Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"At the great rising-Day"

From Thomas Kidd this morning:
.... Noll focuses on Whitefield’s popular hymn book A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1753), which went through dozens of editions and was used extensively among white and African American evangelicals in Britain, America, and the Caribbean. You can see the whole 1758 edition here, in Google Books.

.... Following Watts’s example, the hymns featured innovative meters and poetic framing of biblical themes, rather than the older Protestant tradition of simply singing the Psalms. ....

The range of authors was wide, but they covered a narrow range of themes. The hymns primarily focused upon Christ’s work as the redeemer, and the believer’s gratefulness for salvation. ....
It's an interesting collection of hymns. One that particularly caught my attention was an unfamiliar (to me) Isaac Watts hymn which, I discover, still appears in some contemporary hymnals:

At the Death of a Believer
Why do we mourn departing Friends
Or shake at Death's Alarms?
'Tis but the Voice that Jesus sends
To call them to his Arms.
Are we not tending upward, too,
As fast as Time can move?
Nor would we wish the Hours more slow
To keep us from our Love.
Why should we tremble to convey
Their bodies to the Tomb?
There the dear Flesh of Jesus lay
And left a sweet Perfume.
The Graves of all the Saints He blessed
And softened every Bed.
Where should the dying Members rest
But with their dying Head?
Thence He arose, ascending high,
And showed our Feet the Way.
Up to the Lord our Flesh shall fly
At the great rising-Day.
Then let the last loud trumpet sound
And bid our kindred rise:
Awake, ye nations under ground!
Ye saints, ascend the skies!

George Whitefield’s Gospel-Centered Hymn Book | TGCA Collection of Hymns for Social Worship: More Particularly Designed for the ... - George Whitefield - Google Books

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