Hymns1. Behold our one foundation
William Kelly, 1821-1906, is better remembered for his scholarship and as a prime gift to the church as a Bible teacher. This brief anthology of Kelly's poems and hymns indicate to the reader not only his literary skill but his devotion to doctrinal detail. He ever wanted all he did, said and wrote to be in harmony with Scripture.
William Kelly's hymns were first used among brethren in 1894 when 10 were published in Hymns Selected and Revised. In the 1928 edition W J Hocking included only one, viz. “Saviour Though the World Despised Thee”. The 1978 edition adds a second which may be regarded as Kelly's finest: “God and Father, We Adore Thee For the Christ Thine Image Bright”.
As far as we know only two of these are still in print. A few have never before been published. The compiler would be grateful to any who could bring to his notice other compositions of WK for possible inclusion in future editions.
E. Cross, Plumstead Common
© Chapter Two 1998 Hymns of William Kelly
1. Hymns Selected and Revised, 1894.
4. F E Race, 3 & 4 London House Yard,
Nos. 28, 40, 124, 172, 191, 244, 257, 265, 413, 436.
5. Memories of the Life and Last Days of William Kelly, Heyman Wreford.
6. Unpublished hymns from the Dolamore collection of Kelly's letters, etc.
Reminiscences of the life of W. Kelly, by W. G. Turner, unpublished MS.1.
"The Church's One Foundation."
BEHOLD our one foundation
Is Christ, our sovereign Lord,
Who came in humiliation
For so did run the Word;
That we might be in union
With Him, sins blotted out,
And know in blest communion
God's glory brought about.
For ages man lay broken,
Though mercy could not fail;
While God gave many a token
Of grace that must prevail;
The woman's Seed, though bruised
Should bruise the Serpent's head,
That should the foe accused
Might joy in Him, Who bled.
But Oh how deep His anguish
When once He took our load
Who would not let us languish
In guilt afar from God.
On Him was laid that mountain
Which none but He could bear;
But thus He ope'd the fountain
Alike to cleanse and cheer.
And now 'tis ours, anointed
By God the Holy Ghost,
To fill the place appointed
Within His warring host;
Rejected like our Saviour
Where He before us trod
We seek that our behaviour
May please our Father God.
Meanwhile let prayers and praises
Abound whilst here we walk
And may the name of Jesus
Pervade our every talk.
As we await the meeting
Of all saints in the air
May we be ever greeting
The Bridegroom true and fair.
adapted by W Kelly.
EVERLASTING praise to Thee
Holy Father of our Lord;
Joyful let the faithful be,
Resting on Thy perfect word.
Thou dost give the self-same life
Which in Jesus fully shone;
Holy, meek, afar from strife,
Sufferer, yet Thy very Son.
Such Thy calling — even we,
Wondrous truth! in Him to live,
Children Thine on earth to be,
Soon Christ's likeness to receive.
Now the Spirit from above
Thou hast given us to abide,
Witness of the Father's love -
Of the Bridegroom's to His bride.
May our hearts o'erflow with praise,
As we wait for Christ to come;
May we each His footsteps trace
Till He fetch us to His home.
FATHER and God, Thy grace we own
In Jesus Thy loved Son made known;
Not heaven can boast such wondrous love
As now on earth 'tis ours to prove.
For what were we whom Thou didst save
But helpless victims of the grave?
Our outer life o'erspread with sin,
And not a jot of good within.
Yet didst Thou set on us Thy love,
And send the Saviour from above,
Who came by water and by blood,
The perfect Man and very God.
His work and Thine! for love Thou art,
But His alone the suffering part;
That we in Him to Thee might live
And He for us the ransom give.
For ever blest, we boast in Thee
By Jesus glorified for aye,
Obedient always: ah, what then
When sacrificed to Thee for men!
But now that sin by Christ is met,
Thy love can flow without a let;
And we behold in Christ on high
Thy grace displayed eternally.
FATHER and God, we glad confess
The grace and truth in Jesus shewn;
'Twas not enough to save and bless:
By us Thou wouldst Thyself be known.
Of man what did the cross not prove?
Wicked, and worse — Thine enemy;
For when in Christ Thou cam'st in love,
In hate he dared to cast out Thee.
O'er creature evil rose Thy good,
And Jesus suffered not in vain;
For Thou art righteous by His blood
In cleansing us from every stain.
Yes, sin is judged, ourselves set free,
In Christ Who died, the risen Lord;
And as He is, so now are we,
In love as perfect as Thy word.
That Thou art light no more we fear,
We joy in Thee just as Thou art;
As Jesus was Thy Son most dear,
So are we ever to Thy heart.
FATHER, we joy in Thine own name
The only Son revealed to us;
For fully knowing Thee He came,
Himself Thy revelation was.
'Tis Thy rich grace on righteous ground,
For all is ours by Christ the Lord;
The sacrifice Himself is found,
And life in Him the eternal Word.
Nor this alone; to us Thy Son
His blest relationship has given,
That we true nearness, yea His own,
Might have on earth, for aye in heaven.
In His name therefore we draw near,
Children confiding in Thy love,
And Thee, our Father, magnify,
Thy Son awaiting from above.
FATHER, what depths of sovereign grace
To give Thy saints the nearest place,
Since they behold the Saviour blest
Who made the Father manifest!
Since death the Saviour knew for sin,
And God is glorified therein,
Blessings untold can countless flow;
For ever judged is sin below.
Father, Thy love has made us one -
One in Thyself and in the Son:
Proof to the world that Thou didst send
Him Who accomplished such an end.
And glory will to all make known,
When we are perfected in one,
That Thou didst love us as Thy Son,
Sharing with Him the victory won.
GOD and Father, we adore Thee
For the Christ, Thine image bright,
In Whom all Thy holy nature
Dawned on our once hopeless night.
Thou didst send Him as the witness
Of a life beyond compare;
By Thy Spirit we received Him,
Now in Christ how blest we are!
Fellowship with Thee, the Father,
And with Jesus Christ Thy Son -
Such Thine own unjealous giving
By the Holy Ghost made known.
For in Christ was life eternal
Once beheld and heard below;
And in Him dwelt all the fulness,
Though in grace He stooped so low.
Father, Jesus was Thy pleasure,
Object of supreme delight;
Father, what wast Thou to Jesus
But His constant spring and light?
Now in Him, our God and Father,
Sharers of Thy love are we;
Now partaking with our Saviour
His unceasing rest in Thee.
Grace divine is this, transcending
All that else the heart employs:
'Tis the Son and Father deigning
Us to give of Their own joys.
LORD Jesus, 'tis our joy to know
Thy love, that rests upon us now,
Is ours for evermore;
Not this the manner of vain man -
Thou lovest as God only can
Ages on ages o'er.
Before a creature lived or died,
Before God's sons rejoicing cried
At sight of all things made,
Man was the object of Thy heart,
With him to take Thy destined part,
By Satan undismayed.
O blessed Lord, Thy love did then
Pass angels by for sons of men,
For beings of the dust!
Thyself the Father's chief delight,
Eternal Wisdom, Life, and Light.
How worthy of all trust!
Yet man, alas! a rebel turned
And soon with every evil burned,
The slave of Thy worst foe;
How wondrously this drew Thy love
To reconcile with God above
Our alien hearts, we know!
Lord, 'tis the virtue of Thy blood
To wash us spotless for our God:
Was ever love like this?
Yes, Thou would'st have us now enjoy
The tidings glad without alloy,
Waiting for heavenly bliss.
But far, far more; Thy love that came
So low to bear sin's doom and shame
Has raised us to Thy height;
For Thou hast made us one with Thee
In heavenly glory all shall see
When Thou dost come in might.
OUR SAVIOUR Christ, 'tis now we see
God's glory in Thy face;
Thy blood is shed: our sins are gone
In o'er-abounding grace.
Raised from the dead, Thou art on high
And seated on the throne:
How bright the proof our God displays
Thy perfect work is done!
No darkness more, nor cry from Thee
In weakness crucified,
Where judgment reached for us its end,
And God was glorified.
Now in His light without a veil
We read Thy cleansing blood;
Where love and holiness unite,
And we are brought to God.
Oh! matchless way of grace divine,
To which Thy cross gave right;
We praise Thee now and evermore -
Blest day without a night.
SAVIOUR and Lord, we love to sing
Of all Thy wondrous suffering,
When sin had done foul wrong to God,
And Thou in grace didst bear the rod.
Blest Saviour, Thou Thyself art God
Becoming man to give Thy blood;
He Who alone could say "I AM",
Alone of men could be the Lamb.
Alone and sinless Thou couldst say
"I will," yet only to obey;
All glory Thine with joy we own,
Thou Firstborn, Thou Eternal Son.
But who, like Thee, the Father's name
So jealous ever to proclaim?
E'en as the Father wills that we
To honour Him should honour Thee.
SAVIOUR, though the world despised Thee,
All God's angels to Thee bow;
And the Father's glory raised Thee,
When man's hatred laid Thee low;
Lord of glory,
Blessed evermore art Thou.
In that hour of shame unbounded,
When Thine own in terror fled,
And God's plans seemed all confounded
In Thee on the tree left dead,
Then, blest Saviour,
Was the great atonement made.
Oh! for grace to share Thy sorrow
In the world that cast Thee out;
Whilst we hail the cloudless morrow
By Thy work secured from doubt,
When, our Saviour,
Thou hast us to glory brought.
SAVIOUR, we would extol Thy name,
Come down, as Man, to bear all shame;
Yet hadst Thou spread the heavens abroad,
And formed the earth, as very God.
Made sin, Thou stoopedst deeper far,
And by Thy blood absolved we are;
Yea, God Himself got glory new
Through Thee the Holy and the True.
UNENDING praise be Thine,
Eternal Son, we say;
Who came to bring the true God nigh
And put all sin away.
Ah! Thee the world knew not,
Created erst by Thee;
Its kings and rulers cast Thee out,
And nailed Thee to a tree.
Hadst Thou not then a sphere
By every right Thine own?
'Twas there Thine own from heathen craved
For Thee the cross alone.
Rejected, glorious Lord,
The Saviour only Thou,
To God for men far off or near
Alike the heart to bow.
For since Thy blood is shed,
Our sins to faith are gone;
And reconciled we shall be saved:
Thou livest for Thine own.
YE trembling saints, why longer doubt?
The Saviour's on the throne;
God's Lamb, He suffered for your sins,
The Father's only Son.
Why look within and cry that you
So feebly see Christ's blood?
God ever sees that blood for you;
And who can see like God?
Your thoughts of it may rise or fall,
God's value rests the same:
Henceforth repose your faith on that
Which God sees in the Lamb.
And He declares your sins forgiven,
Yourselves to Him brought near:
In hope of glory then rejoice,
For His love casts out fear.
The following poems are from 'The Prospect' (1848-1850) edited by W. Kelly. The only other clue to their authorship is the initial K. This may denote W.K., his wife or it may be another author.
To a Friend.
SEEST thou yon evening star, intensely bright
It gazes on the sun, like him it burns,
That dazzling crescent, and from him its light;
A dull dark segment to the earth it turns.
And hence my soul a heavenly truth discerns,
A spiritual import, in yon gem of night.
Share it with me; for wise is he who learns
The mystic message of each natural light. (Rom. 1:20)
In wisdom they were made, and all convey (Ps. 104:24)
Wisdom to those who read aright. Even so,
Seek thou the source of spiritual day,
Thou, formed to aid in shedding light below,
Seek it from Him, Sun of diviner ray,
Again to shine, though earth be gloomy now. (Mal. 4:2)
How dark, how stern, the mountain-range of late,
And now how splendid! 'tis the sun shines there,
On the cold mass of earthquake-riven slate
I hail thy presence, glorious king of air.
Man's heart is even as they, until arise
Within the day-star, holy, light of heaven, (2 Peter 2:19)
The Sun of righteousness, who o'er dark skies
Shall pour his regal glories, clouds far driven, -
When Christ the Lord shines on the raptured soul,
All brightens, as yon purple mountains gleam,
While wreathing off the ebbing storm-waves roll;
So, at his coming earth revived shall beam; - (Ps. 67:7)
O Sun, thou giv'st a double joy to me,
For what thou art, and what thou say'st shall be!
*Such is frequently the telescopic appearance of Venus.
The First Day of Spring.
ONE golden flower, the morning star of spring,*
Within its mossy bower deep sheltered lies;
One golden cloud, like feather from the wing
Of some colossal bird of paradise,
Fit dweller of the vast o'er-arching skies,
Floats swiftly by, as it might tidings bring
Of light and life returning. Yonder flies
One gilded insect; as in haste to sing,
One thrush from flowering hazel-copse we hear;
Enough for hope — yea, more, enough for faith,
One promise of the glories of heaven's year.
Storms yet may rise; but what God's promise saith
Shall come, and will not tarry. Haste, ye days,
When Christ our Sun shall shine with world-pervading rays.
One flower? Look round — they open as we rove,
And that one bird has waked response afar:
One promise? Search again — abundant love
Has given abounding store. Our morning star,
Herald of brighter than Hyperion's car,
Rises in silvery dawn, dark clouds above;
Full oft foretold these future glories are; -
From Midian's heights proclaimed by him who strove
Not to declare; — to Abraham's joyful sight,
Messiah's day, in amplitude of noon,
In yet unrisen affluence of light.
It comes! it comes! We shall behold it soon;
Death cannot blind us to its beams intense,
Nor the grave hold us when He calls us hence.
*The Star Wort, or Celandine.
On the Mormons.
[In the language of the Old Testament, Jasher means upright, correct, authentic, — Mormon means deceit. The word is so used in Psalms 40:1, 50:19, and 52:1, as well as in other places. Spalding, the writer of the book of Mormon, afterwards brought forward by Smith, had been a preacher, and in reading for his sermons may have met with the word so explained, and have used it intentionally, to denote an invention, as we might call a collection of fables the book of Æsop.]
WHAT'S in a name? there has been more
Than at first sight perhaps was read;
Imposture, by the name it bore,
Has warned us not to be misled.
Mormon, deceiving and deceived, -
Relying on a book absurd,
And written not to be believed,
Telling its falsehood in the word:
God's Bible, book of Jasher named, (Joshua 10:13)
The book of truth and uprightness,
Mormon means lying; then, ashamed,
The folly of thy faith confess!
See, prophecy's fulfilment due,
Dupe of deceit so false and hollow,
In thee the words of Christ come true,
"False Christs shall rise, and many follow." (Matt. 24:5, 17)
Cumberland. — December.
THESE wintry mountains with their heads of snow,
Whence, like the locks of age, long wreaths descend,
White-streaming from each stern majestic brow,
Through heath and fern, Where hues of autumn blend
All day the torpid trance of cold they show,
But sunset gleams — they wake — a glorious end,
Crowning long hours of gloom: in ruddy glow
When dazzling streaks of sunlight storm-clouds rend
They wake — they live — they struggle for the ray
That gilds their purple depths, their ridges white;
Even so, when evening comes on life's short day,
The sleeping soul may wake to vision bright;
After long years in mental darkness past,
Christ gives him light, and he believes at last. (Eph. 5:14. )