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’s 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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The Stone-Adams hymnal did not have accompanying musical notation. “Words-only” hymnals were the standard of that day and even after the Civil War. Though a few tunes work with these words, I think “Nettleton” fits best.  Also, the language of this hymn is quite comparable in places to the words most often identified with the tune “Nettleton”, namely “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing…”  One tip for singers: on stanza 5, if you are singing it to Nettleton, you will want to pronounce ‘constrained’ with two syllables, as in ‘contrain-ed.’

Here it on YouTube:

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8 thoughts on “Christian Unity Hymn

  1. This hymn was written by Clement Nance (1756-1828), a former Methodist from Virginia, who joined the Christians around O’Kelly and later Barton W. Stone. He became the first Stoneite preacher on Indiana Territory. I have tried to write a source-based article on the life and thought of Clement Nance for the memorial volume for Michael Casey. See Hans Rollmann. “Clement Nance (1756-1828): Stoneite Pioneer in Southern Indiana.” In Thomas H. Olbricht & David Fleer (eds.). And the Word Became Flesh: Studies in History, Communication, and Scripture in Memory of Michael W. Casey, 89-105. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2009.

  2. Brother Nance is wonderfully full of hope, as indeed we all should be. He longs for an eschaton that we should still be expecting. By God’s grace it will come.

    i shall see can we get this hymn sung in Fountain Square.

    God’s Peace to you.

    d

    • See Hans Rollmann, “Clement Nance (1756-1828): Stoneite Pioneer in Southern Indiana” in Thomas H. Olbricht and David Fleer, eds. And the WORD Became Flesh: Studies in History, Communication, and Scripture in Memory of Michael W. Casey. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2009, 92-93 especially the citation at fn. 11, to wit: Stith Mead, A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use (Richmond, 1807); Christian Hymn-Book, compiled by B. W. Stone and Thomas Adams (Georgetown, KY: Miami Christian Conference, 1829).

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