Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"My Blessed Savior"

Many of the Puritan reformers were doubtful of any hymn that wasn't the versification of a biblical Psalm. Isaac Watts was one of the first to introduce hymns that weren't, but he was preceded by a Seventh Day Baptist. Dr. Ron Davis calls our attention to Joseph Stennett's "'My Blessed Savior Is Thy Love': a 320 year-old hymn for the Lord's Supper," which is particularly appropriate for this season of the Christian year. Davis:
.... Joseph Stennett was the first Baptist hymnwriter. He was praised by the noted hymnwriter Isaac Watts, who was 13 years younger than Stennett, and who sometimes borrowed a few lines from him. There were no copyright laws in those days. The two hymnwriters were friends.

If you search Wikipedia for "Joseph Stennett"; and click on the link near the bottom of the article, to the hymn "My Blessed Savior is Thy Love," you will hear and can sing along to the melody.... You can also listen to the music of Stennett's "Another Six Days Work is Done" (a hymn with 14 stanzas!).
These hymns were in the hymnal of the great Calvinist Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon. .... [note: Spurgeon's hymnbook is at Google books]

My Blessed Savior is Thy Love
by Joseph Stennett (1663-1713)
My blessed Savior is Thy Love
So great, so full, so free?
Behold I give my love, my heart,
My Life, my all to Thee.
I love Thee for the glorious worth
In Thy great self to see:
I love Thee for that shameful cross
Thou hast endured for me.
No man of greater love can boast
Thou for his friend to die:
But for Thy enemies Thou wast slain:
What love with Thine can vie!
Lord I'll cherish in my soul
The memory of Thy love:
And Thy dear Name shall still to me
A priceless treasure prove.
Joseph Stennett, Hymns in Commemoration of the Sufferings of our Blessed Savior Jesus Christ Composed for the Celebration of his Holy Supper, 1697, 2nd ed revised & expanded 1705, 3rd ed 1709.