I’ll be doing a full ‘heart prep’ blog tomorrow or Friday, but I wanted to jump in a little early to encourage the use of one particular hymn for heart prep.
The beautiful offertory Hannah Jackson played last week was probably familiar to some of you, not so much to others. It is Fernando Ortega’s setting of a hymn tune called ‘Leoni’ associated with the hymn ‘The God of Abraham Praise.” This is one of my favorite tunes, and the words of the hymn are more than worthy of extended meditation and heart prep.
Here’s the page from our hymnal:The God of Abraham Praise, the Hymnal page 34
Here’s a choral version, similar to the way we sing it, but with organ and a few of the verses not found in our hymnal: FPC Congregation
Here’s the wonderful Fernando Ortega setting, no words: The God Of Abraham Praise
And here’s the full version, with some interesting preface, from cyberhymnal.com. Read the verses slowly and with imagination!
Words: From The Yigdal of Daniel ben Judah, a Jewish judge in Rome, circa 1400, paraphrased by Thomas Olivers, circa 1765; first appeared in The Gospel Magazine, April 1775. The lyrics are based on the 13 creeds of Moses Maimonides (circa 1130-1204).
Music: Leoni, Hebrew melody, Sacred Harmony, 1780 (MIDI, score). Alternate tune:
One night in London, [Olivers] was attracted to a service in a Jewish synagogue, where he heard a great singer, Leoni, sing an ancient Hebrew melody in the solemn, plaintive mode and he became impressed with a desire to write a hymn to that tune. The result was our hymn, “The God of Abraham Praise,” which in a sense is a paraphrase of the ancient Hebrew Yigdal, or doxology, though Olivers gave to it a distinctly Christian flavor.
The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days, and God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name forever blessed.
The God of Abraham praise, at Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys at His right hand;
I all on earth forsake, its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make, my Shield and Tower.
The God of Abraham praise, whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days, in all my ways.
He calls a worm His friend, He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end, thro’ Jesus’ blood.
He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne, to Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace forevermore.
Tho’ nature’s strength decay, and earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds I urge my way, at His command.
The wat’ry deep I pass, with Jesus in my view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness my way pursue.
The goodly land I see, with peace and plenty bless’d;
A land of sacred liberty, and endless rest.
There milk and honey flow, and oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow with mercy crowned.
There dwells the Lord our King, the Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin, the Prince of peace;
On Sion’s sacred height His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light forever reigns.
He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure, His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss, with groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise, He still supplies.
Before the great Three-One they all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done, through all their land:
The list’ning spheres attend, and swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end, the wondrous Name.
The God Who reigns on high the great archangels sing,
And “Holy, holy, holy!” cry, “Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same, and evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—great I AM, we worship Thee!”
Before the Savior’s face the ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace, forever new:
He shows His prints of love—they kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above the slaughtered Lamb.
The whole triumphant host give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine, and endless praise.