Hymn of the day – O thou who camest from above

O thou who camest from above
the fire celestial to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart.

There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
in humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work and speak and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire
and still stir up thy gift in me.

Still let me prove thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make my sacrifice complete.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1762

The Rochester Choir performs this song here, for your listening pleasure:

Hymn of the day – Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken (John Newton)

Today we had several heavy rain showers (it is approaching winter here in Australia, so the weather is responding accordingly), which gave way to beautiful bright sun-lit skies. I came back from our local coffee shop admiring God’s handiwork, thinking that the somber blue-grey of the stormy sky was a colour that I’d seen someplace before.

A quick search of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings online revealed an echo of the colour and tone I was looking for in his work “The Church at Auvers” (pictured below from Wikipedia):

A few hours later, after a quick heated up lunch from left-overs, I gazed outside onto our back deck. Again the sunlight sparkled upon our rain-drenched garden and the phrase “glorious things of thee are spoken” came suddenly, and quietly, to mind.

I knew the hymn, which is one of my favourites, and have reproduced the lyrics below for your enjoyment and encouragement as well. Isn’t it lovely that the Lord blesses us with food for our souls on even the most downcast of days weather-wise?

As it is written:

“21 This I recall to my mind,
therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He, whose Word cannot be broken,
Formed thee for His own abode;
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou mayst smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters,
Springing from eternal love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove:
Who can faint while such a river
Ever flows their thirst t’ assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,
Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hov’ring,
See the cloud and fire appear,
For a glory and a cov’ring,
Showing that the Lord is near;
Thus deriving from our banner
Light by night and shade by day,
Safe they feed upon the manna
Which He gives them when they pray.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
Washed in the Redeemer’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to God;
’Tis His love His people raises
Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His solemn praises
Each for a thank off’ring brings.

Savior, if of Zion’s city,
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy name;
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.

(By John Newton, 1779)

Hymn of the day – We’re Marching to Zion

The lyrics to the above are really soul-stirring so I wanted to share:

Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.

Refrain:
We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.

The sorrows of the mind
Be banished from the place;
Religion never was designed
To make our pleasures less.

Let those refuse to sing,
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heav’nly King
May speak their joys abroad.

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.