I love Thy kingdom, Lord

1
I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
  The house of Thine abode,
The Church our blest Redeemer bought
  With His own precious blood.
2
I love the Church, O God!
  Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye
  And graven on Thy hand.
3
For her my tears shall fall,
  For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be given
  Till toils and cares shall end.
4
Beyond my highest joy
  I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
  Her hymns of love and praise.
5
Sure as Thy truth shall last,
  To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield,
  And brighter bliss of heaven.
4
Ana Lara

United States

This is the only American hymn from the time of the Pilgrim Fathers until the beginning of the nineteenth century that is still used today. It has been named “one of the imperishable lyrics of the Christian Church. ”

Timothy Dwight is one of the renowned names in early American History. Dwight was born in Northampton Massachusetts, on May 14, 1752. His grandfather was Jonathan Edwards on his mother’s side. At the age of 17, he graduated from Yale College. For a time he served as a chaplain with George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. After the war he served as a minister, representative of Connecticut State Legislature, faculty member and in 1795 the College’s President. While he was there, he raised the academic standards and brought a spiritual emphasis to the campus. Before that, the students at Yale had been influenced by Rousseau and the French Revolutionary ideals. It was thought that there were less than ten Christians on campus. His leadership brought a spiritual revival which spread to other parts of New England college campuses.

In 1797 Timothy Dwight revised Isaac Watts’s “Psalms and Hymns” and added thirty-three of his own including “I Love Thy Kingdom Lord. ” This collection was so successful that it was used frequently in the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches throughout the New England States for the next thirty years. Other literary works by Dwight are five volumes of sermons titled “Theology Explained and Defended. ” He also wrote a satirical book called “Triumph of Infidelity, ” against the skeptics of his day. His four volumes entitled “Travels in New England and New York” depicted the social and economic conditions of New England at the time.

In the last forty years of his life, Dwight contracted smallpox and it affected his eyesight. He could only read for fifteen minutes at a time and yet was able to write books in volumes as well as do revisions and write his own hymns. The pain in his eyes was severe and constant.

The tune for this hymn text, “St Thomas, ” first appeared in Aaron Williams’s collection of tunes of 1763. It is also used in Isaac Watts’s “Come, We That Love the Lord. ” Since Williams never claimed to have written this tune, many believe it may have been an adaptation from a work by George F. Handel. Aaron Williams was a music director of a Scottish Presbyterian Church in London, England.


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Like his grandfather theologian Jonathan Edwards, Timothy Dwight was a brilliant scholar. He could read Latin when he was 6, graduated from Yale at 17, began teaching there at 19, and wrote his first book at 20.

He enlisted in the Continental Army in 1777 as a chaplain, where he became known for writing songs to encourage the troops. After the Revolutionary War, he served as a pastor in Connecticut. Finally, in 1795, he accepted the trustees' invitation to become president of Yale.

When Dwight returned to Yale, there were probably as few as 5 professing Christians on campus. But with Dwight came a new spiritual emphasis, and revival soon swept over the university. This hymn, written during the revivals at Yale, is the earliest American hymn in use today. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton

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The 5 stanzas above are the ones that are given in most hymnals except that stanza 2 above says "the Church", while the original says "Thy church".

There are 2 additional stanzas following the above stanza 2 which are from Psalm 137:5-6:

If e’er to bless Thy sons

My voice or hands deny,

These hands let useful skills forsake,

This voice in silence die.

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Should I with scoffers join

Her altars to abuse?

No! Better far my tongue were dumb,

My hand its skill should lose.

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There is also an additional 2nd to last stanza:

Jesus, Thou Friend divine,

Our Savior and our King,

Thy hand from every snare and foe

Shall great deliverance bring.


Marcus

No it is not a cogasoc original. We just adopted as our anthem.


Durham Partridge

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

'For her'. Sometimes you miss seeing the preciousness.