Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending (PC version)
PC Version
It is rather surprising that the Hymnal of 1982 in printing Hymn 57, "Lo! he comes with clouds descending," was not sensitive to the somewhat anti-Semitic character of its second verse. In this version I have moved the Hymnal's verse 3 to verse 2, and have replaced the Hymnal's verse 3 with the first three lines of verse 4 of Wesley's original text (omitted in the Hymnal). I have then used the fourth line of verse 3 of Wesley's original text (also omitted in the Hymnal), and the last two lines of verse 4 of Wesley's original text. Curiously, the stanza ends up still rhyming! By these means, I have removed the anti-Semitic references, and reinstated part of Wesley's text that had previously been omitted.

The accompaniment for the tune "Helmsley" in the Hymnal of 1982 is Ralph Vaughan Williams's harmony, written for the English Hymnal of 1906, with the voice part in unison. In this version I have restored the original eighteenth-century harmony.

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John Cennick (1718-1755), itinerant Methodist preacher. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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