Two weeks ago in our evening worship service, we sang several hymns and songs learning about how worship music changed in style throughout the centuries. It was a blessing!
One hymn that we sang that night was, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent” and I want to share with you a little background of this ancient hymn.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 1 John 3:8 said, “The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s work” (HCSB). Yes, He came to save us from the sins, and that is why we can worship Him with this hymn.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!
This hymn was written in the 4th century to be used in the liturgy of St. James, originally to be used for the Eucharistic celebration, or as we call it in our Baptist tradition, The Lord’s Supper. Nobody knows who the author was.
The melody is a French melody from the 17th century with some influence of Gregorian chants; it was Ralph Vaughn Williams, the British composer, who made it more popular with his rich harmony that we can find in our modern hymnals.
Although the hymn can be used as a communion hymn any time of the year, it is a beautiful advent hymn, pointing us to stand in awe as the King of kings and Lord of lords descends to earth to vanquish the powers of hell.
You can use this hymn as a personal prayer, and I am encouraging you to do so during your devotional time.
May the Lord bless you.
In His service,