CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS written in 1851
In the1800s, there was great tension between the Catholic and Anglican churches. Crown Him with Many Crowns is a wonderful example of how God takes the troubles of man and turns them around for good; see Romans 8:28.
The song was originally penned in 1851 by Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), who once wrote a book condemning Roman Catholic theology, and then – at the age of 48 –converted to Catholicism. 3 year later, he wrote 6 verses, based on Revelation 19:12, “…and on His head were many crowns.” He published it under the title “The Song of the Seraphs”.
Godfrey Thring, an Anglican minister, was concerned that this popular hymn was allowing Catholic theology to be sung by protestant congregations. So, 30 years later, he wrote 6 new verses, with Bridges’ approval.
The 12 verses have been mixed and matched through the years. Interestingly, of the 6 verses most commonly appearing in hymnals today, 3 were written by Bridges (vs 1,2, & 4) and 3 by Thring (vs 3,5 & 6).
So, a Catholic layman and an Anglican cleric, who probably never met, were co-authors of a hymn about Heaven… where they would one day meet. This hymn is a song about Heaven, where Christians of every tribe and tongue and nation – and even denomination – will crown our Lord the Lord of all!
Read this hymn, and – today – make it your own hymn of praise. It will have to do until that day you will praise our Lord in Heaven!
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
and hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of love; behold His hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.
Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
Crown Him the Lord of heaven: One with the Father known,
One with the Spirit through Him given from yonder glorious throne.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail Throughout eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing;
their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.
Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time;
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.