There is a Green Hill

I remember this hymn from my school days. We always used to sing this hymn in Church at Easter. It  is a truly wonderful hymn.

Mrs Alexander was the daughter of a major and the wife of a bishop. She was a tireless visitor, going from cottage to cottage in all weathers, supporting her husband’s work in his diocese in Northern Ireland.

This hymn, dating from before her marriage, was written at the bedside of a child who was ill. The profits from Hymns for Little Children, where it first appeared in print, went to a school for deaf and dumb children in Londonderry. And Mendelssohn’s friend, William Horsley, who wrote the famous tune, was organist for eighteen years at a home for orphan girls in London.

The girl for whom the words were written recovered from her illness, and always regarded the hymn as especially hers, even when she grew up. Its greatness lies in the fact that so many other adults have done the same.

There is a green hill far away
Outside the city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

He died that we may be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He sung and suffered there.

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin;
He only could unlock the gate
Of heaven, and let us in.

O dearly, dearly has he loved,
And we must love Him too,
Amd trus in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Let All The World In Every Corner Sing

As a young man, George Herbert did not give much thought to God. But when he was thirty-six, he left the political rat race of the court of Kig James 1 to become the rector of a country parish near Salisbury.

One of Herbert’s great joys was music. Twice a week he would walk into Salisbury to play and sing with his friends at the Cathedral.

One day he stopped on the way to help a man whose horse had collapsed in the mud under its load. The group of friends in Salisbury were surprised when Herbert, usually so smart and clean, arrived ‘so soiled and discomposed’. One said that he had disparaged himself by so dirty employment.

Herbert replied that the thought of what he had done would be music to him at midnight – and that the omission of it would have made discord in his conscience. ‘I am bound to practise what I pray for…..and I praise God for this occasion. Come, let’s tune our instruments.!’

And, that very same night, Herbert wrote this well known, and much loved, hymn:-

Let all the world in every corner sinh,
My God and King!
The heavens are not too high,
His praise may thither fly;
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!
The church with psalms must shout,
No door can keep them out;
But above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part,
Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Praise My Soul, The King Of Heaven

A tiny and remote country parish in Southern Ireland did not seem the ideal place for the brilliant young graduate to start his ministry – six feet tall with dark curly hair, a classical scholar with great gifts as a speaker.

But here in County Wexford, as a brash new curate, Henry Francis Lyte had an encounter which turned his ideas inside out.

A neighbouring clergyman was terminally ill. He confessed to lyte that he had begun to re-examine his life, as he read and studied the New Testament.

He urged his younger friend to do what he had at last done: to stop relying on religious duties and good deeds for his peace with God, but trust completely in the mercy of Christ and his saving power.

This meeting immediately checked Lyte’s contempt for the Methodists and enthusiasts’ in the area. It gave him for the first time a truly personal faith. And it inspired him to write hymns such as this famous version of Psalm 103.

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven:
To His feet they tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like thee His praise should sing?
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide and swift to bless.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Glorious to His faithfulness.

Father-like, he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows.

Angels in the height, adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him;
Dwellers all in time and space
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise with us the God of Grace.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey