in its terrors awaken:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

3.  God, the All-righteous One! earth hath defied thee;

yet eternity standeth thy word,

falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside thee:

give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

4.  God the All-provident! earth by thy chastening

yet shall to freedom and truth be restored;

through the thick darkness thy kingdom is hastening:

thou wilt give peace in thy time, O Lord.

Hymn writer Brian Wren (1936-) wrote of hymns in Praying Twice:  The Music and Words of Congregational Song (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2000, page 297):

I have shown that congregational songs are communal.  Though they usually originate from particular authors, their primary purpose is to give shared expression to shared experience, not parade the author’s personality.  Because they are communal a faith community may, in principle amend them.

The story of “God the Omnipotent!” fits that statement well.

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PART THE FIFTH:  DROPPING THE HYMN

Denominations revise their official hymnals from time to time.  In so doing they add some texts and remove others.  Here is a partial list of denominations which have removed “God the Omnipotent!” (however they have listed it) from their official hymnody as of 2015, based on hymnals of which I own physical copies:

  1. the American Baptist Churches U.S.A., during their transition from the Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970) to no official hymnal;
  2. the Anglican Church of Canada, during the transition from The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971) to Common Praise (1998);
  3. the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, during the transition from The Covenant Hymnal (1973) to The Covenant Hymnal:  A Worshipbook (1996);
  4. the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, during the transition from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) to Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006);
  5. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996);
  6. the Free Methodist Church of North America and the Wesleyan Church, during their transition from Hymns of Faith and Life (1976) to no official hymnal;
  7. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, during its transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Lutheran Worship (1982) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006);
  8. the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), by way of its predecessors, the Presbyterian Church in the United States and The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., during the transition from The Hymnbook (1955) to The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972);
  9. the Reformed Church in America, during its transition from Rejoice in the Lord:  A Hymn Companion to the Scriptures (1985) to Lift Up Your Hearts:  Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (2013);
  10. the Southern Baptist Convention, during the transition from Baptist Hymnal (1956) to Baptist Hymnal (1975); the text is absent even from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship‘s Celebrating Grace Hymnal (2010);
  11. the Unitarian Universalist Association, sometime after Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association, 1864) and before Hymns of the Spirit (American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America, 1937);
  12. The United Methodist Church, during its transition from The Hymnal of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1957) and The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966) to The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1992); and
  13. the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, during the transition from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) to Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (1993); neither is the hymn present in Christian Worship:  Supplement (2008).

That list covers a wide theological range.  So does the list of denominations which have retained it–from The Episcopal Church to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to the United Church of Christ to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.  The list of denominations which have never added it to their official hymnody is also diverse, ranging from the Christian Reformed Church of North America to the Church of Nazarene.  Sometimes the presence or absence of the hymn indicates more about tastes in hymnody and worship style than about theology.

Another piece of supporting evidence for that conclusion comes from two non-denominational Evangelical hymnals Tom Fettke edited:  The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (1986) and The Celebration Hymnal:  Songs and Hymns for Worship (1997).  The former contains the hymn which is the subject of this post, but the latter does not.  A Victorian hymn set to the majestic former Russian national anthem does not fit with contemporary worship, with its seven-eleven songs, does it?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 21, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF J. B. PHILLIPS, BIBLE TRANSLATOR AND ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Posted July 21, 2015 by neatnik2009 in Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), Community and Country 1800s, Desperation and Suffering 1800s, Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), Hymns of the Spirit for Use in the Free Churches of America (1937), Lent/Confession of Sin 1800s, Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), Service Book and Hymnal (1958), The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971), The Hymnal (1895), The Hymnal (1911), The Hymnal (1933), The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Hymnal 1940 (1943), The Hymnal 1982 (1985), The Hymnbook (1955), The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Methodist Hymnal (1905), The Methodist Hymnal (1935), The Methodist Hymnal (1966), The United Methodist Hymnal (1989)

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Sing With All the Sons of Glory   3 comments

Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb Fra Angelico

Above:  Resurrection of Christ and the Women at the Tomb, by Fra Angelico

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Sources = The Methodist Hymnal (1905), Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and Companion to the Hymnal (1970)

Words (1873) by William Josiah Irons (1812-1883)

I have restored the text to its original form.  Alterations of the text started as early as 1878, according the Companion to the Hymnal (1970), the companion volume to The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  The altered version appears in The Methodist Hymnal (1905), my main source for this post.  The altered version of the first stanza in The Methodist Hymnal (1905) changes the fifth through eighth lines to read:

All around the clouds are breaking,

Soon the storms of time shall cease,

In God’s likeness, man awaking,

Knows the everlasting peace.

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1.  Sing with all the sons of glory,

Sing the resurrection song!

Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story,

To the former days belong:

Even now the dawn is breaking,

Soon the night of time shall cease,

And in God’s own likeness, waking,

Man shall know eternal peace.

2.  O what glory, far exceeding

All that eye has yet perceived!

Holiest hearts for ages pleading,

Never that full joy conceived.

God has promised, Christ prepares it,

There on high our welcome waits;

Every humble spirit shares it,

Christ has passed the eternal gates.

3.  Life eternal! heaven rejoices,

Jesus lives who once was dead;

Join, O man, the deathless voices,

Child of God, lift up thy head!

Patriarchs from the distant ages,

Saints all longing for their heaven,

Prophets, psalmists, seers, and sages,

All await the glory given.

4.  Life eternal! O what wonders

Crowd on faith; what joy unknown,

When, amidst earth’s closing thunders,

Saints shall stand before that throne!

O to enter that bright portal,

See that glowing firmament,

Know, with thee, O God immortal,

“Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent!”

Dies Irae   2 comments

The Day of Judgment Fra Angelico

Above:  The Day of Judgment, by Fra Angelico

Image in the Public Domain

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

Original Latin Text by Thomas of Celano (circa 1200-1255/1265)

English Translation (1848) by William Josiah Irons (1812-1883)

Father Irons, a Tractarian priest of the Church of England, translated the Dies Irae after hearing a choir of priests sing the text at the requiem mass of Denis-Auguste Affre, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris, who died violently while trying to discourage violence during the French Revolution of 1848.

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1.  Day of wrath! O day of mourning!

See the prophets’ warning,

Heaven and earth in ashes burning!

2.  O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,

When from heaven the Judge descendeth,

On whose sentence all dependeth!

3.  Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;

Through earth’s sepulchers it ringeth;

All before the throne it bringeth.

4.  Death is struck, and nature quaking,

All creation is awaking,

To its Judge an answer making.

5.  Lo! the Book exactly worded,

Wherein all hath been recorded:

Thence shall judgment be awarded.

6.  When the Judge his seat attaineth,

And each hidden deed arraigneth,

Nothing unavenged remaineth.

7.  What shall I, frail man, be pleading?

Who for me be interceding,

When the just are mercy needing?

8.  King of Majesty tremendous,

Who dost free salvation send us,

Fount of pity, then befriend us!

9.  Think, good Jesu, my salvation

Cost thy wondrous Incarnation;

Leave me not to reprobation!

10.  Faint and weary, thou hast sought me,

On the Cross of suffering bought me.

Shall such grace be vainly brought me?

11.  Righteous Judge! for sin’s pollution

Grant thy gift of absolution,

Ere that day of retribution.

12.  Guilty, now I pour my moaning,

All my shame with anguish owning:

Spare, O God, thy suppliant groaning!

13.  Thou the sinful woman savedst;

Thou the dying thief forgavest;

And to me a hope vouchsafest.

14.  Worthless are my prayers and sighing,

Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,

Rescue me from fires undying!

15.  With thy favored sheep O place me!

Nor among the goats abase me;

But to thy right hand upraise me.

16.  While the wicked are confounded,

Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,

Call me with thy saints surrounded.

17.  Low I kneel, with heart submission,

See, like ashes, my contrition;

Help me in my last condition.

18.  Ah! that day of tears and mourning!

From the dust of earth returning

Man for judgment must prepare him;

19.  Spare, O God, in mercy spare him!

Lord, all pitying, Jesu blest,

Grant us thine eternal rest.