“Glory, My Home”

"They desire a better country" (Heb. 11:16)

     INTRO.: A hymn which reminds us that one of the blessings that Christ offers us is the hope of that better country which we desire is "Glory, My Home," also known as "Home, Sweet Home." The text was written by David Denham, who was born in 1791, the son of Thomas Denham, a Baptist minister in East London. After being connected with the congregation where R. S. Hawker was minister, David began to preach when he was very young and in 1819 became minister of the Baptist Church at Horsell Common. In 1816 he moved to Plymouth, in 1826 to Margate, and in 1834 to Southward where he served with the Baptist Church in Unicorn Yard on Tooley St. In 1837 he published a collection of hymns, The Saint’s Melody: A New Selection of Upwards of One Thousand Hymns, Founded Upon the Doctrines of Distinguishing Grace, and Adapted to Every Part of the Christian Experience and Devotion in the Ordinances of Christ. The first edition contained 1,026 hymns, and in subsequent editions the number was increased to 1,145 hymns. This book was still in common use in over 100 churches in Great Britain and its colonies into the late 1800s. Outside of this book Denham’s hymns, which total around 70, are rarely found except the one originally entitled "The Saints’ Sweet Home," beginning, "’Mid scenes of confusion and creature complaints." However, most of his poetry was written for religious magazines. Ill health forced him to retire from his preaching work, and he lived for a while at Cheltenham and at Oxford before his death in 1848 at Yeovil in Somerset.

     Apparently Denham produced his hymn in imitation of the popular song, "Home, Sweet Home," that had been written by John Howard Payne (1791-1852). In 1822, Payne, whose mother had died when he was thirteen, was an American actor living in England and produced a play, Clari, Maid of Milan, which may have included this beloved poem of home. For the sake of comparison, here is Payne’s text.
1. "’Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere."
2. "I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child
As she looks on the moon from our own cottage door
Through the woodbine whose fragrance shall cheer me no more."
3. "An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly, thatched cottage again,
The birds singing gaily that come at my call,
And give me the peace of mind, dearer than all."
4. "How sweet ’tis to sit ‘neath a fond father’s smile,
And the cares of a mother to smoothe and beguile.
Let others delight ‘mid new pleasures to roam,
But give me, Oh, give me the pleasures of home."
5. "To thee I’ll return overburdened with care,
The heart’s dearest solace will smile on me there.
No more from that cottage again will I roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home."
Chorus: "Home! Home! sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home."
The following year, Clari was adapted as an opera and the tune (Sweet Home) for Payne’s poem was composed by Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855). One would assume that Denham intended his hymn to be sung to this same melody.

     Denham’s hymn must have been penned before its publication in his own 1837 book, because Samuel Duffield wrote that it was used in America in the Christian Lyre of 1830. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the hymn by Denham has never appeared nor is it found in any to my knowledge. It did appear in Wonder Hymns of Faith, an undated book edited by Charles R. Scoville, William E. M. Hackleman, and J. E. Sturgis for the Standard Publishing Co. to be used in Christian Churches and instrumental Churches of Christ. This version contained Denham’s first stanza and then the first two stanzas from another hymn entitled "Heaven, My Home," beginning "An alien from God," anonymous so far as I know, that I have seen in other books used with the same tune. Here it is.
1. "An alien from God, and a stranger to grace,
I wandered through earth its gay pleasures to trace;
In the pathway of sin I continued to roam,
Unmindful, alas, that it led me from home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
O Savior, direct me to heaven, my home."
2. "The pleasure of earth I have seen fade away.
They bloom for a season, but soon they decay;
But pleasures more lasting in Jesus are given,
Salvation on earth and a mansion in heaven.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
The saints in those mansions are ever at home."
3. "Allure me no longer, ye false glowing charms.
The Savior invites me; I’ll go to His arms.
At the banquet of mercy I hear there is room;
O there may I feast with His children at home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
O Jesus, conduct me to heaven, my home."
4. "Farewell, vain amusements, my follies adieu,
While Jesus and heaven and glory I view;
I feast on the pleasures that flow from His throne,
The footstool of heaven, sweet heaven, my home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
O when shall I share the fruition of home?"
5. "The days of my exile are passing away;
The time is approaching when Jesus will say,
‘Well done, faithful servant, sit down on My throne,
And dwell in My presence forever at home.’
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
O there I shall rest with the Savior at home."
6. "Affliction and sorrow and death shall be o’er;
The saints shall unite to be parted no more.
Their loud hallelujahs fill heaven’s high dome;
They dwell with the Savior forever at home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home.
They dwell with the Savior forever at home."
The first two stanzas of Payne’s original song ("Home, Sweet Home") with Bishop’s tune appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited ty E. L. Jorgenson.

     Denham’s hymn expresses the longing for the home that God is preparing for His people in heaven.

I. Stanza 1 talks about our spiritual home on earth
"’Mid scenes of confusion and creature complaints,
How sweet to my soul is communion with saints!
To find at the banquet of mercy there’s room.
And feel in the presence of Jesus at home!"
 A. In spite of the confusion and complaints of this life, the Christian can benefit from the communion or fellowship of saints: Phil. 2:1-4
 B. They will find that at the banquet of mercy there is room as they labor together for the spiritual food that does not perish: Jn. 6:27
 C. Thus, there is a feeling of home with the presence of Jesus among them: Matt. 18:20

II. Stanza 2 talks about the family of our spiritual home on earth
"Sweet bonds that unite all the children of peace,
And thrice blessed Jesus, whose love can not cease;
Though oft from Thy presence in sadness I roam,
I long to behold Thee in glory at home."
 A. Sweet are the bonds that unite all of God’s children in peace: Eph. 4:1-3
 B. And the greatest bond is the Christ who loves us and dwells in our hearts by faith: Eph. 3:17-19
 C. However, as we live in this world, we are often forced to roam or wander about away from those whom we have known and loved, as did the worthies of old: Heb. 11:37

III. Stanza 3 talks about the longing for the home in heaven
"I sigh from this body of sin to be free,
Which hinders my joy and communion with Thee;
Though now my temptations like billows may foam,
All, all will be peace when I’m with Thee at home."
 A. There are times when we sigh to be free from this body of sin which hinders perfect joy and communion with Christ, as did Paul who longed to depart and be with Christ: Phil. 1:23
 B. Some of these times are when temptations like billows may foam: Jas. 1:13-15
 C. However, such times only make us long to be with the Lord: 2 Cor. 5:1-8

IV. Stanza 4 talks about the problems that cause us to long for the home in heaven
"While here in the valley of conflict I stay,
O give me submission and strength as my day;
In all my afflictions to Thee I would come,
Rejoicing in hope of my glorious home."
 A. Yet, as long as we remain in this life, we must travel the valley of conflict and affliction: Heb. 10:32-33
 B. Therefore, we need to ask the Lord to give us submission and strength: Isa. 40:31
 C. And in our afflictions, with God’s help we can still be rejoicing in hope: Rom. 12:12

V. Stanza 5 talks about asking God to help us gain the home in heaven
"Whate’er Thou deniest, O give me Thy grace,
The Spirit’s sure witness and smiles of Thy face.
Endue me with patience to wait at Thy throne,
And find even now a foretaste of my home."
 A. Whatever God denies us in life, we can look to Him for grace, just as Paul did when he was denied the removal of his thorn in the flesh: 2 Cor. 12:7-9
 B. This grace brings the Spirit’s sure witness, which we may not know exactly what it is but we know that God has promised it to help us in our sufferings for Him that we may be glorified with Him: Rom. 8:16-17
 C. Therefore, we need patience or endurance to wait and not give up as we anticipate our eternal home: Heb. 10:36-39

VI. Stanza 6 talks about what will happen to usher in the home in heaven
"I long, dearest Lord, in Thy beauties to shine,
No more as an exile in sorrow to pine;
And in Thy fair image arise from the tomb,
With glorified millions to praise Thee at home."
 A. Someday, when this life is over, we shall shine in the beauties of the Lord for we shall be like Him: 1 Jn. 3:1-2
 B. This will happen when we in His fair image arise from the tomb: 1 Cor. 15:52
 C. Then, with glorified millions we shall rise to meet Him in the air and ever praise Him at home: 1 Thess. 4:16-17

     CONCL.: The short chorus continues to look forward to being at home with the Lord.
"Home, home, sweet, sweet home,
Prepare me, dear Savior, for glory, my home."
There is yet another hymn entitled "Rest In The Gospel," again anonymous so far as I know, which I have also seen set to this same tune:
1. "O saints who are weary and laden of soul,
Oppressed and distressed under error’s control,
May find in the gospel a blessed relief,
A balm for all sorrow, a solace for grief."
2. "Who trusts in that Word has the sweet hope of life,
An end of confusion and error and strife.
Its grace it imparts to the truth-seeking soul,
Who humbly submits to its righteous control."
3. "On that sacred page, O, what glory now shines!
As God’s Holy Spirit illumines its lines,
Displaying His plan in which all may rejoice,
And praise Him forever with heart and with voice."
4. "Rest! rest! O how blessed this sweet rest at last!
Like music at even when labor is past;
Like dawn after darkness, like health after pain;
Like sunshine of gladness that follows the rain."
Chorus: "Rest, rest, sweet, sweet rest!
In the gospel of grace There is sweet, blessed rest."
Yes, I will undoubtedly be called to suffer many trials and afflictions during the rest of my sojourn here on earth, but I can endure them as I cherish more and more my hope of "Glory, My Home."


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