The opening hymn at Hinde Street Methodist Church was ‘Worship, and thanks, and blessing’. Although I am familiar with the hymn, I don’t remember singing it in Sunday worship before, but we made a pretty good effort of J.F.Lampe’s rousing tune ‘Dying Stephen’.
The hymn, which was published in 1747, was originally entitled ‘Written after a deliverance in a tumult’. This was probably a reference to the disturbances experienced by both John and Charles Wesley in October 1743. John described at length his experience of being dragged from magistrate to magistrate by a mob in his journal.
The hymn draws on imagery from the Exodus story of God delivering the Israelites through the Red Sea alongside references to the Book of Revelation.
Worship, and thanks, and blessing,
And strength ascribe to Jesus!
Jesus alone defends His own,
When earth and hell oppress us!
Jesus with joy we witness
Almighty to deliver;
Our seals set to, that God is true,
And reigns a King for ever.
Our ransomed souls adore Thee;
Our Savior Thou, we find it now,
And give Thee all the glory.
We sing Thine arm unshortened,
Brought through our sore temptation;
With heart and voice in Thee rejoice,
The God of our salvation.
Thine arm has safely brought us
A way no more expected,
Than when Thy sheep passed through the deep,
By crystal walls protected.
Th glory was our rearward,
Thy hand our lives did cover,
And we, e’en we, have walked the sea,
And marched triumphant over.
The world and Satan’s malice
Thou, Jesus, hast confounded;
And, by Thy grace, with songs of praise
Our happy souls resounded.
Accepting our deliverance,
We triumph in Thy favour,
And for the love which now we prove,
Shall praise Thy Name forever.