A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first installment of what I hope will be a regular feature here at The Persistence of Song.  “New Songs, Old Tunes” is a project I started recently at Auburndale Baptist Church.  In an attempt to find fresh content for our congregational singing, I have identified roughly 40 hymns that are new to our congregation, but which are set to familiar tunes.  Read the first post in the series to see how I identified these new hymns.

This Sunday, we will sing the Augustus Toplady hymn, “What tho’ I Cannot Break My Chain.”  Our congregation will recognize the tune (titled Arlington) from the Watts’ classic, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” (Baptist Hymnal, 1991, #481).

Toplady was an Anglican minister in the 1700s, best known in his day as an interlocutor of John Wesley.  His hymn, “Rock of Ages,” remains one of the few vestiges through which modern believers are acquainted with Toplady.

“What tho’ …” stirringly reminds us of the genesis of our faith.  The hymn’s speaker cries out to God, that he would grant the faith he requires. God alone, who is everlastingly strong and loving, can overcome our hearts.

Here’s a low-quality recording and the lyrics.

 

What tho’ I cannot break my chain
Or e’er throw off my load,
The things impossible to men
Are possible to God.

Who, who shall in thy presence stand,
Or match Omnipotence;
Unfold the grasp of thy right hand
And pluck the sinner thence?

Faith to be healed I fain would have,
O might it now be giv’n;
Thou canst, thou canst the sinner save,
And make me meet for heav’n.

Bound down with twice ten thousand ties,
Yet let me hear thy call;
My soul in confidence shall rise,
Shall rise and break through all.

Thou canst o’ercome this heart of mine,
Thou wilt victorious prove;
But everlasting strength is thine,
And everlasting love.

_____________________________________________________________________________

A reader wisely suggested that I post all of the hymns from the “New Songs, Old Tunes” project.  The two charts below identify hymns from the Baptist Hymnal (1991) and the Trinity Hymnal that are new to our congregation.  Since our congregation primarily uses the Baptist Hymnal, I have used that hymnal for referencing popular uses of tunes.

From the 1991 Baptist Hymnal

Number and Title Hymnist Other Instance of Tune Themes 
13, “From All that Dwell Beneath the Sky” Isaac Watts 587, “Jesus Shall Reign” Creation, General Praise
30, “Stand Up and Bless the Lord” James Montgomery 388, “Our God Has Made Us One” General Praise
36, “Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens Adore Him” Edward Osler 77, “Come, Thou, Long Expected Jesus” Creation, General Praise
70, “How Great Our God’s Majestic Name” Timothy Dudley-Smith 587, “Jesus Shall Reign” Creation
353, “Living Stones” Terry York 481, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” The Church
358, “This Is the Day the Lord Has Made” Isaac Watts 481, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” Resurrection, the Church
363, “Jesus, Our Lord and King” ??? 241, “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” Baptism
377, “Jesus, at Your Holy Table” Tom Allen 604, “Come All Christians Be Committed” Lord’s Supper
382, “God, the Father of Your People” Alfred Mulder, Ralph Parks, John Newton 379, “Brethren, We Have Meet to Worship” The Church
529, “Forever with the Lord” James Montgomery 43, “This Is My Father’s World” Eternal Life

 

From the Trinity Hymnal

Number and Title[Link:  Online Lyrics] Hymnist/Source Tune in Baptist Hymnal Themes 
16: Come, Let Us Sing unto the Lord Associate Reformed Presbyterian Psalter 587: Jesus Shall Reign Rejoicing in God; God | his perfections; Music; God | Sovereignty of
18: You Holy Angels Bright Richard Baxter 197: Rejoice, the Lord Is King God | his perfections; Angels; God | Praise of
56: When All Your Mercies, O My God Joseph Addison 414: O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire Anniversaries; God | His Goodness; Cheerfulness; God | Mercies of; Grace | Refreshing
59: Forever Settled in the Heavens The Psalter 587: Jesus Shall Reign Law of God; God | His Truth; God | Faithfulness of
64: God, the Lord, a King Remaineth John Keble 94: Angels, From the Realms of Glory Light; God | His Sovereignty; God | Power of; God | Praise of; God in Nature
70: With Glory Clad, with Strength Arrayed Tale and Brady’s New Version 574: Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed God | His Sovereignty; God | Eternity of; God | Immutability of; God in Nature
75: O Father, You Are Sovereign Margaret Clarkson 126: All Glory, Laud, and Honor God | His Sovereignty; Decrees of God; God in Nature; Seasons
154: Thou Art the Way George W. Doane 481: Am I a Soldier of the Cross Jesus Christ | The Only Mediator and Redeemer; Christ | The Way, Truth and Life
156: O Lord, How Shall I Meet You Paul Gerhardt 126: All Glory, Laud, and Honor Jesus Christ | The Only Mediator and Redeemer; Christ | Love and Grace of; Christ | Second Coming and Judgment of
169: My Heart Does Overflow The Psalter 339: Not What My Hands Have Done Jesus Christ | His Praise; Christ | Conqueror; Christ | Kingly Office of; Church | Bride of Christ
181: We Come, O Christ, to You E. Margaret Clarkson 197: Rejoice, the Lord Is King Worship; Jesus Christ | His Praise; Christ | Creator; Christ | Deity of; Christ | The Way, Truth and Life
286: Worship Christ, the Risen King! [Online Lyrics Unavailable] Jack W. Hayford 94: Angels, From the Realms of Glory Worship; Jesus Christ | His Resurrection; Christ | Death of; Church | Triumph of; Death | Conquered
289: A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing The Venerable Bede 27: All Creatures of Our God and King Jesus Christ | His Ascension; Christ | Praise of; Christ | Second Coming and Judgment of
301: Join All the Glorious Names Isaac Watts 197: Rejoice, the Lord Is King Jesus Christ | His Exaltation; Christ | Priestly Intercession of; Christ | Savior
311: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed James Montgomery 350: The Church’s One Foundation Jesus Christ | His Kingly Office; Christ | First Advent of; Christ | Son of David
316: The Mighty God, the Lord Scottish Psalter 161: Crown Him with Many Crowns Zion; Jesus Christ | His Second Coming and Judgment
337: O Spirit of the Living God James Montgomery 574: Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed Gospel | Triumph of; Holy Spirit | Baptism of; Holy Spirit | Prayers to; Holy Spirit | Regenerator; Ministry | Ordinations; Supplication | For Missions
342: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation Latin, 7th cent 94: Angels, From the Realms of Glory The Church | The Church of Christ; Christ | Head of the Church; Church | Communion of Saints; Church | Cornerstone of; Church | Lord’s House; Holy Trinity
388: Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise John Ellerton 297: Search Me, O God The Church | The Close of Worship
409: Softly Now the Light of Day George W. Doane 306: Depth of Mercy The Church | Evening; Communion with Christ and God; God | Omniscience of; Life | Brevity of
427: Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands Charles H. Spurgeon 144: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross Christ | Bridegroom
439: Christ Shall Have Dominion The Psalter 493: Onward, Christian Soldiers Christ | Lord; Gospel | Triumph of
447: Christ for the World We Sing Samuel Wolcott 247: Come, Thou Almighty King Regeneration
458: What Tho’ I Cannot Break My Chain Augustus Montague Toplady 481: Am I a Soldier of the Cross The Way of Salvation | Salvation by Grace; Calling; God | Omnipotence of; Holy Spirit | Efficacious Grace of; Man | Depravity of
485: O Thou That Hear’st When Sinners Cry Isaac Watts 144: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross The Way of Salvation | Repentance; Forgiveness of Sins; Heart | Contrite; Heart | Pure; Longing for Christ and God
516: Jesus, I Live to Thee Henry Harbaugh 241: Breathe on Me, Breath of God Funerals; The Way of Salvation | Union with Christ; Abiding in Christ
518: Christ, of All My Hopes the Ground Ralph Wardlaw 277: Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated The Way of Salvation | Union with Christ; Death | Trusting God in; Faith | In Christ; Grace | Sanctifying; Love | For Christ of God; Post-Communion
524: Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ Horatius Bonar 197: Rejoice, the Lord Is King The Way of Salvation | Justification; Christ | Refuge; Imputation of Righteousness
540: A Few More Years Shall Roll Horatius Bonar 339: Not What My Hands Have Done The Way of Salvation | The Resurrection and Everlasting Life; Forgiveness of Sins; Life | Brevity of; Opening and Closing of the Year
575: Soldiers of Christ, Arise Charles Wesley 161: Crown Him with Many Crowns The Christian Life | Christian Warfare; Christians | Triumph of; Temperance
607: Thy Loving-kindness, Lord is Good and Free The Psalter 297: Search Me, O God The Christian Life | Tribulation and Suffering; Christians | Example of; God | Love and Grace of
628: Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare John Newton 277: Take My Life, and Let It Be Consecrated Faith | Prayer for; Pilgrimage and Guidance; Prayer | Encouragement in
669: Commit Now All Your Griefs John Wesley 161: Crown Him with Many Crowns Waiting upon God; The Christian Life | Trust in God; Cast Out Fear; God | Sovereignty of; Works of Providence
692: To You, O Lord, I Fly The Psalter 339: Not What My Hands Have Done Trust in God; The Christian Life | Assurance; God | Abiding Presence
694: Lord, I Lift My Soul to Thee The Psalter 306: Depth of Mercy The Christian Life | Assurance; God | Goodness of; God | Mercies of; Supplication | For Blessings
713: Great King of Nations, Hear Our Prayer John H. Gurney 73: God Moves in a Mysterious Way Special Topics | The Nation; Chastisement; God | Faithfulness of; Supplication | For Mercy
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