Hardly an Advent Hymn - but as this is the 1,000th post on this blog, I cannot resist it! The hymn is a great one for All Saints' Day - but I suppose in some ways it looks forward to the Second Coming. This may happen before I reach my 10,000th post!
Ten thousand times ten thousand
in sparkling raiment bright,
the armies of the ransomed saints
throng up the steeps of light;
'tis finished, all is finished,
their fight with death and sin;
fling open wide the golden gates,
and let the victors in.
What rush of alleluias
fills all the earth and sky!
what ringing of a thousand harps
bespeaks the triumph nigh!
O day, for which creation
and all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes
a thousandfold repaid!
O then what raptured greetings
on Canaan's happy shore;
what knitting severed friendships up
where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle,
that brimmed with tears of late;
orphans no longer fatherless,
nor widows desolate.
Bring near thy great salvation,
thou Lamb for sinners slain;
fill up the roll of thine elect,
then take thy power, and reign;
appear, Desire of nations,
thine exiles long for home;
show in the heaven thy promised sign;
thou Prince and Saviour, come.
Taking up some thoughts from this hymn, I ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of my father (Ronnie) who died on 5 December 1961.
Finally, what is the answer? One hundred million, of course!