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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

12 December 2007

New Old Hymn

The Mountain of the LordI decided that this year’s midweek sermons would be based on the previous Sunday’s Old Testament. For the first week, I wanted to sing something based on Isaiah 2:1-5 but didn’t find anything in any of my Lutheran hymnals. So I turned to the Cyber Hymnal and found a few possibilities, including Behold! The Mountain of the Lord. However, the Christology in each of the three versions was weak. Additionally, in keeping with its Calvinistic origins in the Church of Scotland, the hymn emphasized divine sovereignty over grace in Christ.

Since the author died in 1767, no copyright attached itself. Therefore, I did a thorough reworking, also rearranging the 2nd – 4th stanzas. Then I added stanza 8 as a doxology. Then I picked a tune I liked better. The result follows. As usual, if you like it, ask and you shall receive (permission to use it). If you find errors of meter, spelling, or doctrine, please let me know — particularly doctrinal problems.

Behold! The Mountain of the Lord

C M (Common Meter — 86 86)

Text: Michael Bruce 1746–1767
Revised: Walter P. Snyder, 1957–
Isaiah 2:1-5

Suggested tune: Richmond (Chesterfield)
Thomas Haweis, 1734–1820

Also available as a copier ready PDF in 8.5x11" half sheet.

  1. Behold! The mountain of the Lord
    Ascends on judgment day.
    The eyes of mankind draw unto
    Its bright, eternal ray.

  2. The beam that shines from Zion’s hill
    Sheds light upon all lands;
    Our King who reigns in Salem’s towers
    Now all the world commands.

  3. All mortal flesh before Him stands,
    His word of judgment hears:
    “To Me, My faithful flock, ascend;
    Away, you rest, in tears.”

  4. Those saved by grace through faith in Christ
    From ev’ry land and clime
    He raises up from earthly dust
    Unto His courts sublime.

  5. No strife now vexes Jesus’ reign,
    Not Satan, death, nor fears;
    To plowshares He has turned our swords,
    To pruning hooks our spears.

  6. No longer hosts in battle dress
    Their slaughtered troops deplore;
    They hang their trumpets in the hall
    And study war no more.

  7. Not yet arisen do we live,
    Nor with full glory shine.
    By faith His Word and Spirit lead
    Us ’til the end of time.

  8. Then shall our song united rise,
    O Christ, before Your throne,
    Where with the Father You remain
    And Spirit ever One.

—© 2007 by W. P. Snyder. Permission is granted to copy, save, reproduce, and otherwise use in unaltered form and with notice of copyright attached. Please contact the author to let him know how and when you use this hymn.

Cross posted at Holy Cross Happenings.

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