1 August 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
(Matthew 6:5-6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
This a favorite hymn of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its author is Rev. W. O. Cushing of Massachusetts (1823-1903). The musical score is by the renowned George F. Root. Like a trumpet, the bell gives a pristine sound. It can herald time for prayer, emergency, or end of school recess. In olden days (my times) it was used to summon to the telephone. Edgar Allan Poe wrote his famous poem entitled, BELLS, BELLS, BELLS, in which he describes the various purposes and types of bells; but this hymn concentrates upon a different kind of bell – that of the Spirit.
Click here to listen and watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmKO9c70PWw
RING THE BELLS OF HEAVEN
1 Ring the bells of heaven!
There is joy today,
For a soul, returning from the wild!
See, the Father meets him out upon the way,
Welcoming His weary, wandering child.
Glory! Glory! How the angels sing:
Glory! Glory! How the loud harps ring!
‘Tis the ransomed army, like a mighty sea,
Pealing forth the anthem of the free.
2 Ring the bells of heaven!
There is joy today,
For the wanderer now is reconciled;
Yes, a soul is rescued from his sinful way,
And is born anew, a ransomed child. [Refrain]
3 Ring the bells of heaven!
Spread the feast today!
Angels, swell the glad triumphant strain!
Tell the joyful tidings, bear it far away!
For a precious soul is born again. [Refrain]
1 Ring the bells of heaven! There is joy today, For a soul, returning from the wild! See, the Father meets him out upon the way, Welcoming His weary, wandering child. [Refrain] How does one ring the bells of heaven? Usually, the ringer of the bell must be present with the bell, but the bell of heaven is activated remotely by the petitioner far below the heavens and the impulse is carried through the expanse of infinite space to the Throne of Mercy if powered by the energy of faith. No distance can interdict that impulse. Some prayers are not uttered but informed of the Spirit and flown on the wings of the wind to the ears of God. The bells of Heaven are wrung with the birth of every child and the salvation of every soul. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
2 Ring the bells of heaven! There is joy today, For the wanderer now is reconciled; Yes, a soul is rescued from his sinful way, And is born anew, a ransomed child. [Refrain] The elect of God are ransomed by the cross of Christ. Joy in the heart of the elect rings the bells of Heaven without condition. When we walk joyfully with the Lord, Heaven rejoices. All who are privileged to be accounted as a child of the Most High began his journey as a pilgrim and a vagabond in the world – one who travels with a light load of worldly necessities and seeks a city not made with the vulgar hands of man. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) We are purchased with a price that far exceeds every material wealth this earth can offer – the blood of God’s only Begotten Son. Should we no quit ourselves accordingly?
3 Ring the bells of heaven! Spread the feast today! Angels, swell the glad triumphant strain! Tell the joyful tidings, bear it far away! For a precious soul is born again. [Refrain] The life in Christ is a continual feast of love. Love is likened to a bountifully flowing fountain – the more that spread abroad, the more remaining in the cup. I believe that were it possible for us to see and hear – the very Heavens would thunder with the praise of the angelic host when the labors of the Church go forward in righteousness proclaiming the Word of God and leading souls to the Throne of Grace.
Glory! Glory! How the angels sing: Glory! Glory! How the loud harps ring! ‘Tis the ransomed army, like a mighty sea, Pealing forth the anthem of the free. When the perfect law of liberty, granted by Heaven’s Grace, reigns in the hearts of the people, they cannot remain silent in proclaiming its blessings to all who can hear and receive. “25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25) When word was announced on July 8, 1776 of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, it was received in glorious joy by those yearning to breathe free. Inscribed on the bell are these words, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” (See Leviticus 25:10)
How much more diligently should we ring the Bells of Heaven to proclaim that Liberty to mankind that cannot be taken away by tyrants!