Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

September 22

Samuel Stennett, 1727–1795
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
The dominant theme of the beautifully expressed text in this hymn, “Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned,” is the adoration of Jesus Christ. It is based on the descriptive passage found in the Song of Solomon 5:10–16. Here the awaiting maiden, anticipating the return of her lover, describes him with such terms as: “Chief among ten thousand,” “head of pure gold,” “body like polished ivory,” “altogether lovely …”
The Bible often refers to believers as the bride of Christ. We too are awaiting the return of our lover, the One who is “fairer than all the fair.”
This hymn text originally had nine stanzas and was titled “The Chief Among Ten Thousand” or “The Excellencies of Christ.” It first appeared in Rippon’s famous Baptist collection, A Selection of Hymns from the Best of Authors, published in 1787.
The author, Samuel Stennett, was a well-known Baptist pastor in London, England, and was regarded as one of the outstanding evangelical preachers of his day. Dr. Stennett was also an influential writer on numerous theological subjects as well as the author of thirty-nine hymns. Despite his many accomplishments, however, he will always be best remembered for these beautiful words of adoration often used in communion services as well as for spiritual enrichment during times of personal devotions:
Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Savior’s brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace o’er flow; His lips with grace o’er flow.
No mortal can with Him compare among the sons of men; fairer is He than all the fair who fill the heav’nly train, who fill the heav’nly train.
He saw me plunged in deep distress and flew to my relief; for me He bore the shameful cross and carried all my grief, and carried all my grief.
To Him I owe my life and breath and all the joys I have; He makes me triumph over death and saves me from the grave, and saves me from the grave.

    For Today: Song of Solomon 5:10–16; Colossians 1:15–20; Hebrews 1:1–3

Express in your own words your feelings of love and adoration to your heavenly bridegroom for all that He means in your life and the anticipation of someday soon actually seeing Him. Allow these musical truths to help you during this time of personal devotions—

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