We Pray Thee, Jesus, Who Didst First   1 comment

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Above:  Bishops Robert Wright and Keith Whitmore with Newly Ordained Priests, the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, June 22, 2015

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

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

Hymn Source =Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum), Moravian Church in America

The first stanza in the version from In Memoriam (1884) reads:

Guide Thou, O God, the guardian hands,

Which rule Thy ransomed sheep;

And may they still fit shepherds choose

Thy flock to keep.

The subsequent stanzas in that version of the text are identical to the hymn text from the Moravian Hymnal and Liturgies (1923).


We pray Thee, Jesus, Who didst first

The sacred band ordain,

In order due and holy life,

Thy Church sustain.


We pray Thee, Jesus, with Thy gifts

Thy chosen servants bless,

With doctrine incorrupt and pure,

And righteousness.


We pray Thee, Jesus, that their course

May still be clothed with power,

With miracles of love and strength,

Meet for the hour.


O Holy Ghost, Anointer, come,

Pastor and people fill,

Till all the happy tribes of earth

Shall do Thy will.


Then to the Father, and the Son,

And Holy Ghost, her praise

One living, undivided Church

Shall ever raise.


Summer Ended, Harvest O’er   1 comment

Autumn Trees

Above:  Autumn Trees

Image in the Public Domain

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

Hymn Source = The Presbyterian Hymnal (1874), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.


Summer ended, harvest o’er,

Lord! to thee our song we pour,

For the valley’s golden yield,

For the fruits of tree and field;


For the promise ever sure

That while heaven and earth endure

Seed-time, harvest, cold and heat

Shall their yearly round complete;


For the care which, while we slept,

Watch o’er field and furrow kept,

Watch o’er all the buried grain,

Soon to burst to life again.


When the reaping angels bring

Tares and wheat before the King,

Jesus! may we gathered be

In the heavenly barn to thee.


Then the angel-cry shall sound,

Praise the Lamb; the lost are found;

And the answering song shall be,

Alleluia, praise to thee–


Praise to thee, the toil is o’er;

Blight and curse shall be no more;

Lo! the mighty work is done:

Glory to the three in one.


O Lord of Health and Life   1 comment


Above:  Christ Cleansing a Leper, by Jean-Marie Melchior Doze

Image in the Public Domain

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

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnary (1913), the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America/The Evangelical Lutheran Church (1917-1960) and its immediate predecessors

Congregations of the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church/The Evangelical Lutheran Synod (1918-present) also used The Lutheran Hymnary for many years.

The Lutheran Hymnary specifies this as a hymn for the Third Sunday after Epiphany.


O Lord of health and life, what tongue can tell,

How at Thy word were loosed the bands of hell;

How Thy pure touch removed the leprous stain,

And the polluted flesh grew clean again?


O wash our hearts, restore the contrite soul,

Stretch forth Thy healing hand, and make us whole;

O bend our stubborn knees to kneel to Thee,

Speak but the word and we once more are free.


Yea, Lord, we claim the promise of Thy love,

Thy love, which can all guilt, all pain remove;

Nigh to our souls Thy great salvation bring,

Then sickness hath no pang, and death no sting.


We hail this pledge in all Thy deeds of grace,

As once disease and sorrow fled Thy face,

So when that face again unveiled we see,

Sickness, and tears, and death no more shall be.


Then grant us strength to pray, “Thy kingdom come,”

When we shall know Thee in Thy Father’s home,

And at Thy great Epiphany adore

The co-eternal Godhead evermore.


O God, Before Thy Sun’s Bright Beams   1 comment

Lake in Dawn Time

Above:  Lake in Dawn Time

Image in the Public Domain

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

Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1911), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.


O God, before Thy sun’s bright beams

All night’s dark and shadows fly;

So on the soul Thy mercy gleams,

And doubts and terrors die.


So freshly falls Thy heaven-sent grace

As morning’s gladdening breath;

Gives light to all to seek Thy face,

And guides in life and death.


O holy light! O light of God!

O light unseen below,

Which fills the courts of Thine abode,

Which there the blest shall know!


Swift comes the hour when none can toil,

Short is the rugged way:

Teach us to fill our lamps with oil,

Whilst it is called to-day.


Then we shall see that glorious light

Which to the saints is given,

So sweet, so fair, so passing bright,

The eternal morn of heaven.


O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

O holy One in Three,

Grant us, with all Thy glorious host,

To share that morn with Thee.


Posted September 7, 2015 by neatnik2009 in All Day/Sleep 1800s, The Hymnal (1911)

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Star of Morn Has Risen   1 comment

Sunrise Over the Ocean

Above:  Sunrise Over the Ocean

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Church Hymns with Tunes (1900), The Church of England

Text by Greville Philimore (1821-1884)


The star of morn has risen;

O Lord, to Thee we pray:

O uncreated Light of Light,

Guide Thou our way.


Sinless, be Tongue and hand,

And innocent the mind,

Let simple truth be on our lips,

Our hearts be kind.


Let not the flesh prevail,

But all be ruled by good;

The gift of temperance bestow

In drink and food.


As the swift day rolls on,

Still, Lord, our Guardian be,

And keep the portals of our hearts

From evil free.


Grant that our daily toil

May to Thy glory tend;

And as our hours begin with Thee,

So may they end.


Darkly Frowns the Ev’ning Sky   2 comments

Harrowing of Hades

Above:  The Harrowing of Hades

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Greville Phillimore (1821-1884)

Hymn Source = Sursum Corda:  A Book of Praise (1898), Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions

William Jensen Reynolds writes from a Southern Baptist perspective:

The three most significant hymnals published for Baptists in the North during the last half of the nineteenth century were The Baptist Hymn and Tune Book (1871), The Baptist Hymnal (1883), and Sursum Corda (1898).  All of these were the work of the American Baptist Publishing Society in Philadelphia.  The first, a large collection of 980 hymns, failed to meet with general acceptance, largely because of the inferior quality of the tunes.  The second collection is of better quality, and while it gives evidence of the rapidly emerging gospel song, it also reveals the initial influence among Baptists of Hymns Ancient and Modern, the most influential English hymnal of the nineteenth century.  Sursum Corda, compiled by E. H. Johnson, went further in this direction.  The compiler’s disregard for the emerging gospel song and his excessive borrowing of Anglican hymns and tunes resulted in a hymnal of the highest quality, but one unacceptable to the majority of Baptist congregations.  All of this plus the Latin title was too much for too many Baptists even in the North.

Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville, TN:  Broadman Press, 1976), page 18

I wondered why an Anglican hymn based on the Harrowing of Hell was in a Baptist hymnal.  Now I know.  I also approve of borrowing Anglican hymns, especially from Hymns Ancient and Modern.  And the Latin title is a nice touch.  The fact of my Episcopal affiliation is showing, is it not?

Sursum Corda is Latin for “Lift up your hearts,” as in that which precedes “We lift them up to the Lord.”

The Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions helped to form the Northern Baptist Convention in 1907.


Darkly frowns the ev’ning sky;

Falls for woe the mourner’s eye:

Silent is the rocky tomb

Where as yet no dead have come,

Armed soldiers by the side,

They have left the Crucified.


God! my God! and dost thou show

Wonders midst the dead below?

They who slumber ‘neath the earth,

Shall they wake to second birth?

Who shall these dread gates unfold,

Barred through all the days of old?


Lo! the doors are opening,

And the dead behold their King:

See! the awful fathers know

Him, who lays death’s terrors low:

Hark! he bids the ancients rise

Ransomed by his sacrifice.


When we sink into the dust,

May we fix on thee our trust!

Saviour of the sons of men,

May we die to live again!

Dying, may our faith recall

Thy dear death and burial.


The Spirit in Our Hearts   1 comment

Christ Blessing--Nardo di Cione

Above:  Christ Blessing, by Nardo di Cione

Text (1826) by Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858)

Hymn Source = American Hymns Old and New (1980)


The Spirit in our hearts

Is whispering, sinner, come,

The Bride, the Church of Christ, proclaims

To all his children, come.


Let him that heareth say

To all about him, come.

Let him that thirsts for righteousness

To Christ, the fountain, come.


Yes, whosoever will,

O let him freely come,

And freely drink the stream of life;

‘Tis Jesus bids him come.


Lo, Jesus, who invites,

Declares, I quickly come.

Lord! even so, I wait thy hour;

Jesus, my Saviour, come.


Thomas Hastings   Leave a comment

Clinton, New York

Above:  Clinton, New York, 1885

Image Creator = L. R. Burleigh

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-00152

Thomas Hastings (1784-1872) composed hymn texts and tunes.


Jesus, Merciful and Mild:


Now From Labor and From Care:



Posted September 3, 2015 by neatnik2009 in Sources HI

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Jesus, Merciful and Mild!   1 comment



Above:  Christ the Merciful

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1858) by Thomas Hastings (1784-1872)

Hymn Source = American Hymns Old and New (1980)


Jesus, merciful and mild!

Lead me as a helpless child;

Oh no other arm but thine,

Would my weary soul recline.


Thou canst fit me, by thy grace,

For the heavenly dwelling place;

All thy promises are sure,

Ever shall thy love endure.


Then what more could I desire,

How to greater bliss aspire?

All I need, in thee I see,

Thou are all in all to me.


Jesus, Saviour all divine!

Hast thou me truly thine?

Hast thou bought me by thy blood?

Reconciled my heart to God?


Hearken to my tender prayer,

Let me thine own image bear;

Let me love thee more and more,

Till I reach heaven’s blissful shore.