17 October 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21)
At a dedication, Saturday, of a commemorative stone for Jacob Brevette (a Revolutionary War hero of Alabama) I read the Concord Hymn – a hymn written by John Greenleaf Whittier – the same author of today’s hymn written in 1851. It is a hymn of encouragement for those times of dismal fog and darkness that permeates this world of the sinful bog. Though the false and dimming lights of the swamp, caused by the putrid gasses of the decaying matter of the deep, beckon us to ruin and destruction, there is a greater light that penetrates the quagmire and mists of deceit, and lightens our way to salvation and hope. That Light is Christ. The tune to this hymn is, interestingly, WOKING, composed in 1941 by Franklin Glynn. The name of the tune contrasts significantly to what is labelled the so-called ‘woke’ generation of our day.
Click hear to view and Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjha2Ueongc
O SOMETIMES GLEAMS UPON OUR SIGHT
1 O sometimes gleams upon our sight
Through present wrong the eternal right,
And step by step, since time began,
We see the steady gain of man,
2 That all of good the past hath had
Remains to make our own time glad,
Our common, daily life divine,
And every land a Palestine.
3 Through the harsh noises of our day
A low, sweet prelude finds its way;
Through clouds of doubt and creeds of fear
A light is breaking calm and clear.
4 Henceforth my heart shall sigh no more
For olden time and holier shore;
God’s love and blessing, then and there,
Are now and here and everywhere.
1 O sometimes gleams upon our sight Through present wrong the eternal right, And step by step, since time began, We see the steady gain of man, “Sometimes?” Yes, only when our focus is lifted from the filth of the dismal swamp and lifted to behold the promised Light above – like unto the muckraker of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress whose concentration remained steadfast on the muck and not the crown being offered above by his Lord. Our way may seem hopeless, but then the Light breaks through the gloom and points the way out. I am not sure that “the steady gain of man” is reasonable in view of current world conditions when the imaginations of men’s hearts are only evil continually – but hope is greater that the degraded society about us.
2 That all of good the past hath had Remains to make our own time glad, Our common, daily life divine, And every land a Palestine. Though the tides of time have washed up the deadwood and refuse of the sea, there remains a coming greater tide that will carry all the unclean away and leave the glistening sands of the shore pristine and new in beauty. “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:5-6) The solid foundation laid down by our fathers of a greater generation remain, but are unheralded by generations of youth who have been indoctrinated to evil instead of educated to truth.
3 Through the harsh noises of our day A low, sweet prelude finds its way; Through clouds of doubt and creeds of fear A light is breaking calm and clear. Listen to the Voice – the “still, small Voice!” No matter the chaos of sin and disorder that surrounds us, the trumpet sounds from the far ramparts calling our notice to the Lord who rules in righteousness, and loves us. The storm rages and the billows roll, but who is it that comes walking through the mists of the stormy sea. He is with us even in the most terrifying of storms and troubles.
4 Henceforth my heart shall sigh no more For olden time and holier shore; God’s love and blessing, then and there, Are now and here and everywhere. If you are like me, I yearn for a return to those halcyon days of my youth when the daily conversation of men at the general store in the Blue Ridge mountains centered on biblically-oriented topics and were devoid of any unclean utterance. I long for the days when evil was called evil, and good was called good – when the stranger on the street greeted us with a warm smile and gentle disposition. But those days are gone glimmering. Society has turned to embrace sin and to reject righteousness – more than at any time of which I am familiar. Unnatural affections and blasphemous remarks dominate media and all public discourse. But we must remember that God has not moved and is the steadfast companion of all who turn to Him and hear His Voice. Our demise in the present world is temporary, but the day cometh when all such evils shall be washed away and all things will be made new in Christ.