Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are all the foes of Sion fools?

I have been exploring The Cyber Hymnal for songs some might want to sing at a meeting I am putting together. But then I started playing, looking at all the many hymns and psalms put to music by Isaac Watts. I found this startling question in the first line of one song. "Are all the foes of Sion fools?"

What a great question. With all the political and religious news emerging on the Internet over the last few days these are great lines.

Are all the foes of Sion fools,
Who thus devour her saints?
Do they not know her Savior rules,
And pities her complaints?

They shall be seized with sad surprise;
For God’s revenging arm
Scatters the bones of them that rise
To do His children harm.

In vain the sons of Satan boast
Of armies in array;
When God has first despised their host
They fall an easy prey.

O for a word from Zion’s King,
Her captives to restore!
Jacob with all his tribes shall sing,
And Judah weep no more.

To add to this I just read the posting that Toby Brown has very recently put up,
Resting in the God who saves and thought of our great security in Jesus Christ.

I just need to add one more thing and that is one of my favorite quotes from Karl Barth,

"Of course something has to be done; very much so; but most decidedly nothing other than this, viz. that the Church congregations be gathered together again, but aright and anew in fear and great joy, to the Word by means of the Word. All the crying about and over the Church will not deliver the Church. When the Church is a Church she is already delivered. Let persecution be never so severe, it will not affect her! 'Still,' it is said, 'Still, shall the City of God abide, lusty beside her tiny stream.' (Psalm xlvi. 5; Luther's translation.)"


Rev'd Chris Larimer said...

Two of my favorite sites for finding Psalms:
1) Psalms in Metre has as many as twelve psalters to choose from for each psalm, including Watts! Often, there are multiple metre options, so you can sing it to familiar tunes in LM, CM, and SM. VERY handy when you want to list the words but don't have room for the music. Just use a familiar hymn tune in the same metre and go!
2) Metrical Psalms is another site with plenty of psalms. There is a handy index to the Revised Common Lectionary, as well as some of the canticles (such as the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis) - again, set to metres that are easy enough to find in a hymnbook. Don't miss his Doxology for Christmas in the Canticles section.

One more: though not a psalmody site, NewHymn has some fantastic stuff. It also indexes to season, scripture, and theme.

Blessings on you, grand lady!

Viola Larson said...

Thank you Chris, what a lot of treasure!You have just given me my best birthday present for the day--well except for the flowrs and card from my husband.

will spotts said...

Great reommendations Chris

Kevin said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

I came across this very hymn this week on Cyber Hymnal, myself. I sometimes have to go out there to listen to the MIDI files of unfamiliar tunes so I don't sound like a goof as I lead singing. I'm not always successful. :)

Macon, MS

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Kevin,
So the pastor has to lead the singing. That's a lot of work but probably a pleasure to.


Rev'd Chris Larimer said...


Try the higher-quality MP3 files found at Small Church Music. Organ and piano are available for most hymn tunes.