Hymn of the week: My heart is full of Christ, and longs

A new item, unashamedly nicked from some of my blogging colleagues, which as the heading suggests I will try to post on a regular basis. Charles Wesley’s hymn, sung this morning at Wesley’s Chapel to John Howgate’s splendid tune WORSLEY. (An example of what I call a ‘dum de dum’ tune, after the rhythm.) Comment at the end.

My heart is full of Christ, and longs
Its glorious matter to declare!
Of Him I make my loftier song,
I cannot from His praise forbear;
My ready tongue makes haste to sing
The glories of my heavenly King.

Fairer than all the earth-born race,
Perfect in comeliness Thou art;
Replenished are Thy lips with grace,
And full of love Thy tender heart:
God ever blest! we bow the knee,
And own all fullness dwells in Thee.

Gird on Thy thigh the Spirit’s sword,
And take to Thee Thy power divine;
Stir up Thy strength, almighty Lord,
All power and majesty are Thine:
Assert Thy worship and renown;
O all redeeming God, come down!

Come, and maintain Thy righteous cause,
And let Thy glorious toil succeed;
Dispread the victory of Thy cross,
Ride on, and prosper in Thy deed;
Through earth triumphantly ride on,
And reign in every heart alone.

The hymn we sing today is just four of the original twenty one verses. It is a Christian paraphrase of Psalm 45:

My heart is inditing a good matter:
I speak of the things which I have made touching the king:
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Thou art fairer than the children of men:
grace is poured into thy lips:
therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty,
with thy glory and thy majesty.
And in thy majesty ride prosperously
because of truth and meekness and righteousness;
and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

In a manner more typical of Isaac Watts, the earthly ‘king’ addressed by the psalmist becomes Jesus, ‘my heavenly King’. Thus a prayer for the Davidic king becomes a song of praise to Jesus, our ‘all redeeming God’.


About Holloway Rev

Paul Weary is a Methodist minister living and working in Holloway, North London.
This entry was posted in Hymns, Worship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hymn of the week: My heart is full of Christ, and longs

  1. Dan Mercer says:

    I’ve got 14 in Hymns of Eternal Truth 1972 – any idea where other 7 can be found?

    • David Mills says:

      Here are the original 21 verses Dan:

      My Heart is full of Christ, and longs
      Its glorious Matter to declare!
      Of Him I make my loftiest Songs,
      I cannot from his Praise forbear;
      My ready Tongue makes hast to Sing
      The Beauties of my Heavenly King.

      2. Fairer than all the Earth-born Race,
      Perfect in Comeliness Thou art,
      Replenish’d are thy Lips with Grace,
      And full of Love thy tender Heart;
      GOD ever blest, we bow the Knee,
      And own all Fulness dwells in Thee.

      3. Gird on thy Thigh the Spirits Sword,
      And take to Thee thy Power Divine,
      Stir up thy Strength, Almighty Lord,
      All Power and Majesty are Thine,
      Assert thy Worship and Renown,
      O all-redeeming GOD come down.

      4. Come, and maintain thy righteous Cause,
      And let thy glorious Toil Succeed,
      Dispread the Victory of thy Cross,
      Ride on and prosper in thy Deed,
      Thro’ Earth triumphantly ride on,
      And reign in all our Hearts alone.

      5. Still let the Word of Truth prevail,
      The Gospel of thy General Grace,
      Of Mercy mild that ne’er shall fail,
      Of everlasting Righteousness,
      Into the Faithful Soul brought in,
      To root out all the Seeds of Sin.

      6. Terrible Things thine own Right-hand
      Shall teach thy Greatness to perform:
      Who in the Vengfull Day can stand
      Unshaken by thine Anger’s Storm
      While riding on the Whirlwind’s Wings,
      They meet the Thundring King of Kings!

      7. Sharp are the Arrows of thy Love,
      And pierce the most Obdurate Heart:
      Their Point thine Enemies shall prove,
      And strangly fill’d with pleasing smart
      Fall down before thy Cross subdued,
      And feel thine Arrows dip’d in Blood.

      8. O GOD of Love, thy Sway we own,
      Thy dying Love doth all Controul;
      Justice and Grace support thy Throne,
      Set up in every faithful Soul;
      Stedfast it Stands in them, and sure,
      When pure as Thou their GOD art pure.

      9. Lover Thou art of Purity,
      And hatest every Spot of Sin,
      Nothing profane can dwell with Thee,
      Nothing unholy or unclean:
      And therefore doth thy Father own
      His glorious Likeness in his Son.

      10. Therefore he hath his Spirit shed,
      Spirit of Joy, and Power, and Grace
      Immeasurably on thy Head;
      First-born of all the chosen Race,
      From Thee the Sacred Unction springs
      That makes thy Fellows Priests and Kings.

      11. Sweet is the Odour of thy Name,
      Thro’ all the Means a Fragrance comes;
      Thy Garments hide the Sinners Shame,
      Thy Garments shed Divine Perfumes,
      That thro’ the Ivory-Palace flow,
      The Church, in which Thou reign’st below.

      12. Thy heavenly Charms the Virgins move,
      And bow them to thy pleasing Sway;
      They triumph in thy Princely Love,
      Thy Will with all their Hearts Obey,
      Revere thine9 honourable Word,
      The glorious Hand maids of the Lord.

      13. High above all at thy Right-hand
      Adorn’d with each Diviner Grace,
      Thy fav’rite Queen exults to stand,
      Thy Church her heavenly Charms displays,
      Cloath’d with the Sun, for Glory meet,
      She sees the Moon beneath her Feet.

      14. Daughter of Heaven, tho’ born on Earth,
      Incline thy willing Heart and Ear,
      Forget thy first ignoble Birth,
      Thy People, and thy kinsfolk here,
      So shall the King delight to see
      His Beauties copied out on Thee.

      15. He only is thy GOD and Lord,
      Worship Divine to him be given,
      By all the Host of Heaven ador’d
      By every Creature under Heaven:
      And all the Gentile World shall know,
      And freely to his Service flow.

      16. The Rich shall lay their Riches down,
      And poor become for Jesu’s sake,
      Kings at his Feet shall cast their Crown
      And humble Suit for Mercy make,
      (Mercy alike on all bestow’d)
      And languish to be great in GOD.

      17. Are not his Servants Kings? and rule
      They not o’re Hell, and Earth, and Sin?
      His Daughter is divinely full
      Of Christ, and glorious all within;
      All-glorious inwardly She reigns,
      And not one Spot of Sin remains.

      18. Cloath’d with Humility and Love,
      With every dazling Virtue bright,
      With Faith which GOD vouchsafes t’ approve
      Precious in her great Fathers Sight,
      The Royal Maid with Joy shall come,
      Triumphant to her Heavenly Home.

      19. Brought by his Sweet attracting Grace
      She first shall in his sight appear,
      In Holiness behold his Face,
      Made perfect with her Fellows here,
      Spotless, and pure, a Virgin Train,
      They all shall in his Palace reign.

      20. In lieu of Seers and Patriarchs old,
      Of whom She once did make her Boast,
      The Virgin Mother shall behold
      Her numerous Sons, a princely Host,
      Install’d o’re all the Earth abroad,
      Anointed Kings, and Priests to GOD.

      21. Thee Jesus, King of Kings, and Lord
      Of Lords, I glory to proclaim,
      From age to age thy Praise record,
      That all the World may learn thy Name:
      And all shall soon thy Grace adore,
      When Time and Sin shall be no more.

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