19/07/2007

Hymns Following the Lord

These adjacent hymns cover similar ground. The opening line of 170 anticipates Gadsby's great 'What matchless condescension'. 'Stupendous love' is the phrase that begins Wesley's 'Stupendous love of God most high!'. The line 'That Christ should tabernacle here' reveals a knowledge of the Greek of John 1. The final line (And join the triumphs of the sky) is practically the same as one found in Hark! The herald angels sing.
The final verse of 171 is reminiscent of the closing verse of Watts' magnificent 'When I survey'.

170 Following the LordWhat wondrous condescending love,
That Jesus should for sinners die,
Should leave his throne of bliss above,
To bring rebellious creatures nigh !
Stupendous love beyond compare,
That Christ should tabernacle here.

2 By him my debts are all discharged,
And now my foes assault in vain;
My future hopes has he enlarged,
And told me I shall with him reign:
Then let me his dear name adore,
And strive to serve him more and more.

3 I now through fire and water too,
Would follow my redeeming Lord,
Assured his arm can help me through
And all sufficient strength afford:
To him then I will live and die,
And join the triumphs of the sky.

171 Following Hard after God
By every means, in every way,
My soul shall seek the Lord ;
At home, abroad, by night, by day,
Till he his grace afford.

2 Does he retire? I'll still pursue,
And mend my heavy pace,
Till with rejoicing eyes I view
His lovely, smiling face.

3 I with his people will attend,
Expecting him to see;
Jesus, my Saviour and my friend,
Oh come and visit me!

4 Were I of all the world possessed,
I would the whole resign,
If I might only once be blessed,
And say that thou art mine.

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