Sunday, November 27, 2011

When Right Shall Triumph Over Wrong

It's a new beginning as we come 'round again to the opening of the church year and the First Sunday in Advent, a time of preparation for the coming Christmas season (four weeks to go!). As usual, we will not see any Christmas carols here until the season of Advent is over. It's our fourth Advent here at CWS, and we have not yet run out of material for the season.

On this first Sunday you may have noticed that the lessons and hymns in your church frequently refer not only to the prophesied birth of a Savior, but also to the Second Coming of Jesus, linking us to both the past and the future.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.

Not as of old, a little child,
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun,
That lights that morning sky.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And earth’s long night is past;—
O, haste the rising of that morn,
That day that e'er shall last.

And let the endless bliss begin,
By weary saints foretold,
When right shall triumph over wrong,
And truth shall be extolled.

The King shall come when morning dawns,

And light and beauty brings;
Hail. Christ the Word! Thy people pray.
Come quickly, King of kings!

John Brownlie, 1907; alt.
Tune: ST. STEPHEN (C.M.)
William Jones, 1789

In many hymnals, this text is said to be originally from the Greek, and translated by John Brownlie, a Scottish Presbyterian. It was first published in his Hymns from the East (1907), a collection of translations. However, no Greek original has ever been identified, and some more modern sources believe that Brownlie wrote the text himself, perhaps using a concept from an older text.

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