The CCEL Times 7.8 (August 1, 2012)
In This Issue:
From the Director
Worshipping the King
The theme for this month’s newsletter is worshipping the king. We’re going to be featuring hymns at least once a month on the CCEL’s sister site, Hymnary.org, and the first one is O worship the king, all glorious above. We’ll be providing a "full treatment" for featured hymns, including full text, background information, scores, page scans from various hymnals, keyboard/choral/instrumental arrangements, and more. You can read more about the hymn in another article in this newsletter.
I won’t often mention featured hymns or Hymnary.org in this “From the Director” section, so if you are interested in hearing about featured hymns, consider visiting Hymnary.org and clicking the Facebook "Like" button. That way you’ll get information in your Facebook news feed.
"Showcase - Psalms in Worship"
Dr. John Witvliet, Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, has accumulated and posted a collection of print and Web resources related to Psalms and Worship. He writes, "The Psalms are a font of inspiration, encouragement, and instruction in the life of both public and private prayer. From Basil to Bonhoeffer to Bono, the enthusiasm that emanates from wise Christian writers of every historical period points to the Psalms as one of the richest sources of wisdom for the practice of worship." A link to this web page is provided below for those interested in examining this topic further.
Read this article at the CICW Website
What We're Reading
Commentary on Psalms - Volume 5
Calvin found Psalms to be one of the richest books in the Bible. As he writes in the introduction, "there is no other book in which we are more perfectly taught the right manner of praising God, or in which we are more powerfully stirred up to the performance of this religious exercise." This commentary—the last Calvin wrote—clearly expressed Calvin's deep love for this book. Calvin's Commentary on Psalms is thus one of his best commentaries, and one can greatly profit from reading even a portion of it.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
What We're Discussing
Online Study on the Book of Mark
Cynthia's Book of Mark Study Group is starting in early September. Currently, we are registering new participants and asking members to post brief introductions about themselves in the study forum. To get more information or register for this new group, visit our Discussion Groups page.
Later this fall we will be starting a group on Taylor's Union and Communion.
Feel free to contact me (Ken at email@example.com) if you have questions about either of these groups.
Featured Hymn"O Worship the King All Glorious Above"
by Robert Grant (1779-1838)
Of Scottish ancestry, Grant was born in India, where his father was a director of the East India Company. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1807. He had a distinguished public career as Governor of Bombay and as a member of the British Parliament, where he sponsored a bill to remove civil restrictions on Jews. Grant was knighted in 1834. His hymn texts were published in The Christian Observer (1806-1815), in Elliot’s Psalms and Hymns (1835), and posthumously by his brother as Sacred Poems (1839).
Rather than being a paraphrase or versification, the text is a meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104. Stanzas 1-3, which allude to Psalm 104:1-6, focus on God’s creation as a testimony to his “measureless might.” More personal in tone, stanzas 4 and 5 confess the compassion of God toward his creatures and affirm with apocalyptic vision that the “ransomed creation, with glory ablaze” will join with angels to hymn its praise to God.
-The Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Visit this featured hymn at Hymnary.org
"Meditation on God"
Spurgeon introduces this sermon based on Psalm 104:34 by suggesting that for some people, "the contemplation of divine things has a tendency to depress the spirits." After the introduction, the rest of the sermon addresses how our meditation on Christ is the opposite of depressing; it is joyful and sweet.
Spurgeon's three main points are as follows:
You should find Spurgeon's sermon a joyful read.
A short Meditation on Psalm 104, also written by Charles Spurgeon
Lebanon’s cedars are emblematic of the Christian, in that they owe their planting entirely to the Lord. This is quite true of every child of God. He is not man-planted, nor self-planted, but God-planted. The mysterious hand of the divine Spirit dropped the living seed into a heart which he had himself prepared for its reception. Every true heir of heaven owns the great Husbandman as his planter. Moreover, the cedars of Lebanon are not dependent upon man for their watering; they stand on the lofty rock, unmoistened by human irrigation; and yet our heavenly Father supplieth them. Thus it is with the Christian who has learned to live by faith. He is independent of man, even in temporal things; for his continued maintenance he looks to the Lord his God, and to him alone. The dew of heaven is his portion, and the God of heaven is his fountain. Again, the cedars of Lebanon are not protected by any mortal power. They owe nothing to man for their preservation from stormy wind and tempest. They are God’s trees, kept and preserved by him, and by him alone. It is precisely the same with the Christian. He is not a hot-house plant, sheltered from temptation; he stands in the most exposed position; he has no shelter, no protection, except this, that the broad wings of the eternal God always cover the cedars which he himself has planted. Like cedars, believers are full of sap, having vitality enough to be ever green, even amid winter’s snows. Lastly, the flourishing and majestic condition of the cedar is to the praise of God only. The Lord, even the Lord alone hath been everything unto the cedars, and, therefore David very sweetly puts it in one of the psalms, “Praise ye the Lord, fruitful trees and all cedars.” In the believer there is nothing that can magnify man; he is planted, nourished, and protected by the Lord’s own hand, and to him let all the glory be ascribed.Go to Spurgeon's Meditations