Sunday, January 11, 2009

Through Jordan's Flood Was Led

The season of Epiphany continues this week with the story of John baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River from Mark 1:4-11, depicted here in a woodcut illustration by Gustave Dore. This particular hymn draws a bit more from the same story in Matthew 3: 13-16.

The author of the text is unknown, but it first appeared in the Christian Hymn Book of 1865. It may have been some sort of joint editorial concoction, or a particular editor who didn't want his contribution credited (I've been there).

"I come," the great Redeemer cries,
"To do thy will, O Lord!"
At Jordan's stream, behold! he seals
The sure prophetic word.

"Thus it becomes us to fulfill
All righteousness," he said.
Then, faithful unto God's commands,
Through Jordan's flood was led.

Hark, a glad voice! God kindly speaks
From heaven's exalted height:
"This is my Child, my well-beloved
In whom I take delight."

The Savior Jesus, well-beloved,
That Name we will profess;
Like Christ, desirous to fulfill
God's will in righteousness.

Christian Hymn Book, 1865; alt.
Tune: ST. ANNE (C.M.)
William Croft, 1708


Leland Bryant Ross said...

Good hymn. I'd not seen it before; it's not in my comprehensive index, and I see it's missing from TCH ("the CyberHymnal formerly known as", whose hosting service is apparently stealing the name and planning to launch their own hymnal on the basis of the Cyber Hymnal's files to date. The true Cyber Hymnal is now, as far as I can tell, the one at, while the one at is the (legally entitled but morally reprehensible) usurper. FWIW. While the latter owns the domain, the former owns the trademark.

Oremus sets this to This Endris Nyght; what led you to St. Anne?

C.W.S. said...

This hymn is one from the original MCC project. We had already used THIS ENDRIS NYGHT for O Zion, open wide thy gates, a hymn for the Feast of the Presentation (see my 2/2/08 blog entry). Since that usually falls only about three weeks after the baptism of Jesus lessons, we needed a different tune for this one and were probably in a period of wanting to use more familiar tunes for texts that were likely to be unfamiliar.

The Cyber Hymnal business is pretty unfortunate. Clearly it was a successful website if its traffic made it an attractive domain to hijack.

Leland Bryant Ross said...

Incidentally, I have added a CWS column to my comprehensive index, so that from now on hymns I first meet here will be listed there.

Leland aka Haruo

C.W.S. said...

That's very flattering. >blush<