Jesus, Thy head, once crown’d with thorns
|Jesus, Thy head, once crown’d with thorns,
Is crown’d with glory now;
Heaven’s royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor’s brow.
|Thou glorious light of courts above,
Joy of the saints below,
To us still manifest Thy love,
That we its depths may know.
|To us Thy cross with all its shame,
With all its grace be giv’n;
Though earth disowns Thy lowly name,
God honors it in heav’n.
|Who suffer with Thee, Lord, today,
Shall also with Thee reign:
Then let it be our joy to pay
The Price, this goal attain.
|To us Thy cross is life and health;
’Twas shame and death to Thee;
Our present glory, joy and wealth,
Our everlasting stay.
An opening hymn should be long enough for the spirit of the saints to be fanned into flame. If a hymn is not long enough, the saints will not be sufficiently "pumped up" in their spirit; they will be like those who are out of breath when they run home from the street and go directly to the dining table. In order for the opening hymn to stir up and uplift the spirit of the saints, the tune must be powerful, and it must be easy to sing; moreover, the lyrics should be of adequate length. For instance, Hymns, #213 is a good hymn for beginning the table meeting. If all the brothers and sisters sense that the Lord is full of glory and honor, then they can sing Hymns, #127, and continue with Hymns, #183. To do this, however, we must have some spiritual skill, and the spirit of the meeting must also be able to keep pace. Otherwise, as a rule, after singing Hymns, #127, we will not be able to find another hymn as a continuation because the singing has already reached the peak. For this reason we might need to reserve Hymns, #127 for later and sing Hymns, #183 first. However, if we are experienced in spirit and realize that even though Hymns, #127 is high, it cannot fully express our inner feeling; then perhaps we can continue with Hymns, #141. In such an uplifted spirit we can break the bread to remember the Lord, singing, "Jesus, Thy head, once crown'd with thorns, / Is crown'd with glory now; / Heaven's royal diadem adorns / The mighty Victor's brow" (stanza 1). If we all remember the Lord in this way, the brothers and sisters will receive an unimaginable supply.
It is very good to sing this hymn at the end of the meeting because it is very subjective. Stanzas 4 and 5 say, "Who suffer with Thee, Lord, today, / Shall also with Thee reign:... / To us Thy cross is life and health; / 'Twas shame and death to Thee; / Our present glory." On the one hand, it speaks of the Lord's glory, and on the other hand, it says that even though we have seen the Lord in glory, we are still on earth; we still need to follow the Lord in taking the way of the cross.
Detroit, Michigan, United States
The original stanza 4 says:
4 Who suffer with Thee, Lord, below,
Shall reign with Thee above;
Then let it be our joy to know
This way of peace and love.
Detroit, MI, United States
Thomas Kelly wrote 765 hymn texts in the span of 51 yrs. That's more than 1/mo for 1/2 century. Kelly was also known as a popular preacher, and many of his hymns were written to accompany his sermon texts.
Studying law at Trinity College, Dublin, Kelly had a strong conversion experience that redirected his life toward the ministry. He preached powerfully, staunchly defending the doctrine of justification by faith. The Anglican church, still in the wake of reaction against the Wesleys, wanted no more troublemakers, so they kicked Kelly out. He landed with the Congregationalists and gained an even greater reputation. He was not only a gifted preacher but was also very generous, openly contributing to the poor, especially during the Dublin famine of 1847. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton