Monday, July 13, 2009

Thomas Kelly

Thomas Kelly, born today in 1769, was ordained in the Church of Ireland following his educatuon at Trinity College in Dublin, but his controversial views on justification by faith led him to be inhibited (barred from practicing his priestly functions) by his bishop. Unwilling to compromise, Kelly eventually left that Church and became a Nonconformist.

He was also a verse writer, and wrote more than 700 hymns during his lifetime, also writing his own tunes for some of them. The tunes remain largely unknown today, but some of his hymn texts are still sung.

I only know this one from a recording I have, but it seems like it would be a fine hymn to sing.

Hark, ten thousand harps and voices
Sound the note of praise above!
Jesus reigns, and heav’n rejoices,
Jesus reigns, in endless love;
Sitting high on yonder throne;
Jesus rules the world alone.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen!

Jesus, hail! Whose glory brightens
All above, and gives it worth;
Spring of Life, thy smile enlightens,
Cheers, and charms thy saints on earth;
When we think of love like thine,
Christ, we know it, love divine.

Come, ye saints, unite your praises
With the angels round the throne;
Soon, we hope, our God will raise us
To the place where Christ is gone.
Jesus bore the cross below;
Jesus reigns in glory now!

Savior, hasten thine appearing;
Bring, O bring the glorious day,
When, the fateful summons bearing,
Heaven and earth shall pass away;
Happy objects of thy grace,
Destined to behold thy face.

Thomas Kelly, 1806; alt.
HARWELL ( with refrain)
Lowell Mason, 1840

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