Light's Abode, Celestial Salem

Representative Text

1 Light's abode, celestial Salem,
vision whence true peace doth spring,
brighter than the heart can fancy,
mansion of the highest King;
O how glorious are the praises
which of thee the prophets sing!

2 There for ever and for ever
alleluia is outpoured;
for unending, for unbroken,
is the feast-day of the Lord;
all is pure and all is holy
that within thy walls is stored.

3 There no cloud or passing vapour
dims the brightness of the air;
endless noon-day, glorious noon-day,
from the Sun of suns is there;
there no night brings rest from labour,
for unknown are toil and care.

4 O how glorious and resplendent,
fragile body, shalt thou be,
when endued with so much beauty,
full of health and strong and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure
that shall last eternally.

5 Now with gladness, now with courage,
bear the burden on thee laid,
that hereafter these thy labours
may with endless gifts be paid;
and in everlasting glory
thou with brightness be arrayed.

6 Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #710

Author (attributed to): Thomas á Kempis

Thomas of Kempen, commonly known as Thomas à Kempis, was born at Kempen, about fifteen miles northwest of Düsseldorf, in 1379 or 1380. His family name was Hammerken. His father was a peasant, whilst his mother kept a dame's school for the younger children of Kempen. When about twelve years old he became an inmate of the poor-scholars' house which was connected with a "Brother-House" of the Brethren of the Common Life at Deventer, where he was known as Thomas from Kempen, and hence his well-known name. There he remained for six years, and then, in 1398, he was received into the Brotherhood. A year later he entered the new religious house at Mount St. Agnes, near Zwolle. After due preparation he took the vows in 1407, was priested in 1413,… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly tem­perament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >


Jerusalem luminosa. [Eternal Life.] This hymn, in 100 lines, was first published by Mone, No. 304, from a 15th century manuscript at Karlsruhe, in which it is entitled, "On the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem as concerning the endowments of the glorified body." Of this and the two cognate hymns of this manuscript ("Quisquis valet" and "In domo Patris," q.v.) Dr. Neale says, “The language and general ideas prove the writer [unknown, but apparently of the 15th century] to have been subject to the influence of the school of Geert Groot and Thomas à Kempis "(Hymns chiefly Mediaeval on the Joys and Glories of Paradise, 1865, p. 44). Lines 25 ff., "In te nunquam nubilata," may be compared with a passage in St. Cyprian's De laude martyrii:—

"All things there have nothing to do with either cold or heat; nor do the fields rest, as in autumn; nor again does the fertile earth bring forth fruit in the early spring; all things belong to one season, they bear the fruits of one summer: indeed, neither does the moon serve to mark the months, nor does the sun run through the spaces of the hours; nor does the day, put to flight, give way to night; joyful rest reigns over the people, a placid dwelling contains them."

Dr. Neale's rendering of the lines 25-30 is:—

"There the everlasting spring-tide
Sheds its dewy, green repose;
There the Summer, in its glory,
Cloudless and eternal glows;
For that country never knoweth
Autumn's storms nor winter's snows." [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B.D.]

Translation in common use:—
Light's abode, Celestial Salem. By J. M. Neale, published in the Hymnal Noted, 1858, in 7 stanzas of 6 lines, and again in his Hymns chiefly Mediaeval on the Joys and Glories of Paradise, 1865. In its full or in an abridged form it has been included in several hymn-books, including Hymns Ancient & Modern, the Hymnary, &c. In the Hymnal for the use of St. John, &c., Aberdeen, Appendix, 1870, it is altered to "Seat of Light! Celestial Salem," and in the St. Margaret's Hymnal (East Grinstead), 1875, as “0 how blessed, 0 how quickening."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed REGENT SQUARE for the Horatius Bonar (PHH 260) doxology "Glory be to God the Father." The tune was first published in the English Presbyterian Church's Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), of which Smart was music editor. Because the text editor of that hymna…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #3565
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Instances (1 - 15 of 15)

Ancient and Modern #710

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #442

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #672

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Common Praise (1998) #550

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Common Praise #502

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Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #398

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CPWI Hymnal #403

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #185

Hymns Old and New #305

Scripture Song Database #2096

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The Book of Praise #610


The Cyber Hymnal #3565

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The Hymnal 1982 #621


The Hymnal 1982 #622

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The New English Hymnal #401

Include 75 pre-1979 instances
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