Golden Harps Are Sounding
One of my many favorite hymn tunes performed by the Ralph Carmichael Brass Choir is “Golden Harps Are Sounding.” (If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful hymn, you can hear the instrumental by going to the video section.) The lyrics are very beautiful, too, embracing the very central message of God’s love for us:
1 Golden harps are sounding, angel voices ring,
pearly gates are opened, opened for the King:
Christ, the King of glory, Jesus, King of love,
is gone up in triumph to his throne above.
All his work is ended, joyfully we sing:
Jesus hath ascended: glory to our King!
2 He who came to save us, he who bled and died,
now is crowned with glory at his Father’s side.
Nevermore to suffer, nevermore to die,
Jesus, King of glory, is gone up on high. [Refrain]
3 Praying for his children in that blessed place,
calling them to glory, sending them his grace;
his bright home preparing, faithful ones for you;
Jesus ever liveth, ever loveth too. [Refrain]
Authored by Frances Ridley Havergal, daughter of Anglican Rev. W. H. Havergal (also a hymn writer and composer), was born December 14, 1836. At the age of fourteen, she enrolled at Mrs. Teed’s school, where she experienced positive influences resulting in her conversion the next year. When recalling her experience, she explains, “I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.” Never having consistent good health throughout her life, she died at Caswall Bay, Swansea, June 3, 1879.
Miss Havergal wrote other hymns that are included in the Seventh-day Adventist hymnal (1941), some that are well known (emphasis is on my personal favorites): O Saviour, Precious Saviour (164); Thou Art Coming, O My Saviour (196); I Gave My Life For Thee (230); I Am Trusting Thee (256); Take My Life and Let It Be (273); Live Out Thy Life Within Me (279); and, Lord, Speak to Me (407).
“Miss Havergal’s scholastic acquirements were extensive, embracing several modern languages, together with Greek and Hebrew. She does not occupy, and did not claim for herself, a prominent place as a poet, but by her distinct individuality she carved out a niche which she alone could fill. Simply and sweetly she sang the love of God, and His way of salvation. To this end, and for this object, her whole life and all her powers were consecrated. She lives and speaks in every line of her poetry. Her poems are permeated with the fragrance of her passionate love of Jesus.
“Her religious views and theological bias are distinctly set forth in her poems, and may be described as mildly Calvinistic, without the severe dogmatic tenet of reprobation. The burden of her writings is a free and full salvation, through the Redeemer’s merits, for every sinner who will receive it, and her life was devoted to the proclamation of this truth by personal labours, literary efforts, and earnest interest in Foreign Missions.” [Rev. James Davidson, B.A.], as cited by https://www.hymnary.org/person/Havergal_Frances.