Friday, November 13, 2009

The Lord Hath Bought Me But Not Thee, words and music

This golden nugget of Reformed hymnody focuses less on the virtues of home-schooling to prevent child apostasy or political infidelity and more on the essential reflection of particular atonement. In case one's descendents embrace semi-Pelagian or synergistic errors one may quickly incorporate this song into one's family or congregational liturgy.

As you can see the turn-around in each verse is fleshed out with a subtle modal mutation from C major to C minor and the closing word of each section has a touching picardy third phrase-ending to indicate the way in which the sovereignty of God makes all things beautiful in the end, including the supralapsarian destruction of the non-elect.

After such scintilating theological and musical nuance the anonymous composer could not help but evoke the most ancient and established true cadence (the clausula vera!) to reinforce the sturdiness of the proclamation of the text.

PS, Thanks to Fearsome Tycoon for helping me revise the text so as to make it more sweet and appealing to modern sensibilities.

PPS, For people of the persuasion that the text is brutish and callous toward people of different confessional traditions, let the author of this blog entry note that there is a lengthy historical precedent for songs of castigation and, in particular, cites the use of the castigating song as an evangelistic tool in the works of Barney E. Warren's hymn "Sinner, You Must Die"

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