This 18th century hymn by Gerhard Tersteegen is a timely reminder that God is the One who rules over heaven and earth. Even in days that seem tumultuous and uncertain, God is at work accomplishing His sovereign purposes. He is the One who holds the king’s heart and “turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). When God humbled the proud king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar glorified God and confessed:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”
The hymn is a humble prayer addressed to God. It’s not a request that we would simply recognize God’s authority or rightly understand His sovereign right to rule. Rather, it is an entreaty that we would readily and willingly submit to God’s authority and rejoice in His conquest. Today is indeed a season of grace. May our heart’s desire resonant with the words of this hymn:
“Come Thou King of glory, come,
Deign to make my heart Thy home.”
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Conquering Prince and Lord of Glory
Conquering Prince and Lord of glory,
Majesty enthroned in light;
All the heavens are bowed before Thee,
Far beyond them spreads Thy might;
Shall not I fall at Thy feet,
And my heart with rapture beat,
Now Thy glory is displayed,
Thine ere yet the worlds were made?
As I watch Thee far ascending
To the right hand of the throne,
See the host before Thee bending,
Praising Thee in sweetest tone;
Shall not I too at Thy feet
Here the angels’ strain repeat,
And rejoice that heaven doth ring
With the triumph of my King?
Power and Spirit are o’erflowing,
On me also be they poured;
Every hindrance overthrowing,
Make Thy foes Thy footstool, Lord!
Yea, let earth’s remotest end
To Thy righteous scepter bend,
Make Thy way before Thee plain,
O’er all hearts and spirits reign.
Lo! Thy presence now is filling
All the church in every place;
Fill my heart too; make me willing
In this season of Thy grace;
Come Thou King of glory, come,
Deign to make my heart Thy home,
There abide and rule alone,
As upon Thy heavenly throne!
“Conquering Prince and Lord of Glory”
Words by Gerhard Tersteegen (1735)
Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1858)
Music by Jakob Hintze (1622–1702)
Words and Music ©Public Domain
Download free sheet music (PDF), including a guitar chord charts and an arrangement of the hymn tune SALZBURG for classical guitar.