See the Conqueror mounts in triumph

Full Text

1 See, the Lord ascends in triumph,
Conqu'ring King in royal state
Riding on the clouds, His chariot
To His heav'nly palace gate;
Hark! The choirs of angel voices
Joyful alleluias sing,
And the portals high are lifted
To receive their heav'nly King.

2 Who is this that comes in glory
With the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies,
He has gained the victory.
He who on the cross did suffer,
He who from the grave arose,
He has vanquished sin and Satan;
He by death has spoiled His foes.

3 While He lifts His hands in blessing
He is parted from His friends;
While their eager eyes behold Him,
He upon the clouds ascends.
He who walked with God and pleased Him,
Preaching truth and doom to come,
He, our Enoch, is translated
To His everlasting home.

4 Now our heav'nly Aaron enters
With His blood within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan,
And the kings before Him quail.
Now He plants the tribes of Israel
In their promised resting place,
Now our great Elijah offers
Double portion of His grace.

5 He has raised our human nature
On the clouds to God's right hand;
There we sit in heav'nly places,
There with Him in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne;
By our mighty Lord's ascension
We by faith behold our own.

Source: Lutheran Service Book #494

Author: Christopher Wordsworth

Christopher Wordsworth--nephew of the great lake-poet, William Wordsworth--was born in 1807. He was educated at Winchester, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A., with high honours, in 1830; M.A. in 1833; D.D. in 1839. He was elected Fellow of his College in 1830, and public orator of the University in 1836; received Priest's Orders in 1835; head master of Harrow School in 1836; Canon of Westminster Abbey in 1844; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1847-48; Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berks, in 1850; Archdeacon of Westminster, in 1865; Bishop of Lincoln, in 1868. His writings are numerous, and some of them very valuable. Most of his works are in prose. His "Holy Year; or, Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and other occ… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 24:7
st. 2 = Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9
st. 3 = Eph. 2:6, Heb. 1:8, Ps. 68:18

Replete with biblical imagery and allusion, this text by Christopher Wordsworth (PHH 361) was published in his Holy Year (1862) in ten stanzas. John Julian considers "See, the Conqueror" to be one of Wordsworth's finest hymn texts.

The text views the ascending Lord being sung to by angels at heaven's gates (st. 1), recalls Christ's suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension (st. 2), and looks forward to our reign with Christ in glory (st. 3). The text emphasizes not only the event of the Ascension but also its meaning for us: in Christ's ascension, "we by faith can see” our own.

Liturgical Use:
Easter; Ascension; many other worship services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

See the Conqueror mounts in triumph. Bishop C. Wordsworth, of Lincoln. [Ascension.] First published in his Holy Year, 1862, p. 99, in 10 stanzas of 4 double lines. In the latest editions of the Holy Year it has been divided into two parts, Pt. ii. beginning with st. vi. "Holy Ghost, Illuminator." Usually these two parts are given as separate hymns for congregational use. In addition a cento, beginning with stanza ii., "Who is this that comes in glory?" is given as a hymn. The original is one of Bishop Wordsworth's finest compositions, and is the nearest approach in style and treatment to a Greek Ode known to us in the English language. The amount of Holy Scripture compressed into these 40 lines is wonderful. Prophecy, Types, Historical Facts, Doctrinal Teaching, Extatic Praise, all are here; and the result is one grand rush of holy song.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed REX GLORIAE for this text; the hymn was published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. Stanley L. Osborne (PHH 395) suggests that Smart initially intended REX GLORIAE as a tune for children. Derived from the topic of Wordsworth's text, the tune's name m…

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IN BABILONE is a traditional Dutch melody that appeared in Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlities en Contradansen (Old and New Dutch Peasant Songs and Country Dances), c. 1710. Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) discovered this tune as arranged by Julius Rontgen (b. Leipzig, Germany, 1855; d. Utrecht,…

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ST. ASAPH (Bambridge)



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Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #174TextPage Scan
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Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #441
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Include 165 pre-1979 instances
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