A Thousand Tongues


O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!

Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease;’Tis music in the sinner’s ears; ‘Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin; He sets the prisoner free.  His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.

Hear Him, ye deaf, His praise, ye dumb, your loosened tongues employ;  Ye blind, behold your Savior come, and leap ye lame for joy.

My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,  To spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of Thy name.

Glory to God and praise and love be ever, ever giv’n  By saints below and saints above — the Church in earth and heav’n.

—–Charles Wesley

This hymn was written as the first anniversary of Wesley’s conversion approached.  The last verse printed above was the original first verse.  The first verse above was seventh of the original eighteen verses.  It was inspired by a statement he once heard:  “Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Him with them all.”  {source:  Robert J. Morgan’s Then Sings My Soul, Book 1}

This Youtube video of the hymn is traditional and appears to include all eighteen verses.  If you like their style, here is the link to the church website, which in turn has links to their music.  This link will show you all of their Youtube videos.  If you like traditional hymns, this is a good source.  They are not professional, and some are congregational singing.  Not all are in their church.

But I digress…which I do so well.

When I first started thinking about A Thousand Tongues I was remembering the legendary Hydra with many and multiplying heads.  But the Hydra monster is not a good thing.  There is perhaps no literal picture of multiple tongues, and more than one reason why God created all beings with just one.

Which leads me to think about how I use, or allow God to use, the one tongue which I do have.  Which reminds me of the verses in James which say how difficult and dangerous the tongue can be.

If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Behold also the ships, which, though they are so great and are driven by fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the pilot willeth.

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so it the tongue among our members that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind;

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the similitude of God.

James 3:2b-9

How vital to focus on my one tongue, to surrender it to my Saviour daily {perhaps multiple times},

to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King,

and the triumphs of His grace,

right where I am today.

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