Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power
The Trinity Chorale, Montville, NJ sings this song beautifully.
Andrew Bonar (1808-1889) was a clergyman in the Church of Scotland. He came from a long line of clergy, and two of his brothers were also clergy. A prolific author, he wrote a number of books and hymns. Of his hymns, two—”I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” and “Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power” are still being sung today.
Stop and consider that for a moment. Bonar wrote “Blessing and Honour” two centuries ago, but it continues to speak to people’s hearts today. Bonar died before automobiles were invented—airplanes—phones—photography—and a million more things that we consider essential today. His was a world of teaming cities where most people lived in appalling conditions—and villages where people tended small plots of ground to feed themselves. It is a world so far removed from our world today that it is difficult for us to imagine—and the people of Bonar’s day couldn’t, in their wildest dreams, have anticipated the world in which we live today.
But Bonar’s hymns continue to minister to people who use cell phones to pay bills—and cash checks—and text—etc., etc., etc. In other words, these old, old hymns still speak to modern hearts—because, while everything around us has changed, our spiritual needs are very much like those of people in Bonar’s day.
He begins this hymn with these words:
Blessing and honor and glory and power,
Wisdom and riches and strength evermore
Give ye to Him who our battle hath won
Whose are the kingdom, the crown, and the throne.
The hymn is based on Revelation 5:13, which John describes what God has blessed John to see. He says:
I heard every created thing
which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea,
and everything in them,
saying, “To him who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor,
the glory, and the dominion,
forever and ever! Amen!”
It is a beautiful vision of all the faithful—and all creation—honoring Jesus Christ.
We haven’t seen that happen yet, but a smaller version of it takes place whenever we gather to worship God and to remember Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.
Copyright 2015, Richard Niell Donovan