Sunday, April 24, 2011

The New Book of Praise (12)

Hymn 45–Jesus Shall Reign

This ascension song is based on Psalm 72. Isaac Watts, the "father of English hymnody" composed more than 600 hymns. In addition, he recast all 150 Psalms giving them a very clear and obvious Christological interpretation. The Psalms speak prophetically of Christ and Watts's Psalms are composed in light of their fulfillment in Christ. (Our present Hymn 80 is a similar work of Watts, based on Psalm 136.) Here David's prayer for his son Solomon and prophecy of a coming glorious kingdom (Psalm 72) is transformed into a celebration of the redeeming conquest of Christ among the nations. Watts has us sing of the glorious and global success of the gospel.

In stanza 1 we sing about the universal reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom is one of uncountable blessings, freedom, joy and rest (stanza 2). All creatures in heaven and on earth praise and honour this great King (stanza 3).

The tune, Duke Street, was composed by John Hatton. The only thing known about John Hatton is that he lived on Duke Street in St. Helen's, England.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet.