Tuesday Hymns: “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

timothy-dwight

It has been some time since I posted a Tuesday Hymn, but Timothy Dwight’s, “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord,” caught my eye and ear yesterday morning when we sang it during worship. Dwight was the grandson of Jonathan Edwards (Edwards’ third daughter, Mary, was his mother), was a Congregational minister, and eventually served as the President of Yale University from 1795-1817. (Plus, he had great side burns.)

This hymn speaks of the author’s love for the church of God. Christ died for His church, and God has chosen to give “the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and doth, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, XXV.3) It is “is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.” (WCF, XXV.2)

This hymn is a great reminder to us that the Body of Christ is the “apple of [His] eye and [is] graven on [His] hand.” It is often sung to the tune, ST. THOMAS S.M.

I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord,
The house of thine abode,
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With his own precious blood.

I love thy church, O God:
Her walls before thee stand,
Dear as the apple of thine eye,
And graven on thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be giv’n,
Till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heav’nly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.

Jesus, thou Friend Divine,
Our Saviour and our King,
Thy hand from ev’ry snare and foe
Shall great deliv’rance bring.

Sure as thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be giv’n
The brightest glories earth can yield,
And brighter bliss of heav’n.

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