Blest day of God! most calm, most bright

Representative Text

1 Blest day of God! most calm, most bright,
The first, the best of days;
The labourer's rest, the saint's delight,
The day of prayer and praise.

2 My Saviour's face made thee to shine,
His rising thee did raise,
And made thee heavenly and divine
Beyond all other days.

3 The first-fruits oft a blessing prove
To all the sheaves behind;
And they the day of Christ who love,
A happy week shall find.

4 This day I must with God appear;
For, Lord, the day is Thine;
Help me to spend it in Thy fear,
And thus to make it mine.

Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1871

Author: John Mason

Mason, John. The known facts of his life are scanty. He was the son of a Dissenting Minister, and the grandfather of John Mason, the author of A Treatise on Self-Knowledge. He was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. After taking his M.A., he became Curate of Isham; and in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks. A little more than five years afterwards he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford. Here he composed the volume containing The Songs of Praise, his paraphrase of The Song of Solomon, and the Poem on Dives and Lazarus, with which Shepherd's Penitential Cries was afterwards bound up. This volume passed through twenty editions. Besides the Songs of Praise, it contains six Penitential Cries by Mason, and it i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Blest day of God! most calm, most bright
Author: John Mason
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Blest day of God, most calm, most bright. J. Mason. [Sunday.] First published in his Songs of Praise, 1683, as the second of two hymns entitled "A Song of Praise for the Lord's Day," in 6 stanzas of 8 lines and 1 stanza of 4 lines. Early in the present century centos from this "Song” of various lengths began to be introduced into the hymn-books of the Church of England, and later, into Nonconformists’ hymnals also; but in scarcely a single instance do we find the same arrangement in any three collections. In modern hymnbooks both in Great Britain and America, the same diversity prevails, no editor having yet succeeded in compiling a cento which others could approve and adopt. No collection can be trusted either for text or original sequence of lines. The full Original text, however, is easily attainable in Sedgwick's reprint of the Songs of Praise, 1859. The opening line sometimes reads:—"Blest day of God, how calm, how bright," as in Mrs. Brock's Children's Hymn Book,1881, No. 40, but the use of this form of the text is limited. Taking the centos together, their use is extensive.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


BELMONT (Gardiner)

This tune has been mis-attributed to various other composers, but is clearly the work of the above-named composer.

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RICHMOND (also known as CHESTERFIELD) is a florid tune originally written by Thomas Haweis (PHH 270) and published in his collection Carmina Christo (1792). Samuel Webbe, Jr., adapted and shortened the tune and published it in his Collection of Psalm Tunes (1808). It was reprinted in 1853 in Webbe's…

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The Cyber Hymnal #576
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The Cyber Hymnal #576

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