Come, Thou Almighty King
(stanzas 1 & 2)
Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy Name to sing, help us to praise!
Father all glorious, o’er all victorious,
Come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!
Jesus, our Lord, arise,
Scatter our enemies, and make them fall;
Let Thine almighty aid our sure defense be made,
Souls on Thee be stayed; Lord, hear our call.
(3 - 5)
Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword, our prayer attend!
Come, and Thy people bless, and give Thy Word success,
Spirit of holiness, on us descend!
Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear in this glad hour.
Thou Who almighty art, now rule in every heart,
And ne’er from us depart, Spirit of power!
To Thee, great one in Three
Eternal praises be, hence, evermore.
Thy sovereign majesty may we in glory see,
And to eternity love and adore!
Notes on the Hymn
On a calm Sunday morning early in 1783, a congregation of Christians gathered, as usual, for Sunday worship. Their church was on Long Island, New York, not far from New York City. Like all Americans throughout the thirteen colonies, these worshippers were aware of sporadic armed conflicts throughout the land. The occasional skirmishes off the coast between American privateers and British ships were closer to their homes. But for the most part, the war left their everyday lives relatively unchanged.
A small group of British soldiers burst into the church during the service, rudely shattering any complacency these patriotic Christian worshippers may have felt. Their captain stormed to the front of the church and demanded that the entire congregation stand and sing, “God Save the King.” After the organist played an introduction, the congregation spontaneously and heartily sang a different hymn to the familiar tune - "Come, Thou Almighty King."
Andrew Law first published this hymn in 1783, in his "Collection of Hymns for Social Worship," published in Cheshire, Connecticut. Law was the grandson of a colonial governor of Connecticut and was a prominent composer and music teacher. Although he included hymns from British and American sources, he did not list an author for "Come, Thou Almighty King." The hymn remains anonymous today, though it continues to be quite popular.