Music & Hymns
2 Lessons taken from the
Alpha & Omega fellowship EXCHANGE
(An abbreviated version)
In the Tuition Course, an instrument, or framework is adopted which when applied over a course of action, any subject matter, or the life of an individual, has the capacity to capture and discern the ordered and developing unity, which has a satisfying completeness, upon the person or subject matter rendered.
That is to say, when applying this instrument and framework, it will only capture any subject matter rendered, provided it was accomplished in a manner which carried an ordered and developing unity in the first place.
Alternately, before contemplating a course of action, we decide as it were to adopt this framework, thus if we discharge this course of action successfully as intended, then conversely, when we apply this framework over the course of action taken, then it should reflect the framework in its entirety.
The instrument and framework adopted in the Tuition Course is derived from the wonderful framework of the Collect formulae. That is the Collect is a type of prayer unique to Western Christendom, made famous in their profound beauty primarily from the great Collects in the Book of Common Prayer, by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, its compiler.
The Collect has five distinct stages in its ordered and developing unity, which has a coherent, cogent, comprehensive and satisfying completeness. But in order to apply this framework, as described above, the framework has to undergo a transfiguration, or reinterpretation, in this manner.
Before doing so, it is vital to understand the significance of this approach and its profound undertaking in this wise.
Everyone knows the thrill of the Carousel, its colour and magic creates an experience of tremendous force, rather like gravity upon the face of the earth. Once we come off, we inevitably become disorientated. The trip on the Carousel is symbolic of the creative force which shaped Western Civilisation, securing the foundations of our modern world, in both religious and secular dimensions.
The Tuition Course works towards this perspective, that this creative force was the work of Almighty God, to furnish by a single course of action once offered, a full, perfect, sufficient and satisfactory deliverance of all the criteria of the Eden of Genesis, regenerated into the entire fabric of Western Civilisation, creating its very being. That is to say this, that the formulae or framework of the Collect captures the omnipotent course of action engineered by the Almighty.
Imagine, ( as if ) the Almighty before embarking on this course of action, prayed using the framework of the Collect. Having done so, all his actions reflect the five stages of the Collect. Or, conversely, we could say that God did no such thing, as he is perfect he needs no such guidance. True, but if he is perfect, then all his actions will betray a measure of discernable continuity, which is coherent to establish his character. Thus if the formulae of the Collect is placed over this course of action, it will make that course of action coherent.
Imagine a jelly bowl, ( with the rounded bits at the bottom, please ) This represents the framework of the Collect. The liquid jelly poured into the mould, is the prayer or course of action conspired in the strength of the mind. After the jelly is set, tipped out, the jelly will perfectly reflect the shape of the mould. And if one places the mould over the jelly, it will fit perfectly! Thus the prayer and course of action will be traced by the course of action.
The Collect itself as a prayer
The Collect is a highly developed form of prayer, capable of infinite variation, and beauty of expression. For all its complexity, it never loses its ordered and developing unity. For a prayer constructed in one sentence, its potential is boundless in securing any theme or subject matter and render it with a coherent and satisfying completeness.
The five stage of the Collect
1. The Address Almighty God
2. The Relative clause in whom we live and move and have our being
3. The Petition mercifully grant that our hearts may be so enlightened by thy love
4. The purpose of the Petition that we may live anew, transformed by the renewing of our minds
5. The Ending for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Their ordered and developing unity
1. The Address The Person (God) or subject matter addressed.
2. The Relative clause Something which substantiates that Person or subject matter
3. The Petition The beseeching or what can be asked in the light of 1&2
4. The purpose of the petition The reason behind the beseeching or request
5. The Ending The coherent and satisfying conclusion sought for
Stage 1&2 may be viewed as OBJECTIVE
Stage 3&4 may be viewed as SUBJECTIVE
Stage 5 is the real and satisfying conclusion sought for.
The Collect transfigured into a course of action
WORDS WITH A COMPATIBLE MEANING
1. The Address THEME INTENTION SUBJECT
2. The Relative clause EXPOUNDS RATIFIES SUBSTANTIATES
3. The Petition BESEECHING RESULT FUSION
4. The Purpose of the petition CONCLUSION COMPLETENESS CONSUMATION
The 5 stages translated into a course of action
1. Subject To design a car which leads to
2. Expounded the components being manufactured
3. Fusion which after their assembly
4. Result turns into a car,
5. Conclusion which becomes a mode of transport.
THE COMPLETE LIFE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
(A brief summary)
1 The Address- The Incarnation.
God ‘addressed’ mankind’s salvation by becoming flesh. John 1v14
2 The Relative clause- Christ’s Ministry
Our Lord’s ministry opens up and substantiates who he really is.
Eg, he was the Christ, Advocate, ministry of reconciliation etc. 2 Corinthians v19
3 The Petition The Crucifixion
The Crucifixion is where our Lord’s entire life was assembled as it were upon the Cross. Philippians 2 v 8
4 The purpose of the petition The Atonement
Just as the production of a car came to a resting point in its working stages, so in Christ’s own life, all the ‘working stages’ of his life came to a close. The Atonement as it were ( with reverence ) is the end product of his life on earth.
5 The Ending –The Resurrection
In the production of a car, it is only when we comprehend that it is a ‘ mode of transport’ that’s its entirety comes to a meaningful end. It has a usefulness far beyond its physical splendour.
The Resurrection, similarly, according to Christ himself has a meaning far beyond its literal splendour. In John 11v25 Mary was concerned about the Day of Resurrection
( Christ’s Second Coming ) so that she could see her brother again, ( very human)
but our Lord was keen to reveal that the Resurrection has afar more profound meaning as life itself, here and now in this life for those who are dead to God in sin, but turn to Christ in faith. He made the meaning of life and the Resurrection to be identified with himself. ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’
The resurrection ‘transports’ Christ’s life into ours, as it were.
These five stages only allude to our Lord’s earthly life. Christ was in the beginning with God, and his Ascension an seat at the right hand of God and his Second Coming are part of his ‘eternal identity.’
Applying the framework of the Collect to trace the 5 stages
in the ordered and developing unity in two aspects of
1 The State. Music in Europe 1600-1950 approx
2 The Church. Hymns 1600-1950 approx.
The conviction of Reformation 2 rests upon the belief that the Almighty conducted a single course of action, to refurbish the chief criteria of the Eden of Genesis into the modern world, creating the entirety of Western Civilisation. Applying this framework, in concert with the theological perspective, this new evidence will precipitate mankind into a whole new approach to the existence of Almighty God, that say 10% can be located in the Christian Church and 90% located in the secular world.
OF THE NATURE OF MUSIC AND LITERATURE.
When the Almighty entrusted to humanity the gift of music, in concert with literature and other arts, what he had in mind is to both reflect the growing stature of humanity, in all its finesse, at the same time that he is transforming that stature, dignifying and turning ( albeit still sinful and fallen humanity, theologically) from the savage to a noble and dignified human being, filled with comprehension and intelligence. ( This is the reason why humanism was identified at this stage of human history, and its compatible confusion with the virtuous nature of being a Christian.)
The nature of music is also to carry its impact at the point of delivery, ie when it is being played. Then it has the power to communicate with the senses.
It must also be noted the profound difference between European music and English, British music, which reflect the character of these separate nations.
On the Continent, the Almighty worked as it were in a spontaneous manner, thus the people he fashioned, direct, flamboyant etc can be reflected in the music. But this must be qualified by this understanding. The music of Western Europe had the profound ability to carry the true perspective of how human beings feel in regard to the environment around and within themselves. Think of the lovely piece by the composer Grieg. His piece ‘Morning’ from the Peer Gynt suite expresses the precise feelings which we as human beings would imagine how getting up in the morning and appreciating the beauty of nature. It carries a true perspective of how we feel. All the great composers, from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc, all achieve this remarkable status.
In English music, the few composers there are, all reflect the chief characteristic of England, of Britain, the great British reserve. There is not a single composer to be found in the entire repertoire of English, British composers, in who’s music this directness and exactness of how human beings feel, except when those feelings have been quenched and made reserved. Only God could have initiated this separation, and in so doing justification, for he was refining his art.
Remember on the Continent the Almighty was working in a spontaneous fashion. He had to for this reason. The action of reinstating the chief criteria of the Eden of Genesis was conducted for the benefit of both Mankind and the Almighty. But this course of action also carries compatible likeness to the Lord Jesus Christ. As our Lord came in human form, so the course of action was also carried in human likeness, in this wise.
When we carry out any course of action, we tend firstly to plan and practise before carrying that action, because we are mortal and imperfect. But with the Almighty, because he is who he is any action that he undertakes, will be perfect first time round, every time, any subject. Paradoxically the Almighty applied a contemplative action after so that his secondary action as it were was one of restraint. This created the British peoples, and in particular the English. The English gentleman was once regarded as the noblest form of man.
To underline this, other parts of the Tuition Course deals with English poetry. In literature, the English writers excelled, with such great writers as Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth etc. This is because the fundamental difference between music and literature is this. Music has its point of impact at the moment of its hearing as it were, and also because it carried a true perspective of how we feel. But literature, had a very slow fuse. It is very reserved by nature in its art. One has to take in thousands of words and chapters before the impact is made. Nevertheless, English literature also achieved the same profound beauty of understanding, compatible to music. But its mode of implementation is profoundly different. Here once more is evidence that the Almighty is behind the bestowing of these wonderful achievements.
The ordered and developing unity of Music in Europe 1600-1950.
1. The Address. Bach
The constitution or the manner in which music is ‘addressed’ is encompassed in Baroque Music. That is in this kind of music, all the components which go to making music are hid in its intricate structure.
It is very much like the Incarnation of our Lord in that it conceals his full identity. All the divine aspects of his nature are there, but they are as it were interwoven, and complex to see, the fullness of the Godhead is all there, theologically, but it is not yet ready to be revealed.
In the first stage of music, the technical framework in which music is to be achieved is all there, which is as it were compatible with the theological framework for the divinity of Christ, but its structure is very taught and concealed, because God is ‘addressing’ how music is going to become developed later, music is there created in its first stage, through the ‘address.’
Think of the wonderful 48 Preludes and Fuges, of which Bach was the great master. A Fuge is a short piece of music, ( which has three components ) which are constantly repeated with consummate elaboration. If we look at Baroque architecture at the same period, we see ornate grandeur, opulent rich and exuberant. This is precisely like when we address a certain subject. We begin as it were with a confined or grand statement of intent, which has in it all the concealed complex ideas and intent not yet revealed.
When God began to civilise humanity, he ‘addressed’ it with grand ideas and intentions, such as creating the Age of Science and Reason, of philosophy and freedom in both religious and secular life. This in effect was the Age of the Enlightenment. God was going to enlighten humanity by ordered and developing stages, which would be reflected in all the arts.
Milton and Dryden, ‘addressed’ these grand ideas and philosophy through their epic poetry and literature.
2. The Subjective clause. Mozart
In the second stage, the foundation laying in the construction and art of composing music, is substantiated and made clear in this fashion. If say the Fuge was 12 ins long, then stretched out and developed it would probably become a Concerto 12feet long. The components in the construction of music develop their ideas, but the chief aspect remains in that Baroque music is expanded and expounded with extreme refinement. It is like unto the second stage in the life of our Lord, when in his ministry, his identity was made clear, refined theologically.
Or the second stage in the development of the car, the components are made, after the grand statements of addressing how to make a car.
In musical terms the technical manner in which music is composed, is refined to a great art, supremely through Mozart. But the beauty of Mozart’s music, is very much like looking at the components of a car. We look at it with objective admiration, one does not get involved with the music, as we would with Beethoven or Schubert.
This is because the first two stages relate to music in its Objective capacity. The music of Mozart and Bach are what purists in music describe as Classical music, that is objective in style.
In the second stage, after the great themes of mankind have been addressed, through philosophy and science etc, now God substantiates by refining the intimate nature of man.
This can be best reflected in the profound writings of Alexander Pope, where he concentrates not on the grand themes, of Milton and Dryden, but on the complex and refined nature of mankind. In truth, he ‘substantiates’ what Milton and Dryden ‘addressed.’
3 The Petition Beethoven
The third stage in music, is the era of Romantic music, or subjective music.
It is capable of being subjective only because the objective structure of music has been pioneered by Bach and Mozart, and others, ( Handel and Haydn eg) The ordered and developing unity in music has reached its status when it is capable of expressing human emotions, only because those emotions were made sound in the first two stages which reflected the making of human stature, by Almighty God. For the first time as it were, music reflected what God had achieved in the stature of mortal humanity.
But the music of Beethoven, ( and Schubert) reflected the Universal qualities of Mankind, declaring both national and very personal feelings of the individual, filled with human emotion and passion.
Technically, it was the harmonious marriage of subjective music dependant upon the lessons learnt from objective music, to put it clinically. Romantic music, was dependant upon the strength and structure of Classical music.
This equates with the third stage in the life of our Lord, when the objective
truths of who he was, was made subject to his greatest passion, his Crucifixion.
In the third stage of the making of a car, all the components come together , in a fusion or joining together. The components on the assemble line are in a manner of speaking brought together with great passion.
In society humanity felt this growing stature and sought to express it within the political framework. On the Continent, in France it led to the French Revolution. In Britain it prevailed in the Age of Reform. he again the striking differences between the British and the Continentals are marked. The passion in one led to a physical expression for freedom of expression, the other a more sober constitutional change.
The lyrical poets in England, Byron, Shelly, Keats and Wordsworth, are the great exponents of passion in their art. Wordsworth defined a poet as, ‘ a man speaking to men,’ and the object of poetry as, ‘truth….carried into the heart with passion.’
4 The purpose of the petition – Tchaikowsky
Once the universal voice of humanity in terms of music has been raised, by Beethoven and Schubert, the more romantic and lighter in subject matter is created to show greater freedom of expression.
Here as in all the arts a greater number of figures emerge. Composers were more in number and diversity abounded in subject matter. The purpose of the petition is to create greater and more personal freedom of expression in all the arts, which would mirror the state of society.
In the 4th stage in the life of our Lord, all the working stages as it were came to an end. The Atonement was achieved, for the sins of the whole world.
Likewise in the 4th stage in the making of a car, all the active stages came to a close, at last we have the car, finished and completed.
In the 4th stage in the ordered and developing unity of Democracy, ( which what the Almighty is wanting to achieve, which is the fullest expression of an environment which serves all of mankind.) All the necessary infastructure in society has been attained in this sense.
The real working stages have come to an end, in that the basic nature of humanity has been transformed, from medieval and ancient and prehistoric man, to a figure of great nobility and intelligence. That intelligence has also filtered its stature into science, industry, constitutional and political framework, resting from these great active parts, in which the entire nation becomes complete as it were with the final addition of a transport and communication systems in place, ready for society to express its new found freedoms.
Here also the poet Tennyson reflected the finished character of the English as a nation. In all the arts there was a compatibility which spanned the entire lineage from the Enlightenment to a full Democracy.
5. The Ending – Rachmaninov
The Romantic composers developed their art to the extent that personal feelings as it were, were capable of being expressed in the most intense and personal terms, with the added capacity of as it were of relaying a narrative of those feelings.
Beethoven achieved this on a universal scale, Tchaikowsky on imaginative high courts of society, as it were, but storytelling which reflected the true perspective of how humanity feels was greatly expounded by the Russian composers. Borodin, Musorgscki , Rimskicorsickov, ( pardon the spelling!) and Rachmaninov,
In the 5th stage in the ordered and developing unity in the making of the car, we have to get into the car and drive around to fully appreciate that it is a mode of transport. By so doing the car enables us to realise in an real manner the full freedoms of a full Democratic state.
Likewise in the life of our Lord, the understanding that ( as he himself declared)
I am the Resurrection and the life, enables every human being to taste life at its fullest when it is consummated with the living God through Jesus Christ.
Getting into Christ and he in us, enables us to ‘tour’ the kingdom of heaven.
In literature writers such as Hardy were capable of describing how society was in its most intimate small unit, the village life. This reflect in the minutae, the full stature of the nation.
In all the arts the full cycle of creativity is complete, from great laudable themes to the very confines and intimate nature of how human beings live and feel, in an environment, suited for both the Almighty and humankind.
The nature of Hymns.
The nature of the Hymn is to reflect the stature of the Church, which is based upon the relationship between the Almighty and humanity.
The nature of all the arts, and the entire fabric of Western Civilisation, which as it were holds a running commentary on that stature is based upon the handiwork of the Almighty, in refurbishing the environment, which reinstates the chief criteria of the Eden of Genesis.
In terms of weight of glory, the creative resolution of hymns is about 10% compared to the environment of 90%, in a manner of speaking.
I f the same 5 stages can be clearly identified, then Christianity has 90% more evidence for the existence of Almighty God by comparing the relationship which he achieved with humanity through the Church, and his handiwork which he has given to the secular world.
To look at the stature of hymns, we need to compare it to the other two forms of language in the expression of the Churches worship, that of scripture itself and the Liturgy, or Prayer Book.
Firstly we need to look at Scripture, which is the fixed cannon of revealed truth.
It is the express word of God, not ours. Nevertheless from it the Holy Spirit acts in the light of that truth to transfigure our lives, in the likeness of Christ. But if the likeness of Christ has been truly experienced, then it must leave a tangible record to endorse that such a reality has been truly realised. The answer will rest in the hymn. ( This is not the same thing as saying that those whom have never written a hymn have no experience of God’s love.)
Secondly we need to look at the Liturgy or Prayer Book. Essentially, Liturgy is the conspired and dignified expression of our open acknowledgement that Scripture is the revealed word of God, and is divinely inspired. It is also true to say that it is rather like admiring the qualities of the revealed nature of God, in a not dissimilar way to looking at a car from a distance and admiring its beauty and quality, it has not yet driven the car and experienced its power and glory.
But the Liturgy, has some profound qualities, in that it presents the first response as it were of subjective feeling against the objective truths of Scripture. It provides for the first time, in terms of language, a mode of conduct as it were by which we should address the Almighty. It has also a rare quality of doing so by galvanising the entire congregation in a collective response, and thereby create unity within the Fold. But nevertheless, its response is still unclear as to how much the Church has really experienced of the truths of the Gospel. As it has been well described of the Book of Common Prayer as dignified solemnity.
Hymns are the impassioned response of what has been truly realise and what has truly transfigured between God and humanity and into our environment. It is the sermon which we preach to ourselves within the intimacies of our own soul. But it is capable of leaving a record of that relationship, in which our essential identity is lost, but Christ is elevated. We may know the author of the hymn, but in truth it tells us very little about that person, only the relationship with God, or in some hymns, nothing about the relationship, except pure adoration to reveal the objective truths of whom God is.
Hymns are of the utmost of importance, for without them, there is no coherent record of God’s grace transforming humanity into the likeness of Christ, ie in terms of language. In the act of worship, the hymn forms a cogent unity, between the Scriptures and the Liturgy.
Just as poets are the unacknowledged legislators of society, so the spiritual song, of poetic utterance, carries that equal weight of glory within the Church, speaking for both God and man, achieving the true likeness of Christ himself, his Humanity in perfect union with his Divinity. Hymns have this Christlike quality, they reveal the Divine nature of God, in an objective manner, and how they are transfigured into our Humanity and environment, leaving a tangible record of God’s grace, in a matchless legacy from the great hymns of the past.
Many of our finest hymns begin as prayers or devotional poetic verse, enabling them to be written with profound beauty of expression which has a timeless quality, capable of establishing a stronghold in the secular world. Hymns are the most potent evangelical tool and profound instrument of worship.
The great legacy of the past hymns had the capacity to harmonise a diversity of religious expression and enfold them into a sense of oneness, uniting the Denominations in a way which bestrides doctrinal difficulties, neither endangering their character or confounding their charter.
Hymns in truth, is an art form, in religious terms, equal in criteria to that of a fine novel, a piece of music or architecture. Their ordered and developing unity, has a coherent and satisfying completeness, equal to the stature of the arts in the secular world, because they are the creation of the same mind of Almighty God.
The ordered and developing unity of hymns, in 5 stages.
A new way of presenting hymns for worship
The purpose is to draw upon the wealth of hymns to determine the three fold relationship between God – Man – Environment, applying this simple story.
1. People enter church for a service, the Altar is the focal point of their worship,
2. after which the Gospel is preached from the Pulpit;
3. from their Pews, they respond in worship and adoration:
4. they leave and deepen their Personal faith , settled to the will of God
5. which gives them the support for Praise and Service in the environment.
By adopting this method, a framework is channelled into a service of worship, which helps to create continuity, allowing hymns to speak for themselves and expound on the vital three-fold relationship of God – Man – Environment.
1. The Altar, songs which emphasise the essential nature of God as Creator & Saviour.
2. The Pulpit, songs which expound via doctrine and the person of Jesus Christ.
3. The Pews,reflect corporate passion and dignity against the revealed Trinitarian God
4. Personal faith, songs which reflect the personal development of faith.
5. Songs which reflect Praise and Service in the environment.
The continuity of the hymns reveal the ordered and developing unity which transfigured the essential nature of God’s grace transforming humanity was successfully and firstly realised in the Eden of Genesis.
NB In the Tuition Course, ref Homepage, 1oohymns are regenerated from their original, plus 12 originals from the Tuition Course’s hymn book Songs of Faith.
Below are one example from each stage, and how each one can be regenerated.
The hymns are also in their chronological order of writing, to show that God was working methodically through time and space.
1. Stage 1 The Address - The Altar
Hymns which reflect the essential nature of God as Creator & Saviour.
The God of Abraham praise The everlasting Lord
Thomas Olivers, 1725-99 Thomas Darwood 1946-
The God of Abraham praise The everlasting Lord
Who reigns enthroned above, Enthroned in heaven above,
Ancient of everlasting days, Ancient of Everlasting Days.
And God of love: The God of love:
To him uplift your voice, Of Abraham’s God and mine,
At whose supreme command Whose service we rejoice
From earth we rise, and seek the joys At whose right hand his servants find
At his right hand. On earth command.
There dwells the Lord our King This glorious Prince of peace
The Lord our Righteousness, His sovereign rule attends,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin, Exalted high above as King
The Prince of Peace; Of Righteousness;
On Sion’s sacred height As light his robe displays
His kingdom he maintains, Secures all Israel’s might,
And glorious with his Saints in light Decree that peace on earth be given
For ever reigns. To all maintain.
Before the great Three-One The wonders of the earth
They all exalting stand. Rise up in one accord,
And tell the wonders he hath done Their distant voices ever sing
Through all their land; Without a word;
The listening spheres attend, Yet to the farthest parts
And swell the growing fame, The galaxies endured
And sing, in songs which never end, Their songs without an end exalt
The wondrous name. His wondrous Name.
The God who reigns on high To greater heights sublime
The great Archangels sing, All heaven’s Archangels sing,
And ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, cry Hallowed and Holy be thy Name
‘Almighty King! Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same, All time to thee shall pass,
And evermore shall be: And they shall be no more:
Eternal Father, great I AM, Eternal God thy Name shall stand,
We worship thee.’ The great I AM!
The whole triumphant host The heavenly hosts resound
Give thanks to God on high; In praising God on high,
‘Hail! Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,’ Glory to God they ever cry,
They ever cry; The great Three-One!
Hail! Abraham’s God and mine! All earth repeat the same
( I join the heavenly lays ) All anthems him belong
All might and majesty are thine, Through all eternity proclaim
And endless praise. Praise evermore!
Comment on the original version.
Here is a wonderful example of a hymn which tells of the objective identity of who God is. The subjective response of adoration is everywhere to be felt, but as it were not seen. Only the objective truth of who God is stands supreme.
In the first stage of the development of hymns, they all ‘Address’ who God is, predominantly.
They reflect the 1st stage in the life of our Lord, his Incarnation. The theological aspect of his divine nature are alluded to in a supreme fashion. We cannot say too much about the human nature of the Infant Jesus, because essentially in the 1st stage we are Addressing God Almighty, thus the Scriptural references to his character are mentioned in a diversity of ways, of Abraham’s God, The great I Am, and most of all God the Father and the Holy Trinity.
When we approach the Altar, we are thinking of the eternal nature of Almighty God and of the Holy Trinity essentially.
As hymns reflect the stature of the Church so also at the 1st stage, the Church of England is founded. The beauty of the Book of Common Prayer essentially Addresses God which is the chief aim of a liturgy. The Prayer Book is profound in its influence in the development of the church in England, which not other nation experienced.
Comment on the Regenerated version.
To understand the purpose of what is happening in the regenerated version an overriding and long perspective must be held. If we use the analogy of the relay race, to convey the Christian Gospel as being passed on from age to age, which carries the strength of the past into ours, then each circuit contributes to the entire race, run and won!
In this example, the next runner as it were has contributed exactly the same degree of spiritual strength and stamina as it were. Nothing new is being said, but what is being said, reflects the consummate beauty of its poetic elaboration and doctrinal soundness. In truth, every member of the relay team is trained to put the equal amount of effort and energy into his or her lap of the race. In this case the effort is almost identical. In others it will vary as will be shown. In this manner the true continuity of the Church’s great legacy, the Hymn Book will be carried from age to age with complete integrity.
2 Stage The Subjective Clause- The Pulpit
Hymns which expound upon Doctrine and the Person of Jesus Christ
Hark! the herald Angels sing! Praise the birth once given in time
Charles Wesley 1743 Thomas Darwood 1946-
George Whitfield 1753
M. Madan 1760 7 others
Hark! the herald Angels sing Praise the birth once given in time
Glory to the new born King; God our Father placed on earth.
Peace on earth and mercy mild, Mercy in his mind conceived,
God and sinners reconciled: For our sinful world redeem.
Joyful all ye nations rise, Comes in great humility
Join the triumph of the skies, Born in flesh that we may see
With the angelic host proclaim, Of himself, perfect and full
Christ is born in Bethlehem: Of a Virgin’s womb conceived,
Hark! the herald Angels sing Christ, thou only Son of God
Glory to the new- born King. Raise in us thy love to dwell.
Christ by highest heaven adored, He, for our redemption came,
Christ, the everlasting Lord, All his father’s will fulfil.
Late in time behold him come Through the Spirit he became
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb! Perfect God and Perfect Man.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see By obedience unto death
Hail the incarnate Deity! Filled the Cross with Righteousness.
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Raised from death our Prince of Peace
Jesus, our Emmanuel: All sufficient Sacrifice.
Hark! the herald Angels sing Hail the tender Lamb of God.
Glory to the new-born King! Come this Babe in Bethlehem.
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Glory be to God on high
Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Glory to the new-born King.
Light and life to all he brings, Fellowship abound in joy
Risen with healing in his wings. One in faith our praises sing.
Mild he lays his glory by, Angels round thy glorious throne
Born that man no more may die, Consecrate thy holy birth,
Born to raise the sons of earth, Evermore that we may live
Born to give them second birth: Ours to gain through second birth,
Hark! the herald Angels sing Hail the incarnate Word released
Glory to the new-born King! Praise the birth of Christ our King!
Commentary on the original version.
Here in the 2nd stage hymns are emphatic in concentrating on the identity of who Christ is, and the doctrinal aspects of the Christian Gospel. The doctrinal aspects rightly concentrate on the figure of Christ himself. Again the adoration and praise is subordinate to the emphasise on the objective reality of who God is, in the person especially of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is in the 18th Century that many think was the flowering of English hymn writing, But if we examine things more closely, we will see that there are these groups of hymns, before which concentrate on Addressing who God is. The fact that there are not many compounds the fact that when we ‘Address’ a subject matter, there are relatively a limited number of ways we can do this. As in the example of the car. But like the car in its second stage, it an call upon thousands of components which go to making a car. There are many more ways of substantiating a subject matter than there are ways of addressing it.
Now here is a profound discover to be made in the ordered and developing unity of hymns, which not only bestride the development of Western Civilisation, but also of the Church. ( ref Tuition Course, Tutor’s Handbook.)
But gather this in our thoughts. If hymns reflect the true stature of the Church, then it will also reflect the development of the Church. Thus at this period, there was an outpouring of a vast quantity of hymns, dominated obviously by Charles Wesley. (Notice It was John Wesley who was the great preacher, but his brother Charles the great hymn writer.) But if we look closely again at the hymns in this period, especially Charles Wesley’s hymns, as the Methodist hymn book puts it, ‘Methodism was born is song, its great poet Charles Wesley, but its great emphasise is the gospel according to St. Paul.’ St. Paul is the great expounder of doctrine of the Christian faith. The Romans in the New Testament abounds with doctrine.
The Evangelical Revival, is very much misleading, it suggests, revival. What is really happening is the Holy Spirit conduct a major step forward in the development of the Christian Church, by an act of revealing the doctrine of the Gospels,thus creating the Methodist Church. in all the Free Churches the Pulpit is the central focusing of the congregation to symbolise the importance of doctrine.
Comment on the Regenerated version.
Again the regenerated version stays faithfully to the original, nothing new is being said, except for fresh new ways of reaffirming the same subject matter, with some original ideas of it own.
Stage 3 – The Petition – The Pews
Hymns which reflect corporate passion and dignity against the revealed Trinitarian God.
O worship the King all glorious above To God now ascend his glory we praise
Sir Robert Grant 1785-1838 Thomas Darwood 1946-
O worship the King To God now ascend
All glorious above; His glory we praise,
O gratefully sing And girdle this song
His power and his love: To sing of his love;
Our shield and defender, Our King and Redeemer
The Ancient of Days, High seated above,
Pavilioned in splendour Is perfect in splendour
And girdled with praise. And radiant in love.
O tell of his might The Ancient of Days
O sing of his grace Extends all his powers
Whose robe is the light Stream forth from his throne
Whose canopy space. His garment as flame;
His chariots of wrath Ten thousand times thousands
The deep thunder clouds form, Serve at his command,
And dark is his path His judgments are sovereign
On the wings of the storm. Decreed from his head.
This earth with its store This earth in thy care
Of wonders untold A garden unfolds,
Almighty, thy power Its beauty delights
Hath founded of old: Its pleasures to share:
Hath stablished it fast Thy walk in our midst
By a changeless decree, In the cool of the day,
And round it hath cast, A place of such bliss
Like a mantle the sea. Becomes thine own abode.
Thy bountiful care Its sweetness perfumes
What tongue can recite? The valleys and plains,
It breathes in the air, The hills to our eyes
It shines in the light; Rejoice in their lays:
It streams from the hills, The fountains and streams
It descends to the plains, Fall from heaven above.
And sweetly distils Such bounty as this
In the dew and the rain. Yields to mankind thy love.
Frail children of dust, Earth’s clay casts our mould,
And feeble as frail, Whereof we are made,
In thee do we trust Our days are as grass
Nor find thee to fail; Its place goeth away;
Thy mercies how tender! A flower that opens
How firm to the end!- As dust swept away.
Our Maker, Defender, Not so thy dear mercies
Redeemer, and Friend. Endures to the end.
O measureless Might, The Angels attend
Ineffable Love, The Hosts round thy throne,
While Angels delight Who sway to thy might
To hymn thee above, Whom serve thy decree;
Thy humbler creation, In humbleness raising
Though feeble their lays, The countless Redeemed,
With true adoration Cast in thy own image
Shall lisp to thy praise. Shall lips to thy praise !
Comment on the Original
For the first time the Holy Spirit is goading the redeemed in terms of hymn writing in how to rightly express subjective response against the objective truths, of the first two stages. The sense of how we delight in both God and creation, and how we feel towards the Almighty now takes precedence, but always accompanied by Scriptural truths. The response of feeling is predominately that of a corporate nature, dignified stately. For the hymns of the third stage reflect the entire congregation from their Pews. The passion expressed in this hymn, has a very kinship with what it is to be looking upon England, with a reserved and reverent code of conduct.
The passion which developed in the third stage of the Church, is reflected in the many Missionary Societies which were founded at about this time.
The passion as reflected in the life of our Lord relates to his Crucifixion.
Comment on the Regenerated version.
In the relay race as it were, the athlete needs to bare in mind to complete its course as speedily as possible. The very important stage in a relay, as everyone knows is the changeover, which is experienced both at the start and at the end, But in between the runner may adopt any tactics suitable to success.
This hymn is very much in this wise. The regenerated version, begins and ends, the changeover, faithful to the original version, but verse 3,4 & 5 are directly alluding to the Eden of Genesis, and of the nature of Fallen humanity.
Verse 3 & 4 relate to the beauty of Eden, emphasising how much God delighted in its environment, ‘Thy walk in our midst, In the cool of the day, A place of such bliss, Becomes thine own abode. Verse 5 endorses the fallen nature of Humanity, inspired of Psalm 106.
Here is new theology introduced into the regenerated hymn. In this manner all the strengths of the past are retained, kept and held in regard. Just as a new member of a club or institution holds regard for its predecessors, and affirms its own stature in a respectful manner, to earn respect by respecting others first.
Stage 4 – The Purpose of the Petition
Hymns which reflect Personal faith, settled to the will of God.
George Herbert 1593 – 1632 Thomas Darwood 1946-
The God of love my Shepherd is In God my Shepherd love resigns
The God of love my Shepherd is, In God my Shepherd love resigns
And he that doth me feed; To fill my every need.
While he is mine and I am his, His tender watch my soul embrace
What can I want or need. Shall in his hand posses.
He leads me to the tender grass, And as I wonder in his Fold
Where I both feed and rest; Such pleasant pastures see.
Then to the streams that gently pass: In every view returns delight
In both I have the best. To all my senses please.
Or, if I stray, he doth convert, Should I dishonour or offend
And bring my mind in frame, And stray in will and deed.
And all this not for my desert, The visitation of his mind
But for his holy name. Moves gently to redress.
Yea, in death’s shady black abode When I, the way of all the earth,
Well may I walk, not fear; Survey its dark abode;
For thou art with me, and thy rod In safety pass, I’ll heed thy rod
To guide, thy staff to bear. With me thy staff to guide.
Surely thy sweet and wondrous love Ever this song shall fit thy praise,
Shall measure all my days; As shall thy love endure.
And as it never shall remove That we may all these pleasures prove
So neither shall my praise. Recount through endless days.
Comment on the Original
In the forth stage, the hymn is reflecting the stature of the Individual soul in his relationship to the settled will of the Almighty. The emphasis is clearly now on the very subjective nature of the hymn. Very little doctrine is present, except off course where it alludes to some objective truth of Scripture, in this case Christ as Shepherd of his church, fold.
NB. Although the wondrous George Herbert was born in the 16th century, the exemplary life he led, enabled him to write the few hymns that he did, span four of the five stages in hymn development.
The 4th stage in the development of the Church, we could say it reflects the birth of the Salvation Army, when the collective embodiment of the church is ready for service to the outside world as it were.
It relates to the 4th stage in the life of our Lord, in his Atonement. The atonement is what he came to achieve, as it were.
Comment on the Regenerated version.
The very personal poetic style of George Herbert’s hymn has been retained, keeping true to all its subject matter faithfully rendered. The last verse, borrows from a famous poem by Christopher Marlowe, ( which was never intended, I recognised it much later after it was written)
Stage 5 The ending
Hymns which reflect Service in the Environment
George Herbert 1593- 1632 Thomas Darwood 1946-
Teach me my God and king, O Lord my God and King,
In all things thee to see; Instruct with grace this eye.
And what I do in anything Of any actions borne in mind
To do it as for thee. Be clearly for thy sake.
A man that looks on glass, In every day observed,
On it may stay his eye; Our image well defined,
Or if he pleaseth through it pass, There lives a view to this regard,
And then the heaven espy. be seen from heaven above.
All may of thee partake; No visitation small
Nothing can be so mean, Upon a task resigned,
Which with this tincture, ‘for thy sake’, Who labours sweetly for thy sake,
Will not grow bright and clean. Improves their past designs.
A servant with this clause Who serves with this regard
Makes drudgery divine; Expels all toil from care
Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws, And drudgery becomes the heir,
Makes that and the action fine. Of actions mad divine.
This is the famous stone God in his laws refines
That turneth all to gold; Each Measure weighed in gold
For that which God doth mark and own To whom he pleaseth to amend
Cannot for less be told. These pleasure then bestow.
Comment on the Original
This beautiful hymn again by George Herbert reflects the simple returns of an obedient life of service to God in the midst of daily toil, which becomes pure devotion and joy!
The 5th stage will always reflect service in the environment.
In the development of the Church, we could regard the many charities and voluntary Societies which as it were render front line service on behalf of the Church in the midst of the community.
The 5th stage in the life of our Lord, is the Resurrection. Not regarded as rising from the dead on the third day, or even the day of Resurrection, so much as life in himself, firstly addressed inside the church, at the Altar, expounded, on the Pulpit, adoration from the Pews, deepened through Personal faith, and finally expiated into service into the environment. The link from God- Man- Environment is made complete.
The ordered and developing unity of hymns, comes to a coherent and satisfying completeness, like unto all the arts in the secular world.
Comment on the Regenerated version
Again the original is faithfully reinstated, restored. George Herbert was a unusual poet, and the few hymns that he did compose had a rare quality to them. In all the regenerated versions, are as if each of the past hymn writers have come back in time and reiterated their original version, with another, in their own style.
What is happening in truth, is the Holy Spirit, leading the Church into the Promised Land, in which the Almighty swore to give to his servant Moses.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit whom inspired the first, and now reinstates the same beauty of stature, transfiguring the fixed truths, of the Hymn Book, which now becomes once more, revealed truth, because it is as it were born again in the soul of the redeemed. Thus it is setting a precedence for the ongoing legacy of the Church from age to age.
The decline of the traditional hymn, also marks the decline and ending of the Protestant Faith. In God’s sight it now has the same status as the fixed cannon of Scripture, which was the guiding light of the Roman Catholic Church.
Now that the Protestant Faith has come to an end, so its greatest legacy, the Hymn Book, ( which the Roman Catholic Church had no answer to, because it kept its eye on the fixed truths of scripture, and kept a Liturgy incomprehensible to the people ) now becomes fixed truth, and the entire Protestant Faith in God’s sight becomes in the nature of the Roman Catholic Church, but this time it keeps its eye on the fixed truths of the Hymn Book.
What in truth is happening is so simple and profound, that only the simple of heart will see this. In the Scriptures, only rebirth will enable the soul to see the kingdom of heaven. Remember our Lord specifically declared this. ‘ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God .’ John 3 v 3.
This is the fixed truths of Scripture, to which the Roman Catholic Church bases its entire ethos. it had a powerful Liturgy, but it was incomprehensible to the people, who only saw it as representing God. Thus a Liturgy only tells everyone what sounds good to believe as it were, thus the Church of Rome never developed the Hymn Book. That is why Roman Catholicism is earthbound. It carried the true Apostolic line from St. Peter but the Holy Spirit gave it rebirth and created the Protestant Faith, to create the divine and revealed nature of the Church. As the Hymn book is its greatest legacy, because it reflects that born again life hid in Christ’s.
This is the supreme legacy of the Church of England, ( which proceeded from the Bishop of Rome’s initiative, ( let us regard it as under divine initiative) which developed a glorious and coherent satisfying and complete liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer, which had a profound influence on the entire character of England, and helped so much to influence the development of the Denominations, and the Hymn Book.
What we must now have the courage to understand, is that the completeness of the Church of England has come to an end, with its glorious Liturgy, and Hymn Book. The whole lot must be handed back to Rome to whom God intended it to belong, to reflect the divine nature of the Church. In the same manner, that Christ’s divinity had to be revealed to him, so that he could understand who he was.
As the wonderful Creed of St Athanasius puts it (from the Book of Common Prayer) ‘Who although he be God and Man; yet he is not two but one Christ;
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the Manhood into God. One not by confusion of Substance; but by unity of Person.’
What this means is this. Christ is the unity of Person, between his humanity and his divinity. But his humanity, or Manhood, was taken up by his divinity as it were which was his revealed nature. He subjected himself to the will of the Father, which was concealed in the divine part of his Person.
To the entire Christian Church it means this. The Church of Rome represents the humanity of Christ, because like Christ it was based upon his flesh, the church upon St Peter. But the divine nature of the church was revealed in the form of the Protestant faith. Thus the entire Protestant faith must be handed back to Rome, so that like Christ the Church may become a unity of Person.
Just as Christ was subject to his divine nature, so the Bishop of Rome must subject himself to act with the will of a Protestant mind. But the Protestant mind came as a result of true rebirth in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The hymns regenerated, is evidence for this new rebirth in the power of the Holy Ghost. Thus whomsoever will act with the will of a Protestant mind, will confess such a new rebirth, and acquaint himself with such an identity.