For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Henri Abraham César Malan was a prolific composer of hymns in the early 19th century, as well as an ardent evangelist who traveled throughout the European continent preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though few of his hymns have been translated and popularized in English, his impact on the French and Swiss churches of his era has been compared to that of Isaac Watts in England a generation earlier. Continue reading
And… we’re back! About a month ago, some major changes took place at Stevens Street Baptist Church, which necessitated taking an unexpected break from the blog. I hope to be back to posting new hymnology articles by the end of this week, but in the meantime, this seems as good a time as any to begin a new series that I’ve been planning to do here for a while.
Each week, I’ll be posting the set list from our Sunday worship services. This will serve both as a resource for members of my own church who would like to learn more about the hymns we are singing, as well as a resource for worship leaders looking for service planning ideas and/or new music. I hope you’ll enjoy it! Continue reading
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Though he is known today as the author of one of the most beloved hymns of all times (Rock of Ages), Augustus Montague Toplady was despised by most of his contemporaries… even members of his own family! He was known as “sick and neurotic” by his friends, and as “impulsive, rash-spoken, reckless in misjudgment” by early biographers. When he publicly attacked John Wesley (calling him “the most rancorous hater of the gospel-system that ever appeared on this island,” among other choice insults), Wesley responded dismissively, saying, “I do not fight with chimney sweeps!”
Yet God can use even the most caustic individuals for His glory. Continue reading
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?
~ Isaiah 40:12-13
In 2011, Sovereign Grace Music released the album Risen (stream for free here) just in time for Easter. This continued SGM’s 30-year tradition of producing excellent hymns for use in corporate worship. As the title suggests, this song collection focuses on on the theme of the resurrection of Christ. There are many great options here for churches to use throughout the year. The album contains hymns with a variety of perspectives on the greatest event in history, from the exchange of Christ’s righteousness for our sin, to the hope of our future resurrection, to the assurance of Christ’s return. As we say here in the South: That’ll preach! Continue reading