Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Hymns of the Church – God of Our Fathers, Unto Thee– 23 October 2018, Anno Domini(In the Year of our Lord)
Though we will celebrate the National Day of Thanksgiving in America on the 22nd of November 2018, it is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O LORD, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.(from 1928 BCP, Communion Service, pg 76) Such is the spirit of the wonderful English hymn of Thanksgiving composed by Arthur Campbell Ainger in 1906.
The hymn was later adapted to the tune of TRAFALGAR by Hugo Sidney Nicholson in 1916. This version of the hymn is taken from the Standard Edition, Hymns Ancient and Modern, published by the Church of England. (1922)
God of Our Fathers, Unto Thee
God of our fathers, unto Thee
Our fathers cried in danger’s hour,
And then Thou gavest them to see
The acts of Thine almighty power.
They cried to Thee, and Thou didst hear;
They called on Thee, and Thou didst save;
And we their sons today draw near
Thy name to praise, Thy help to crave.
Lord God of hosts, uplift Thine hand,
Protect and bless our fatherland.
Thine is the majesty, O Lord,
And Thine dominion over all;
When Thou commandest, at Thy word
Great kings and nations rise or fall.
For eastern realms, for western coasts,
For islands washed by every sea,
The praise be giv’n, O God of hosts,
Not unto us, but unto Thee.
If in Thy grace Thou should’st allow
Our fame to wax through coming days,
Still grant us humbly, then as now,
Thy help to crave, Thy name to praise.
Not all alike in speech or birth,
Alike we bow before Thy throne;
One fatherland throughout the earth
Our Father’s noble acts we own.
God of our fathers, unto Thee Our fathers cried in danger’s hour, And then Thou gavest them to see The acts of Thine almighty power. They cried to Thee, and Thou didst hear; They called on Thee, and Thou didst save; And we their sons today draw near Thy name to praise, Thy help to crave.It is a fact that the faith of the fathers should be truly descended to that of the sons and daughters. In our modern day when families and marriages are under attack from nihilists and socio-communist engineers, the dutiful teaching of father’s to their sons and daughters concerning the meaning and purpose of our God-given days has suffered lapse. How do the youth of our land know to call upon a God and Father whom they have never known? If the Providential history of our nation were properly taught in public schools, there would yet be the spark of faith to recognize the snares and dangers of the modern assault upon freedom and liberty, and of the only source of true liberty being vested in the Creator of the World. But, happily, the burdens of hard oppression and unjust government often awaken the sleeping spirit of man to relearn the source of his salvation in the Lord whom he may have offended in his former ways. That is the hope of the nations, and of the helplessly trodden underfoot. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. 28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. (Psalm 107:27-32)Just as the houses and families of the fathers Zacchaeus and the Nobleman of Capernaum were brought to faith by their fathers, so should our own beloveds be brought to the same salvation.
Thine is the majesty, O Lord, And Thine dominion over all; When Thou commandest, at Thy word Great kings and nations rise or fall. For eastern realms, for western coasts, For islands washed by every sea, The praise be giv’n, O God of hosts, Not unto us, but unto Thee. There is no true American, and something else. We are not African AND American. We are not Chinese AND American. We are not German AND American. We are either true-blue American, or we belong to a divided allegiance. The same is true of God our Father. We are not born of faith in half-bred circumstances. There is none other but God – not God AND Baptist. Not God AND Presbyterian. Not God AND Anglican – but altogether we belong wholly to God or to the world only. My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.(1 Sam 2:1-4)
Though our doctrine and faith may be defined by our biblical understanding as articulated by a denominational view, the truth stands eternally immutable that God is forever true and every man a liar to the contrary. . . . . let God be true, but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4) The Sovereignty of God is not limited to the righteous believer, but to all Creation (including the cruel and wrathful potentate). God used the fallen Samson to bring judgment on the heathen, and He even called Cyrus, by name, of the Medes and Persians, to conquer Babylon and set His people free to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem.
If in Thy grace Thou should’st allow Our fame to wax through coming days, Still grant us humbly, then as now, Thy help to crave, Thy name to praise. Not all alike in speech or birth, Alike we bow before Thy throne; One fatherland throughout the earth Our Father’s noble acts we own. The believing remnant of America has been granted a time of reprieve to consider the works of the Lord and to appeal to His Sovereign Will and Providence in the affairs of the nation. If we fail, the failure will be profound for our nation. The hordes of evil doers and unbelievers are banging at the gate to enslave her inhabitants. How shall we respond? If we are as the seamen referenced in Psalm 107 who reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end, what shall be the response of the righteous of the land of our nativity? If we are at wits end, should we not call upon Him whose wisdom is from everlasting to everlasting. We cannot own the answers to our national predicament, but the Lord does, indeed, have those answers.
The church is undergoing a mutiny of godless men in her midst while her ship is headed into stormy seas. They have ‘crept in unawares’ and have gained the better places of leadership. They propose the very things that God condemns. They are not part of the Holy Church but persist as parasites and deadly organism within her blood. It is high time for the seasoned crew to regain the helm and appeal to the Master Seaman to right our ship and bring her to safe harbor.
Can you even imagine the response of the western world only fifty years ago if our people were persecuted for not embracing homosexual marriage – of not only rejecting abortion, but the ruthless murder of the infant at the very gates of sunlight and birth?
I know not what lies ahead for America and the Christian world at large; but I do return thanksgiving to God for preserving us a Godly and free nation among the nations of the earth for these many years, and for His Providential Hand in guiding our Founding Fathers in establishing that nation upon Godly precepts. And I also pray for whatever judgment He may bring of hard persecution and chains if it will awaken us to those wonderful truths which define the Ancient Landmark of our faith, and the Old Paths wherein our fathers walked.