Hail to the Lord's Anointed

The Reign of Christ on Earth. Psalm 72.




Hail to the Lord's Anointed,
Great David's greater Son !
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun !
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.

2 He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth ;
And love, joy, hope, like flowers,
Spring in His path to birth ;
Before Him on the mountains
Shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains,
From hill to valley flow.

3 Kings shall fall down before Him,
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion
O'er river, sea, and shore,
Far as the eagle's pinion
Or dove's light wing can soar.

4 For Him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end :
The mountain dews shall nourish
A seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and nourish,
And shake like Lebanon.
5 O'er every foe victorious,
He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious,
All blessing and all-blest:
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove,
His Name shall stand for ever,—
That Name to us is Love.

James Montgomery, the author of this hymn, was born in 1771, and was for many years editor of a newspaper in Sheffield, England. He was also quite celebrated as a poet. His poems are not much read now, but some of his hymns are among the best we have. This one was written in 1821, and Montgomery used sometimes to recite it at the close of a speech at a public missionary meeting. It was very appropriate at such a time, because like the 72d Psalm (of which it is an imitation) it draws a picture of the glad time when Christ's kingdom shall cover all the earth. [NOTE.—Verse 4, line S. Like Lebanon, that is, like the great trees on Ml. Lebanon, shaken in the wind.]