Lord, Thou art the lovely Bridegroom

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Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

John Bacchus Dykes was born March 10, 1823. He is the composer of this tune and also of his most famous tune “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty. ” Reginald Heber’s widow found among her dead husband’s papers, the words to one of the most powerful and beautiful hymns ever written but years would pass before the lines took their place in worship service around the world.

In 1861, a publisher rediscovered the words. He asked John Bacchus Dykes to furnish him with a tune. It made sense for him to turn to John who had a natural aptitude for music (he graduated with a music master that same year). He came from an evangelical background (father and grandfather) as well as musical family—his uncle an organist and his sister a poet and a hymnodist. John had been a church organist since he was 10 and also played the violin. He was co-founder and president of the Cambridge University Musical Society.

After John read the words to Holy, Holy, Holy, it took him 30 minutes to write the tune “Nicea” which today carries the praise of the Trinity to Christians everywhere.

The year after he composed this famous tune, John was appointed vicar of Saint Oswald, to put him in charge of the parish. He was 39 and had already held several lesser church posts. John’s parishioners came to love him. His bishop however did not care for John‘s views. John was “high-church. ” This meant that he stressed the continuity of the Church of England with the Roman Catholic church from which it had it has sprung. He believed that church and monarchy had divine rights which were being washed away by modern changes. There was a long-lasting disagreement between John and his bishop because of this.

Charles Baring, his bishop, refused to provide John with any help for his growing parish unless he would agree to conduct his services in a “low-church” style. He would have to get rid of clerical collars, stop burning incense and not turn his back on the congregation during the church service. John did not agree to do so and was left to handle the parish by himself, a task which exhausted him. Nonetheless, in addition to his regular duties, he managed to write over 300 hymn-tunes. These included some of the Christian faith’s most favorite hymns:

“Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, ” “Take My Life and Let it Be, ” and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” among others.

Worn out by his labors and constant friction with his bishop, John died on January 22, 1876. He was just 53 years old. Those who loved and admired him raised $10, 000 to support his widow and his children. He shares a grave with Mabel, his youngest daughter who died of scarlet fever in1870. Dyke’s grave is now the only marked grave in what is now a children’s playground.

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Jeffrey Hall

The Church In Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

Christ is the focus of the Father, He has given Him to be head of all, and He has given Him to be all to us! Halleluia We have the all-inclusive Christ!

His righteousness prevails Forever, and we are One with Him! Glorious!


Sue

Calgary, Canada

Lord, Thou art the lovely Bridegroom, God appointed, dear to us; Thy dear self is so attractive, To our heart so beauteous!


Kitty Joubert

Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

O Lord Jesus, what a privilege to be chosen from Your family to be prepared as the bride....to wait for our Bridegroom who can come any day. Dear Beloved, we admire Thee. Thy dear is so attractive. God hath blessed Thee, Lord, forever. Thou hast won the victory...


Raluca Surdu

Resita, Romania

Oh, what a precious treasure we have found indeed!!! Lord, You are so lovely we cannot stop to taste Your sweetness! Praise the Lord!


Francis Salmazan

Bangkok, Thailand

Who can be compared to the beauty and preciousness of our Lord? I can only say an everlasting praise because He has found me and I have found Him! Praise the Lord, saints!


Gabriel

White Rock, B.C., Canada

Lord, Thou art the lovely bridegroom, the Preciousness to Your believers. May we value and treasure You more, day by day!


Jeannette DePaolo

Spokane, WA, USA

AWESOME! Thank You saints.

The first stanza of Hymns, #170 says, "Lord, Thou art the lovely Bridegroom, / God appointed, dear to us; / Thy dear self is so attractive, / To our heart so beauteous!" When we truly see that the Lord is our Bridegroom, our meetings will be different. They will become wedding meetings. Can we fast when we have the Lord's presence as our Bridegroom? Suppose a young brother is getting married and will soon become a bridegroom. To fast for him would be to put him to shame. We would fast for him only if he had encountered misfortune. Has the Lord encountered misfortune, or is He our Bridegroom? He is our Bridegroom! Hence, we need not fast. Let all the religionists fast. Let the followers of religion fast. We will eat and drink, and we will sing of our Lord being the lovely Bridegroom.