‘This name has all things in it, it brings all good things with it, it speaks more in five letters than we can do in five thousand words, speaks more in it than we can speak today, and yet we intend today to speak of nothing else; nothing but Jesus, nothing but Jesus.
The angel tells us that he was the Son of the Highest, and so intimates that his was a name of the highest majesty and glory. And what can we say upon it, less than burst out with the psalmist into a holy exclamation, “O Lord our governor, O Lord our Jesus, how excellent is thy name in all the world”. It is all “clothed with majesty and honour”, it comes riding to us “upon the wings of the wind”, when the Holy Spirit breathes it upon us, covering heaven and earth with the majesty of its glory.
…[T]his happy name. We have been saved by it, been saved in it, and one day shall be saved through it; Jesus runs through all with us. So then remember we to begin and end all in Jesus. The New Testament begins so, “the generation of Jesus”; and “Come Lord Jesus”, so it ends. May we all end so too, and when we are going hence, commend our spirits into his hands; and when he comes, may he receive them to sing praises and alleluias to his blessed name, amidst the saints and angels, in his glorious kingdom for ever. Amen’.
Mark Frank, 1613-1664
Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of thy Name; increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘This is surely one of the most lovely collects in the book. The beauty of its phrasing is matched by the depth and soundness of its religious feeling.
In its address it emphasises both the power and the goodness of God. It carries over from the last collect the thought of the good things God holds in store for those who love him. It reminds us that he can not only create such things but bestow them on whom he will. He is the author and also the giver of all good things, and we are therefore happy to repose on his power.
We ask… that he will graft in our hearts the love of his name. The name, as we know, stands for the personality. We ask that love of him may be so grafted in our hearts that it may grow there and become part of our very being as the twig becomes part of the tree into which it has been grafted.
We think of the glowing and tender hymns that have been written on this theme: Newton’s “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds”, Bernard’s “Jesu, the very thought of thee”, and Theodosius’ “Jesu, name all names above”, and we realise that such love of God is the very breath of adoration in the soul, without which all life would become void and meaningless’.
from Reflections on the Collects, 1964
by William Wand KCVO, 1885-1977 (Bishop of London 1945-1955)
On this final ferial day of this month dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, a hymn by Edward Perronet. The son of a Kent vicar, Perronet grew to know and work alongside the Wesleys well, but later fell out with them, and with both the Church of England and the Methodist movement, and ended up pastoring dissenting congregations. In his will Perronet left money to William Shrubsole (1760-1806), the composer of the tune Miles Lane, written to accompany this hymn.
On this memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, one of my favourite hymns, so loved by my wife and I that we chose it for our wedding day (16 years ago tomorrow). The hymn was written in 1870 by Caroline Noel, the daughter of an Anglican priest. My preferred tune is that of Evelyns, composed by William Henry Monk (1823-1893).
1. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him King of glory now;
’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
2. At his voice creation sprang at once to sight:
All the Angel faces, all the hosts of light,
Thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,
All the heavenly orders in their great array.
3. Humbled for a season, to receive a name
From the lips of sinners, unto whom he came;
Faithfully he bore it ,spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious when from death he passed:
4. Bore it up triumphant, with its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast,
Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.
5. Name him, brothers, name him, with love as strong as death,
But with awe and wonder, and with bated breath;
He is God the Saviour, he is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped, trusted, and adored.
6. In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue
All that is not holy, all that is not true:
Crown him as your captain, in temptations’ hour;
Let his will enfold you in its light and power.
7. Brothers, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
With his Father’s glory, with his Angel train;
For all wreaths of empire meet upon his brow,
And our hearts confess him King of glory now.
Caroline Noel, 1817-1877
no.368 The English Hymnal (to the tune Evelyns)
Fr Lee Kenyon