"TO OUR REDEEMER’S GLORIOUS NAME"
"…He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1.20)
INTRO.: A hymn which praises Jesus Christ as our Redeemer who was raised from the dead and set at God’s right hand is "To Our Redeemer’s Glorious Name." The words are sometimes attributed to Harriet Binney Steele (b. 1826). The daughter of Amos Binney and wife of Daniel Steele, both ministers, she produced several hymns such as "Children, loud hosannas singing" at the request of the Editors of the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal in 1877. However, that attribution is evidently an error. It is now generally believed that the text was written by Anne Steele (1716-1778). At least it first appeared in her 1760 Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional (2 Volumes; some sources give the date as 1770). Anne is best remembered for her little hymn, "Father, Whate’er of Earthly Bliss."
The tune (Warwick) usually used with this hymn was composed by Samuel Stanley, who was born in 1767 at Birmingham, England. At age twenty, he was serving as song leader at Carrs Lane Chapel and later moved with the congregation to Ebenezer Chapel on Steelhouse Lane. Also, he was at one time the landlord of the Crown Tavern on Charles Street and served as a cellist with the Birmingham Theater Orchestra. His works include two sets of tune books, Twenty-Four Tunes in Four Parts, the first from around 1796 and the second from around 1800. This particular tune is usually dated 1800, although the 1796 date is also sometimes given. Stanley died at Birmingham on Oct. 29, 1822.
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal (where the same tune also used with Isaac Watts’s "Lord, In the Morning Thou Shalt Hear"). Today it is found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand.
The hymn gives glory to the Redeemer because of what He has done for us.
I. Stanza 1 speaks of His redemption
"To our Redeemer’s glorious name, Awake the sacred song;
O may His love, immortal flame, Tune every heart and tongue."
A. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer: Prov. 23.11
B. Therefore, we should awake the sacred song and sing with grace in our hearts to Him: Col. 3.17
C. His love, which is an immortal flame, should tune our hearts and tongues to praise Him: Heb. 13.15
II. Stanza 2 speaks of His love
"His love! what mortal thought can sketch, What mortal tongue display?
Imagination’s utmost stretch In wonder dies away."
(some sources have "reach" instead of "sketch.")
A. The love of Jesus Christ is the reason why we can have redemption: Eph. 5.2
B. This love cannot be fully sketched by mortal thought or displayed by mortal tongue because it passes knowledge: Eph. 3.19
C. Imagination’s utmost stretch dies away in wonder at this love because God’s ways are unsearchable: Rom. 11.33
III. Stanza 3 speaks of His leaving heaven
"He left His radiant home on high, Left the bright realms of bliss,
And came to earth to bleed and die! Was ever love like this?"
(Some books read, "He left His radiant throne" or "Jesus, who left His throne")
A. He left His radiant home on high in that the word who was with God became flesh: Jn. 1.1, 14
B. He left the bright realms of bliss, making Himself of no reputation and coming in the likeness of men: Phil. 2.5-7
C. His purpose in leaving heaven and coming to earth was to taste death for every man: Heb. 2.9
IV. Stanza 4 speaks of His blood
"He took the dying traitor’s place, And suffered in his stead;
For man, O miracle of grace, For man the Savior bled."
A. He took the dying traitor’s place in that He suffered for our transgressions: Isa. 53.5
B. He suffered in our stead, dying for our sins according to the scriptures: 1 Cor. 15.3
C. Thus, the Savior bled, shedding His blood for many for the remission of sins: Matt. 26.28
V. Stanza 5 speaks of His death
"Dear Lord, while we adoring pay Our humble thanks to Thee,
May every heart with rapture say, ‘The Savior died for me.’"
A. Certainly we should adoring pay our humble thanks to Jesus for what He did for us: 2 Cor. 9.15
B. Also, because of what He did for us, our hearts should be filled with rapture and love: Matt. 22.37
C. The reason for this thanksgiving and loving rapture is that He died for us: Rom. 5.8
VI. Stanza 6 speaks of His name
"O may the sweet, the blissful theme Fill every heart and tongue,
Till strangers love Thy charming name, And join the sacred song."
A. The blissful theme of Christ’s love should fill our tongues to speak of His righteousness: Ps. 35.28
B. Our aim should be to tell others of the name of Christ by which we can be saved: Acts 4.12
C. Our goal should be that even strangers would join the sacred song and the whole earth be filled with His glory: Ps. 72.19
CONCL.: Two other stanza omitted in many newer books but sometimes included in older ones are as follows:
"Let wonder still with love unite, And gratitude and joy;
Be Jesus our supreme delight, His praise our best employ."
"Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell In Thine atoning blood;
By this are sinners statched from hell, And rebels brought to God."
As we think about what Jesus has done to make our salvation possible, especially the suffering and sacrifice surrounding His death on the cross for our sins, we should be moved to offer thanks and praise "To Our Redeemer’s Glorious Name."