A Holy and Heartfelt Invite: “Come, Dearest Lord, Descend And Dwell”
A little number from the hymn giant Isaac Watts (1674–1748), “Come, Dearest Lord, Descend And Dwell” invites the Lord to commune with His people. In return, His people gather to feel His presence anytime and anywhere.
“Come, Dearest Lord, Descend And Dwell”’s words were written by Isaac Watts. It was published in his Book 1 of Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1907). In that book, it was designated as number 135. The associated tune of this hymn is “Federal Street,” composed by Henry K. Oliver (1800–1885) in 1832. “Federal Street” is set in F Major.
The hymn is mostly based on Scripture, with Ephesians 3:17-21. The hymn's running theme is the presence of God among His believers. The whole text is only three stanzas with four lines each. It doesn’t have a refrain or chorus. In the text, believers invoke God for Its presence and supplicate for many things, including strength and grace. In return, the believers have “faith and love in every breast.” God’s presence gives them “joys that cannot be expressed.” The third stanza alludes to God’s status as a creator and an almighty power. The stanza also invokes Jesus Christ to intercede between God and the believers.
Henry Kemble Oliver is an American composer. He was born, raised and died in his native state of Massachusetts. Oliver had an illustrious education, attending many schools like Boston Latin School, Phillips Andover Academy, Harvard University, and Dartmouth University. Mostly known for his political offices, he was an elected official. His positions including the mayor of two cities, Salem and Lawrence in Massachusetts. His other positions include the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts State Treasurer (1861–1865). Oliver has a great inclination towards music. This is evident in his works, including National Lyre (1848), Oliver’s Collection of Hymn and Psalm Tunes (1860), Original Hymn Tunes (1875). His composition has 4 works including “Federal Street,” “Harmony Grove,” “Merton,” and “Saxony.”