The Story Behind “Fairest Lord Jesus”

Fairest Lord Jesus,

Ruler of all nature,

O Thou of God and man the son,

Thee will I cherish,

Thee will I honor,

Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

 

Fair are the meadows,

Fairer still the woodlands,

Robed in the blooming garb of spring:

Jesus is fairer,

Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

 

Fair is the sunshine,

Fairer still the moonlight,

And all the twinkling starry host:

Jesus shines brighter,

Jesus shines purer,

Than all the angels heaven can boast.

Munster Gesangbuch, 1677

Translator Unknown

 

This is sometimes called the Crusader’s Hymn, even though it was probably never sung until several hundred years after the Crusades. It may have first been sung by the followers of reformer John Huss, who lived near Prague around 1400. In an anti-Reformation purge, Hussites were expelled from Bohemia and went into Silesia, where they became weavers and cobblers, maintaining their faith in secret. But they had a strong tradition of hymn singing, and the most reliable tradition says that this hymn came from these humble Christians.

The hymn contains no comments on persecution, but only praise to a wonderful Savior. Whoever wrote the hymn was close to nature and adored God’s creation, but recognized that even fairer than the creation is the Creator. This season as we bask in the beauties of all that God has given us to enjoy, we mustn’t forget that Jesus is fairer and purer than all the blooming garb of spring.

From “The One Year Book Of Hymns: 365 Devotional Readings Based On Great Hymns Of The Faith”, by Robert K Brown and Mark R. Norton

“The Stars Of Heaven Fall” 05/23

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The falling of the stars in 1833.

The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Matthew 24:29.

In 1833, … the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus, “The stars shall fall from heaven.” And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God, “The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfilment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; “the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.” “Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds…. Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion…. The display, as described in Professor Silliman’s Journal, was seen all over North America…. From two o’clock until broad daylight, … an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens.”—R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5….

Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming, concerning which Jesus bade His disciples, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” After these signs, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll, while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the presence of the Son of man.

But the day and the hour of His coming Christ has not revealed…. The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

Picture is from Google Images.

“Signs In The Heavens” 05/22

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:31.

In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church—the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened—He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.

“Almost if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, … stands the dark day of May 19, 1780—a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.”—R. M. Devens, Our First Century, 89….

The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. “After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.” “Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light….”—Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy: or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780)….

The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfilment: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”

Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Karen The Lightbearer: Faith VS Doubt” Part 6

When news reached Billy in the slave quarters on what happened to Sally, anger arose in his little heart. If only he was there to protect his dear friend. He then realized with sadness that there was no way he could have saved her from the queen. His lips trembled when he thought of sweet Sally being thrown into the tiger den. Those ferocious beasts pouncing on her and eating her until there was nothing left. Billy wailed and pounded his fists on the wall.

“Why, Your Majesty? Why her? Why did You allow this to happen? She’s my best friend! I can’t bear this! I can’t! Don’t You care? Are You really in control of our situation?”

The other slaves in the room saw his turmoil. Billy had been strong in his faith, but this terrible tragedy seemed to have shatter it. They were now totally convinced that the Good King had left them to die in their slavery.

Billy’s wailing was so loud that the women in their slave quarters heard him, and so did the two guards who were on duty. They entered the room with their spears in hand and commanded in deep voices:

“Shut up! You’re making a lot of noise!”

Billy was so heart broken and angry that he turned to the guards and remarked, “I just lost someone that I care about very much! Can’t I grieve without being pushed around?”

The guards growled at his reply. But seeing how much he was suffering they decided to leave him be. But they would report this disrespect to the chief once they saw him.

When the door closed behind them, Billy stopped pounding on the wall. After wailing a few more times he then collapsed on the floor and wept bitterly.

*******

The Master of Darkness was happy to see the Small Faith People lose their trust in the Good King. Both the men and women were now doubting Him. Now it would be totally useless for Karen and Eddy to help them. The Natives of Doubt totally owned them and as long as they no longer believed the Most High couldn’t free them from their slavery.

“Hahahahaha! Who’s the winner now? You couldn’t stop me in this one!” he exclaimed jubilantly as he looked up into Heaven.

He then called for his helpers. In a matter of seconds all the fallen angels that joined him in the Great Rebellion appeared.

“I have the Small Faith People in my power. There’s no way that the Most High can succeed in His mission through His two Lightbearers. When that teenage girl and little man come we will get them too.” Then he announced defiantly, “Today is a victorious day for the Forces of Evil! Let all Lightbearers and would be Lightbearers of the Most High know about it!”

The demons cheered.

In the distance they could see two Lights coming their way.

“And now the really fun part begins!” said their wicked leader.

To Be Continued.

 

 

 

“How Perfect Should A Christian Be?”

When we think about perfection and Christianity there are a lot of misconceptions. While some Scriptures indicate we are to be perfect, there are many other passages that show how we are all corrupt. Imperfect Bible characters were called perfect. Are we expected to be perfect?—Amazing Facts