Attributed to “Hayword” in John Dobell’s Selection, 1806

Also included in The Broadman Hymnal 1940 edition, Broadman Press, Nashville – #175.

The Hymn

  1. Welcome, delightful morn,
    Thou day of sacred rest!
    I hail thy kind return;
    Lord, make these moments blest;
    From the low train of mortal toys,
    I soar to reach immortal joys,
    I soar to reach immortal joys.
  2. Now may the King descend,
    And fill His throne with grace;
    Thy scepter, Lord, extend,
    While saints address Thy face:
    Let sinners feel Thy quickening Word,
    And learn to know and fear the Lord,
    And learn to know and fear the Lord.
  3. Descend, celestial Dove,
    With all Thy quickening powers;
    Disclose a Savior’s love,
    And bless the sacred hours:
    Then shall my soul new life obtain,
    Nor Sabbaths be enjoyed in vain,
    Nor Sabbaths be enjoyed in vain.

(Hymn words accessed at CyberHymnal)

Scriptural Connection

This week’s hymn is one that is difficult to approach scripturally unless we take the first lines as our guide. In doing this we discover a Sabbath-day hymn and our mind quickly jump to Exodus 20. Here in the midst of the Ten Commandments (specifically verses 8-11) we find the command to keep the Sabbath Day holy. The reason is that the Sabbath is a day of rest; a day that the Creator ceased from all His creative work and rested. In doing this He made the Sabbath a special day in which mankind is to rest.

Our hymn writer would have us focus on the blessing of rest as given to mankind in the example of the Creator. And so, narrowing our focus even more, we might choose verse 10 as the specific connection for our current hymn.

What does it mean?

The Sabbath, Jesus assures us, was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (see the context in Mark 2:23-28). When we write a hymn to celebrate the Sabbath, it should be one that calls our attention to the meaning of the word (a simple translation would be “rest”). This is what we find in today’s selection. The first stanza focuses on the point of Sabbath celebration—rest.

The remaining stanzas call us to the reason for taking a day of rest in the first place—so that we can enjoy time with God. We learn that (1) we can abandon our earthly playthings as we find joys that reach beyond our physical/mortal realm. (2) We then invite God in His Trinity to be a part of our day. The Bible teaches that when we gather in Christ’s name, He is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, so why should we invite God? The answer to this question is that we are not “inviting” Him in the truest sense of the word, but actually realizing that we are in His presence and proclaiming “We’re so glad You’re here!”

As with a number of the older hymns, this one has not seen as much use in worship services in the modern church, but it is an excellent reminder of the fact that we are made by God, we are in need of communion with Him, and that we can find delight in the day that He set aside for our sake.

So, on our next Sabbath Day, our day of rest and worship, we can proclaim, “Welcome! Delightful Morn!”

*Hymn numbers for this series’ titles are from the Baptist Hymnal, 1956 edition, Nashville, Convention Press.

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