Join all the glorious names

Join all the glorious names
  Of wisdom, love, and pow'r,
  That mortals ever knew,
  That angels ever bore;
All are too mean to speak His worth,
Too mean to set my Savior forth.
Great Prophet of my God,
  My tongue would bless Thy name;
  By Thee the joyful news
  Of our salvation came;
The joyful news of sins forgiv'n,
Of death annulled, and Thy life giv'n.
Jesus, my great High Priest,
  Offered His blood, and died;
  My guilty conscience seeks
  No sacrifice beside:
His pow'rful blood did me redeem,
'Tis worthy of my heart's esteem.
I love my Shepherd's voice:
  His watchful eye shall keep
  My wand'ring soul among
  The thousands of His sheep:
He feeds His flock, He calls their names,
His bosom bears the tender lambs.
My Savior and my Lord,
  My Conqu'ror and my King,
  Thy scepter and Thy sword,
  Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the pow'r; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.
Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Isaac Watts originally wrote 12 stanzas for this hymn and included 17 different names for Christ. Watts wrote several hymns on the same theme, but his final analysis was, "Earth is too narrow to express His worth, His glory, or His grace."

One such hymn starts each stanza with a question: "Is He a Rose?" "Is He a Vine?" After 18 stanzas Watts concludes,

"His beauties we can never trace

till we behold Him face to face."

And still another of his hymns begins,

"Tis from the treasure of His Word

I borrow titles for my Lord.

Nor art, nor nature can supply

sufficient forms of majesty."

Watts understood that no matter how many titles he might ascribe to Jesus Christ, all of them together would still be inadequate to express His greatness. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton


The additional stanzas are:

Original stanza 2:

But O what gentle terms,

What condescending ways,

Doth our Redeemer use

To teach his heav’nly grace!

Mine eyes with joy and wonder see

What forms of love He bears for me.


Original stanza 3:

Arrayed in mortal flesh,

He like an angel stands,

And holds the promises

And pardons in His hands;

Commissioned from His Father’s throne

To make His grace to mortals known.


Original stanza 5 (follows stanza 2):

Be Thou my Counsellor,

My Pattern, and my Guide,

And through this desert land

Still keep me near thy side:

Nor let my feet e’er run astray

Nor rove nor seek the crooked way.

--------------------------------------- stanza 4 is the original stanza 6


original stanza 7:

To this dear Surety’s hand

Will I commit my cause;

He answers and fulfils

His Father’s broken laws:

Behold my soul at freedom set!

My Surety paid the dreadful debt.

------------------------------------------------- stanza 3 is the original stanza 8


Original stanza 9:

My Advocate appears

For my defense on high;

The Father bows his ears,

And lays his thunder by:

Not all that hell or sin can say

Shall turn his heart, his love away.

------------------------------------ stanza 5 is the original stanza 10 except that the 1st line of the original says, "My dear almighty Lord" instead of "My Savior and my Lord", a change common in most hymnals. The original wording is a bit strange, but I prefer it because it is a true paradox that our Lord is both dear and almighty. "My Savior and my Lord" is too common.


original stanza 11:

Now let my soul arise,

And tread the tempter down;

My Captain leads me forth

To conquest and a crown:

A feeble saint shall win the day,

Though death and hell obstruct the way.


original stanza 12

Should all the hosts of death,

And powers of hell unknown,

Put their most dreadful forms

Of rage and mischief on,

I shall be safe, for Christ displays

Superior power, and guardian grace.

Dudley Horscroft

Banora Point, New South Wales, Australia

In verse 2 of this selection of verses (verse 4 in MHB) the last line is "Of hell subdued and peace with heaven."

Verse 6 of the original has, in place of "His bosom bears" "bears in His arms.

Verses 4 and 5 here are 7 and 6 of the version in MHB 96. In addition to inverting the order of these verses at least four verses have been omitted.

Dianne Mueller

North Ridgeville, OH, United States

I prefer the words that Mr. Watts wrote; in our Methodist "Celebration" hymnal, the word "mean" was changed to "poor." I believe this is a drastic change from the meaning of Watts' original lyrics. In the current 20th century context, people will not connect 'poor' with the 19th century 'mean.'


It would be helpful if the words were not altered. For example, in the original the last two lines of verse 3 read: "His powerful blood did once atone, and now it pleads before the throne."