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Many attend religious services, and are refreshed and comforted by the word of God; but through neglect of meditation, watchfulness, and prayer, they lose the blessing, and find themselves more destitute than before they received it. Often they feel that God has dealt hardly with them. They do not see that the fault is their own. By separating themselves from Jesus, they have shut away the light of His presence. DA 83.

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Hymn Information, Spirit of Prophecy Sabbath

October 21, 2006

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Opening Hymn: O Worship the King
(SDAH 83, CH 75)

The words to this hymn are based on Psalm 104. The poem is not strictly a paraphrase of the psalm, but several verses are followed quite closely in it. The author, Robert Grant (1779-1838), was born in India but went to England for his education. He received two degrees from Magdalen College, Cambridge, and then studied law and became a lawyer. He became a member of Parliament in 1818, a privy counselor in 1831, and judge advocate-general in 1832. In 1834 he was knighted and appointed governor of Bombay (Mumbai). Grant died in his homeland, in western India, in 1838.

The tune to which we sing these words was probably composed in 1770, before Robert Grant was born. Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806), younger brother of the more famous Franz Joseph Haydn, is the composer. Born in Austria, Haydn began his musical career in Vienna at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where he was a chorister and deputy organist from 1745 to 1755, or from about ages 8 to 18! By about age 25 he had been appointed by the archbishop of Saltzburg as musical director and concertmaster. Despite tempting offers from Vienna, he served the rest of his days in Salzburg, composing a great deal of music, including about 300 pieces for the church, which he dedicated “All for the Greater Glory of God.” William Gardiner (1770-1835) arranged the tune as we have it in our hymnals.

Adapted from Wayne Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988).

Closing Hymn: Hail Him the King of Glory
(SDAH 202, CH 543)

Adventist composer Henry de Fluiter (1872-1970) wrote both the words and music to this stirring hymn. As a young man, de Fluiter attended meetings of Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey in Cleveland, Ohio, and when he heard the crowds sing at those meetings, he knew what his lifework was to be: “I will draw beautiful music from people just as Mr. Sankey is doing here.”

Henry de Fluiter was not born into the Adventist faith, but became a Seventh-day Adventist as a result of reading books sold by a colporteur. With music his goal, he enrolled in the music/Bible course at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. After one year he began assisting Adventist evangelists, including spending two years in New York City working with Charles T. Everson. Later he would work with H. M. S. Richards, Sr., in California for 12 years. After their last campaign together, de Fluiter pastored the church in North Hollywood that was organized from the newly-baptized members.

de Fluiter wrote the words and music to some 200 gospel songs, most of them on the subject of heaven and the Second Coming. He was still writing songs just a few months before his death at age 98. Among his best-known songs are “Ride On, King Jesus,” “Longing,” “Homesick for Heaven,” and “Over Yonder.”

Adapted from Wayne Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988).

Alternate Closing Hymn: We Have This Hope
(SDAH 214)

Wayne Hooper (1920- ) wrote both the words and music to this song. At the time, he was the baritone and arranger for the King’s Heralds Quartet of the Voice of Prophecy radio broadcast. He had been asked to serve on the committee that was preparing music for the General Conference session of 1962. The committee’s chairman, Charles Keymer, encouraged him to try writing a theme song based on the session’s motto, “We Have This Hope.” Hooper made it a matter prayer that the Holy Spirit would impress him with the right combination of words and music that would bless the people at the session. For several years he had been studying the Brahms symphonies. Now, four prominent notes of a portion of one of those symphonies came to him suddenly as fitting the session’s theme exactly. All of the words and most of the music followed in about a half hour’s time. Hooper would later write of the experience, “This is the one time in my life that I feel very certain that I was ‘given’ the musical ideas from the Lord.”

“We Have This Hope” was used again as the theme song for the General Conference sessions of 1966, 1975, 1995, and 2000. It has been translated into many languages and is heard in many parts of the Adventist world.

Adapted from Wayne Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988).


SDAH = Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal
CH = Church Hymnal