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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Audio Recommendations

Two chapel presentations at the Johnson Bible College site are worth your time.   Marshall Leggett does a fine job interpreting Thomas Campbell (I was told he received a standing ovation from the students); Tommy Smith with Gary Weedman recreated a communion service on the model of the 1645 Directory for the Publick Worship of God.  While shorter than those experienced by Thomas Campbell, it does give a very good idea of the content and structure of such services.  I’ll do something similar the next time I teach about TC.

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At the Harding Graduate School of Religion site are the audio presentations by Ron Highfield for the 2008 W. B. West, Jr. Lectures.  Ron’s lectures are based on his new book, Great is the Lord.  Good listening!