A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. (Psalms 72:1-2 KJV)
Words by James Montgomery (1771-1854), 1821
[This hymn] is a metrical version of the Seventy-second Psalm. It was written as a Christmas hymn and was first sung on Christmas Day, 1821, at a great convocation of the Moravians in their settlement at Fulneck. At a Wesleyan missionary meeting, held in Liverpool on April 14 of the following year, 1822, when Doctor Adam Clarke presided, Montgomery made an address and closed it by the recital of this hymn with all of its verses…Doctor Clarke later used it in his famous Commentary in connection with his discussion of the Seventy-second Psalm.
Music: Ellacombe, Gesangbuch der Herzogl. Wirtembergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle (Württemberg, Germany: 1784); adapted & harmonized by William H. Monk in the 1868 appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern, number 366
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression and rule in equity.
He comes in succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.
By such shall He be fearèd while sun and moon endure;
Beloved, obeyed, reverèd; for He shall judge the poor
Through changing generations, with justice, mercy, truth,
While stars maintain their stations, or moons renew their youth.
He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.
Arabia’s desert ranger to Him shall bow the knee;
The Ethiopian stranger His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of oceans in tribute at His feet.
Kings shall fall down before Him, and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion o’er river, sea and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion or dove’s light wing can soar.
For Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end:
The mountain dews shall nourish a seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish and shake like Lebanon.
O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever, His name to us is Love.
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