Christian Unity Hymn

HYMN 165.

1. Come, my Christian friends and brethren, Bound for Canaan’s happy land,
Come, unite and walk together, Christ our leader gives command.
Lay aside your party spirit, Wound your Christian friends no more,
All the name of Christ inherit, Zion’s peace again restore.

2 We’ll not bind our brother’s conscience, This to God alone is free,
Nor contend with one another, But in Christ united be:
Here’s the Word, the grand criterion, This shall all our doctrine prove,
Christ the centre of our union, And the bond is Christian love.

3 Here my hand, my heart, my spirit, Now in fellowship I give,
Now we’ll love and peace inherit, Show the world how Christians live;
We are one in Christ our Saviour, Here is neither bond nor free,
Christ is all in all for ever, In his name we all agree.

4 Now we’ll preach and pray together, Praise, give thanks, and shout and sing;
Now we’ll strengthen one another, And adore our heavenly King;
Now we’ll join in sweet communion, Round the table of our Lord;
Lord, confirm our Christian union, By thy Spirit and thy word.

5 Now the world will be constrained To believe in Christ our King;
Thousands, millions be converted, Round the earth his praises ring;
Blessed day! O joyful hour! Praise the Lord ­his name we bless;
Send thy kingdom, Lord, with pow’r, Fill the world with righteousness.

From the “Love and Union” section of

The Christian Hymn-Book, compiled and published at the request of the Miami Christian Conference. By B. W. Stone and Tho: Adams. First Edition. Georgetown, Ky: N. L. Finnell, 1829.

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This was called to my attention not long ago on the Stone-Campbell email discussion list. When published by Stone-Adams in 1829 it did not have accompanying musical notation. “Words-only” hymnals were the standard of that day. There are a few tunes which will work with these words, but having looked at many of them, I think “Nettleton” is the best. I think it fits best rhythmically and the language of the hymn is quite comparable in places to the words most often identified with the tune “Nettleton”, namely “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing…”

We’ll be singing this one tomorrow at Woodmont Christian Church, here in Nashville, where I will be speaking to a luncheon gathering about Barton Stone and three events of his life and ministry: Cane Ridge, the Last Will, and ‘1832.’

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