Sunday, January 22, 2023

Now that's a new verse!

1 Come, thou Almighty King,
   Help us thy name to sing,
   Help us to praise!
   Father all-glorious
   O'er all victorious,
   Come, and reign over us,
   Ancient of days.

2 Jesus our Lord, arise,
   Scatter our enemies,
   And make them fall!
   Let thine almighty aid,
   Our sure defence be made,
   Our souls on thee be stay'd:
   Lord hear our call.

3 Come, thou incarnate Word,
   Gird on thy mighty sword,
   Our pray'r attend:
   Come, and thy people bless,
   And give thy word success;
   Spirit of holiness,
   On us descend.

4 Come, holy Comforter,
   Thy sacred witness bear
   In this glad hour:
   Thou who almighty art,
   Now rule in ev'ry heart,
   And ne'er from us depart.
   Spirit of pow'r.

5 To the great One in Three,
   Eternal praises be,
   Hence — evermore!
   His sov'reign Majesty
   May we in glory see,
   And to eternity
   Love and adore.
                Methodist Episcopal Hymnal (1870 edition)

<idle musing>
I love this hymn, a wonderful trinitarian one. But, I had never seen the second verse before. In fact, when I went to, I had to go back to a 1791 hymnal to find it. (For some reason they don't have the 1870 edition of the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal.)

I can understand why it got dropped; with it you have two verses for Jesus; without it, there is symetry. And, to be honest the theology of the third verse is better than that of the second verse.

Anyway, it's another one of those hymns, such as "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing," and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," where some of the verses originally sung with it have dropped out. In the case of "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing," the orignal was something like eighteen verses and the ones we sing today are definitely the best.

In the case of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," I like two of the verses tha dropped out and regularly sing them. Usually, when people hear them they are intrigued. It's easy to see why they dropped out, though, because they express the Wesleyan/Methodist belief in holiness in this life—not a popular theme in our Calvinistically dominated culture.

Here they are, in case you are interested:

4. Come, Desire of nations, come,
   Fix in us Thy humble home;
   Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
   Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
   Now display Thy saving power,
   Ruined nature now restore;
   Now in mystic union join
   Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. [Refrain]

5. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
   Stamp Thine image in its place:
   Second Adam from above,
   Reinstate us in Thy love.
   Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
   Thee, the Life, the inner man:
   O, to all Thyself impart,
   Formed in each believing heart. [Refrain]

</idle musing>

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