I’ve said before (I think) that one of the ways the Lord speaks to me is through music. Much of the music I listen to is stuff like Fernando Ortega and Michael Card who do settings of hymns and I love those two in particular because they don’t skimp on the verses.
I downloaded “Hymns” by Michael Card and I like all the songs on it. He does an excellent job of pairing the music with interesting instrumentals (example: an Irish jig tune with “How Firm A Foundation”) and one hymn on there has been really speaking to me. It’s a shape-note hymn that dates to the early 19th century and he does four of the five verses (he skips the second one in the lyrics posted below).
Why do I love it? It’s speaking to me about the necessity of us helping each other out. I mean, “tell them all about the Savior, tell them that He will be found” is sage advice. The first two lines of the last verse should be committed to memory or at least painted onto every church’s entrance: “Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too; let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.” I mean, how cool is it that God promises to make all things new!
Anyway, here are the words:
Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.
Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.
Sisters, will you join and help us? Moses?? sister aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior, tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.
Is there here a trembling jailer, seeking grace, and filled with tears?
Is there here a weeping Mary, pouring forth a flood of tears?
Brethren, join your cries to help them; sisters, let your prayers abound;
Pray, Oh pray that holy manna may be scattered all around.
Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.
Then He??ll call us home to Heaven, at His table we??ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.
Here’s an instrumental version by Fernando Ortega:
The hymn done shape-note style:
The closest thing I could get to congregational singing (and only 2 verses):