Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adding to The Foundation

Second of two parts.

In listening to the wonderful broadcast commentary on “The Church’s One Foundation” by Dr. Arthur Just, I came up with a few observations of my own that went beyond those of the Issues Etc. radio show. It’s an important hymn — and I spent several hours listening to the show, doing my research, and writing the first posting — so I thought I’d share those observations.

Of the hymnals published since the Rev. Samuel John Stone penned the words in 1866, I found it in all 10 hymnals where I looked:
With the exception of NEH, all use the tune Aurelia by S.S. Wesley. Just to be difficult, the compilers of NEH provide Somestown (by 20th century composer “A.T. Batts”) and suggest Aurelia as an alternate.

Text

The version we have as Anglicans is that of Hymn #320 in Hymns Ancient and Modern: both the later CoE and the PECUSA hymnals use the words selected by William Henry Monk Henry Baker for that seminal hymnal. I don’t have the original 1861 edition, but an 1870 New York edition lists the hymn. (Update Sept. 5: A review of various 1860s editions of A&M on Google Books — and Baker’s biography in the 1892 Dictionary of Hymnology — suggests that the hymn was not present in the 1861 original, but was added in Baker’s 1868 Appendix to A&M.)

However, Dr. Just notes that Rev. Stone’s hymn was part of a series of 12 hymns on the Apostle’s Creed. Sure enough, the original seven verses can be found as Article IX of  Stone’s original book:
The Church's one foundation
  Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
  By water and the Word:
From Heaven He came and sought her
  To be His holy Bride,
With His Own Blood He bought her
  And for her life He died.

She is from every nation,
  Yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation
  One Lord, one Faith, one Birth,
One Holy Name she blesses,
  Partakes one Holy Food,
And to one Hope she presses
  With every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish!
  Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
  Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
  And false sons in her pale,
Against or foe or traitor
  She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder
  Men see her sore opprest,
By schisms rent asunder
  By heresies distrest:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
  Their cry goes up " How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
  Shall be the morn of song!

'Mid toil and tribulation
  And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
 Of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious
  Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
   Shall be the Church at rest!

Yet she on earth hath union
  With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
  With those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters
  Who, by the Master's Hand
Led through the deathly waters,
  Repose in Eden-land.

O happy ones and holy!
  Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
  On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
  Where in sweet vales the
Bride With Thee by living fountains
  For ever shall abide! Amen.
Veteran Anglican hymn-singers will immediately note two differences from their familiar hymn: the Anglican version is missing two verses, and the words are slightly different. From a comment made by Dr. Just, I discovered that The Lutheran Hymnal uses a different selection of verses:

CoE, ECUSATLHStoneStanza


1


1


1
The Church’s one foundation


2


2


2
She is from every nation (becomes “Elect from every nation”)


-


3


3
The Church shall never perish!


3†


4


4
Though with a scornful wonder


4


5


5
’Mid toil and tribulation


5


-


6
Yet she on earth hath union


-


-


7
O happy ones and holy!
(†Lutheran Worship uses the same verses as the Anglicans, except that it drops the middle verse; I don’t know what the Lutheran Service Book says because I don’t have it front of me.)

In Hymns A&M, there is a slight change to the first phrase of the second verse. I can certainly understand that the “she” would be confusing, and so “Elect from every nation” seems better. The third verse is not sung (outside those LCMS parishes using TLH.)

The most dramatic change is that the final verse from Hymns Ancient & Modern — as also used by the subsequent English and American hymnals — is a composite of Stone’s final two verses:
Yet she on earth hath union
  With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
  With those whose rest is won,
O happy ones and holy!
  Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
  On high may dwell with Thee:
I rather like the Baker-ism, but then that’s not surprising since I’ve been singing it for decades and never knew of the original text.

Performances

Abide With Me: 50 Favorite HymnsI only know of four CD performances of the hymn, and I have three of them:

I have two copies of a performance by Kings College (Cambridge), from their CDs Abide with Me: 50 Favourite Hymns and Be Still My Soul. I cannot recommend the former enough: the title says it all. The latter CD has 23 hymns, a smaller but still a valuable collection.

Jerusalem the GoldenI also have it performed by the Wells Cathedral choir on Jerusalem the Golden, volume 2 of their indispensable five-volume set on “The English Hymn.” This seems to be what Issues Etc. used.

Cathedral Choral society has it among 26 hymns in Hymns Through the Centuries, with many fine hymns but (alas) a few modern ones.

Reference

S.J. Stone, Lyra Fidelium: Twelve hymns on the twelve articles of the Apostles’ Creed, Oxford: Parker & Co, 1866, pp. 38-43.

2 comments:

UluVakk said...

The composer William H. Monk, of course, was the musical editor of Hymna Ancient & Modern and probably had little to do with the texts.

9.West said...

I understand your point, but I don't think it's so cut and dried.

Yes, we know Henry Baker did the words for the initial 1861 edition, but after that the story gets confused.

I've reviewed four (words only) versions of A&M from the 1860s in Google Books, and only one (one of two from 1869) has Hymn #320. (Google got their books from US libraries like Harvard Divinity School, so these may not be representative of English printings).

The 1870 Hymns with tunes has this hymn, and the only name listed on the frontpiece is Monk.

So the hymn was added some time after the original edition. I don't have the publication history and editorship of these editions, although one (notoriously unreliable) source says Monk edited the entire second edition in 1875.

A Dictionary of Hymnology (1892, p. 107) says that Baker produced the 1868 Appendix. So this seems like the most likely source of this hymn, and I have updated the posting accordingly.