Friday, November 12, 2021

314. On Growing as a Theologian

Let's see if you can recognize Martin Luther's advice on how to become a good theologian in this hymn, the first I have written post-Edifying Hymns. As usual, I wrote it without a specific tune in mind. On looking at a few options, I fancy SURREY, a.k.a. CAREY, by Henry Carey (1723), which is in The Lutheran Hymnal (368 "The Lord my pasture shall prepare"), Service Book and Hymnal (359 "Lord God of hosts, whose mighty hand," second tune) and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (372 "Jesus, Thy boundless love to me").

You who a stronger faith would know,
Pray constantly, that it may grow.
Be exercised in your belief
And seek the Lord in joy and grief,
Your heart with His thus closely bound
Till full contentment you have found.

You who would know God as He is,
Search diligently what He says.
Chew on His word and drink it deep
Till all your fibers in it steep.
Then shall you taste the mystery:
The truth that binds and sets you free.

You who the Teacher's robe would don,
A pupil's yoke must first put on.
As for your sake He suffered loss,
You, too, are called to bear a cross.
'Tis in the taking of this test
You'll follow Christ and know Him best.

To God, who hears and answers prayer;
To Christ, the Word, forever fair;
To Holy Spirit, cleansing flame—
The Three in One, always the same—
We pray, we listen, and we yield
The hymn of hearts for glory sealed.

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