COME, THOU ALMIGHTY KING written in 1757
The author of this hymn is unknown… and that was probably intentional.
If the author had wanted himself known, he would have been known. So why isn’t he?
The British national anthem, “God Save Our Gracious King”, had just been written. That anthem quickly became known and mostly liked throughout England. But the king was not popular among the Methodists, who refused to sing praises to their earthly king.
It is mostly believed Charles Wesley wrote this hymn (and why not? He wrote so many in that day!). And, if he wrote it, he may have wanted “Come, Thou Almighty King” to remain anonymous to reset the priorities of the people. It is the King of kings and Lord of lords who deserves our ultimate honor and complete allegiance. Presidents, kings, and other ruling officials should be honored… and prayed for… and respected for their office… and obeyed to the extent their rulings do not contradict God’s Word. But we must keep our priorities straight!
During the Revolutionary War, a company of British soldiers attended a church service on Long Island. They demanded that the congregation sing “God Save Our Gracious King” to honor the King of England. The congregation DID sing the tune, but the words they used were from “Come, Thou Almighty King”.
Read the words to this hymn, and make them your own song of welcome to God!
Come, thou almighty King, help us Thy name to sing,
help us to praise!
Father all glorious, o’er all victorious, come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!
Come, Thou incarnate Word, gird on Thy mighty sword,
our prayer attend!
Come, and Thy people bless, and give Thy word success, Spirit of holiness, on us descend!
Come, holy Comforter, Thy sacred witness bear
in this glad hour.
Thou who almighty art, now rule in every heart, and ne’er from us depart, Spirit of power!
To Thee, great One in Three, eternal praises be,
Thy sovereign majesty may we in glory see, and to eternity love and adore!