Father’s Heart, Son’s Cross, Mother’s Pain.

Father’s Heart, Son’s Cross, Mother’s Pain.

Today is Father’s Day and our hearts are turned to the Fathers and Husbands and Men in our lives and world. It is a great honor and joy to acknowledge God’s blessing in those of my family of a wife and 8 daughters and sons, along with the extended family in-laws with our 7 grandkids. Another good year of grace and mercy despite the world’s troubles. Thanks to all for words and thoughts of kindness and goodness; and my return to all is the same in kind in Him.
I at first wished to share two Songs and Hymns of Aquinas with that of the ‘Stabat Mater Dolorosa’, but I felt redirected to share instead some Father’s Hymns and Song of the Son connected to and related to the Mother’s Praise of the Incarnation. These Songs and Hymns were discovered in my earlier years as a Christian, and greatly helped me. I’ll first make some notices about these songs and hymns.

There are three ‘Abba Father’ Hymns.
Hymn I: By James G. Deck, published in Hymns for the Poor of the Flock 1841, 1846 edition; edited by J.G. Deck.
‘He was raised in the faith of the Church of England. As a young man he chose the army as a career. He trained at Paris, France under one of Napoleon’s generals.’ In 1835 ‘he became associated with other believers in the early days of the brethren movement’; was very active in the movement for some 40 years; very close to Wigram and Darby; was a major influence in New Zealand for the Christians and the Brethren; he labored to  unite and to reconcile the two extreme parties in the movement. He is known and loved worldwide in the Christian Church for his Hymns, Songs, and Poems.
His only published non-hymnbook we have is: ‘Joy in Departing: A Memoir of the Conversion and Last Days of Augustus James Clarke (Son of Lieut. Col. A. Clarke,…) Who Fell Asleep in Jesus, May 2nd, 1845, in the Fourteenth Year of His Age” With this verse: “To depart, and to be with Christ, is far better.”  The boy came under tutelage to the Decks at 10 years of age with his sister, whose parents were very close friends and of the same Brethren circles; a fragile child yet very tender to Christian feelings and affections; he was studious, and good in Latin; wanted to be a preacher of Christ’s Gospel; struggled with his evil nature but found faith and peace in Christ at 11 with fervent zeal; he became very fond of the Decks, calling Mr. Deck ‘Papa’; while cutting the cord tied around a mattress, the knife slipped and went deeply into his left eye; he struggled with the loss of his eye while he partially recovered, resigning in his new and simple faith to accept this accident as God’s will, and would gladly bear it for the Lord, and to live in joy in Christ with one eye; the infection and inflammation continued more or less till it caused his death at 14; during that year of immense suffering, daily getting weaker, his faith and hope and love outshined all sorrows and disappointments; he resorted to his Bible and Hymnbook in his frequent quiet times of isolation, often in a darkened room; all who visited were moved by his patient endurance and pure resignation to God’s will as he saw that his days were numbered; though very weak to even care for himself he was overjoyed to receive a promised Polyglott Bible from his father, and he read it as the days drew near, and kept it near his bed at all times; his letters to his parents, written by others, were very touching and firmly declared in Christ as his Hope, Lord, Savior, and All in God’s perfect flawless will; he read and considered many hymns as he awaited death, sharing many hours of fellowship with Deck and others; soon they all knew his favorite verses and hymns; Deck journaled that year in great detail, capturing the young boy’s spiritual progress, especially in his favorite hymns; once, on Mrs. Deck spending time with him and reading the latter part of Romans 8, he said that he felt that he had the “spirit of adoption” to  cry “Abba, Father”. Shortly after this time Mr. Deck shared with him two hymns on meditations of the Prodigal Son, 1st, Invitation Accepted, was “Just as I am—without one plea…..O Lamb of God, I come!”, which is now sung in all the churches; and the 2nd was the Prodigal’s Welcome, Accepted in the Beloved”: “O Lamb of God, in Thee!” (by M.J.D.); both these songs echoed Deck’s 1841 hymn “Abba, Father”, and in turn would produce in many others new versions of this theme. The boy near death defied his condition, and with his own feeble hands wrote his last letter to his parents comforting them of the days when he will be above with God, waiting for them in due season, that all our lives and cares are in His good hands for life or death. So the boy died resting in Jesus in hopes of a resurrection; many attended his funeral; Darby was asked to share some words, which he did at great length, in admiration of the boys faith, life, and his deep affections for Christ in his sufferings, and as an example to all.
This note as to the various Abba Father Hymns is all that I need to add: [The BHB attributes hymn #2 to James Deck, identical in meter and with similar phraseology to hymn #1, so much so that the first verse of hymn #2 is often sung as the last verse of hymn #1. Other sources give the author as Dr. Robert Stephen Hawker(1753-1827), famous preacher and grandfather of famed Cornish poet also Robert Stephen Hawker (1803-1875). Mr. Paisley simply left this hymn out of his Companion. A very similar hymn is included as #104 in “Hymns for the Little Flock”, with the senior Robert Hawker as the author. This is a correction from prior versions of HLF which gave the poet grandson as the author. The early brethren freely altered hymns to correct doctrinal errors as they saw them – the version included in BHB is substantially changed from the Hawker hymn as given in HLF, including an added 4th verse. For now it is our opinion to follow the BHB citation and assume that James Deck at the very least substantially modified the original hymn, and so will remain listed as the author.]

I. Abba, Father! We approach Thee, by James G. Deck, published in Hymns for the Poor of the Flock 1841, 1846 edition; edited by J.G. Deck.

Abba, Father! we approach Thee
In our Saviour’s precious name;
We, Thy children, here assembling,
Access to Thy presence claim;
From our sin His blood hath washed us:
‘Tis through Him our souls draw near,
And Thy Spirit, too, hath taught us,
Abba, Father! name so dear.
Once as prodigals we wandered
In our folly, far from Thee;
But Thy grace, o’er sin abounding,
Rescued us from misery:
Thou Thy prodigals hast pardoned,
Loved us with a Father’s love;
Welcomed us with joy o’erflowing,
E’en to dwell with Thee above.
Clothed in garments of salvation,
At Thy table is our place;
We rejoice, and Thou rejoicest,
In the riches of Thy grace:
It is meet, we hear Thee saying,
We should merry be and glad;
I have found My once lost children,
Now they live who once were dead.
Abba, Father! all adore Thee,
All rejoice in heaven above;
While in us they learn the wonders
Of Thy wisdom, power and love;
Soon, before Thy throne assembled,
All Thy children shall proclaim,
Glory, everlasting glory,
Be to God and to the Lamb.


II.(Attributed to Hawker (R; RS, Rbert, Robert Stephen); not verified)

“Abba Father,” thus we greet Thee,
Magnify Thy holy Name;
Lifting holy hands we bless Thee,
Brought before Thee without blame,
We have learnt Thee here in sorrow,
Strangers in an alien land,
But we touch th’eternal morrow,
Abba, as in Christ we stand.
He has told us all the secrets
Hidden in that Name of grace;
Told us of the love that purposed
We should have with Christ our place.
Thus we bless Thee, “Abba Father,”
In the freedom He has won,
Taken into all the favour
Now made known in Christ, the Son.
“Abba Father,” thus we know Thee
In that scene of brightest day;
‘Tis as sons foreknown we bless Thee;
None but sons can “Abba” say.
This high honour we inherit,
Fruit of counsel now declared,
By the Holy Spirit’s witness
Consciously in sonship shared


III. (Robert Stephen Hawker 1803-1875. ?) (Pub. 1843 in First Truths or Lessons and Hymns, a New Edition, without credit.) (Incorrectly, Robert S. Hawkes in a Chinese Hymnal)

Abba, Father! we adore Thee,
Humbly now our homage pay;
’Tis Thy children’s bliss to know Thee,
None but children “Abba” say.
This high honor we inherit,
Thy free gift through Jesus’ blood;
God the Spirit, with our spirit,
Witnesseth we’re sons of God.

Thine own purpose gave us being,
When in Christ, in that vast plan,
Thou in Christ didst choose Thy people
E’en before the world began.
Oh, what love Thou, Father, bore us!
Oh, how precious in Thy sight!
When to Thine own Son Thou gav’st us,
To Thy Son, Thy soul’s delight.

Though our nature’s fall in Adam
Shut us wholly out from God,
Thine eternal counsel brought us
Nearer still, through Jesus’ blood;
For in Him we found redemption,
Grace and glory in Thy Son;
O the height and depth of mercy!
Christ and His redeemed are one.

Hence, through all the changing seasons,
Trouble, sickness, sorrow, woe,
Nothing changeth Thine affections,
Love divine shall bring us through;
Soon shall all Thy blood-bought children
Round the throne their anthems raise,
And, in songs of rich salvation,
Shout to Thine eternal praise.


IV. Stabat Mater Dolorosa: (“Considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord’s mother, Mary (Lk2:35).” This 13th-century hymn is variously attributed to Gregory I, Bernard of Clairvaux, Pope Innocent III, St. Bonaventura, Jacopone da Todi, Pope John XXII, and Pope Gregory XI, and others; translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall (1814-1878). It was the liturgical sequence for the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin (Sept. 15 and the Friday before Palm Sunday). It is no longer used on the Friday before Palm Sunday and is optional on September 15, but it continues to be sung at the Stations of the Cross during Lenten services.” Translated by Edward Caswall, an Anglican turned Catholic.
((I have altered the original with the words in parenthesis from what was said of the Mother to speak of the Father.))

Part I: Mary’s Pain at the Son’s Cross & Suffering for Man.
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass’d.
Oh, how sad and sore distress’d
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm’d in miseries so deep
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?
Bruis’d, derided, curs’d, defil’d,
She beheld her tender Child
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

Part II: The Father’s Heart in the Son’s Death for Man.
O Thou (Father)! Fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with Thine accord.
Make me feel as Thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ (Thy Word).
Holy (Father)! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.
Let me share with Thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with Thee,
Mourning Him who mourn’d for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the cross with Thee to stay,
There (to) Thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of Thee to give.
(Father) of all (fathers) best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share Thy grief Divine.
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of Thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon’d
In His very blood away.
Be to me, O (Father), nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.

Part III: Paradise with God.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy (Father)my Defense,
Be Thy cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

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Songs of Salvation & Obedience

Songs of Salvation & Obedience

This week we have three Songs and Hymns that molded my earliest years as a Christian. As a Baptist ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘What a Friend’ nurtured my faith and fellowship in Christ; my salvation was rooted in His work and love. As I grew those first few years, from my 17th to 21st year I struggled with Christian fellowship and rejection, which confused my journey, but did not hinder or halted it. Then as a non-Baptist my walk and talk with other Christians enlarged and increased my love for God’s family in Christ. Yet this too proved conflicting as fellowship and obedience, The third song and hymn is based on little Samuel’s encounter with the Voice of the Lord; and for me in my relations to other Christians and Brethren I found this Hymn a refuge for my turmoil.

1. Amazing Grace :” the enduring Christian hymn, is one of the most well-known and beloved spiritual songs ever written. It was penned by the Englishman John Newton (1725-1807).” Son of a Shipmaster, his mother died of tuberculosis two weeks before his 7th birthday; taken to sea at 11 with his father for several years; avoiding his father’s plans to send him to Jamaica to work on the sugar plantation when 17 years old, he signed up with a merchant ship to the Mediterranean Sea; at 18 captured and pressed into the Royal Navy service; at 19 he tried to desert, and was severely flogged with 96 lashes, and demoted; he wanted to murder the captain and then commit suicide ; he soon transferred to a slave ship bound for West Africa; rebellious with the crew, they left him in the hands of a slave trader; who in turn gave him to his native princess wife as her slave, who treated badly as a slave (I was once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in West Africa”); three years later his father’s friend a sea captain in search for him, found and rescued him. But God was just beginning His great work: The ship encountered a severe storm off the coast of Donegal, Ireland and almost sank. Newton awoke in the middle of the night and, as the ship filled with water, called out to God. The cargo shifted and stopped up the hole, and the ship drifted to safety. Newton marked this experience as the beginning of his conversion to evangelical Christianity” and to Christ. . He eventually became an ordained minister in the Church of England; and an advocate to abolish slavery.

2. What a Friend: “”What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s.  The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn.” It is popular in Japan and Asia, in Hindi, and with English popular culture. It is found in most the Church Hymnals and SongBooks.

3. Master Speak: Havergal, Frances Ridley, daughter of the Rev. W. H. Havergal, was born at Astley, Worcestershire, Dec. 14, 1836. Five years later her father removed to the Rectory of St. Nicholas, Worcester. In August, 1850, she entered Mrs. Teed’s school, whose influence over her was most beneficial. In the following year she says, “I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.” “Miss Havergal’s scholastic acquirements were extensive, embracing several modern languages, together with Greek and Hebrew. She does not occupy, and did not claim for herself, a prominent place as a poet, but by her distinct individuality she carved out a niche which she alone could fill. Simply and sweetly she sang the love of God, and His way of salvation. To this end, and for this object, her whole life and all her powers were consecrated. She lives and speaks in every line of her poetry. Her poems are permeated with the fragrance of her passionate love of Jesus. Her religious views and theological bias are distinctly set forth in her poems, and may be described as mildly Calvinistic, without the severe dogmatic tenet of reprobation. The burden of her writings is a free and full salvation, through the Redeemer’s merits, for every sinner who will receive it, and her life was devoted to the proclamation of this truth by personal labours, literary efforts, and earnest interest in Foreign Missions.”


1. Amazing Grace!
John Newton, pub.1779 .Anonymous/Unknown, revised pub.1829

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

2. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Joseph M. Scriven, 1855

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a Friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

3. Master Speak!
Frances R. Havergal, Ministry of Song, 1869.

Master, speak! Thy servant heareth,
Waiting for Thy gracious word,
Longing for Thy voice that cheereth;
Master! let it now be heard.
I am listening, Lord, for Thee:
What hast Thou to say to me?
Speak to me by name, O Master,
Let me know it is to me;
Speak, that I may follow faster,
With a step more firm and free,
Where the Shepherd leads the flock,
In the shadow of the rock.
Master, speak! Though least and lowest,
Let me not unheard depart;
Master, speak! For O, Thou knowest
All the yearning of my heart,
Knowest all its truest need:
Speak! and make me blest indeed.
Master, speak! and make me ready,
When Thy voice is truly heard,
With obedience glad and steady
Still to follow every word.
I am listening, Lord, for Thee:
Master, speak! O, speak to me!

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God’s Sovereignty & Christ’s Incarnation & Love

Three Songs-Hymns of God’s Sovereignty & Christ’s Incarnation & Love.
This week I’ve been busy on BibleForum.org, which I recently rejoined, and have been occupied in heart and mind with God’s sovereignty and providence in man’s salvation and God’s Kingdom in Christ. It has caused me to reflect on some Songs and Hymns that encouraged me some years back as a young Christian.  So I submit and Share these three.
Thy Choice & Love First.
(Josiah Conder, 1836. “London Congregationalist, an abolitionist, and took an active part in seeking to repeal British anti-Jewish laws.”)
’Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me
Hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.
’Twas sov’reign (mercy) called me
And taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.
Fairest Lord Jesus!
(“Written by German Jesuits as Schönster Herr Jesu in the 17th Century. Published in the Münster Gesangbuch, 1677, and translated from German to English by Joseph A. Seiss, 1873.”)
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,  Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.
Down From His Glory.
(William E. Booth-Clibborn; Methodist, Salvation Army; Humanitarian of Britain.)
Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My Breath, my Sunshine, my All in all!
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s Fulness dwelleth in Him.
What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul.
Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden (plan).
O glorious Myst’ry,
Sacrifice of Calv’ry,
And now I know Thou art the great “I AM.”
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1. Day of Wrath & Doom & Judgment. 2. Celestial Country. World Contempt. New Jerusalem

This week we have two poetic pieces that have found their way into the Church and the hearts of countless Christians both Catholics and Protestants. These two Poems, Songs, and Hymns I encountered in my days with the Catholics in San Diego in the mid 70s. They are both from the Middle Ages, and have very important historical value and influence. I will only add to the citations given below that both these Hymns and Poems are Songs that were productions of their times, that were believed by Scripture and world events, and the Church’s condition, to be the end of the age, and the Lord’s advent and the judgment day to follow was about to occur and manifest. The Holy Spirit no doubt at work in all of it in many ways.

1. Day of Wrath & Doom & Judgment
From Schaff’s Library of Library of Religious Poetry: (That Day of Wrath!” Dies Irae, Dies Illa.”
The “Dies Irae” is an act of humiliation and prayer for mercy in view of the impending day of judgment, based upon Zeph. 1:15,16; Matt 25. ; 2 Peter 3:10-12. It was written for private devotion, in a lonely monastic cell, about 1250, by Thomas of Celano, the friend and biographer of St. Francis of Assist. It is the acknowledged masterpiece of Latin poetry, and the most sublime of all uninspired hymns, often translated, reproduced, and imitated, but never equalled. It is one of those rare productions which can never die, which increase in value as the ages advance. It has commanded the admiration of poets and men of letters, like Goethe, Walter Scott, and Macau lay. and has inspired some of the greatest musicians, from Palestrina down to Mozart. The secret of the irresistible power of the ” Dies Ira:” lies in the awful grandeur of the theme, the intense earnestness and pathos of the poet, the simple majesty and solemn music of its language, the stately metre, the triple rhyme, and the vowel assonances chosen in striking adaptation to the sense, — all combining to produce an overwhelming effect, as if we heard the final crash of the universe, the commotion of the
opening graves, the trumpet of the archangel that summons the quick and the dead, and as if we saw the ” King of tremendous majesty ” seated on the throne of justice and mercy, and ready to dispense everlasting life or everlasting woe. Goethe describes its effect upon the guilty conscience in the Cathedral scene of ‘ ‘ Faust ” : —” Horror seizes thee ! The trump sounds ! The grave trembles ! And thy heart From the repose of its ashes, For fiery torment Brought to life again, Trembles up ! ”    The opening line, which is literally borrowed from the Vulgate version of Zeph. 1:15, strikes the key-note to the whole with a startling sound, and brings up at once the judgment scene as an awful, impending reality. The feeling of terror
occasioned by the contemplation of that event culminates in the cry of repentance, verse 7, “Quid sum, miser, tunc dicturus” ; but from this the poet rises at once to the prayer of faith, and takes refuge from the wrath to come in the infinite mercy of Him who suffered nameless pain for a guilty world, who pardoned the sinful Magdalene, and saved the dying robber. —This note is taken substantially from Schaff’s ” Christ in Song.”  For further information, see Lisco’s “Dies Irae,” Berlin, 1840; and two articles by Dr Schaff, in the Hours at Home, New York, May and July, 1868, with specimens of many translations.)

Day of Wrath & Doom & Judgment
(by Thomas of Celano. Translated by W. J. Irons, D.D., 1848. This is the accepted version of the “Dies Ira” in Great Britain [and America].)

Day of wrath and doom impending.
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.
Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth.
Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;
Through earth’s sepulchres it ringeth;
All before the throne it bringeth.
Death is struck, and nature quaking,
All creation is awaking,
To its Judge an answer making.
Day of wrath and doom impending.
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.
When the Judge his seat attaineth,
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unavenged remaineth.
What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
When the just are mercy needing?
King of Majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!
Think, kind Jesu! – my salvation
Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation;
Leave me not to reprobation.
Faint and weary, Thou hast sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought me.
Shall such grace be vainly brought me?
Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere the day of retribution.
Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning;
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning!
Through the (sinful woman shriven),
Through the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.
With Thy sheep a place provide me,
From the goats afar divide me,
To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.
When the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Thy saints surrounded.
Low I kneel, with heart’s submission,
See, like ashes, my contrition,
Help me in my last condition.
Ah! that day of tears and mourning,
From the dust of earth returning
Man for judgement must prepare him,
(Spare, O God, in mercy spare (him).
Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest.


2. Celestial Country. World Contempt. New Jerusalem
From Wikipedia: (Bernard of Cluny (or, of Morlaix or Morlay) was a twelfth-century French Benedictine monk.  Bernard’s family of origin and place of birth are not known for certain; Bernard, of Cluny, is sometimes known as Bernard of Morlaix, in Brittany, where he was bom of English parents..  It is believed that he was at first a monk of Saint-Sauveur d’Aniane and that he entered the monastery of Cluny during the administration of Abbot Pons (1109–1122).
The first monastery in Burgundy was at Cluny, started by the Benedictine monks in 940 AD. With over 1,000 monks in residence, more than the population of most towns of that time, large buildings had to be erected to house everyone and 40 farms produced the food. The abbey became grander and grander as its power over the whole of Europe increased. It was the largest church in Christendom, only succeeded later by St. Peter’s in Rome, dominating for hundreds of years. It organized pilgrimages, oversaw hundreds of other monasteries and governed by the power of excommunication.  Bernard is best known as the author of De Contemptu Mundi (On Contempt for the World), a 3,000 verse poem of stinging Latin satire directed against the secular and religious failings he observed in the world around him. He spares no one; priests, nuns, bishops, monks, and even Rome itself are mercilessly scourged for their shortcomings. For this reason it was first printed by Matthias Flacius in Varia poemata de corrupto ecclesiae statu (Basle, 1557) as one of his testes veritatis, or witnesses of the deep-seated corruption of medieval society and of the Church, and was often reprinted by Protestants in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
St. Bernard’s writings acquired for him the title of the ” Last of the Fathers,” so great was their authority.”)
From Julian’s Hymnology: (Hora Novissima. tempoTM pessima sunt, trigilemus. Bernard of Ct

luny [The Heavenly Jerusalem.’] This magnificent poem, evidently inspired by the last two chapters of the Revelation of St. John, was composed in the Abbey of Cluny, about 1145, and extends to about 3000 lines. It is found in a 13th cent. Ms….. In Trench’s Sac. Latin Poetry, 1849, 96 lines were given, beginning with “Hie breve vivitur” (from which Dr. Neale’s first translation was made); and m Dr. Neale’s Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny, on the Celestial Country, 1858, there are 218 lines. The original is dedicated to Peter the Venerable, the General of the Order to which St. Bernard belonged, and is entitled, ” De contemptu mnndi.” (Dr. Schaff, in his Lib. of Religious Poetry, 1883, p. 981, says this poem was printed in Paris in 1483. We have not seen this edition.) (Schaff’s: “De Contemptu Mundi,” intended to persuade to the contempt of the world, and to the seeking of those things that are above. Dr. Neale says that he looks upon these verses as the most lovely in the same way that the “Dies Ira: ” is the most sublime and the ” Stabat Mater” the most pathetic of mediaeval hymns. The poem of Bernard was printed in 1483, at Paris In 1865 Mr. William C. Prime, in editing “The Seven Great Hymns of the Mediaeval Church,” stated that no copy of ” De Contemptu Mundi” was known to exist in the United States: but Dr. Philip Schaff owns a copy of the edition printed at Basel in 1557….The original was written about 1145, and was divided into three books. Dr. Neale has freely reproduced the principal portions. It is a severe satire on the vices of the age.)
Bernard’s words in his dedicatory epistle are:—
“Often and of long time I had heard the Bridegroom, but had not listened to Him, saying—’Thy voles; is pleasant in Mine ears.’ And again the Beloved cried out, ‘Open to Me, My sister.’ What then? I arose, that I might open to my Beloved. And I said,  Lord, to the end that my heart may think, that my pen may write, and that my mouth may set forth Thy praise, pour both into my heart and pen and mouth Thy grace.’ And the Lord said, ‘Open thy mouth.’ Which He straightway filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding; that by one I might speak truly, by the other perspicuously. And I say it in nowise arrogantly, but with all humility, and therefore boldly: that unless that Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding had been with me, and flowed in upon so difficult a metre, I could not have composed so long a work. For that kind of metre, continuous dactylic (except the final trochee or spondee), preserving also, as it does, the Leonine sonorousness, had almost, not to sav altogether, grown obsolete through its difficulty. For Hildebert of Laverdin, who from his immense learning was first raised to the Episcopate and to the Metropolitan dignity; and Vuichard, Canon of Lyons, excellent versifiers, how little they wrote in this metre, is manifest to all.” (Neale’s Rhythm, arc, Preface.)
The poem is written in dactylic hexameters, with the leonine (sometimes a trisyllable or dactylic), and tailed rhyme, each line being broken up into three parts…)

Celestial Country. World Contempt. New Jerusalem
(St, Bernard of Cluny, Morlaix; translated from Latin by J.M. Neale,Dr.)

The world is very evil!   The times are waxing late;
Be sober and keep vigil,  The judge is at the gate-
The judge that comes in mercy,  The judge that comes with might,
To terminate the evil,  To diadem the right.
When the just and gentle Monarch  Shall summon from the tomb,
Let man, the guilty, tremble,  For Man, the God, shall doom!
Arise, arise, good Christian,  Let right to wrong succeed;
Let penitential sorrow   To heavenly gladness lead-
To the light that hath no evening,   That knows nor moon nor sun,
The light so new and golden,  The light that is but one.
And when the Sole-Begotten   Shall render up once more
The kingdom to the Father,   Whose own it was before,
Then glory yet unheard of   Shall shed abroad its ray,
Resolving all enigmas,   An endless Sabbath-day.
Then, then from his oppressors   The Hebrew shall go free,
And celebrate in triumph  The year of jubilee;
And the sunlit Land that recks not  Of tempest nor of fight,
Shall fold within its bosom   Each happy Israelite–
The Home of fadeless splendor,  Of flowers that fear no thorn,
Where they shall dwell as children,  Who here as exiles mourn.
Midst power that knows no limit,  And wisdom free from bound,
The Beatific Vision   Shall glad the Saints around-
The peace of all the faithful,   The calm of all the blest,
Inviolate, unvaried,   Divinest, sweetest, best.
Yes, peace! for war is needless-   Yes, calm! for storm is past–
And goal from finished labor,   And anchorage at last.
That peace-but who may claim it?  The guileless in their way,
Who keep the ranks of battle,   Who mean the thing they say-
The peace that is for heaven,   And shall be for the earth;
The palace that re-echoes   With festal song and mirth;
The garden, breathing spices,   The paradise on high;
Grace beautified to glory,   Unceasing minstrelsy.
There nothing can be feeble,   There none can ever mourn,
There nothing is divided,   There nothing can be torn.
‘Tis fury, ill, and scandal,   ‘Tis peaceless peace below;
Peace, endless, strifeless, ageless,  The halls of Syon know.
O happy, holy portion,   Refection for the blest,
True vision of true beauty,   Sweet cure of all distrest!
Strive, man, to win that glory;   Toil, man, to gain that light;
Send hope before to grasp it,   Till hope be last in sight;
Till Jesus gives the portion   Those blessed souls to fill-
The insatiate, yet satisfied,   The full, yet craving still.
That fulness and that craving   Alike are free from pain,
Where thou, midst heavenly citizens,  A home like theirs shalt gain.
Here is the warlike trumpet;  There, life set free from sin,
When to the last Great Supper  The faithful shall come in;
When the heavenly net is laden  With fishes many and great
(So glorious in its fulness,    Yet so inviolate);
And perfect from unperfected,  And fall’n from those that stand,
And the sheep-flock from the goat-herd  Shall part an either hand.
And these shall pass to torment,   And those shall triumph then-
The new peculiar nation,   Blest number of blest men.
Jerusalem demands them;   They paid the price on earth,
And now shall reap the harvest   In blissfulness and mirth-
The glorious holy people,    Who evermore relied
Upon their Chief and Father,   The King, the Crucified–
The sacred ransomed number   Now bright with endless sheen,
Who made the Cross their watchword    Of Jesus Nazarene,
Who (fed with heavenly nectar   Where soul-like odors play)
Draw out the endless leisure    Of that long vernal day.
And, through the sacred lilies   And flowers on every side,
The happy dear-bought people   Go wandering far and wide;
Their breasts are filled with gladness,  Their mouths are tun’d to praise,
What time, now safe for ever,    On former sins they gaze:
The fouler was the error,   The sadder was the fall,
The ampler are the praises   Of Him who pardoned all.
Their one and only anthem,   The fulness of His love,
Who gives instead of torment,   Eternal joys above-
Instead of torment, glory;   Instead of death, that life
Wherewith your happy Country,   True Israelites, is rife.
Brief life is here our portion,   Brief sorrow, short-liv’d care;
The life that knows no ending-   The tearless life, is there.
O happy retribution!   Short toil, eternal rest;
For mortals and for sinners   A mansion with the blest!
That we should look, poor wand’rers,   To have our home on high!
That worms should seek for dwelling,    Beyond the starry sky!
To all one happy guerdon   Of one celestial grace;
For all, for all, who mourn their fall,   Is one eternal place.
And martyrdom hath roses   Upon that heavenly ground;
And white and virgin lilies   For virgin-souls abound.
There grief is turned to pleasure–   Such pleasure as below
No human voice can utter,   No human heart can know;
And after fleshly scandal,   And after this world’s night,
And after storm and whirlwind,   Is calm, and joy, and light.
And now we fight the battle,   But then shall wear the crown
Of full and everlasting    And passionless renown:
And now we watch and struggle,   And now we live in hope,
And Syon, in her anguish,   With Babylon must cope;
But He whom now we trust in   Shall then be seen and known,
And they that know and see Him   Shall have Him for their own.
The miserable pleasures   Of the body shall decay;
The bland and flattering struggles   Of the flesh shall pass away;
And none shall there be jealous,  And none shall there contend;
Fraud, clamor, guile-what say I?   All ill, all ill shall end!
And there is David’s Fountain,   And life in fullest glow;
And there the light is golden,   And milk and honey flow-
The light that hath no evening,   The health that hath no sore,
The life that hath no ending,   But lasteth evermore.
There Jesus shall embrace us,   There Jesus be embraced-
That spirit’s food and sunshine   Whence earthly love is chased.
Amidst the happy chorus,   A place, however low,
Shall shew Him us, and shewing,  Shall satiate evermore.
By hope we struggle onward:   While here we must be fed
By milk, as tender infants,   But there by Living Bread.
The night was full of terror,  The morn is bright with gladness;
The Cross becomes our harbor,  And we triumph after sadness.
And Jesus to His true ones   Brings trophies fair to see;
And Jesus shall be loved, and    Beheld in Galilee-
Beheld, when morn shall waken,  And shadows shall decay,
And each true-hearted servant   Shall shine as doth the day;
And every ear shall hear it–   “Behold thy King’s array,
Behold thy God in beauty,   The Law hath pass’d away!”
Yes I God my King and Portion,   In fulness of Thy grace,
We then shall see for ever,    And worship face to face.
Then Jacob into Israel,  From earthlier self estranged,
And Leah into Rachel    For ever shall be changed;
Then all the halls of Syon   For aye shall be complete,
And in the Land of Beauty,   All things of beauty meet.
For thee, O dear, dear Country!  Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding   Thy happy name, they weep.
The mention of thy glory    Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,   And love, and life, and rest.
O One, O only Mansion!    O Paradise of Joy!
Where tears-are ever banished,  And smiles have no alloy,
Beside thy living waters  All plants are, great and small,
The cedar of the forest,   The hyssop of the wall;
With jaspers glow thy bulwarks,  Thy streets with emeralds blaze,
The sardius and the topaz    Unite in thee their rays;
Thine ageless walls are bonded   With amethyst unpriced;
Thy Saints build up its fabric,   And the corner-stone is Christ.
The Cross is all thy splendor,   The Crucified thy praise;
His laud and benediction    Thy ransomed people raise:
“Jesus, the Gem of Beauty,  True God and Man,” they sing,
“The never-failing Garden,   The ever-golden Ring;
The Door, the Pledge, the Husband, The Guardian of His Court;
The Day-star of Salvation,   The Porter and the Port!”
Thou hast no shore, fair ocean!  Thou hast no time, bright day!
Dear fountain of refreshment   To pilgrims far away!
Upon the Rock of Ages   They raise thy holy tower;
Thine is the victor’s laurel,  And thine the golden dower!
Thou feel’st in mystic rapture,  O Bride that know’st no guile,
The Prince’s sweetest kisses,   The Prince’s loveliest smile;
Unfading lilies, bracelets    Of living pearl thine own;
The Lamb is ever near thee,   The Bridegroom thine alone.
The Crown is He to guerdon,    The Buckler to protect,
And He Himself the Mansion,   And He the Architect.
The only art thou needest-   Thanksgiving for thy lot;
The only joy thou seekest-   The Life where Death is not.
And all thine endless leisure,   In sweetest accents, sings
The ill that was thy merit,   The wealth that is thy King’s!
Jerusalem the golden,    With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation   Sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not.  What social jays are there!
What radiancy of glory,   What light beyond compare!
And when I fain would sing them,  My spirit fails and faints;
And vainly would it image   The assembly of the Saints.
They stand, those halls of Syon,   Conjubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,  And all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them,   The daylight is serene;
The pastures of the Blessed   Are decked in glorious sheen.
There is the Throne of David,  And there, from care released,
The song of them that triumph,  The shout of them that feast;
And they who, with their Leader,  Have conquered in the fight,
For ever and for ever   Are clad in robes of white!
O holy, placid harp-notes   Of that eternal hymn!
O sacred, sweet refection,   And peace of Seraphim!
O thirst, for ever ardent,   Yet evermore content!
O true peculiar vision   Of God cunctipotent!
Ye know the many mansions  For many a glorious name,
And divers retributions  That divers merits claim;
For midst the constellations  That deck our earthly sky,
This star than that is brighter-   And so it is on high.
Jerusalem the glorious! The glory of the Elect!
O dear and future vision  That eager hearts expect!
Even now by faith I see thee,  Even here thy walls discern;
To thee my thoughts are kindled,  And strive, and pant, and yearn.
Jerusalem the only,   That look’st from heaven below,
In thee is all my glory,   In me is all my woe;
And though my body may not,  My spirit seeks thee fain,
Till flesh and earth return me   To earth and flesh again.
O none can tell thy bulwarks,   How gloriously they rise!
O none can tell thy capitals   O beautiful device!
Thy loveliness oppresses   All human thought and heart;
And none, O peace, O Syon,   Can sing thee as thou art!
New mansion of new people,  Whom God’s own love and light
Promote, increase, make holy,   Identify, unite!
Thou City of the Angels!   Thou City of the Lord!
Whose everlasting music   Is the glorious decachord!
And there the band of Prophets   United praise ascribes,
And there the twelvefold chorus   Of Israel’s ransomed tribes,
The lily-beds of virgins,   The roses’ martyr-glow,
The cohort of the Fathers  Who kept the Faith below.
And there the Sole-Begotten    Is Lord in regal state-
He, Judah‘s mystic Lion,    He, Lamb Immaculate.
O fields that know no sorrow!   O state that fears no strife!
O princely bowers! O land of flowers!  O realm and home of Life!
Jerusalem, exulting   On that securest shore,
I hope thee, wish thee, sing thee,  And love thee evermore!
I ask not for my merit,   I seek not to deny
My merit is destruction,    A child of wrath am I;
But yet with Faith I venture   And Hope upon my way;
Far those perennial guerdons   I labor night and day.
The best and dearest Father,  Who made me and Who saved,
Bore with me in defilement,   And from defilement laved,
When in His strength I struggle,   For very joy I leap,
When in my sin I totter,   I weep, or try to weep:
But grace, sweet grace celestial,  Shall all its love display,
And David’s Royal Fountain   Purge every sin away.
O mine, my golden Syon!   O lovelier far than gold,
With laurel-girt battalions,   And safe victorious fold!
O sweet and blessed Country,  Shall I ever see thy face?
O sweet and blessed Country,  Shall I ever win thy grace?
I have the hope within me  To comfort and to bless!
Shall I ever win the prize itself?  O tell me, tell me, Yes!
Exult, O dust and ashes!   The Lord shall be thy part;
His only, His for ever,  Thou shalt be, and thou art!
Exult, O dust and ashes!  The Lord shall be thy part;
His only, His for ever,   Thou shalt be, and thou art!



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Israel’s Canaan Journey

Israel’s Canaan Journey I found while I was among the Brethren, and it has always instructed me of the Christian Church’s Pilgrimage, both individual and corporate. I tried to ascertain the correct author but have not found any reference, for from 1813 onwards none was ever given. Whether originated among the Methodists or Adventists God knows. It has found its way into many Church Hymnals and SongBooks.

(Millenial Praises, Containing a Collection of Gospel Hymns, in Four Parts; adapted to the Day of Christ’s Second Appearing, Composed for the use of His People. Hancock, Printed by Josiah Tallcott. Junior.1813. Part 4, Hymn 17.Adventist. Printed also in The Day Star for 1845 with note that it was used by the Philadelphian Brethren.) (Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Designed to Aid in the Devotions of Prayer, Conference, and Camp-Meetings”, Winsor,VT.Pub. by  N.C. Goddard, 1836. Hymn 88.Methodist.)

Israel’s Canaan Journey
The old Israelites knew what it was they must do,
If fair Canaan they would possess,
They must still keep in sight of the pillar of light,
Which led on to the promised rest.
The camps on the road could not be their abode,
But as oft as the trumpet should blow,
They all glad of a chance of a further advance,
Must then take up their baggage and go.

I am thankful indeed for the heavenly Head,
Which before me hath hitherto gone;
For that pillar of love which doth onward still move,
And doth gather our souls into one. –
Now the cross bearing throng are advancing along,
And a closer communion doth flow,
Now all who would stand on the promised land,
Let them take up their crosses and go-

The way is all new, as it opens to view,
And behind is a foaming red sea;
So none now need to speak of the onions and leeks,
Or talk about garlicks to me.
My mind’s in pursuit, I must have the good fruit,
Which on Canaan’s rich vallies doth grow,
Although millions of foes should rise up and oppose,
I will take up my crosses and go.

What tho’some in the rear preach up terror & fear,
And complain of the trials they meet ;
Though the giants before with great fury do roar,
I’m resolved I will never retreat.
We are little, ’tis true, and our numbers are few,
And the sons of old Anak are tall;
But while I see a track I will never give back,
But go on at the risk of my all.

Though while scatter’d around in this wilderness ground,
With good manna a while we’ve been fed;
This will not always do, we must rise and go thro’.
Till we feed on the heavenly bread.
Now the morning doth dawn for the camps to move on,
And the priests with their trumpets do blow;
As the priests give the sound, and the trumpets resound,
All my soul is exulting to go.

On Jordan’s near side I can never abide,
For no place here of refuge I see,
Till I come to the spot, and inherit the lot
Which the Lord God will give unto me.
Now ’tis union I seek with the pure and the meek,
So an end to all discord and strife;
Since I have fix’d mine eyes on the heavenly prize,
I will go, at the risk of my life.

If I am faithful and true, and my journey pursue,
Till I stand on the heavenly shore,
I shall joyfully see what a blessing to me,
Was the mortifying cross which 1 bore.
Since these losses are gain, I will never complain,
But so long as I am able to move,
With the resolute few I’m resolv’d to go through,
Till I reach the fair Canaan above,

All my honors and wealth, all my pleasures and health,
I am willing should now be at stake,
If my Christ I obtain, I shall think it great gain
For the sacrifice which I shall make.
When I all have forsook, like a bubble ’twill look,
From the midst of a glorified throng,
Where all losses are gain, where each sorrow & pain,
Are exchanged for the conqueror’s song.

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Praise of a Virtuous Worthy Woman Wife Mother Proverbs 31:10-31

Praise of a Virtuous Worthy Woman Wife Mother Proverbs 31:10-31

Since it is Mother’s Day weekend it is fitting to share a song in praise of  the virtuous women wives, and mothers that make up our lives and world. My desire was to share something special for my own wife along with this post, but decided to post this first, and tomorrow to share my dedicated tribute. I spent several hours trying to find a metrical version of Proverbs 31:10-31 but found nothing, so I composed my own metrical version a few days ago, since I was settled on that scripture passage as the praise due and to those women whom we love and desire to honor. So saying, Happy Mother’s Day to my Wife, Daughters, and all others who deserve such love and praise from their children spouses, and friends; and also to those women not wives or mothers, who share the blessed happy lot of a Woman.
I will first give my Metrical Version of Proverbs 31 being as literal as English poetic form allows, with minimal changes, then the AKJV Text on which it was based. Afterwards I give a Jewish Text and info of this important Text.

Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (AKJV) ( (mjm.2017)
The Worthy Woman who can find?
Far above rubies is her price!
Her husband’s heart in her confides;
He needs no other spoil or heist;
Without evil she does him good
Within all of her living days;
For wool and flax she ever seeks
And with her hands she works her ways.
She is lik’n to the merchant’s ships;
Which brings her food from very far.
She wak’ns early, e’en in the night,
Feeds house and maid’ns from her store.
She sees a field, and she invests:
With fruit of hands, she plants her vines.
She girds her loins with might and strength,
And with both arms she seeks and finds.
She perceiveth her wares are good:
Her candle goes not out at night.
She lays her hands to the spindle,
She holds the distaff with her might.
She extends her hand to the poor;
And her hands to those needing foods.
She braves the snow for her family:
Clothes them in scarlet finest hoods.
She weaves her cloths with tapestry;
Her silk purple clothin by hand.
Her husband is known in the Gates;
And sits with Elders of the land.
She makes fine lin’n garments to sell;
Supplies girdlebelts to merchant trade.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
Then she’ll rejoice in what she’s made.
She opens her mouth with wisdom;
Her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looks well to her family’s ways,
She eats not the bread of idl’ness.
Her children grows to call her blessed;
Her husband also praises her well:
“Many daughters have done virt’ously,
But thou above them doth excell.
Favor deceives, and beauty vain:
But praised is’woman who fears the Lord.
Give her from the fruit of her hands;
In the Gates praise her works and word.
(“Who can find a virtuous woman?
Far above rubies is her worth!
Many daughters have done well,
But thou excellest in thy birth.”)

AKJV Text Proverbs 31:10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous woman?
for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,
so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil
all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships;
she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night,
and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it:
with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength,
and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:
her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry;
her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.
(Who can find a virtuous woman?
for her price is far above rubies.)
( Many daughters have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.

Hebrew Jewish Aishet Chayil (Virtuous Worthy Woman)
(by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett Updated April 20, 2015)
“Every Friday evening, before the festive Shabbat meal, Jews the world over sing a special poem to honor the Jewish woman.
Meaning: The song, or poem, is called Aishet Chayil, although it is spelled a multitude of different ways depending on the transliteration. Different ways of spelling it include aishes chayil, eishes chayil, aishet chayil, eishet chayil, and so on. The words translate as “a woman of valor.”
The song minimizes beauty (“Grace is false and beauty is vain,” Prov 31:30) and elevates kindness, generosity, honor, integrity, and dignity.
Origins: One reference to a woman of valor appears in the Book of Ruth, which tells the story of the convert Ruth and her journey with her mother-in-law Naomi and marriage to Boaz. When Boaz refers to Ruth as an aishet chayil, it makes her the only woman in all the books of the Bible to be referred to as such. The entirety of the poem derives from Proverbs (Mishlei) 31:10-31, which is believed to have been written by King Solomon. It is the second of three books believed to have been written by Solomon, son of David. There is a midrash that suggests that that Proverbs 31 is actually about Ruth. “Many women have done valor, but you surpass them all.” This is Ruth the Moabite, who entered under the wings of God. “Grace is false and beauty is vain.” [This refers to Ruth,] who left her mother and father and her wealth and went with her mother-in-law and accepted all the commandments. Therefore, the poem [concludes], “Extol her for the fruit of her hand and let her works praise her in the gates.” (Midrash Proverbs 31:29-30)
How To: Aishet Chayil is sung every Friday night after Shalom Aleichem (the song to welcome the Sabbath Bride) and before Kiddush (the formal blessing over the wine before the meal). Whether there are women present at the meal or not, a “woman of valor” is still recited to honor all righteous Jewish women. Many will keep their wives, mothers, and sisters specifically in mind while singing the song.”

The Text (Hebrew Alphabetical Psalm of 22 Verses from Aleph-Thau).
01.A Woman of Valor, who can find? She is more precious than corals.
02.Her husband places his trust in her and profits only thereby.
03.She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
04.She seeks out wool and flax and cheerfully does the work of her hands.
05.She is like the trading ships, bringing food from afar.
06.She gets up while it is still night to provide food for her household, and a fair share for her staff.
07.She considers a field and purchases it, and plants a vineyard with the fruit of her labors.
08.She invests herself with strength and makes her arms powerful.
09.She senses that her trade is profitable; her light does not go out at night.
10.She stretches out her hands to the distaff and her palms hold the spindle.
11.She opens her hands to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
12.She has no fear of the snow for her household, for all her household is dressed in fine clothing.
13.She makes her own bedspreads; her clothing is of fine linen and luxurious cloth.
14.Her husband is known at the gates, where he sits with the elders of the land.
15.She makes and sells linens; she supplies the merchants with sashes.
16.She is robed in strength and dignity, and she smiles at the future.
17.She opens her mouth with wisdom and a lesson of kindness is on her tongue.
18.She looks after the conduct of her household and never tastes the bread of laziness.
19.Her children rise up and make her happy; her husband praises her:
20.”Many women have excelled, but you excell them all!”
21.Grace is elusive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears God — she shall be praised.
22.Give her credit for the fruit of her labors, and let her achievements praise her at the gates.

(Print your own copy with the Hebrew, transliteration, and English at Aish.com, and listen to a recording, too.)

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Psalm of Praise of the Beloved

This week I desire to share some Psalms, and of them my most favorite. Since January we have considered some 30 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs that have influenced the Christian Church, and thus influenced me. The Book of Psalms or the PsalmsBook is a subject and category of its own, and as such is unique as Biblical Poetry, or Inspired Poems. Though I thought of reserving commenting on the Psalms till next year, if God permitted me to continue in life, as Bible Reflections on the books of the Bible; yet the use and value of the Psalms are intrinsically interwoven in our church songs and hymns. Psalms express a very wide range of human emotions and experiences. There are Psalms of sufferings, and of defeat, of hate and love, about enemies and persecutions, of deliverance and salvation; Psalms of God and the King, of Messiah and Israel; and Psalms for Feasts and Holydays, and such like. Some Psalms are of peculiar interest as applicable to Christ, as these: Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 31, 34, 40, 45, 55, 69, etc. The Book of Psalms are Songs and Hymns and Poems to be sung or chanted, based on the Law of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy) and the history of Israel from Joshua to Hezekiah and the close of the Old Testament. Like the Pentateuch or 5 Books of Moses, it is also divided into 5 Books or Sections (Ps. 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; 107-150). Psalms=tehillim, psalm=tehillah; from halall=praise, sing, chant, rejoice, celebrate, dance; as in hallelu-Jah, praise the LORD. Greek psalmos was the sound of the playing of a stringed instrument like a harp, lyre, cithara (kithara) or a guitar. It is poetry set to music or singing, it is “scripture set to music”. The Hebrew tehillim focuses on the words and the content of the Psalm; the Greek and Latin word emphasizes the sound and the music of the Poem, Song, or Hymn. Psalm 145 introduces the final conclusion to the PsalmsBook of the Five Halleluiah Psalms.
The Jewish Synagogue has preserved the PsalmsBook with all its treasures for worship, both public and private; and in turn the Christian Church has adopted it among all nations that the Gospel has spread. The Greek, Latin, and English Church has produced their own treasures of the Psalms; and among these treasures are the Metrical Psalms. The Protestants, especially the Anglicans and Presbyterians, have PsalmsBooks of metrical versions of all the Psalms, called the Psalter.  “To its devotees the Scottish Psalter is the only one that is acceptable. If one’s goal is the closest possible representation of the original Hebrew, then this may well be the best Psalter, even though its language and poetry sometimes seems awkward and contrived. (The Bay Psalm Book was also a very close translation, but its poetry is even more problematical.)  In spite of its age and sometimes quaint wording, the Scottish Psalter still retains great power even today. If one had to use only one metrical Psalter, this one would be a good choice.”
The Psalms are varied as we noted above, with some of them prefaced by historical or musical remarks. Some are Alphabetical of the Hebrew Alphabet from Aleph-Thau, 22 letters, which can be found in Psalms 119 in those translations, versions, and editions printed properly or accurately. Psalm 119 devotes 8 verses to each letter, thus 8×22= 176 verses. Psalm 145 is my most favorite of the Psalms, it is also Alphabetical, but defective in one letter, Nun, the 14th letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, comes after Mem and before Samek. The Missing Nun is very interesting because it appears to be deliberate, but without the suggestion as to the reason. Some have tried from time to time to supply what they think could be a good Nun Verse, but cannot explain its oddity. Nun means Fish or Snake, or both. It has the numerical value of 50. It was Joshua surname, Joshua benNun. It is the letter to symbolize the Serpent (Nachash), the Prophets (Nebhiim), the Giants (Nephilim), Messiah the Netzer (Branch), the Nazarene, and its is now among the Arabs the symbol and mark of the Christians. (See Ps. 119, especially Nun: verses 105-112.) The Hebrew title or name for Psalms is Tehillim or many Tehillahs, yet of all the 150 Psalms only Psalm 145 is titled the Tehillah, one of the Tehillim. Further it is David’s Tehillah; and David in Hebrew means the Beloved; thus it is when translated the Beloved’s Praise, or Praise of or for the Beloved.
Here are the samples of some Psalms as Texts or Metrical Versions: Ps. 145; Ps. 1; Ps. 2; Ps. 23; Ps. 145; and Ps. 145.

Praise for the LORD’s Beloved.
David’s [Psalm of] Praise.  Psalm 145:1-21.

1. Aleph.
I will extol Thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever.
2. Beth
Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever.
3. Gimel
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.
4. Daleth
One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts.
5. Heh
I will speak of the glorious honor of Thy majesty, and of Thy wondrous works.
6. Wav
And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts: and I will declare Thy greatness.
7. Zain
They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy great goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.
8. Cheth
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
9. Teth
The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.
10. Yod
All Thy works shall praise Thee, O LORD; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.
11. Kaph (20)
They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power;
12. Lamed (30)
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13. Mem (40)
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
14. 15. Samek (60)
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
15. 16. ‘Ayin (70)
The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season.
16. 17. Pe (80)
Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17. 18. Tzadi (90)
The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.
18. 19. Qoph (100)
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.
19. 20. Resh (200)
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20. 21. Shin (300)
The LORD preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy.
21. 22. Thau (400)
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever.

Psalm 1:1-6
Blessed is the Man who:
Walks not in the wickeds’ counsel,
Stands not in sinners’ way,
Sits not in scoffers’ seat:
Because his delight is in the LORD’s Law;
And on His Law  he meditates day and night.
And he’lll be like a tree planted by the streams of water,
That bears fruit in its season,
Whose leaf withers not;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The wicked are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind scatters.
Therefore the wicked shall not stand in judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous;
But the way of the wicked shall perish.

Psalm 2:1-12
Why rage the heathen? and vain things   Why do the people mind?
Kings of the earth do set themselves,     And princes are combin’d,
To plot against the Lord, and His            Anointed, saying thus,
Let us asunder break their bands,           And cast their cords from us.
He That in heaven sits shall laugh;         The Lord shall scorn them all.
Then shall He speak to them in wrath,     In rage He vex them shall.
Yet, notwithstanding, I have Him             To be my King appointed;
And over Sion, My holy hill,                     I have Him King anointed.
The sure decree I will declare:                 The Lord hath said to Me,
Thou art Mine only Son; this day             I have begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, and for heritage                    The heathen I’ll make Thine;
And, for possession, I to Thee will          Give earth’s utmost line.
Thou shalt, as with a weighty rod            Of iron, break them all;
And, as a potter’s sherd, Thou shalt them Dash in pieces small.
Now therefore, kings, be wise; be taught,  Ye judges of the earth:
Serve God in fear, and see that ye join     Trembling with your mirth.
Kiss ye the Son, lest in His ire                Ye perish from the way,
If once His wrath begin to burn:                Bless’d all that on Him stay.

Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green: He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Ev’n for His own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear none ill:
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
My table Thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me:
And in God’s House for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
Ps. 145 1-21. First Version.

1  I’ll Thee extol, my God, O King;
I’ll bless Thy name always.
2  Thee will I bless each day, and will
Thy name for ever praise.

3  Great is the Lord, much to be praised;
His greatness search exceeds.
4  Race unto race shall praise Thy works,
and show Thy mighty deeds.

5  I of Thy glorious majesty
the honor will record;
I’ll speak of all Thy mighty works,
which wondrous are, O Lord.

6  Men of Thine acts the might shall show,
Thine acts that dreadful are;
And I, Thy glory to advance,
Thy greatness will declare.

7  The mem’ry of Thy goodness great
they largely shall express;
With songs of praise they shall extol
Thy perfect righteousness.

8  The Lord is very gracious,
in Him compassions flow;
In mercy he is very great,
and is to anger slow.

9  The Lord Jehovah unto all
His goodness doth declare;
And over all His other works
His tender mercies are.

10  Thee all Thy works shall praise, O Lord,
and Thee Thy saints shall bless;
11  They shall Thy kingdom’s glory show,
Thy pow’r by speech express:

12  To make the sons of men to know
His acts done mightily,
And of His kingdom th’ excellent
and glorious majesty.

13  Thy kingdom shall for ever stand,
Thy reign through ages all.
14  God raiseth all that are bowed down,
upholdeth all that fall.

15  The eyes of all things wait on Thee,
the giver of all good;
And Thou, in time convenient,
bestow’st on them their food:

16  Thine hand Thou open’st lib’rally,
and of Thy bounty gives
Enough to satisfy the need
of ev’ry thing that lives.

17  The Lord is just in all His ways,
holy in His works all.
18  God’s near to all that call on Him,
in truth that on Him call.

19  He will accomplish the desire
of those that do Him fear:
He also will deliver them,
and He their cry will hear.

20  The Lord preserves all who Him love,
that naught can them annoy:
But He all those that wicked are
will utterly destroy.

21  My mouth the praises of the Lord
to publish cease shall never:
Let all flesh bless His holy name
for ever and for ever.

Ps. 145:1-21.  Second Version.

1  O Lord, Thou art my God and King;
Thee will I magnify and praise:
I will Thee bless, and gladly sing
Unto Thy holy name always.

2  Each day I rise I will Thee bless,
And praise Thy name time without end.
3  Much to be praised, and great God is;
His greatness none can comprehend.

4  Race shall Thy works praise unto race,
The mighty acts show done by Thee.
5  I will speak of the glorious grace,
And honor of Thy majesty;

Thy wondrous works I will record.
6     By men the might shall be extolled
Of all Thy dreadful acts, O Lord:
And I Thy greatness will unfold.

7  They utter shall abundantly
The mem’ry of Thy goodness great;
And shall sing praises cheerfully,
Whilst they Thy righteousness relate.

8  The Lord our God is gracious,
Compassionate is He also;
In mercy He is plenteous,
But unto wrath and anger slow.

9  Good unto all men is the Lord:
O’er all His works His mercy is.
10  Thy works all praise to Thee afford:
Thy saints, O Lord, Thy name shall bless.

11  The glory of Thy kingdom show
Shall they, and of Thy power tell:
12  That so men’s sons His deeds may know,
His kingdom’s grace that doth excel.

13  Thy kingdom hath none end at all,
It doth through ages all remain.
14  The Lord upholdeth all that fall,
The cast-down raiseth up again.

15  The eyes of all things, Lord, attend,
And on Thee wait that here do live,
And Thou, in season due, dost send
Sufficient food them to relieve.

16  Yea, Thou Thine hand dost open wide,
And ev’ry thing dost satisfy
That lives, and doth on earth abide,
Of Thy great liberality.

17  The Lord is just in His ways all,
And holy in His works each one.
18  He’s near to all that on Him call,
Who call in truth on Him alone.

19  God will the just desire fulfill
Of such as do Him fear and dread:
Their cry regard, and hear He will,
And save them in the time of need.

20  The Lord preserves all, more and less,
That bear to Him a loving heart:
But workers all of wickedness
Destroy will He, and clean subvert.

21  Therefore my mouth and lips I’ll frame
To speak the praises of the Lord:
To magnify His holy name
For ever let all flesh accord.

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