Monday, December 27, 2010

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

[Originally posted at Study and Faith]

Hello, everyone. Just wanted to put up a notice that I seem to have encountered some hardware... difficulties... with my laptop. The sort of difficulties that have the unpleasant side effect of preventing me from accessing the Internet with it. (Technically, I can open an Internet window, I just can't make it larger than a tab.) Right now I'm using one of my previous computers, which is currently held together with substantial quantities of tape. Because of this issue, I most likely won't be posting much for the next week or two until I can (hopefully) get the issue straightened out. [...] In the meantime, please feel free to look over the many other posts I've made [both here and at my other blog] in the past month and give feedback to your heart's content.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Communion of Saints: A Wesleyan Poem

[Originally posted at Study and Faith]

I found this a few weeks ago in John and Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 4th ed (Bristol, UK: Felix Farley, 1743), 301-311. It was printed as a six part poem, and I'd like to transcribe it here with minor alterations (mostly updates to spelling):

Father, Son, and Spirit hear
Faith's effectual, fervent prayer,
Hear, and our petitions seal,
Let us now the answer feel.
Mystically one with thee,
Transcript of the Trinity,
Thee let all our nature own,
One in three and three in one.

If we now begin to be
Partners with thy saints and thee,
If we have our sins forgiven,
Fellow-citizens of heaven,
Still the fellowship increase,
Knit us in the bond of peace,
Join, our newborn spirits join
Each to each, and all to thine.

Build us in one body up,
Called in one high calling's hope;
One the Spirit whom we claim,
One the pure baptismal flame,
One the faith, and common Lord,
One the Father lives, adored,
Over, through, and in us all,
God incomprehensible!

One with God, the Source of bliss,
Ground of our communion this;
Life of all that live below,
Let thine emanations flow,
Rise eternal in our heart:
Thou our long-sought Eden art;
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Be to us what Adam lost.

Bold we ask through Christ the Son,
Thou, O Christ, art all our own;
Our exalted flesh we see
To the Godhead joined in thee.
Glorious now thy heaven we share,
Thou art here, and we are there,
We participate of thine,
Human nature of divine.

Live we now in Christ our head,
Quickened by thy life and fed;
Christ, from whom the Spirit flows,
Into thee thy body grows;
While we feel the vital blood,
While the circulating flood,
Christ, through every member rolls,
Soul of all believing souls.

Daily growth the members find,
Fitly with each other joined;
Closely all compacted rise;
Every joint its strength supplies,
Life to every part conveys,
'Til the whole receive increase,
All complete the body prove,
Perfectly built up with love.

Christ, the true, the heavenly vine,
If thy grace hath made us thine,
Branches of a poisoned root,
Fallen Adam's evil fruit;
If we now transplanted are,
If we of thy nature share,
Hear us, Lord, and let us be
Fully grafted into thee.

Still may we continue thus,
We in thee, and thou in us;
Let us fresh supplies receive,
From thee, in thee ever live;
Share the fatness of the root,
Blossum, bud, and bring forth fruit,
With immortal vigor rise,
Towering 'til we reach the skies.

Christ, to all believers known,
Living, precious cornerstone,
Christ, by mortals disallowed,
Chosen and esteemed of God;
Lively stones we come to thee,
Built together let us be,
Saved by grace through faith alone:
Faith it is that makes us one.

Other ground can no man lay,
Jesus takes our sins away!
Jesus the foundation is:
This shall stand, and only this:
Fitly framed in him we are,
All the building rises fair:
Let it to a temple rise,
Worthy him who fills the skies.

Husband of thy church below,
Christ, if thee our Lord we know,
Unto thee betrothed in love,
Always faithful let us prove,
Never rob thee of our heart,
Never give the creature part;
Only thou possess the whole,
Take our body, spirit, soul.

Steadfast let us cleave to thee,
Love the mystic union be;
Union to the world unknown!
Joined to God, in spirit one,
Wait we 'til the Spouse shall come,
'Til the Lamb shall take us home,
For his heaven the Bride prepare,
Solemnize our nuptials there.

Christ, our Head, gone up on high,
Be thou in thy Spirit nigh,
Advocate to God, give ear
To thine own effectual prayer:
Hear the sounds thou once didst breathe
In thy days of flesh beneath,
Now, O Jesus, let them be
Strongly echoed back to thee.

We, O Christ, have thee received,
We the gospel-word believed,
Justly then we claim a share
In thine everlasting prayer.
One the Father is with thee;
Knit us in like unity;
Make us, O uniting Son,
One as thou and he are one.

If thy love to us hath given
All the glory of his heaven,
(From eternity thine own,
Glory here in grace begun)
Let us now the gift receive,
By the vital union live,
Joined to God, and perfect be,
Mystically one in thee.

Let it hence to all be known,
Thou art with thy Father one,
One with him in us be shewed,
Very God of very God;
Sent, our spirits to unite,
Sent to make us sons of light,
Sent, that we his grace may prove,
All the riches of his love.

Thee he loved e'er time begun,
Thee the co-eternal Son;
He hath to thy merit given
Us, the adopted heirs of heaven.
Thou hast willed that we should rise,
See thy glory in the skies,
See thee by all heaven adored,
Be forever with our Lord.

Thou the Father seest alone,
Thou to us hast made him known:
Sent from him we know thou art,
We have found thee in our heart:
Thou the Father hast declared:
He is here our great reward,
Ours his nature and his name;
Thou art ours with him the fame.

Still, O Lord, (for Thine we are)
Still to us his name declare;
Thy revealing Spirit give,
Whom the world cannot receive:
Fill us with the Father's love,
Never from our souls remove,
Dwell in us, and we shall be
Thine to all eternity.

Christ, from whom all blessings flow,
Perfecting the saints below,
Hear us, who thy nature share,
Who thy mystic body are:
Join us, in one spirit join,
Let us still receive of thine,
Still for more on thee we call,
Thee, who fillest all in all.

Closer knit to thee our head,
Nourish us, O Christ, and feed,
Let us daily growth receive,
More and more in Jesus live:
Jesus! We thy members are,
Cherish us with kindest care,
Of thy flesh, and of thy bone:
Love, forever love thine own.

Move, and actuate, and guide,
Diverse gifts to each divide;
Placed according to thy will,
Let us all our work fulfill;
Never from our office move,
Needful to the others prove,
Use the grace on each bestowed,
Tempered by the art of God.

Sweetly now we all agree,
Touched with softest sympathy,
Kindly for each other care:
Every member feels its share:
Wounded by the grief of one,
All the suffering members groan;
Honored if one member is,
All partake the common bliss.

Many are we now, and one,
We who Jesus have put on:
There is neither bond nor free,
Male nor female, Lord, in thee.
Love, like Death, hath us destroyed,
Rendered all distinctions void:
Names, and sects, and parties fall;
Thou, O Christ, art all in all!

King of saints, to whom are given
All in earth and all in heaven,
Reconciled through thee alone,
Joined, and gathered into one:
Heirs of glory, sons of grace,
Lo! to thee our hopes we raise,
Raise and fix our hopes on thee,
Full of immortality!

Absent in our flesh from home,
We are to Mt. Zion come:
Heaven is our soul's abode,
City of the living God;
Entered there our seats we claim
In the New Jerusalem,
Join the countless angel choir,
Greet the firstborn sons of fire.

We our elder brethren meet,
We are made with them to fit,
Sweetest fellowship we prove
With the General Church above;
Saints, who now their names behold
In the Book of Life enrolled,
Spirits of the righteous, made
Perfect here in Christ their Head.

We with them to God are come,
God who speaks the General Doom,
Jesus Christ, who stands between
Angry heaven, and guilty men,
Undertakes to buy our peace,
Gives the covenant of grace,
Ratifies, and makes it good,
Signs and seals it with his blood.

Life his healing blood imparts,
Sprinkled on our peaceful hearts:
Abel's blood for vengeance cried,
Jesus' speaks us justified:
Speaks, and calls for better things,
Makes us prophets, priests, and kings,
Asks that we with him may reign--
Earth and heaven say, "Amen!"

Come, ye kindred souls above,
Man provokes you unto love;
Saints and angels hear the call,
Praise the common Lord of all:
Him let earth and heaven proclaim,
Earth and heaven record his name,
Let us both in this agree,
Both his one great family.

Hosts of heaven begin the song,
Praise him with a tuneful tongue,
(Sounds like yours we cannot raise,
We can only lisp his praise)
Us repenting sinners see,
Jesus died to set us free,
Sing ye over us forgiven;
Shout for joy, ye hosts of heaven!

Be it unto angels known,
By the church, what God hath done:
Depths of love and wisdom see
In a dying deity!
Gaze, ye firstborn seraphs, gaze!
Never can ye sound his grace:
Lost in wonder, look no more;
Fall, and silently adore.

Ministerial spirits know,
Execute your charge below:
You our Father hath prepared,
Fenced us with a flaming guard:
Bid you all our ways attend,
Safe convey us to the end,
On your wings our souls remove,
Waft us to the realms of love.

Happy souls whose course is run,
Who the fight of faith have won,
Parted by an earlier death,
Think ye of your friends beneath?
Have ye your own flesh forgot?
By a common ransom bought?
Can death's interposing tide
Spirits one in Christ divide?

No: for us you ever wait,
'Til we make your bliss complete,
'Til your fellow-servants come,
'Til your brethren hasten home:
You in Paradise remain,
For your testimony slain,
Nobly who for Jesus' stood,
Bold to seal the truth with blood.

Ever now your speaking cries
From beneath the altar rise,
Loudly call for vengeance due,
"Come, Thou Holy God, and true!
Lord, how long thou dost delay!
Come to judgment, come away!
Hasten, Lord, the General Doom!
Come away, to judgment come!"

Wait, ye righteous spirits, wait,
Soon arrives your glorious state;
Robed in white a season rest,
Blessed, if not completely blessed.
When the number is fulfilled,
When the witnesses are killed,
When we all from earth are driven,
Then with us ye mount to heaven.

Jesus hear, and bow the skies,
Hark! we all unite our cries;
Take us to our heavenly home,
Quickly let thy kingdom come!
"Jesus, come," the Spirit cries,
"Jesus, come," the Bride replies;
One triumphant church above,
Join us all in perfect love.

New Blog Alert

Just wanted to add a notice here that, in addition to this blog, I've added another one. Study and Faith is a blog devoted to exploring issues relating to cordial dialogue between Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Now, on this blog, I try to only post when I have a sense that the Spirit may be leading me to do so. That's one reason why I haven't added anything in the past five weeks. At Study and Faith, however, I try to post on a fairly regular basis - maybe once every other day or so. I'd really like to invite all the readers I have here to subscribe to that blog as well. Of most relevance to readers here, especially those who aren't especially drawn to LDS-Evangelical dialogue, I'm doing a series there where I work my way through a variety of Evangelical documents like the Lausanne Covenant.