Wednesday, October 04, 2006

He that is down

While I was searching for help on the "Do this and live" poem, which I thought possibly by John Bunyan (but evidently not), Wade Kotter informed me of the following hymn by Bunyan.

He that is down needs fear no fall,
he that is low no pride;
he that is humble ever shall
have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
little be it or much;
and, Lord, contentment still I crave,
because thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is
that go on pilgrimage;
here little, and hereafter bliss,
is best from age to age.

-- John Bunyan, 1684, from his Pilgrim's Progress

Julian's "A Dictionary of Hymnology" states concerning Bunyan: "This great allegorist cannot be included amongst hymn writers, except on the ground that the piece, 'He that is down needs fear no fall', from pt. ii of his Pilgrim's Progress, 1684, is given in a limited number of hymnals." (1957 Dover reprint ed., p. 193)

Thanks, Wade.


Anonymous said...

But he also wrote the text "Who would true valor see," often sung as "He who would valiant be," from Pilgrim's Progress, Part 2,8.

Granted, they were changed by Dearmer, but Bunyan did write the original, and his words are often sung. (Some people especially like to sing the 'hobgoblin' line).

See the Cyberhymnal entry.

amity said...

Thanks, Will! It seems Julian's missed the mark on that.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks, Will, for the extra information.