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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Henry Downton served a number of Church of England parishes and in the 1860s was British Chaplain at Geneva. It was there in 1866 that he wrote this hymn, which speaks of the overseas mission of the Church as it was seen at that time of expansion of the British Empire. The Church Missionary Society took it up immediately, and it was sung that year at its annual meeting. Henry Smart served a number of churches in London as organist, and despite becoming blind for the last fifteen years of his life continued his playing at St Pancras Parish Church. He edited a number of books of hymns and psalms, both for Anglicans and Presbyterians. This tune appeared to other words in the English Presbyterian Hymns and Psalms for Divine Worship 1867. By 1874 it was set to these words in Church Hymns, edited by Sullivan, and in Anglican circles the connexion has remained as long as the words were thought fit to use.
Lord, her watch thy church is keeping; When shall earth thy rule obey? When shall end the night of weeping? When shall break the promised day? See the whitening harvest languish, Waiting still the labourers’ toil; Was it vain thy Son’s deep anguish? Shall the strong retain the spoil?
Tidings, sent to every creature, Millions yet have never heard; Can they hear without a preacher? Lord Almighty, give the Word: Give the Word: in every nation Let the Gospel-trumpet sound, Witnessing a world’s salvation To the earth’s remotest bound.
Then the end: thy church completed, All thy chosen gathered in, With their King in glory seated, Satan bound, and banished sin; Gone for ever parting, weeping, Hunger, sorrow, death, and pain; Lo! Her watch thy church is keeping; Come, Lord Jesus, come to reign.