Are You Weary, Heavy Laden
Background: Written by Stephen the Sabaite, a nephew to John ofDamascus. John had been tutored by a slave who had later beenfreed, and both retired to a monastery in the wilderness of Judea.Stephen was taken with them to the monastery, and after the deathof his uncle and the slave, Stephen wrote this hymn. It was laterrecreated by Dr. Neale in 1862 combining the experience of Stephenand himself in the sons.
* Eternal rest given by Christ
* Sufferings of Christ portrayed
* Kingship of Christ
* Acceptance of Christ
* Blessings of Christ
Applications: Comfort and fellowship because of the undeservedsuffering of Christ. It is a hymn of praise.
Scriptural Basis: Matt. 11:28; John 6:39; Mark 13:31.
Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Background: Written by Elizabeth Clephane near the end of herlife in 1869. She had a glimpse of her eternal future in a betterland and could imagine her footprints leading to that better goal(Dying Grace concept).
* Christ, the Rock of salvation in a weary land of sin
* The sufferings of Christ for sins
* Unworthiness of man (Grace)
* Blessings received from the death of Christ
* Eternal love of God
Scripture basis: Matt. 27:36
Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Background: This hymn was written by John Fawcett who was a pastorin a small Yorkshire village. He was planning to leave his smallchurch and take a larger and wealthier church in London. But heand his wife could not bear to leave the people who were so closeto them. So they stayed, and Fawcett wrote this hymn as an expressionof the love of the brethren.
* Christian Love, verse 1
* Prayer, verse 2
* Responsibilities within the Body, verse 3
* Doctrine of Goodbyes and Hellos, verse 4
Scripture: 1 John 1:7; John 13:34,35
Breathe On Me, Breath of God
Background: Written by Edwin Hatch in 1886. He wrote from hissoul what he imagined that the disciples in the Upper Room hadfelt when Jesus was speaking to them; he thought that Christ atthat time breathed the Holy Spirit on them.
Doctrine: The following doctrinal errors are apparent in thissong.
* We do not have to ask for the Holy Spirit. The Spirit indwellsus permanently from the moment of salvation. The Spirit fillsus upon condition of our confession of sin.
* The song refers to the filling of the Spirit, but the principleof confession is not mentioned.
* The concept of the cleansing of the Holy Spirit at confessionis confused with the process of edification (Verse 2)
* The issue of outward production in Christianity is confusedin verse 3 with the concept of fiery manifestations which showedup only on the Day of Pentecost.
* The song puts the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit as somethingin the future (verse 4), so it lacks emphasis on the assuranceof the believer as having possession of eternal life (see Ephesians1:13,14)
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Background: Written by Charles Wesley out of a desire to elevateman's thinking by the inspiration of poetry. The message is doctrinalapplication and reveals a sense of victory and assurance whichwe do not always see in Wesley's somewhat somber background.
* Christ's resurrection calls for men and angels to rejoice
* Death of Christ on the Cross is evidence of His love and thatHe has won the battle. His resurrection overcame death and providesa release for Old Testament saints. This is correct if it is understoodthat this release occurs just preceding the Millennial reign ofChrist.
* Christ as the King, alive, died once for salvation.
* Salvation is for all who believer (Although Wesley apparentlydid not believer in universal salvation.)
Scripture: 1 Cor. 15:55-57
Come, Thou Almighty King
Background: Authorship attributed to Charles Wesley, but realauthor is unknown. During Revolutionary War days, it was introducedin a Long Island, NY, church by a group of American patriots whena band of British soldiers demanded that the congregation sing"God Save the King." Instead, the church sang "Come,Thou Almighty King."
* Sovereignty of God the Father and the Kingship of Christ, verse1
* Incarnation of Christ, verse 2
* Holy Spirit, verse 3
* Doctrine of the Trinity, verse 4
Application: This is a true devotional hymn, well balanced torender worship, praise, and self exhortation. It is a prayer ofthe heart that the three persons of the Godhead may exercise controlon the one who is singing, that he may be able to praise God infullness.
Scripture: Psalm 51:15
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Background: Written by Matthew Bridges when he and a group ofothers left the Church of England and joined Roman Catholicism.The original title was The Song of the Seraphs, one of the poemsfound in a volume called The Passions of Jesus.
* Verse 1: kingship of Jesus Christ in eternity; the crowningof Christ, victorious and ruling; Jesus Christ as the Lamb ofGod
* Verse 2: Christ, the son of God in eternity past; Christ, theson of man in time; Christ the faithful high priest
* Verse 3: Christ, the resurrected one; Christ, the one who conquereddeath of us
* Verse 4: Christ, in a human body, yet glorified; Christ theeternal one worthy of praise for all eternity
Scripture: Rev. 19:12
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Background: Written by John Greanleaf Whittier in 1872, the settingof this song is actually another poem, The Brewing of Soma, referringto the brewing of a terrible storm. Whittier wrote this hymn incontrast to the great tumult and destruction of such a storm.It reveals the deep calm and peace which stills the souls of thosewho hear the message of the Gospel and respond to it in faith.
Doctrine: Bible doctrines are not clearly portrayed in this song...
* The doctrine of the Fatherhood of God is not clear in verse1.
* The doctrine of forgiveness is not correctly described. It isportrayed as being asked for rather than as a result of confessionof sin.
* Doctrines of Faith and Obedience are weakly alluded to in verse2.
* Doctrines of Peace, Stability, Depression are expressed in ageneral way in verse 3.
* Misuse of the concept of prayer in verse 4 asking God to manifestsome overt expression to teach spiritual lessons through naturalphenomena.
Scripture: Ostensibly 1 Kings 19:11,12; Isa. 30:15; Mark 1:17,18;Phil. 4:7
Fairest Lord Jesus
Background: This is a German hymn written in the 17th Century.Also called the Crusaders Hymn, but there's no proof crusadersever sang it. Published in America by Richard Willis in 1850.The "fairness" is associated with Jesus as a boy ofage 12 and with His growth in wisdom and stature.
* Jesus as Ruler of universe and nature
* Jesus, the perfect Son of God and Perfect Son of Man
* Jesus, greater than the angels
* Doctrine of Salvation which brings joy and gladness to the sinner.
Scripture: Song 5:16; Isa. 60:2,3
Faith of Our Fathers
Background: Written by Frederick Faber in 1849, probably as aresult of being acquainted with many who had died for their faithin Christ. This song has long been a hymn of Christian loyaltyand was closely connected with the early faith of the Fatherswho found America.
* Faith as a quality that never dies; faith lives on in the heartsof men regardless of the circumstances
* Undeserved Suffering
* Dying Grace
* Evangelization, "winning the nations"
* Liberty, only through the Word
Scripture: Heb. 11:1,13,16; 1 Tim. 6:12
Glory Be to the Father
Background: Part of this hymn dates back to the time of the apostlesand post-apostolic fathers. It is called the Lesser Doxology.The second part was written in 529 AD and is called the GreaterDoxology. Sung in many churches after sermons and prayers andat the dedication of churches.
* Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Scripture: Jude 25
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Background: Written by John Newton when he was a slave ship captain.He had been taught the Word of God as a child but he forsook thoseteachings and became a rough sailor. After a vicious storm atsea, he turned to study the Word again and eventually enteredthe ministry. This hymn was written in 1779 from this background.
* Verse 1: the Church pictured as a prepared city; the Word ofGod; the Rock; Salvation and Victory
* Verse 2: Family relationship; Grace
* Verse 3: Leadership; Eternal purpose of God
Scripture: Psalm 87:3; 46:4; Rev. 21:2
God of Our Fathers
Background: Written by Rev. Daniel Roberts as a U. S. Centennialhymn to be sung on the 4th of July in 1876. This was an expressionof praise to God for victory received for our nation and as amemorial to it.
* God the omnipotent Creator
* Divine Institutions; God related to our forefathers
* Verse 2: God related to the leadership of the nation; the basisfor law in a nation
* Verse 3: God as national preserver; God's grace and provision
* Verse 4: The Christian Way of Life in trouble, labor, toil
Scripture: Psalm 44:1-3,8
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Background: Written by Charles Wesley in 1739. The hymn was revised,and some obsolete words were put into better style, by a Mr. Kelly,Wesley's book steward.
* Verse 1: Christ as King; Peace; Mercy; Reconciliation
* Verse 2: Christ in eternity past; Fullness of time; virgin birthof Christ, Incarnation; Hypostatic Union
* Verse 3: Christ as Prince of Peace; Christ our Righteousness;resurrection; the New Birth
Scripture: Isa. 9:6; Luke 2:13,14
He Leadeth Me
Background: Written by Joseph Gilmore during the darkest hoursof the Civil War (1862). He was attending Brown University andNewton Theological Institution and was asked to occupy the pulpitfor a couple of weeks at the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia.He wrote this hymn from Psalm 23, which he had given as an expositionat a mid-week service.
* Verse 1: Divine guidance, from the standpoint of comfort
* Verse 2: doctrine of National Disaster and pressure with divineguidance
* Verse 3: One Day at a Time; Status Quo
* Verse 4: Dying Grace; Eternity
Scripture: Psalm 23:1-3; Rev. 7:17
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
Background: Written by Reginald Heber in 1827. He attended OxfordUniversity and received honors for his Latin verse. He was thevicar at Hadnet for 16 years and wrote many hymns for specialSundays of the church year.
* Verse 1: Holiness of the Godhead; Worship; Mercy of God; Trinity
* Verse 2: Worship in Eternity; Angelic Worship of Christ; Immutabilityof God
* Verse 3: Sin and Darkness; sinfulness of Man; attributes ofGod
* Verse 4: Sovereignty of God; Omnipotence; Creation
How Firm a Foundation
Background: Not much known about the origins of this song. Possiblywritten by Robert Keene in 1787
* Verse 1: Completed Canon; Christ as Refuge of the soul
* Verse 2: Fear and its remedy; provision for the believer intime; Omnipotence of God
* Verse 3: Undeserved Suffering and Sorrow; Testing
* Verse 4: Testing; sufficiency of Grace; refinement of faiththrough testing
* Verse 5: Eternal Security
Scripture: Isa. 43:1,2; Heb. 13:5
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