HYMNOLOGY OF CHRISTIANS KNOWN AS BRETHREN


Those who have become known as ‘The Brethren’, as do other Christians, like to praise the Godhead in song and they enjoy singing about their Lord, their Faith, and their Hope. It was quite natural for these believers to have made use of hymnology from the whole range of Christian song writers. It would also be surprising if their hymnology had not developed according to their own beliefs and experiences. The hymn books that they use contain compositions by various well known hymn writers, including, Hart, Kelly, Kent, Medley, swain, Toplady, Watts, Wesley, and others. There are also hymns by evangelical composers who are very little known in some circles. The tunes used in worship are mostly well known among Christian congregations, together with a few lesser known compositions. The emphasis in worship is on the service of praise God-ward, not on human, carnal, entertainment.

As could be expected, ‘The Brethren’ developed their own poets, these include S.P.Tregelles, J.G.Deck, Sir Edward Denny, Miss H.K.Burlingham, J.N.Darby, Robert Chapman etc. Their contribution to Christian song is significant. To impart a flavour of some of the lesser known hymns used by ‘The Brethren’ from Hymns & Spiritual Songs, editions from 1865, and The Believer’s Hymn Book, we print here.

 

                                                        8,4,8,4,8,8,8,4.
  1. Through the love of God our Saviour,
            All will be well,
    Free and changeless is His favour;
            All, all is well.
    Precious is the blood that healed us,
    Perfect is the grace that sealed us,
    Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us,
            All must be well.

  2. Though we pass through tribulation.
            All will be well,
    Ours is such a full salvation;
            All, all is well.
    Happy, still in God confiding,
    Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
    Holy, through the Spirit’s guiding,
            All must be well.

  3. We expect a bright to-morrow;
            All will be well,
    Faith can sing through days of sorrow,
            All, all is well.
    On our Father’s love relying,
    Christ our every need supplying,
    Whether living now, or dying,
            All must be well.

    Mary Peters, (nee Bowly), 1813 – 1856.

 

                                                                8,7,8,7,4,7

  1. Father, ‘twas Thy love that knew us
    Earth’s foundation long before;
    That same love to Jesus drew us
    By its sweet constraining power,
    And hath made us
    Sons before Thee evermore.

  2. Now that changeless love enfolds us,
    All its wealth on us bestows;
    While its power unchanging holds us
    In a holy calm repose.
    God and Father
    Unto Thee our worship flows.

  3. God of love, our souls adore Thee!
    We would still Thy grace proclaim,
    Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
    And in glory praise Thy name:
    Praise and worship
    Be to God and to the Lamb!

    J. G. Deck, written circa 1850, verse 2 by F. A. Darrah, d. 1936

 

                                                                        8,7,8,7

  1. Brightness of th’eternal glory
    Shall Thy praise unutterd lie?
    Who would hush the heaven-sent story
    Of the Lamb who came to die.

  2. Came from Godhead’s fullest glory
    Down to Calvary’s depth of woe,
    Now on high, we bow before Thee;
    Streams of praises ceaseless flow!

  3. Sing His blest triumphant rising;
    Sing Him on the Father’s throne;
    Sing – till heaven and earth surprising,
    Reigns the Nazarene alone

    Robert Robinson, 1735 – 1790

 

                                                                        8,7,8,7

  1. Rise my soul! Thy God directs thee;
    Stranger hands no more impede;
    Pass thou on, His hand protects thee,
    Strength that has the captive freed.

  2. Is the wilderness before thee?
    Desert lands where drought abides?
    Heavenly springs shall there restore thee,
    Fresh from God’s exhaustless tides.

  3. Light divine surrounds thy going;
    God Himself shall mark the way;
    Secret blessings, richly flowing,
    Leads to everlasting day.

  4. God, thine everlasting portion,
    Feeds thee with the mighty’s meat;
    Price of Egypt’s hard extortion,
    Egypt’s food no more to eat.

  5. In the desert God will teach thee
    What the God that thou hast found;
    Patient, gracious, powerful, holy,
    All His grace shall there abound.

  6. Though thy way be long and dreary,
    Eagle strength He’ll still renew;
    Garments fresh and foot unweary
    Tell how God hath brought the through.

  7. There no stranger God shall meet;
    Stranger thou in courts above!
    He who to His rest shall greet thee,
    Greets thee with a well-know love.

    John N. Darby, 1800 – 1882, written in Switzerland 1837.
    This is an extract from a longer poem..

 

                                                                                10,11,1011

  1. The night is far spent, and the day is at hand;
    No sign to be look’d for; the Star’s in the sky;
    Rejoice then, ye saints, ‘tis Lord’s own command;
    Rejoice, for the coming of Jesus draws nigh.

  2. How bright then that day when the saviour appears!
    How welcome to those who have shared in His cross!
    A crown incorruptible then will be theirs,
    A rich compensation for suff’ring and loss

  3. No loss in this world can compare with that day,
    With glory that then will from heav’n be revealed.
    The Saviour is coming, His people may say,
    The Lord whom we look for, Our Sun and our Shield.

  4. O kindle within us a holy desire,
    Like that which was found in Thy people of old,
    Who tasted Thy love, and whose hearts were on fire,
    While waiting, in patience, Thy face to behold.

    Thomas Kelly

 

                                                                        8,7,8,7

  1. O the peace for ever flowing
    From God’s thoughts of His own Son,
    O the peace of simply knowing
    On the cross that all was done.

  2. Peace with God – for Christ in heaven
    Object is of faith to me;
    Peace with God – the Lord is risen,
    Righteousness now counts me free.

  3. Peace with God – for Christ’s in glory;
    God is just and God is love;
    O how blessed is the story,
    That we’re brought to God above!

  4. Jesus Saviour, we adore Thee,
    Christ of God, anointed One!
    We confess The Lord of Glory,
    Fruits of vict’ry Thou hast won.

    W.Lawrence

 

                                                                        10,10,10,10

  1. All men have sinned and short of glory come;
    The scripture saith, None righteous, no not one!
    No hope hath man, deceived and far from God,
    Guilty and lost, exposed to judgement’s rod.

  2. One Mediator, Christ, ‘twixt God and men,
    Who on the tree once died, and rose again;
    No other name but His can sinners save –
    Jesus, who rose triumphant o’er the grave.

  3. Forgiveness now is preached through Him who died,
    The Lord of glory who was crucified,
    All who in heart to Him repentant bow
    Are brought to God, their sins are pardoned now.

  4. From imputation free, for ever clear,
    By God Himself discharged, in grace brought near:
    Christ’s finished work has met our every need;
    Free from all condemnation, free indeed!

  5. Sealed by the Spirit till redemption’s day,
    Sealed till the Bridegroom takes His bride away,
    We Christ await: He will not reign alone,
    But take the church, His bride to share His throne.

  6. Watching and waiting, Jesus soon to see,
    We look with joy up there with Him to be,
    Who, though unseen, is by His own adored –
    Their glorious Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord.

    E.H.Chater