On the Rock of Thy Commandments

Representative Text

“On the rock of Thy commandments
“Fix me firmly, lest I slide:
“With the glory of Thy Presence
“Cover me on every side;
”Seeing none save Thee is holy,
“GOD, for ever glorified!”

New immortal out of mortal,
New existence out of old:
This the Cross of CHRIST accomplished,
This the Prophets had foretold:
So that we thus newly quickened,
Might attain the heavenly fold.

Thou Who comprehendest all things,
Comprehended by the tomb,
Gav’st Thy body to the graveclothes
And the silence and the gloom:
Till through fast-closed doors Thou camest
Thy Disciples to illume.

Every nail-print, every buffet,
Thou didst freely undergo,
As Thy Resurrection’s witness
To the Twelve Thou cam’st to show:
So that what they saw in vision,
Future years by faith might know.

Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1866

Translator: John Mason Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >

Author: St. John of Damascus

John of Damascus, St. The last but one of the Fathers of the Greek Church, and the greatest of her poets (Neale). He was of a good family in Damascus, and educated by the elder Cosmas in company with his foster-brother Cosmas the Melodist (q. v.). He held some office under the Caliph. He afterwards retired to the laura of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, along with his foster-brother. There he composed his theological works and his hymns. He was ordained priest of the church of Jerusalem late in life. He lived to extreme old age, dying on the 4th December, the day on which he is commemorated in the Greek calendar, either in his 84th or 100th year (circa 780). He was called, for some unknown reason, Mansur, by his enemies. His fame as a theologian… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: On the Rock of Thy Commandments
Author: St. John of Damascus (780)
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Language: English


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Hymns of the Eastern Church (5th ed.) #121

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