Posted by: rcottrill | May 22, 2017

The Sower Went Forth Sowing

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: William St. Hill Bourne (b. Aug. 24, 1846; d. Mar. 22, 1929)
Music: St. Beatrice, by John Frederick Bridge (b. Dec. 5, 1844; d. Mar. 18, 1924)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: William Bourne was a pastor and author who wrote a few hymns. This one, picturing the Lord as the master Sower, was written for his church’s Harvest Festival (our Thanksgiving) in 1874.

It’s a proverbial saying that goes back over six centuries: “Great oaks from little acorns grow.” A variation of it is found in a work by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400): “An ook cometh of a litel spyr [a little sapling].” It’s a way of saying that great things can come from small beginnings. That is certainly true of seeds.

Seeds are a marvel of the Creator’s handiwork. Each is a tiny embryo, genetically ready to produce a particular result. When we plant carrot seeds, we don’t expect a tomato plant to spring up. And carrots don’t look or taste anything like tomatoes. Built into the vast variety of seeds is the information to create hundreds of thousands of unique grasses, herbs, flowers, vines, shrubs and trees.

These living wonders differ greatly in size. The largest seed is that of a particular palm tree native to the Seychelles Archipelago. It’s about twelve inches (30 cm) long, and weigh up to forty pounds (18 kg). The tiniest seed in the world, small as dust, comes from a kind of orchid, and is too small to be seen clearly with the naked eye.

When the Lord Jesus calls mustard seeds “the least of all the seeds,” some have taken issue with Him, because, small though they are, they’re larger than the ones just mentioned. However, the Lord was speaking of the seeds “which a man took and sowed in his field” (Matt. 13:31-32), and mustard seeds were indeed the smallest sown by a first century farmer.

Recorded in three of the Gospels is a parable told by Christ about a sower sowing seed. The seed is meant to picture the Word of God (Matt. 13:19; cf. Lk. 8:11), and the Sower is the Lord Himself–though today He enlists believers to do this on His behalf (cf. I Cor. 3:6). What we’re meant to ponder in particular is the four kinds of soil on which the seed falls (Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23).

Picture a farmer walking across a section of his field. Hanging from his neck is a bag of seed. As he walks along, he dips both hands into the seed bag and casts (literally broadcasts) seed on both sides of him. Given the presence of a breeze, and the nature of this method, not all of the seed will fall where he intends it to, but much certainly will.

¤ Some seed will land on the wayside, the trodden down, hardened path next to the field, where it’s quickly picked up by birds (Matt. 13:4), picturing a person who hears the Bible preached or taught, but doesn’t understand it, and the devil comes and snatches away the truth (vs. 19).

¤ Then there are some seeds landing on stony places without much earth (vs. 5-6). (Ancient farmers piled stones taken from the ground in the middle of the field.) This portrays those who enjoy hearing the Scriptures, but the truth doesn’t take root to do the person lasting good (vs. 20-21).

¤ Some seed will fall among the weeds (“thorns”) that spring up and choke the sprouting plants (vs. 7), portraying the Word of God being choked in a person’s life by “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches” (vs.22).

¤ But finally there is the “good ground” (vs. 8), picturing those who receive the Word with understanding and it produces fruit in their lives, the fruit of godly character and faithful service for God (vs. 23).

In the first stanza below, Bourne pictures the seeds planted that brought the crops and the harvest they were celebrating. In the second, he turns to the symbolic use of the seed, as in Jesus’ parable. I do take issue with the idea in line 5 that the seed is scattered “in His church,” as I believe the application is much broader than that, and includes (at least with reference to the gospel) the whole unbelieving world.

CH-1) The sower went forth sowing,
The seed in secret slept
Through weeks of faith and patience,
Till out the green blade crept;
And warmed by golden sunshine,
And fed by silver rain,
At last the fields were whitened
To harvest once again.
O praise the heavenly Sower,
Who gave the fruitful seed,
And watched and watered duly,
And ripened for our need.

CH-2) Behold! the heavenly Sower
Goes forth with better seed,
The Word of sure salvation,
With feet and hands that bleed;
Here in His church ’tis scattered,
Our spirits are the soil;
Then let an ample fruitage
Repay His pain and toil.
Oh, beauteous is the harvest,
Wherein all goodness thrives,
And this the true thanksgiving,
The first fruits of our lives.

Questions:
1) What kind of soil were you, the last time you heard God’s Word preached or taught?

2) What things can Christians do, by God’s grace, to prepare soil (the hearts and minds of others) to be more ready to receive God’s Word?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 19, 2017

Servants of God, His Praise Proclaim

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: James Montgomery (b. Nov. 4, 1771; d. Apr. 30, 1854)
Music: Truro from Psalmodia Evangelica, by Thomas Williams, 1789 (information on Williams not known)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (James Montgomery)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: James Montgomery left school when he was seventeen, working for awhile in a bake shop. Was he wrong to forego further education? I don’t know. Perhaps he was an exception to the stay-in-school rule. He was already gifted in using the English language. During breaks in serving customers at the bakery, he spent his time writing poetry. Later, he took a job at a newspaper in Sheffield, England. Eventually he became both the owner and the editor of the paper. He wrote editorials opposing slavery, and commenting on other current issues. He also wrote more than four hundred hymns, many of which are still in use.

As in Hymnary.org, the present hymn sometimes begins with the line, “Servants of God in joyful lays.”

Parents and educators urge, “Stay in school!” In the vast majority of cases it’s wise advice. A survey was done of those who’d dropped out. Seventy-four percent of them said they would remain in school if they had the decision to make over again. The most obvious benefit is economic. More job options tend to be available to those who at least finish secondary school. There are exceptions, but most high school graduates average $8,000 more per year in income than drop-outs.

Yet there are dissenting voices. Musician David Brown has a hip-hop rant called Don’t Stay in School, in which he lists what he considers the many useless things he was “forced” to study, and all the things he needed to learn that weren’t included in his formal education. He makes a valid point–to some extent. It’s a good idea for practical life-skills to be included in a curricula.

But Brown left high school two decades ago. Maybe it’s different now. Of the things he says he needed to learn about–current events, budgeting, health and disease, most are now being taught in the schools I know. The things he labels as useless are another matter– for example, science, algebra, and Shakespeare. There are reasons for including these subjects he may not have considered.

Speaking as a former college professor, I can recall many young people I taught still having no settled idea of a career choice. For this reason, a hasty opinion that some knowledge will never be needed may be misguided. Further, few would say they love to study. “Much study is wearisome to the flesh” (Ecc. 12:12). But part of getting an education is learning how to learn, developing discipline and good study habits for other applications later on. And studying Shakespeare, and classic literature, as well as great music, and art, can enrich our souls and teach us much about life.

The Bible describes a number who profited from a good education.

¤ Moses “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22), and he led the nation of Israel well for forty years.

¤ Solomon appears to have been a great student of the natural world (I Kgs. 4:32-34), and he used this knowledge to illustrate wise principles (e.g. Prov. 6:6-11).

¤ Of four young Hebrew slaves in Babylon it’s said, “God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom (Dan. 1:17). One of them–Daniel–was put in charge of all the wise men of Babylon for decades afterward.

¤ Paul was able to speak effectively to the wise men of Athens, because he’d studied the works of their poets (Acts 17:27-28).

It’s also clear from these and other biblical examples that God can give the ability to gain knowledge, and instill the godly wisdom needed to live well and serve Him. He does this by His Spirit, as we study and apply His Word in faith (II Tim. 3:16-17).

Here is some of Montgomery’s very first hymn, a metrical version of Psalm 113, written in his teens, there in the bake shop, between serving customers. (A “lay” is a song.)

CH-1) Servants of God, in joyful lays,
Sing ye the Lord Jehovah’s praise;
His glorious name let all adore,
From age to age, forevermore.

CH-2) Blest be that name, supremely blest,
From the sun’s rising to its rest;
Above the heav’ns His pow’r is known,
Through all the earth His goodness shown.

CH-5) O then, aloud, in joyful lays,
Sing to the Lord Jehovah’s praise;
His saving name let all adore,
From age to age, forevermore.

Questions:
1) What do you see as the practical value of a good education?

2) What are some things for which you praise the Lord today?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (James Montgomery)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 17, 2017

O Love Divine That Stooped to Share

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (b. Aug. 29, 1809; d. Oct. 7, 1894)
Music: Quebec (also called Hesperus), by Henry Baker (b. June 6, 1835; d. Feb. 1, 1910)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: The son of a pastor, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) was the father of the esteemed American Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. And the senior man, a medical doctor, was not unfamiliar with hospitals. He also taught anatomy and physiology at Harvard Medical School, where he eventually became dean.

Dr. Holmes wrote another hymn that touches on the presence of God, a theme similar to the present one. It begins:

Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!

The hospital can be a lonely place, especially at night. During the day, there are more people around, and there can be visitors to break the monotony. But at night the passing hours seem much longer, and the pains more painful.

When we have an opportunity, we need to express our appreciation for nurses and other staff members, especially for those who work a night shift. On one occasion, a church I was pastor planned a service where we honoured our health care professionals. Perhaps you could do the same at your church.

There is such healing power in a smile and an encouraging word. Years ago, during a time when I had two surgeries days apart, and spent nearly a month in the hospital, there were two or three nurses in particular who showed real kindness and concern for me. Holly, with her tiny flashlight, made the rounds at night, checking on each patient. When she learned I was having trouble breathing, needed to sit up, and found the bed uncomfortable, she went to a waiting room down the hall, and pushed a reclining chair from there into my room, where it remained through my stay. (What a relief it was!)

I wrote a poem called Night on the Ward, attempting to capture something of the solitary feelings patients experience in the night hours, and of the blessing of compassionate nurses on duty.

Footfalls echoing
Down long, dim corridors
To a counterpoint of pain;
Stirring sleepers,
Pastel shadows on a wall,
Reach out for help and comfort
With a distant bell;
White forms moving
From sound to source,
Bring routine remedies
Tinctured with fresh mercy.

Whether the lonely night hours are spent in a hospital, or at home, there is One who is always within reach to give reassurance and settle our hearts with His peace. The psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present [a fully available] help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth [faithfully]” (Ps. 145:18).

David writes of the Lord, “You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off….Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You” (Ps. 139:2, 12). And another has said, “God my Maker…gives songs in the night” (Job 35:10; cf Acts 16:23-25).

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus had a special word of reassurance for His followers. Though He was about to return to heaven again, He was able also to continue with them as a spiritual presence. He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). And the book of Hebrews contains this promise to believers: “He Himself has said, ‘I will never [not under any circumstances] leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper’” (Heb. 13:5). He’s near at all times.

Meditating on the words of Scripture, “You are near, O Lord” (Ps. 119:151), Holmes wrote a hymn he called “Hymn of Trust.” He spoke of how he had passed by a sick room one day, and heard some comments he turned into his hymn.

CH-1) O Love divine, that stooped to share
Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear!
On Thee we cast each earthborn care;
We smile at pain while Thou art near.

CH-2) Though long the weary way we tread,
And sorrow crown each lingering year,
No path we shun, no darkness dread,
Our hearts still whispering, ‘Thou art near!’

CH-4) On Thee we fling our burdening woe,
O Love divine, forever dear!
Content to suffer while we know,
Living and dying, Thou art near!

Questions:
1) Have you ever experienced the nighttime loneliness of a time of illness?

2) What did you do to bring relief–or how were you helped by another person suffering similarly?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 15, 2017

Little Drops of Water

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney (b. Apr. 6, 1823; d. Nov. 1, 1908)
Music: Gott ein Vater, by Friedrich Silcher (b. June 27, 1789; d. Aug. 26, 1860)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Julia Abigail Fletcher was a primary school teacher in Boston. She also had written poetry since her youth, and had her verses published from the age of fourteen. Several of her poems have been turned into hymns. Julia married Thomas Carney, a Universalist clergyman, and his beliefs do merit a brief comment, as many would hold they are a departure from Christian orthodoxy.

Universalists contend that, in the end, since God is a God of love, every human soul will be reconciled to Him and reach heaven, whatever his or her beliefs may be. However, there are many Scriptures which contradict this view. The Lord Jesus spoke of a narrow way that leads to life, found by a relative few, and a broad way followed by many that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:12-14). In the Gospels He taught far more about hell and the danger of eternal judgment than about heaven.

Many texts, including the familiar John 3:16, speak of the need for personal faith in God’s provision of a Saviour, if we are to be saved (cf. Jn. 3:18, 36; Rom. 1:16; Gal. 3:26; I Jn. 5:11-12). When Paul was asked by the Philippian jailer how he could receive salvation, the apostle replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30-31). He did not say, “Believe whatever you like!”

There are many examples in our lives of how a little of something, added or taken away, can make a big difference–especially when that “little” addition or subtraction is repeated over and over, many times.

The difference can be positive or negative. Think of what we eat. If we overindulge at a single meal, the long-term effects will likely be minimal. But if we keep it up, meal after meal, day after day, we can put on a lot of weight. On the other hand, when we determine to diet and lose weight, it can’t be done in a day or a week, but only little by little.

A raindrop is tiny, and can’t do much on its own. But a shower of rain that lasts several hours can help us a lot. This article is being written in the early spring of the year. All around, as farmers look forward to planting, they’re hoping for plenty of rain to give the crops a good start. The rain not only waters plant life, promoting growth, it humidifies and cleans the air, replenishes lakes and streams, and raises the water table.

When we go somewhere on foot, each step only makes a small contribution to the whole journey. But many steps, taken one by one, will eventually get us there. Conversely, if we make a wrong turn, each step could be taking us further and further from our destination. Or think about the financial support given to a good cause. What we put in the offering plate at church, or what we send as a donation to the Cancer Society or some other organization, may only be a little. But if many do a little, it will help a lot.

In 1952, Joseph Roach and George Mysels published a song that says, “If everyone lit just one little candle, / What a bright world this would be.” Whether we see those candles as picturing deeds of love and kindness, words of hope and encouragement, or some other positive contribution, the addition of the little each one can do adds up to a powerful force for good.

The beliefs of Mrs. Carney’s Universalist husband aside, her children’s hymn does not venture specifically into that teaching, and there is a good lesson in her song: that little deeds can have a great influence, not only on the individual’s life, but on the lives of others around. Regarding individuals in the church, the spiritual body of Christ, the Bible says:

“One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills….God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (I Cor. 12:11, 18).

There are no unnecessary members of the body of Christ. We each have gifts and opportunities to serve Him. And as we each do what we can, even if it seems a small thing, it benefits all in the body.

CH-1) Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

CH-2) And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

CH-4) So our little errors
Lead the soul away,
From the paths of virtue
Into sin to stray.

CH-5) Little seeds of mercy
Sown by youthful hands,
Grow to bless the nations
Far in heathen lands.

Questions:
1) What are some “little things” others have done that you believe have had important results?

2) What are the qualities God is looking for that determine the value of an act in His sight?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 12, 2017

Jesus, Tender Shepherd

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Mary Lundie Duncan (b. Apr. 26, 1814; d. Jan. 5, 1840)
Music: Evening Prayer (or Stainer), by John Stainer (b. June 6, 1840; d. Mar. 31, 1901)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (John Stainer)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Mary Lundie was the daughter of a Scottish pastor, and the sister-in-law of pastor and distinguished hymn writer Horatius Bonar. She married William Duncan, yet another pastor in Scotland. Mary wrote a number of hymns to teach her own little family the things of God. Though she died at the age of twenty-six, she’s left us this wonderful prayer hymn for children.

Respectfully yours, were the words she used to end her prayer. A little unusual, but hearing children pray can be amusing sometimes. Listening in can also be both a humbling and inspiring experience. Children are so sincere about it, so direct and honest, so trusting. It sometimes puts us to shame. No wonder the Lord Jesus cites the example of “little children” when it comes to the humble faith in God we each should have (Matt. 18:1-4).

How sad when children are not taught, early on, to go to God in prayer, how sad when they are not told of a loving Saviour who wants them to know Him, and wants to give them life eternal. Lucy Maud Montgomery portrays this lack in the life of Anne Shirley, her beloved orphan, in her novel Anne of Green Gables. (It’s a scene that is also found in Kevin Sullivan’s great 1985 miniseries of the same name.)

“You’re old enough to pray for yourself, Anne,” says Marilla at bedtime, to Anne, newly arrived from the orphanage. “Just thank God for your blessings, and ask Him humbly for the things you want.”

“Well, I’ll do my best,” promises Anne.

She proceeds to list several good things she’d experienced that day, and concludes, “That’s all the blessings I can think of just now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want, they’re so numerous that it would take a great deal of time to name them all, so I will only mention the two most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables; and please let me be good-looking when I grow up. I remain, Yours respectfully, Anne Shirley.”

That conclusion perhaps makes us smile. It sounds like something someone might put at the end of a written order to a catalogue store. But it’s a start. Sincere, and to the point. A greater maturity and spiritual depth can come later, with more teaching on the subject. The important thing is to get started.

A couple of points before we consider the content of a child’s prayers as it’s illustrated in our hymn.

First, the Lord Jesus, during the days of His earthly ministry, welcomed little children. He was disturbed when the disciples tried to turn them away. Instead, “He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them” (Mk. 10:16). Now, in heaven, He welcomes them still, in the place of prayer.

Second, each child, growing up, needs good spiritual examples to follow, and clear Bible teaching in the home. The local church has a part in this too, but it can never replace the home. Timothy had that, as a child. Though his father was perhaps not a Christian–or not yet a Christian–his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois certainly were godly women of faith (II Tim. 1:5). They were the reason Paul could say of Timothy, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures” (II Tim. 3:15).

To return to the subject of prayer in particular, we consider the present hymn. I believe the words could be memorized by quite a young child, giving him or her a basic understanding of many things to include in a prayer. (It might also be taught in Sunday School, or Children’s Church for the same purpose.)

Line after line adds important truth, and can lead to further discussion and teaching by a loving parent. The reference to death in stanza three is especially poignant. In Mary Duncan’s day, the rate of infant mortality was high, and children had to face the possibility early on. Here’s her exquisite hymn in its entirety.

CH-1) Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me;
Bless Thy little lamb tonight;
Through the darkness be Thou near me;
Watch my sleep till morning light.

CH-2) All this day Thy hand has led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care;
Thou hast clothed me, warmed and fed me,
Listen to my evening prayer.

CH-3) Let my sins be all forgiven;
Bless the friends I love so well;
Take me, when I die, to heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell.

Questions:
1) Make a list of what is included in this prayer. Is there anything you would add, in teaching it? (If you have poetic skills, maybe you could write another stanza to include these things.)

2) Have you recently had the opportunity (and privilege) to listen to a child praying? How did the experience affect you?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (John Stainer)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 10, 2017

I Cannot Call Affliction Sweet

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: James Montgomery (b. Nov. 4, 1771; d. Apr. 30, 1854)
Music: Heber (or Kingsley) by George Kingsley (b. July 7, 1811; d. Mar. 14, 1884)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (James Montgomery)
The Cyber Hymnal (James Montgomery)
Hymnary.org

Note: James Montgomery was a newspaper editor and a committed Christian. He gave us many fine hymns, including the carol Angels from the Realms of Glory. The present lesser known song came about in an unusual way as you will see.

Old hymn books commonly use the tune Heber with this hymn, or the tune Siloam, by Isaac Baker Woodbury (1819-1858)

It’s likely safe to say that nobody but a neurotic enjoys pain and suffering. Normally, any positive effect comes later or indirectly. For example, we put up with and endure the short-term pain of surgery because of the expectation of an improvement in our health afterward. The joy in suffering pertains to the future results, not to the pain. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

However, there’s a personality disorder identified by some, a psychiatric condition called masochism. The masochist finds the mistreatment of himself enjoyable, and takes pleasure in inflicting pain on himself. A further complication called sadomasochism also finds pleasure in giving pain to others, and this often leads to moral depravity. A sad and distasteful subject indeed!

But return to the idea that, though we take no pleasure in pain, we are often able to see beyond it to better things. The Lord Jesus did that, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). Crucifixion was such a painful and horrific way to die they had to invent a word to describe it. “Excruciating” literally means from the cross. But the Lord looked beyond that terrible ordeal to the many who would gain eternal salvation by His redemptive work. “Christ died for our sins,” the Bible says (I Cor. 15:3). In that He rejoiced.

On another front, the Word of God encourages us to look upon God’s disciplining of us as believers in the same long-range way, because it’s “whom the Lord loves He chastens” (Heb. 12:6). Not to apply corrective measures to a disobedient child is no favour, and no sign of love. “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (vs. 11; cf. Prov. 22:6).

Then there is the issue of persecution. There are those in our world who hate Christians and all they stand for. They seek to suppress the preaching of the gospel, and oppress the servants of God any way they can–in some cases even with imprisonment and death. This isn’t new. Jesus warned His followers of it, long ago (Jn. 15:18-21). But even in the midst of such painful circumstances the sufferer has the realization that his (or her) Saviour was treated the same way, and looks forward, with you to heavenly rewards that await (Acts 5:40-42; I Pet. 4:12-13).

Having said these things, not all the blessings of present suffering are found in the future. The Lord can bring benefits, not only  afterward, but in the midst of the ordeal too. Scottish hymn writer James Montgomery wrote a hymn about that.

On May 24th, 1832, Mr. Montgomery returned home to Sheffield, England, after attending some church meetings in Bristol. On arrival he was handed an album or scrapbook sent from a woman in London. She was a great admirer of Montgomery’s writings, and had collected many of his poems and hymns which she had mounted in the book. Now, she was seriously ill, in fact was on her deathbed, and she wondered if he would be willing to write something personal in her album.

Whether she was thinking simply of a signature, or a personal greeting is not known. But James Montgomery was so touched by her request he sat down and wrote a hymn about suffering and how God uses it for our blessing. In it he also recalls how we sometimes make promises to God at such times, only to forget them and forsake them later.

1) I cannot call affliction sweet,
And yet ‘twas good to bear;
Affliction brought me to Thy feet,
And I found comfort there.

3) Where are the vows which then I vowed?
The joys which then I knew?
Those, vanished like the morning cloud;
These, like the early dew.

4) Lord, grant me grace for every day,
Whate’er my state may be,
Through life, in death, with truth to say,
“My God is all to me.”

Questions:
1) What are some of the good things the Lord can bring out of suffering?

2) What can we do to keep a positive attitude when we’re going through trials?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (James Montgomery)
The Cyber Hymnal (James Montgomery)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 8, 2017

How Are Thy Servants Blest

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Joseph Addison (b. May 1, 1672; d. June 17, 1719)
Music: Praetorius from the Harmoniae Hymnorum Scholae Gorlicensis, a book of Latin and German hymns published in 1599

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Joseph Addison)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Addison was the son of an English clergyman, and briefly considered becoming one himself. Instead he turned his gifts to politics and journalism. He is considered one of the most gifted writers of his time. In 1711 he founded a newspaper called the Spectator. He included essays of his own in the publication, sometimes concluding these with a poem he had written. This hymn is one of those, set to music. He also gave us When All Thy Mercies, and The Spacious Firmament.

The original of the present hymn had ten stanzas. As of writing this, I see the Cyber Hymnal does not include them all. I’ve printed below the ones that particularly deal with the storm, and Addison’s reaction to it, and I’ve numbered them as they come in the full hymn.

Have you ever been scared stiff–so frightened you couldn’t even move? Or scared out of you wits–not even able to think straight? We have a number of terms like that to describe overwhelming terror. One of these is to say the person is scared to death.

It’s an intentional exaggeration to make a point. If a person tells us they were “scared to death” in some situation, they were obviously didn’t die from it. So is it even possible to be scared to death? Apparently it is–especially if the person has a weak heart to begin with.

It’s called the Baskerville effect, after a Sherlock Holmes story published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1905. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, the great detective investigates the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, after, apparently, a giant and ghostly looking hound has frightened him to death. (I won’t spoil the mystery by telling you whether the dog had help.)

It can happen in real life too, though it’s unusual. In North Carolina, there was a bank robber on the run from the police, who broke into the house of an elderly woman to hide. She was so terrified that she had a heart attack and died. When the robber was caught, he was charged with first degree murder. In that state, if someone causes the death of another while committing a felony (such as robbery), the criminal can be charged with homicide.

As someone has said, most of the things we fear never actually happen. It’s true that planes do fall from the sky, and ships do sink–the Titanic did! But compared to the millions of miles clocked by tens of thousands of planes and boats, it’s relatively rare. That being said, even a near miss can be harrowing.

That happened to newspaper editor Joseph Addison in December of 1700. He was traveling by boat in the Mediterranean, along the east coast of Italy, when a dreadful storm arose. The peril seemed so great that the captain gave the ship up for lost. He clutched at a monk on board, and began confessing his sins, certain he was about to die.

Joseph Addison was frightened too but, as a Christian, he began to pray that the Lord would give him inner peace, and help him through the storm. The Lord had brought him safely thus far on his travels–even through a hair-raising adventure on an Alpine glacier, and an epidemic in the city of Rome. As he prayed, he was able to entrust himself once again into the hands of God.

Addison’s hymn, looking back on the tempest afterward, is called How Are Thy Servants Blest, O Lord. Several stanzas have to do specifically with the storm he’d come through safely, but we can apply them to the many and varied storms of life we each face.

4) Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes
Thou sawest the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise!

5) Confusion dwelt on every face,
And fear in every heart;
When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
O’ercame the pilot’s art.

6) Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free,
When in the confidence of prayer
My soul took hold on Thee.

7) When by the dreadful tempest borne
High on the broken wave,
They know Thou art not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.

8) The storm is laid, the winds retire,
Obedient to Thy will,
The sea, that roars at Thy command,
At Thy command is still.

9) In midst of dangers, fears and death,
Thy goodness we adore;
We praise Thee for Thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.

God’s Word assures us He is fully able to help us in and through the storms of this life, of whatever kind we have to face.

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” (Ps. 93:4). “He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Ps. 107:29-31).

Questions:
1) Why does the Lord allow storms to touch our lives?

2) What other hymn(s) can you think of that use storm imagery?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Joseph Addison)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 5, 2017

God Is the Refuge of His Saints

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Isaac Watts (b. July 17, 1674; d. Nov. 25, 1748)
Music: Ward, a Scottish melody arranged by Lowell Mason (b. Jan. 8, 1792; d. Aug. 11, 1872)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Isaac Watts has been called the Father of English Hymnody. He began writing hymns in his teens, eventually giving us about six hundred of them. He produced hymns of great theological depth, and often ones that have a great depth of feeling too. There is hardly anything in our traditional hymns to surpass When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.

The story of Noah, and of how he built the ark at God’s command, and what followed after, takes up four chapters in the early part of Genesis (chapters 6–9). Though skeptics have dismissed the account, it has the ring of truth and authenticity. Further, over the years, some have actually claimed to have seen the remains of the ark. Whether or not they did, God’s Word remains true.

In Noah’s day, the wickedness of humanity had come to such a state that the Bible says, “The earth also was corrupt [rotten, ruined] before God, and the earth was filled with violence [cruelty and injustice]” (Gen. 6:11-12). But there was a notable exception. Noah is described as a just man who walked with God, and the Almighty looked upon him with favour (6:8-9).

The Lord told Noah He was about to destroy all humanity, and all air-breathing animals across the face of the earth (6:13, 17), but that Noah and his immediate family were to be saved (6:18). The means of their deliverance was to be an “ark,” a massive floating barge, 450 feet (137 metres) long. It would be a place of safety, not only for eight people, but for representatives of every species of earth’s creatures (6:19-20).

In obedience to God, Noah and his three sons began constructing the ark. No doubt building it with no adequate body of water nearby drew a big crowd of gawkers. It likely became a kind of tourist attraction, and the subject of endless ridicule. But over the years it took to construct it, the Bible tells us Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (II Pet. 2:5), warning others of judgment to come. Sadly, no one heeded him.

“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith [by trusting God]” (Heb. 11:7).

It took about a year for the flood waters to rise and abate. But in that time they were safe in the ark from the storms of judgment, until the boat finally came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:4)–in what is now eastern Turkey.

God has promised He will never again bring a watery judgment on the whole earth. The final judgment is to be by fire (II Pet. 3:6-7, 10-11). But for this or any other time of danger there is a place of safety. The ark of old provides a foreshadowing and a picture of it. The ultimate place of safety for the people of God is the Lord Himself.

This is brought out in Psalms, over and again. “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Ps. 9:9). “In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Ps. 62:7-8). And that’s the key to finding a place of safety in the Lord, putting our faith in Him (cf. Prov. 3:5-6).

One particular psalm speaks of God’s protection extensively, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble….The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Ps. 46:1, 7). That psalm was the basis for Martin Luther’s great hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. To this may be added a lesser known hymn by Isaac Watts called God Is the Refuge of the Saints. With firm assurance he ends his hymn by declaring we are “Built on His truth, and armed with power” (CH-6). The hymn definitely has a message for the turmoil of today.

CH-1) God is the refuge of His saints,
When storms of sharp distress invade;
Ere we can offer our complaints,
Behold Him present with His aid.

CH-2) Let mountains from their seats be hurled
Down to the deep, and buried there;
Convulsions shake the solid world:
Our faith shall never yield to fear.

CH-3) Loud may the troubled ocean roar;
In sacred peace our souls abide;
While every nation, every shore,
Trembles, and dreads the swelling tide.

Questions:
1) What storm of life has recently struck you or someone you know?

2) Did you take refuge in the Lord, by trusting in Him? With what result?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 3, 2017

Courage, Brother, Do Not Stumble

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Norman Macleod (b. June 3, 1812; d. June 16, 1872)
Music: Courage, by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (b. May 13, 1842; d. Nov. 22, 1900)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Arthur Sullivan)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Dr. Norman Macleod was a Scottish clergyman who served for a time as Queen Victoria’s chaplain. He was also an author and editor. In 1857 he published this hymn that urges upon us, in very strong terms, the message of Psalm 118:8-9. Though his first line in the original was, “Courage, brother, do not stumble,” I’ve taken the liberty broaden the application by changing that second word to “Christian.”

Johnny Carson was famous for his thirty-year stint as the host of American television’s Tonight Show. But in 1957, before that job began, he was emcee of a game show called Who Do You Trust? On the program, couples competed for small cash prizes. When the man was asked a question, he had to decide whether to trust himself to answer it, or trust the woman to do so.

It’s actually a question we ask many times–mentally, if not out loud. Whom do I trust to cut my hair? Or to make plumbing repairs in our home? Or to do work on our car? Whom do I trust to babysit our children? Or sell me insurance? Or teach me how to skydive? Even from these few examples it’s easy to see that a wrong answer, a mistake in judgment, might prove to be expensive, or even dangerous.

When you go to vote, whom do you trust to govern your community, or your country? Whom do you trust to be your employer–or employee? Whom do you trust with major medical decisions? Yourself? Or your doctor? And, most important of all, whom do you trust when it comes to your spiritual welfare and your eternal destiny? And there is a practical application of that I’ll note here.

When a family has to move to a new town, they need to rent or purchase some place to live. And what are the questions they commonly ask? Is this house near enough to my (or our) place of work? Is it conveniently near stores and schools? And what about restaurants, and recreational facilities for us and the kids? All of those are good things to know?

But there’s one question we rarely hear considered–one that deserves to be at the top of the list. The question is: Is the house near to a good church, where we can go as a family to worship and praise the Lord, be faithfully taught the Word of God, and get involved in serving Him? A church where we and our children can form friendships that will enrich our spiritual lives? A church where we can be a blessing to others? That such questions are either asked, or not, says a great deal about our life’s priorities. Whom do we trust?

Concerning the Bible, the verse and chapter divisions were not in the original manuscripts. They were added later so we could find our place more easily to read and study. These have become somewhat standardized over the years, but there are still some variations, depending on translations, and the way chapters are divided. There are over thirty-one thousand verses in the Scriptures and, by one calculation, Psalm 118:8-9 is at the very centre. Those are verses specifically about whom we trust.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Ps. 118:8-9).

Whether or not that’s at the exact centre of the Bible, it’s pretty close. And it’s surely central to the Bible’s message. Some form of words such as faith, believe, and trust, are found there over eight hundred times. So, whom do you trust?

In order to function in society, we have to place a certain amount of faith in one another. But always with the understanding that we are each fallible human beings and, even with the best of intentions we can let one another down. There’s only One who can be trusted, always, without qualification.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (cf. Prov. 3:5-6).

CH-1) Courage, Christian, do not stumble,
Though thy path be dark as night;
There’s a star to guide the humble:
Trust in God and do the right.
Let the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely; strong or weary,

Trust in God, trust in God,
Trust in God and do the right.

CH-2) Perish policy and cunning,
Perish all that fears the light!
Whether losing, whether winning,
Trust in God and do the right,
Trust no party, sect or faction;
Trust no leaders in the fight;
But in every word or action,

CH-3) Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above thee:
Trust in God and do the right.
Simple rule, and safest guiding,
Inward peace and inward might,
Star upon our path abiding,

Questions:
1) In what situation recently did it take courage for you to “do the right”?

2) How did the Lord help you in this situation?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Arthur Sullivan)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | May 1, 2017

Breathe on Me

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Baylus Benjamin McKinney (b. July 22, 1886; d. Sept. 7, 1952)
Music: Baylus Benjamin McKinney

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (B. B. McKinney)
The Cyber Hymnal (B. B. McKinney)
Hymnary.org

Note: B. B. McKinney wrote this hymn called Breathe on Me (or Holy Spirit, Breathe on Me), about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life. Strangely, this song is sometimes credited to Edwin Hatch (1835-1889), who wrote Breathe on Me, Breath of God, which explores a similar theme. (Hymnary.org goes so far as to credit the present hymn to Hatch, listing McKinney as an “adapter” of the song.) McKinney may have been inspired by the earlier hymn, and borrows some of Hatch’s phrases, but they are not identical.

McKinney served as an assistant pastor, a seminary music teacher, a hymn book editor, a soloist, and song leader. So influential was his ministry that his denomination dubbed him “the father of church music among the Southern Baptists.” Sadly, he was killed in an automobile accident at the age of sixty-six.

In the cold weather, we can see our breath–well, sort of. The white clouds billowing from mouth and nose are actually water vapour in the invisible air we’re breathing out, but the phenomena does give us an awareness of our breathing.

It’s something that happens 17,000 to 30,000 times a day, day after day, for as long as we live. In fact, we need to breathe to live. Our lungs take in needed oxygen which is passed into our bloodstream, while carbon dioxide is expelled when we exhale. There are emergency situations in which a person’s air flow has stopped, and he’s lost consciousness. As quickly as possible breathing needs to be restored, if tissue and brain damage are to be avoided, and life is to be sustained.

This often requires artificial respiration, a rescue technique to get breathing started again. Until the mid-twentieth century, this was done chiefly by repeated chest compressions, putting manual pressure on the lungs. In more recent years mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has been used, or a combination of the two methods. The latter technique is popularly called the kiss of life, as the rescuer breathes life-giving air into the lungs of the unconscious person.

The Bible has some things to tell us about breathing. When God formed the first man’s body from the dust (or elements) of the earth, He “breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [a living creature]” (Gen. 2:7). Human life, in physical terms, originated when the animating life of God was breathed into Adam. “The breath of the Almighty gives me life,” says Job, “in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10; 33:4). “He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25).

It is of interest to us here that both the Old Testament Hebrew word (ruwach) and the New Testament Greek word (pneuma) can mean either spirit or breath. In a real sense, the Holy Spirit brings to us, in spiritual terms, the life-giving, empowering breath of God. And just as we cannot see the air, we cannot see the Spirit of God at work in our lives, but we can certainly perceive the transforming results.

The Lord Jesus made a similar observation. “The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit [Pneuma]” (Jn. 3:8). As the power of the invisible wind can propel a sailboat, turn a windmill, or lift a kite, so the Holy Spirit’s work causes spiritual growth and animates our service for Christ.

As believers, “you were washed [from sins corruption]…you were sanctified [set apart as God’s possession, and]…you were justified [pronounced righteous by a holy God] in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11). We are to be “filled [and fulfilled] with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), a phrase indicating that as we are living consistently in faith and obedience toward God, His will and purpose are fulfilled in us. When the early Christians were filled with the Spirit, they “spoke the Word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

2) Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
My stubborn will subdue;
Teach me in words of living flame
What Christ would have me do.

Breathe on me, breathe on me,
Holy Spirit, breathe on me;
Take Thou my heart, cleanse every part,
Holy Spirit, breathe on me.

3) Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
Fill me with pow’r divine;
Kindle a flame of love and zeal
Within this heart of mine.

Questions:
1) Can you list a number of important ministries of the Spirit of God?

2) What other hymns about the Holy Spirit do you know?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (B. B. McKinney)
The Cyber Hymnal (B. B. McKinney)
Hymnary.org

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