477. You Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim

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1 You servants of God, your Master proclaim,
and publish abroad his wonderful name;
the name all-victorious of Jesus extol;
his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

2 God rules in the height, almighty to save;
though hid from our sight, his presence we have;
the great congregation his triumph shall sing,
ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.

3 "Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!"
let all cry aloud, and honor the Son;
the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

4 Then let us adore and give him his right:
all glory and power, all wisdom and might,
all honor and blessing with angels above
and thanks never ceasing for infinite love.

Text Information
First Line: You servants of God, your master proclaim
Title: You Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim
Author: Charles Wesley (1744, alt.)
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Doxologies; Ascension & Reign of Christ; King, God/Christ as (3 more...)
Tune Information
Composer (attr.): William Croft (1708)
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Key: G Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Deut. 32:3, Ps.148:13, Ps.145:11-13
st. 3 = Rev. 5:12-14, Rev. 7:10

The year this text was written, 1744, was a year of political and religious turmoil in Britain. The newly formed Methodist societies were suspected of being merely disguised Roman Catholic societies and were accused of attempting to overthrow the Crown. To strengthen and reassure his Methodist followers,
Charles Wesley (PHH 267) anonymously published Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744). This text, in seventeen stanzas, was the first of the "Hymns to be Sung in a Tumult." Of those stanzas, 1 and 4-6 of Wesley's Part I are included; the battle-song stanzas, which the small but heroic Methodist groups sang in the face of violent opposition, are omitted.

The text is a hymn of thankful praise to Christ for his victorious reign and for providing salvation for his people. It reveals the cosmic scope of Christ's kingdom (st. I) and helps us to join our voices with the great doxology to Christ, the Lamb, as foretold in Revelation 5:9-14 (st. 24). In the first stanza "servants" refers to all Christians, not just clergy, to those made "to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God" (Rev. 5:10).

Liturgical Use:
A great doxology for festive services such as Easter; with eschatological preaching during Advent; other services that focus on Christ's work of redemption and his glory.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

For information on the tune and composer, see PHH 149; a descant is also given there that would be very appropriate for stanza 4 of Wesley's text.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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