Posted by: rcottrill | August 8, 2010

Today in 1845 – Thomas Koschat Born

Thomas Koschat studied chemistry in Vienna in order to become a textile chemist. He also he sang in the court opera choir, eventually becoming its director. In later years he formed the Koschat Quartet that toured Europe and America extensively.

The composer’s tune Poland (also known as Koschat) is used with The Lord Is My Shepherd, one of many renderings of Psalm 23. The text for this one was written by James Montgomery and published in 1822. The alto part of the tune is particularly important because it carries the melody at the beginning. If you sing the hymn, perhaps you could encourage women with lower voices to sing those notes. Or you might try having all the ladies on the soprano part and all the men singing the alto.

Graphic Flock of SheepThe Word of God compares believers to sheep many times, and the imagery is not necessarily complimentary. Sheep are seen as weak and vulnerable, subject to attacks both from parasites and from predatory animals such as wolves. They also have a tendency to wander and endanger themselves, and they need the constant oversight of a capable shepherd. Praise the Lord we have an infinitely capable Shepherd in the Lord Jesus, who is pictured in the Bible as:

  • The good Shepherd who gave His life to save us (Jn. 10:11)
  • The great Shepherd who is able to keep us safe (Heb. 13:20-21)
  • The chief Shepherd who will come again to reward His servants (I Pet. 5:2-4)

The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know;
I feed in green pastures, safe folded I rest;
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,
Restores me when wand’ring, redeems when oppressed.

Let goodness and mercy, my bountiful God,
Still follow my steps till I meet Thee above;
I seek, by the path which my forefathers trod,
Through land of their sojourn, Thy kingdom of love.

(2) Today in 1922 – William Jude Died
William Herbert Jude was a church organist and composer in Britain. He traveled extensively (including to Australia), giving lectures on musical themes, and recitals on the organ. He also wrote and edited publications, particularly dealing with church music (the Monthly Hymnal, Ministry of Music, Music and the Higher Life, Mission Hymns, and Festival Hymns).

William Jude wrote an operetta (Innocents Abroad), and a number of anthems and songs. He has given us the tune for Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn of dedication, Jesus Calls Us. The tune’s name is Galilee (though it is sometimes called Jude, after the composer.) The hymn is based on the record in Matthew of Jesus calling some of His disciples:

Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. Then HE said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him (Matt. 4:18-20).

Mrs. Alexander wrote the song for the commemoration of Saint Andrew’s Day (Nov. 30) in her church. That is why a stanza, now usually omitted, makes specific reference to him.

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Without that stanza, the hymn becomes an effective call for believers to establish eternal priorities and commit ourselves to Christian service.

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Here’s a video link to some guitar variations on William Jude’s tune.


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