Behold, a stranger at the door


The version in The Hymn Book, 1971:

Behold, a stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
has waited long, is waiting still:
we treat no other friend so ill.

If we will open, see, he stands
with loving heart and laden hands;
O matchless kindness! and he shows
this matchless kindness to his foes.

Admit Him, for the human breast
ne'er entertained so kind a guest;
no mortal tongue their joys can tell
with whom he condescends to dwell.

Sovereign of souls, thou Prince of Peace,
O may thy gentle reign increase:
throw wide the door, each willing mind;
and be his empire all mankind.

The version in Anglican Hymn Book, 1965:

Behold a stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
has waited long, is waiting still:
you treat no other friend so ill.

Admit him, for the human breast
ne'er entertained so kind a guest;
no mortal tongue their joys can tell,
with whom he condescends to dwell.

Yet know, nor of the terms complain,
where Jesus comes, he comes to reign,
to reign, and with no partial sway;
thoughts must be slain that disobey.

Sovereign of souls, thou Prince of peace,
O may thy gentle reign increase:
throw wide the door, each willing mind;
and be his empire all mankind.

A longer, perhaps original version:

Behold, a Stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
Has waited long, is waiting still:
You treat no other friend so ill.

O lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands;
O matchless kindness! and He shows
This matchless kindness to His foes.

But will He prove a Friend indeed?
He will; the very Friend you need;
The Friend of sinners yes, 'tis He,
With garments dyed on Calvary.

Rise, touched with gratitude divine;
Turn out His enemy and thine,
That soul destroying monster, sin,
And let the heavenly Stranger in.

Admit Him, for the human breast
Ne'er entertained so kind a Guest;
No mortal tongue their joys can tell
With whom He condescends to dwell.

Sovereign of souls, Thou Prince of Peace,
O may Thy gentle reign increase:
Throw wide the door, each willing mind;
And be His empire all mankind.


Words: Joseph Grigg (1721-1768), 1765

Music: Federal Street (Henry K. Oliver, 1832)

Meter: 88 88

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874      
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868 283 tune by William Henry Monk  
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869      
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins)      
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924      
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879      
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885      
The Hymnal Companion, 1890      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter)      
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904      
The English Hymnal, 1906      
The Book of Common Praise, 1908      
The Hymnal 1916      
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919      
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
470 Eden  
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925      
Songs of Praise, 1925      
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931      
The Book of Common Praise, 1938      
The Hymnal 1940      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950      
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960      
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965 469 Illsley  
The Hymn Book 1971 169 Birling  
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977      
The Hymnal 1982      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983      
The New English Hymnal, 1985      
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988      
Church Family Worship, 1988      
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996      
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998      
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999      
Sing Glory, 1999      
Complete Mission Praise, 2000      
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000      
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000      

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2004.