“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:11-16 (all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
A beautiful and powerful hymn sung to the tune of Regent Square – the same tune of ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory.’ This tune was composed by Henry T. Smart in 1867. The lyrics are by Alexander V. Griswold in 1835. I have used the original lyrics that differ from those in the 1940 Hymnal.
HOLY FATHER, GREAT CREATOR
Holy Father, great Creator,
Source of mercy, love and peace,
Deign to bless thy sinful creature,
Through the Saviour’s righteousness;
Heav’nly Father, heav’nly Father,
Through the Savior hear and bless!
Holy Jesus, Lord of glory,
Whom angelic hosts proclaim,
Be with us who, here before thee,
Meet and worship in Thy Name,
Dear Redeemer, dear Redeemer,
In our hearts Thy peace proclaim.
Holy Spirit, Sanctifier,
Come with unction from above,
Touch our hearts with sacred fire,
Fill them with the Savior’s love.
Source of comfort, source of comfort,
Cheer us with the Savior’s love.
God the Lord, through every nation
Let Thy wondrous mercies shine,
In the song of Thy salvation
Every tongue with rapture join.
Great Jehovah, great Jehovah,
Form our hearts and make them Thine.
“Holy Father, great Creator, Source of mercy, love and peace, Deign to bless thy sinful creature,
Through the Saviour’s righteousness; Heav’nly Father, heav’nly Father, Through the Savior hear and bless!” Until we discover that the Lord Jesus Christ is the very Fountain of Living Waters and the Source of all Mercies, we have not quite gotten on the Straight and Narrow Way to God. Moreover, we are not weaned from the milk of tender youth until we come to know that our righteousness is as filthy rags and that it is only by our Lord’s righteousness that we can be justified. We have our communion through the Lord to the Father, and by no other means. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“Holy Jesus, Lord of glory, Whom angelic hosts proclaim, Be with us who, here before thee,
Meet and worship in Thy Name, Dear Redeemer, dear Redeemer, In our hearts Thy peace proclaim.”
We may not normally consider grace and mercy to be defined as bonds, but they most certainly are – not bonds of captivity but of sheer freedom in the Kingdom of God. They hold us fast and secure in the prevailing righteousness of the Lord. The Lord is always with us in Holy Worship just as He has promised to be always and forever. “Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there I am in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. If we are not worshipping in His Holy Name, we are worshipping amiss. When we pray in His Name, we are not merely pronouncing a collection of vowels and consonants joined together to form the SOUND of His Name; but we are worshipping in the Spirit and Truth that He taught us. If peace is proclaimed and reigns in our hearts, the outward evidence of peace will likewise be manifested in the outward man.
“Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, Come with unction from above, Touch our hearts with sacred fire, Fill them with the Savior’s love. Source of comfort, source of comfort, Cheer us with the Savior’s love.” Sanctification is an inner cleansing of the soul. Washing cleanses the outside, but purging cleanses the inward man. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:19-21) The Holy Spirit sanctifies, but by what means? By the inner washing of the Word of God and bringing the truth to our understanding. He is our Guide and Teacher. When I was a child, I had six siblings. There were a great number of dirty dishes after each meal. It often fell my lot to wash the dishes. My mother taught me to wash the inside first, and then the outside. That is how the Holy Spirit cleanses us. “Purge me with hyssp (a herbal laxative), and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)
“God the Lord, through every nation Let Thy wondrous mercies shine, In the song of Thy salvation
Every tongue with rapture join. Great Jehovah, great Jehovah, Form our hearts and make them Thine.” The mercies of the Lord shines upon the whole world. He blesses all including the unsaved. “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) It is the Lord Himself who fashions the heart of the righteous whom He chooses and elects from the inhabitants of the world. He chooses His clay with perfect foreknowledge and molds them into vessels of honor for His Kingdom. He is the Potter who mars the poorly formed vase, and remakes the clay into a splendid specimen of service. “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:16) He is also the Great Refiner of Spirits who sits by the Refiner’s Fire and purifies the metal of our souls. “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:2-3) When the dross of our souls is heated in trials and perplexities, it rises to the top and is skimmed off by the Master and cast aside. Though we may fail often, the Lord is right beside to pick us up and place our feet on the sure path. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 24:16)
We should strive to be as the righteous man who fails and says to himself, “I MUST get up;” not as the wicked who fails and says, “I cannot get up.”
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”