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The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns

posted Dec 1, 2012, 2:39 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jan 20, 2013, 3:18 PM ]
Infused with the imagery of morning light typical of early Greek hymns, this text stirs hope in the hearts of all who look forward to the return of Christ.  It’s a confession of faith in the sure return of our Lord; his coming again will occur in a blaze of glory, which will far surpass his earthly death and resurrection.  And it concludes with a paraphrase of the ancient liturgical refrain that concludes Revelations 22:20; the Aramaic expression Maranatha –“Come, Lord Jesus!”

A Presbyterian pastor in the Free Church of Scotland, John Brownlie included this text in his 1907 Hymns from the East, a collection of translations he called “suggestions” of devotional material from the Eastern Orthodox tradition.  Because no Greek original has ever been found, scholars now assume this “suggestion” is actually an original text by him that reflects his wide knowledge of Greek hymn styles. 

It is traditionally sung to MORNING SONG, a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune Old King Cole, but was actually written in 1812 by a New England Methodist minister named Elkanah Kelsey Dare.  This text may also be sung to CHRISTIAN LOVE, (which you know as Where Charity and Love Prevail) since it follows the same meter.