The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King

The eternal gifts of Christ the King, The Apostle's glory let us sing

Author: St. Ambrose; Translator: J. M. Neale
Published in 41 hymnals

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1 The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
the apostles' glory, let us sing;
and all, with hearts of gladness,
due hymns of thankful love and praise.

2 Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
and hope that never yields nor faints,
and love of Christ in perfect glow
that lays the prince of this world low.

3 In them the Father's glory shone;
in them the will of God the Son;
in them exults the Holy Ghost;
through them rejoice the heavenly host.

4 To thee, Redeemer, now we cry,
that thou wouldst join to them on high
thy servants, who this grace implore,
forever and forevermore.

Source: Common Praise (1998) #285

Author: St. Ambrose

Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), second son and third child of Ambrosius, Prefect of the Gauls, was born at Lyons, Aries, or Treves--probably the last--in 340 A.D. On the death of his father in 353 his mother removed to Rome with her three children. Ambrose went through the usual course of education, attaining considerable proficiency in Greek; and then entered the profession which his elder brother Satyrus had chosen, that of the law. In this he so distinguished himself that, after practising in the court of Probus, the Praetorian Prefect of Italy, he was, in 374, appointed Consular of Liguria and Aemilia. This office necessitated his residence in Milan. Not many months after, Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who had joined the Arian party, died; and m… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The eternal gifts of Christ the King, The Apostle's glory let us sing
Title: The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King
Latin Title: Aeterna Christi munera
Author: St. Ambrose
Translator: J. M. Neale
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English

Notes

Aeterna Christi munera, Et martyrum victorias. Ambrosian. This hymn, originally written for "Martyrs," has been adapted for Apostles," and (in another form) for "Martyrs" in the Roman Breviary ....This hymn is received by the Benedictine editors of St. Ambrose as a genuine work of that Father, on the authority of the Ven. Bede; who, in his work, De arte metricâ, speaks of it as a "hymn for blessed martyrs, composed with most beautiful grace," "pulcherrimo est decore compositus hymnus beatorum martyrum." (See the Benedictine edition of St. Ambrose, in Migne's Patrol, tom. 16.) Mone, No. 733, in his note on the hymn, says, "Vezzosi remarks justly that the congregation of St. Maur [i.e. the Benedictine editors] ascribed this hymn on an obscure reference of Bede to Stanzas Ambrose, whose it is not, though it is yet most likely of the 5th century."
Amongst the earliest manuscripts in which it is found are two of the 11th century, in the British Museum (Harl. 2961, f. 248; Jul. A. vi. f. 646), and another, perhaps of the 8th or 9th century, formerly belonging to that eminent scholar in the Anglo-Saxon and cognate languages, Franciscus Junius. The latter was No. 110 among the manuscripts bequeathed to the Bodleian by Fr. Junius at his death in 1677, but "has been missing from the Library for more than 100 years." [F. Madan, Sub-Librarian, Bodl. Lib. Aug. 21, 1884.]
It should be added that in some Monastic Breviaries this hymn has been adapted to Festivals of Confessors and Virgins. [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B. D.]
Translations in common use:—
1. The eternal gifts of Christ the King, The Martyrs' glorious deeds we sing. By J. M. Neale, published in the enlarged edition of the Hymnal Noted, 1854, No. 80, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and from thence into one or two collections, including the Hymner, 1882, No. 94. It is from the York Breviary, and consists of stanzas i., iii., iv., v. and viii. of the original.
2. The eternal gifts of Christ our King, The Martyrs' victories let us sing. By J. D. Chambers, from the York Breviary, first published in his Lauda Syon, Pt. ii., 1866, p. 15, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. In the People's Hymnal, 1867, No. 211, it is given unaltered. In the Hymnary, 1872, No. 399, a mixed translation from Neale, Chambers, and others, is given, and is wrongly ascribed, in the Index to the Hymnal Noted

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Media

The Cyber Hymnal #1326
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Instances

Instances (1 - 8 of 8)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #285Text
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #653
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #297
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #476
Small Church Music #3510Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #1326TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #213aPage Scan
The New English Hymnal #213bPage Scan
Include 33 pre-1979 instances



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