Posted by: Tim | October 27, 2008

Favourite Hymns, Rich Blessings

Tim Challies has a great post talking about how a particular hymn blessed him (hymn blessed him…pun…haha). The hymn is one of my favourites as well – Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be”.

I love the lines:

“Amazing love! How can it be?
That thou, my God wouldst die for me?”

“My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose went forth and followed Thee”

In the comments section, a commenter named Carol Blair posted an interesting list of her top ten hymns that I have copied and pasted below (copy and pasted for convenience, though I encourage you to visit this link to all the comments Tim’s site and read about how certain hymns have impacted many people. Carol’s comment is #19).

“I speak about hymns to interested groups, as well as teach formal Hymnology classes, so this post—and all its comments—was a great encouragement to me. In my classes I give out a list of 50 hymns that everyone should know; here are my “Top 10,” chosen very specifically for their doctrinal content:
1. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” by Isaac Watts. The greatest hymn in the English language.
2. “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” words/music by Martin Luther. Based on Psalm 46. “God is our refuge and strength.”
3. “Holy, Holy, Holy,” by Reginald Heber. The holiness of God; the Trinity. Tune: NICAEA, after the Council of Nicaea.
4. “And Can it Be,” by Charles Wesley (5 stanzas). The Deity of Christ; the Incarnation; Christ’s death for us.
5. “To God Be the Glory,” by Fanny Crosby. The Person and Work of Christ. “And give Him the glory…”
6. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” by Thomas O. Chisholm. From Lamentations 3:22-23. “It is of the Lord’s mercies…”
7. “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart,” by George Croly (5 stanzas). The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
8. “It Is Well With My Soul,” by Horatio G. Spafford. Important story behind this hymn. “Even so …”
9. “Wonderful Grace of Jesus,” words/music by Haldor Lillenas. The Person and Work of Christ. The complementary men’s and women’s parts greatly enhance the message of the hymn.
10. “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” by Edward Perronet. 3 tunes. Most frequently sung is the tune CORONATION, then DIADEM. MILES LANE is more popular in England.

I encourage my students to learn these hymns well, and even to memorize them. As with most traditional hymns, the quality of the poetry is excellent — a factor that makes memorization very easy. Even for children. What a joy it is to be able to sing hymns from memory — all the verses— while driving, or doing housework or gardening, or wherever you happen to be.”

Thanks Tim Challies for a great post and Carol Blair for a great comment!

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