Birds in Hymns – Let There Be Light!

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 KJV)

Thou, Whose Almighty Word (or sometimes called – Let There Be Light!)
Author: John Marriott, 1780-1825
Musician: Joan J. Pinkston, b. 1947

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)  by Robert Scanlon

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) by Robert Scanlon

The Rev. John Marriott was a clergyman of the English Church, a graduate of Rugby, and of Christ Church, Oxford. He took high honors in college, and was then engaged as private tutor by the Duke of Buccleuch, who after two years presented him with the living of Church Lawford, Warwickshire. This he kept to the end of his life. He wrote but three hymns, of which only one is in use. But this one belongs in the first rank, and entitles him to a place among the great hymn-writers:

‘Let there be light!'”

This hymn will richly repay careful study. It is founded on Genesis i. 3, but with a very fine and suggestive reference to the three persons of the Trinity. The Father uttered the original mandate “Let there be light”; the Son declared himself to be the “Light of the World”; the Spirit enlightens the soul. The poem is usually classed with the missionary hymns of the church, and very properly so. It is profoundly pervaded with the missionary spirit, not only in its separate expressions, but also in its majestic undertone. Its metaphors are striking—the “chaos” and “darkness” of creation and of heathenism; the “sick in mind”; the “lamp of grace”; the “ocean’s tide” of Wisdom, Love, and Might, and the like. The action is vigorous—”redeeming wing”; “speed forth thy flight”; “rolling in fullest pride.” The survey and sweep are most comprehensive. Above all, the hymn is a broad, beautiful, and blessed evangel.

Thou whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard,
And took their flight,
Hear us, we humbly pray,
And where the gospel day
Sheds not its glorious ray,
Let there be light!

Pied Imperial-pigeon (Ducula bicolor) by Kent Nickell

Pied Imperial-pigeon (Ducula bicolor) by Kent Nickell

Thou who didst come to bring
On Thy redeeming wing
Healing and sight,
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly blind,
Oh, now to all mankind
Let there be light!

Spirit of truth and love,
Lifegiving, holy Dove,
Speed forth Thy flight;

Move on the waters’ face,
Bearing the lamp of grace,
And in earth’s darkest place
Let there be light!

Blessed and Holy Three,
Glorious Trinity,
Wisdom and Might;
Where guilt and sin abound
Let gospel tidings sound,
Till Thy lost sheep be found,
Let there be light!

Information for various internet sources. CyberHymnal, Google Books and Online Hymnal

See ~ Wordless Birds

More ~ Birds in Hymns


2 thoughts on “Birds in Hymns – Let There Be Light!

  1. I was searching to find a bird I seen in my backyard…only to be educated in not only the species of the bird but also this Beautiful hymn.
    Thank you


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