Archive for the ‘Communion of Saints’ Tag

We Come Unto Our Fathers’ God   1 comment

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Above:  Saint John on Patmos

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1895), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Text (November 22, 1868) by Thomas Hornblower Gill (1819-1906)

Gill worked on this text for most of St. Cecilia’s Day, 1868.  He reported that November 22, 1868 was “almost the most delightful day of my life.”


We come unto our fathers’ God:

Their Rock is our salvation;

The eternal arms, their dear abode,

We make our habitation;

We bring Thee, Lord, the praise they brought,

We seek Thee as Thy saints have sought

In every generation.


The fire Divine their steps that led

Still goeth bright before us,

The heavenly shield, around them spread,

Is still high holden o’er us;

The grace those sinners that subdued.

The strength those weaklings that renewed,

Doth vanquish, doth restore us.


The cleaving sins that brought them low

Are still our souls oppressing,

The tears that from their eyes did flow

Fall fast, our shame confessing;

As with Thee, Lord, prevailed their cry,

So our strong prayer ascends on high,

And bringeth down Thy blessing.


Their joy unto their Lord we bring,

Their song to us descendeth;

The Spirit who in them did sing

To us His music lendeth:

His song in them, in us, is one;

We raise it high, we send it on,–

The song that never endeth.


Ye saints to come, take up the strain,

The same sweet theme endeavor;

Unbroken be the golden chain!

Keep on the song for ever!

Safe in the same dear dwelling-place,

Rich with the same eternal grace,

Bless the same boundless Giver.

O Lord of Glory, King of Saints   2 comments

Second Coming Icon

Above:  Icon of the Second Coming

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Greville Phillimore (1821-1884)

Hymn Source = In Memoriam (1884)


O Lord of glory, King of saints

In earth and heaven above,

Thou, Who didst save the sons of men

By Thy great act of love;


Hear Thou our song, Who didst not scorn

To own the ties of earth,

Thou First-born of the brethren, hear

Those born of Thy new birth.


Hear, whilst we praise Thee for the wise,

The holy and the just,

For all who in Thy faith and fear

Departed, dust to dust.


O blessed sheep! Their wakening eyes

Gazed on the rest of God,

The hidden garden of the Lord

Prepared for their abode.


O great assembly of the Church

Upon the happy shore,

Where in the midst of all His saints

Christ walketh evermore!


Keep us in their communion high,

O everlasting Son,

Grant us in life their holiness,

Their rest, when life is done.


Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep   3 comments


Above:  Country Churchyard, Monona County, Iowa, 1940

Photographer = John Vachon (1914-1975)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-060720-D

Text (1832) by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Hymn Source = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Margaret Mackay wrote more hymns than this one, but “Asleep in Jesus” is the most popular of her works of that genre.  (I had to consult obscure and long out-of-print sources at to find other hymns she wrote.)  This hymn debuted in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual (1832).  She composed the text after visiting a rural cemetery, that of Pennycross Chapel, or the Chapel of St. Pancras, in Devonshire, England.

Seldom does a hymnal contain all six stanzas.  I have a collection of hymnals old and recent (mostly old).  Usually, when I found this hymn, I found four stanzas–not always the same ones.  Occasionally I located five stanzas on a page.  I had to resort to a hymnal companion volume to find all six stanzas.


Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep;

A calm and undisturbed repose,

Unbroken by the land of woes.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet

To be for such a slumber meet,

With holy confidence to sing

That death has lost his venomed sting!


Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,

Whose waking is supremely blest;

No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour

That manifests the Saviour’s power.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me

May such a blissful refuge be!

Securely shall my ashes lie

And wait the summons from on high.


Asleep in Jesus! Time nor space

Debars this precious “hiding-place”;

On Indian plains or Lapland snows

Believers find the same repose.


Asleep in Jesus! Far from Thee

Thy kindred and their graves may be;

But there is still a blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep.


To Thee, Eternal Soul, Be Praise!   3 comments

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Above:  Saint John on Patmos

Image in the Public Domain

Words (1903; publication debut = 1905) by Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909), U.S. poet, journalist, and social reformer

Hymn Source = American Hymns Old and New (1980)


1.  To thee, Eternal Soul, be praise!

Who, from of old to our own days

Through souls of saints and prophets, Lord,

Hast seen thy light, thy love, thy word.

2.  We thank thee for each mighty one

Through whom thy living light hath shone;

And for each humble soul and sweet

That lights to heaven our wandering feet.

3.  We thank thee for the love divine

Made real in every saint of thine;

That boundless love itself that gives

In service to each soul that lives.

4.  We thank thee for the word of might

Thy spirit spake in darkest night,

Spoke through the trumpet voices loud

Of prophets at thy throne who bowed.

5.  Eternal Soul, our souls keep pure,

That like thy saints we may endure;

Forever through thy servants, Lord,

Send thou thy light, thy love, thy word.

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken   3 comments

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Above:  Part of the Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hymn Source = The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian

Words by John Newton (1725-1807)


1.  Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, city of our God;

He whose word cannot be broken

Formed thee for His own abode.

On the Rock of Ages founded,

What can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou mayst smile on all thy foes.

2.  See! the streams of living waters,

Springing from eternal love,

Well supply thy sons and daughters,

And all fear of want remove.

Who can faint while such a river

Ever flows, their thirst to assuage,–

Grace, which, like the Lord, the Giver,

Never fails from from age to age?

3.  Round each habitation hovering,

See! the cloud and fire appear,

For a glory and a covering,

Showing that the Lord is near.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,

Washed in the Redeemer’s blood,

Jesus, whom their souls rely on,

Makes them kings and priests to God.

4.  Saviour, if of  Zion’s city

I, through grace, a member am,

Let the world deride or pity,

I will glory in Thy Name.

Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,

All his boasted pomp and show;

Solid joys and lasting treasure

None but Zion’s children know.

O For the Robes of Whiteness   2 comments

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Above:  Saint John on Patmos

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Sources =  Lyra Hibernica Sacra (1878), edited by William McIlwaine, and Lyra Britannica (1867), edited by Charles Rogers

Words by Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez (1840-1923)


1. O for the robes of whiteness!

O for the tearless eyes!

O for the glorious brightness

Of the unclouded skies!

2. O for the no more weeping

Within the land of love,

The endless joy of keeping

The bridal feast above!

3. O for the bliss of dying

My risen Lord to meet!

O for the rest of lying

For ever at His feet!

4. O for the hour of seeing

My Saviour face to face,

The hope of ever being

In that sweet meeting-place!

5. Jesus, Thou King of glory,

I soon shall dwell with Thee;

I soon shall sing the story

Of Thy great love for me.

6. Meanwhile my thoughts shall enter

E’en now, before Thy throne,

That all my love may centre

On Thee, and Thee alone.

O Lord of Life   2 comments

O Lord of Life

Above:  Part of the Hymn

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Words by Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1840-1929)

Hymn Source = The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian


1.  O Lord of life, where’er they be,

Safe in Thine own eternity,

Our dead are living unto Thee,


2.  All souls are Thine, and, here or there,

They rest within Thy sheltering care;

One providence alike they share.


3.  Thy word is true, Thy ways are just;

Above the requiem, “Dust to dust,”

Shall rise our psalm of grateful trust,


4.  O happy they in God who rest,

No more by fear and doubt oppressed;

Living or dying, they are blest.