There are some hymns which I feel are both worship and testimony hymns. That is they praise and remind us of who our heavenly Father is and His majesty and might. And, at the same time, they also share the salvation which we have experienced through His provision. This week's hymn choice does both of these things. The first two verses speak of His majestic sweetness and His grace. Nothing can compare with them. And the last two verses speak of how He found us in our deep distress in sin. And through the death of Christ He has made us to triumph over death and the grave. What a great Savior! The words of this hymn were penned by Dr. Samuel Stennett (1727 - 1795). Stennet, a Baptist minister, came from a line of famous ministers. In face, in 1748, he became assistant to his father in the ministry, and in 1758 succeeded him in the pastoral office at Little Wild Street in London. From that time until his death, he held a very prominent position among the dissenting ministers of London. He was much respected by some of the statesmen of the time, and used his influence with them in support of the principles of religious freedom. King George III was said to be among his friends. Besides several volumes of sermons, Dr. Stennet is said to have written thirty-eight hymns. These included "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand". This hymn, however, was his greatest and was first published in 1787, as a hymn of nine stanzas. It was published with the title "Chiefest Among Ten Thousand or, the Excellencies of Christ," and with the Scripture reference Solomon's Song 5:10-16. Over the years some verses were eliminated and the order of others was changed, so that today most hymnals list just four. Let me encourage you this week to meditate and sing the words of this hymn while you worship the Father and Son and give thanks for the relief and hope that has been provided for you through the Cross.
1. Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Savior's brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o'erflow,
His lips with grace o'erflow.
2. No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
Who fill the heav'nly train,
Who fill the heav'nly train.
3. He saw me plunged in deep distress
And flew to my relief;
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief,
And carried all my grief.
4. To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave,
And saves me from the grave.
For your interest, here are the other five verses which were originally included in this hymn.
To Christ, the Lord, let every tongue
Its noblest tribute bring
When He's the subject of the song,
Who can refuse to sing?
Who can refuse to sing?
Survey the beauties of His face,
And on His glories dwell;
Think of the wonders of His grace,
And all His triumphs tell,
And all His triumphs tell.
His hand a thousand blessings pours
Upon my guilty head:
His presence gilds my darkest hours,
And guards my sleeping bed,
And guards my sleeping bed.
To Heav'n, the place of His abode,
He brings my weary feet;
Shows me the glories of my God,
And makes my joys complete,
And makes my joys complete.
*Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be Thine,
Lord, they should all be Thine.
You can listen to it here. LISTEN