Posted by: rcottrill | September 22, 2014

Jesus, Hail, Enthroned in Glory

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Words: John Bakewell (b. _____, 1721; d. Mar. 18, 1819)
Music: Austrian Hymn, by Franz Josef Haydn (b. Mar. 31, 1732; d. May 31, 1809)

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

Note: The names Abbey and Munger, associated by the Cyber Hymnal with the words of this hymn, are not those of the authors, but the publishers of a book in which the song was found. The hymn is described by hymn historian John Julian as an abbreviated form of a more familiar hymn by Bakewell, Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus.

The Cyber Hymnal also gives the tune Port-au-Prince from the above book. It is a fine tune, but I also think Austrian Hymn works well (commonly used with Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken). I notice that many old hymnals divide the stanzas in two. If you do that, I would recommend the tune Wycliff, by John Stainer (sometimes used with All for Jesus), or possibly Rathbun (used with In the Cross of Christ I Glory).

The worship of Christ in heavenly glory is the theme of this hymn. His ascension back into heaven is described for us several times.

“After the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk. 16:19). “It came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven” (Lk. 24:51). “When He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

The way this is worded–carried up, taken up, received–suggests a royal procession or honour guard, and a victorious entrance into the heavenly city. That seems to be prefigured or prophesied by David in Psalm 24.

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in” (Ps. 24:7-9).

The Bible tells us where Christ is, in heaven, and something of what He is doing there. We learn that He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, on His [the Father’s] throne (Rev. 3:21). There He serves as our great High Priest, Intercessor, and heavenly Advocate (Rom. 8:33-34; Heb. 1:3; 7:25; I Jn. 2:1-2). He is also Head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23), to which He assigns gifted men (Eph. 4:10-12), and He is preparing a place for the saints to dwell in eternally (Jn. 14:1-3).

CH-1) Jesus, hail! enthroned in glory,
There forever to abide;
All the heav’nly host adore Thee,
Seated at Thy Father’s side;
There for sinners Thou art pleading,
There Thou dost our place prepare;
Ever for us interceding,
Till in glory we appear.

The three disciples, Peter, James, and John, got a brief glimpse of Christ’s heavenly glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Matthew says “His face shone like the sun” (Matt. 17:2). Later, Paul (then called Saul) met the glorified Christ on the Damascus road and was blinded by the light (Acts 22:6, 11; 26:13). Finally, there was John’s experience, as recorded in the book of Revelation. John says, “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength (Rev. 1:16). And he later describes the heavenly worship of Christ, “the Lamb.”

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and blessing!’ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honour and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’” (Rev. 5:11-13).

CH-2) Worship, honour, power and blessing,
Thou art worthy to receive;
Loudest praises without ceasing,
Meet it is for us to give;
Help ye bright angelic spirits,
Bring your sweetest, noblest lays;
Help to sing our Saviour’s merits,
Help to chant Immanuel’s praise.

Questions:
1) What to you is the most important present ministry of Christ in heaven?

2) What other hymns do you sing that have to do with Christ’s ascension and heavenly glory?

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


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