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We, who are born in Christ,
Lord of our Peace! 25—“ART THOU WEARY, ART THOU
LANGUID}" THE Monastery of Mar Saba, founded before the Hegira of Mohammed, still stands on its ancient rock looking down upon the valley of the Kedron. Forty monks still inhabit the cells which cluster round the grave of St. Sabas, the founder, who died in 532, and still far below in the depths of the gorge the wolves and the jackals muster at morning light to eat the offal and refuse which the monks Aling down below. In this monastic fortress lived in the eighth century a monk named Stephen, who, before he died, was gifted from on high with the supreme talent of embodying in a simple hymn so much of the essence of the Divine life that came to the world through Christ Jesus that in this last decade of the nineteenth century no hymn more profoundly touches the heart and raises the spirits of Christian worshippers. Dr. Neale paraphrased this song of Stephen the Sabaite, so that this strain, originally raised on the stern ramparts of an outpost of Eastern Christendom already threatened with submersion beneath the flood of Moslem conquest, rings with ever increasing volume of melodious sound through the whole wide world to-day.
ART thou weary, art thou languid,
Be at rest.”
If He be my guide ?
And His side."
Is there diadem, as monarch,
That His brow adorns?
But of thorns!”
What His guerdon here?
Many a tear.”
What hath He at last?
Will He say me nay?
Pass away ! ”
Is He sure to bless ?
TUNE — “STEPHANOS." Mr. Duffield reminds us of a reference to a verse of this hymn which affords a bizarre but suggestive contrast to the life in the austere and secluded monastery where it first was given to the world. Mr. Duffield says :
« Miss Sally Pratt McLean has used this hymn in her story of 'Cape Cod Folks' (p. 300). It is the duet which George Oliver and Benny Cradlebow sing to gether as they are mending the boat just before Cradlebow's heroic death. Captain Arkell tells of it thus :
“* By and by, him and George Oliver struck up a song. I've heern 'em sing it before, them two. As nigh as I calc'late, it's about finding rest in Jesus, and one a askin' questions, all fa'r and squar', to know the way and whether it's goin' to lead thar straight or not, and the other answerin'. And he was a tinkerin 'way up on the foremast. George Oliver and the rest of us was astern, and I'll hear to my dyin' day how his voice came a floatin' down to us thar, - chantin' like it was, - cl’ar and fearless and slow. So he asks, for findin' Jesus, ef thar's any marks to foller by; and George, he answers about them bleedin' nail-prints, and the great one in his side. So then that voice comes down agin, askin' if thar's any crown, like other kings, to tell him by; and George, he answers straight about that crown o'thorns. Then says that other voice, floatin' so strong and cl’ar, and if he gin up all and follered, what should he have? What how? So George, he sings deep o' the trial and the sorrowin'. But that other voice never shook 'a askin', and what if he helt to him to the end, what then should it be — what then? George Oliver answers : “ Forevermore, the sorrowin' ended - Death gone over.” Then he sings out, like his mind was all made up, “And if he undertook it, would he likely be turned away?” “ And it's likelier, George answers him, “ that heaven and earth shall pass.” So I'll hear it to my dyin' day, his voice a floatin' down to me from up above thar, askin' them questions that nobody could ever answer like, so soon he answered 'em for himself.'”
26– VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS. For nine hundred years this hymn has been in constant use in the West. It has been ascribed to Charlemagne, St. Ambrose, and Gregory the Great. It has been translated by Dryden, Luther, Bishop Cosin, and innumerable other singers. Ekkehard, the Monk of St. Gall, says that the groaning of a water-wheel, whose supply of water was running short, suggested to Notker, who was lying sleepless in an adjoining dormitory, the possibility of setting its melancholy moaning to music. He succeeded so well that he produced the Sequence on the Holy Spirit, which, being sent by him to Charles (the Fat, not Charlemagne), led the latter to compose the “ Veni Creator Spiritus.” A strange legend as to the origin of a hymn that, among its other achievements, has the singular good fortune of being the only hymn in the English Prayer Book. Bishop Cosin's version of the hymn has been used for over two hundred years at the Consecration of Anglican bishops and priests. In the Roman Church it was appointed for use at the Creation of a Pope, the Election of a Bishop, the Coronation of Kings, and the Elevation and Translation of Saints. The Latin version is that now in use in the Roman Church. It differs slightly - chiefly in the order of the words - from the original version.
COME, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire ;
Enable with perpetual light
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
Praise to Thy eternal merit,
VENI, Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Accende lumen sensibus,
TUNE — “VENI CREATOR, No. 1."
The Primate of Scotland says that he uses this hymn more than daily, and loves it beyond all others. Professor Barrett, speaking of his own experience, says: “There is no hymn which dwells so vividly in my memory as this, nor do I think any has been more stirring and helpful to me.”