“Our King Immanuel”

“OUR KING IMMANUEL”
“And they shall call His name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23)

     INTRO.:  A song which praises Christ as Immanuel which means “God with us” is “Our King Immanuel” (#11 in Hymns for Worship Revised, and #171 in Sacred Selections for the Church).  The text was written by James Rowe (1865-1933). Rowe was a prolific author of hymn texts; his best known song is likely “Love Lifted Me.”  The tune for “Our King Immanuel” was composed by Samuel William Beazley (1873-1944).  Beazley produced tunes for many southern style gospel songs.  “Our King Immanuel” is usually dated 1914.  Sacred Selections says that the copyright was renewed in 1942, which would make the original copyright date 1914.  However, Songs of the Church says that the copyright was renewed in 1943, which would make the original copyright date 1915.  The earliest book in which I could trace the song was The Song Harvest edited Emmett S. Dean and published by the Trio Music Co. of Waco, TX, in 1915.  The earliest book from Beazley in which I could trace it was Tribute of Praise which he edited for the Ruebush Kieffer Co. of Dayton, VA, in 1918.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it may currently be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship Revised (not in original edition), Sacred Selections, and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church edited by Robert Taylor Jr.

     The song expresses praise to Jesus as our King.

I. Stanza 1 encourages us to worship Him
“See the Monarch of monarchs Come in majesty!
Let us bow down and worship Him Who doeth all things well;
He leads the nations out of sin And causes foes to flee:
All hail (All hail our King Immanuel!) Our King Immanuel.”
 A. The word “monarch” means king, and Jesus came to be King: Rev. 19:11-16
 B. Because He is the King, we should bow down and worship Him, as did the Wise Men: Matt. 2:1-11
 C. As our King, He leads us out of sin: Matt. 1:21

II. Stanza 2 reminds us of His blessings
“Like the waves of the ocean Rolls His praise today,
For His wonderful love has helped So many to excel;
He sends the captives, free from chains, All singing on their way:
All hail (All hail our King Immanuel!) Our King Immanuel.”
 A. The redeemed are pictured as praising Him because of what He has done: Rev. 5:8-10
 B. His wonderful love has helped so many by offering Himself as a sacrifice: Eph. 5:2
 C. Through Him we can be free from sin: Rom. 6:17-18

III. Stanza 3 points to that day when we see Him on high
“O the joy that will thrill us Some glad day on high,
When we see Him in glory, where Celestial praises swell;
Where cherubim and seraphim (Now) join us when we cry:
All hail (All hail our King Immanuel!) Our King Immanuel.”
 A. Some glad day on high refers to that time when the Lord returns and we stand before His throne: Matt. 25:31-32
 B. At that time, we shall see Him in glory as He is: 1 Jn. 3:1-2
 C. Then we shall join with the cherubim and seraphim, and all the angels of the heavenly host, to praise Him: Rev. 7:9-17.  You may notice the word “now” in parenthesis.  All of our books have it, but I suspect that it was originally “shall” or “will” and was changed by Ellis J. Crum in Sacred Selections due to his rather unique view that to acknowledge Jesus as King at or after His second coming is somehow necessarily premillennial, although practically all my other hymnbooks are packed in storage so that I cannot check them.  In the original print of Sacred Selections, the word “now” is in a different style and not well aligned with the other words, suggesting that it was added to replace another word.  Then the rest of our books simply copied from it.

     CONCL.:  The chorus continues the expression of praise in honor to Jesus as the world’s Redeemer.
“O honor His name forever For what His grace has done
His mighty love in every Heart should dwell,
For He is the world’s Redeemer, Jehovah’s only Son!
All hail (All hail our King Immanuel!) Our King Immanuel.”
All hail (All hail our King Immanuel!) Our King Immanuel.”
This song is not easy to sing since the sopranos have to hold a high F for nine beats three times each stanza.  Many of the songs that were part of the Stamps-Baxter repertoire were written for country music singing conventions and not really intended for congregational worship.  Some congregations are able to render them while others are not.  Yet, when done well, a lot of them are lovely.  This one has apparently been rather popular, and it is surely right for us to hail “Our King Immanuel.”

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