Posted by: rcottrill | December 11, 2017

From Greenland’s Icy Mountains

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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: Reginald Heber (b. Apr. 21, 1783; d. Apr. 3, 1826)
Music: Missionary Hymn, by Lowell Mason (b. Jan. 8, 1792; d. Aug. 11, 1872)

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: So well was Heber’s hymn written in the original manuscript form that not a word needed to be changed later. As for Lowell Mason, we know his work from many hymns in our hymnals. For example, he wrote the tune Bethany for the hymn Nearer, My God, to Thee.

There are many exclusive clubs around the world, where only members are allowed to enjoy the facilities and mingle with those deemed society’s elite. All others are excluded.

The application process to join these is rigorous, sometimes taking years. You must be recommended by at least two current members in good standing, and be a person with prestige and social influence. And you must by wealthy. The registration fee for one club is $50,000, plus an annual fee of $15,000. The Mar-a-Lago Club, in Florida, has become famous recently because it’s owned by Donald Trump, the current president of the United States. To join you must pay $200,000, in addition to an annual fee of $16,000.

And this does not mean that everything inside is free for the members. They must still pay for meals, for a round of golf, or a game of tennis, or other services. What then are the advantages for the chosen few? Perhaps business contacts that may pay dividends down the road. Otherwise there’s not much to say for membership, when weighed against the cost. Some people might look up to you for being a member, but those are pretty expensive bragging rights!

Aren’t you glad the Christian gospel is not like that. It’s not for an exclusive few. Jesus said:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mk. 2:17).

“That whoever [anyone and everyone who] believes in Him [Christ] should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:10).

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in faith] shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

This is reflected in what has been called the Great Commission, given by the Lord to His followers, that they should share the good news of salvation through faith in Christ with everyone, everywhere–with “All the nations” (Matt. 28:19; Lk. 24:47); “all the world” (Mk. 16:15); “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

That was the ministry of the apostles, after Christ’s ascension, and from the first century onward there has always been Christian missionary outreach. However there was a great resurgence of world evangelism late in the eighteenth century and through to the early twentieth century.

Called the “Great Century” of Christian missions, it was begun by the pioneering work of William Carey in India. Carey (1761-1826) has been called the Father of Modern Missions. This was also the time when Reginald Heber lived, a godly Anglican clergyman, later the bishop of India, and the author of a number of wonderful hymns.

In 1819, a royal letter was sent to churches in England, calling for a collection to be made to help the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Heber wrote a hymn to be sung on that occasion in his father-in-law’s church. The words of the hymn were written out on slips of paper, and the following day (Sunday) were sung to the tune of an old ballad.

Then, two or three years later, the words came to the attention of a woman living in Savannah, Georgia, who saw the need for a better tune. She happened to know a young bank clerk who lived down the street who was said to have musical talent. She took the words to him, and in half an hour he composed Missionary Hymn, the great tune we use today. The bank clerk was Lowell Mason. It was his first hymn tune, and he went on to write dozens more.

CH-1) From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand;
Where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand:
From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver their land from error’s chain.

CH-3) Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,
Shall we to those benighted the lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation! The joyful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Messiah’s name.

CH-4) Waft, waft, ye winds, His story, and you, ye waters, roll
Till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from pole to pole:
Till o’er our ransomed nature the Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator, in bliss returns to reign.

1) What is your church doing in support of world missions?

2) What are you doing personally to support this work of world evangelism?

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


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