Blessed Be the Name -William H. Clark and Ralph E. Hudson


There are actually two versions of this hymn that reflect the words of praise spoken by Job when he blessed the “name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). In the first version, Ralph E. Hudson took lines from three verses of Wesley's “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and added the phrase, "Blessed be the name of the Lord.” He also wrote the words for the familiar refrain and composed the tune “Blessed Be the Name.” This setting first appeared in Hudson’s 1887 “Songs for the Ransomed.”


The words to the second and probably more familiar version were written by William H. Clark and were copyrighted in 1888; this was first published in Carter and Simpson’s 1891 “Hymns of the Christian’s Life.” Clark served as a pastor in the Methodist Church for over forty years; he was on the joint committee of the Wesleyan and Free Methodist Churches to compile their 1910 hymnal, and he contributed several hymns to it. Hudson’s original refrain and tune were arranged by a well-known composer and publisher of sacred music, William J. Kirkpatrick. He also wrote the music for familiar gospel songs such as "Lead Me to Calvary," "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" and "Redeemed."


It’s not known why Clark rewrote the verses that Hudson had written using Wesley's hymn, but his writing reminds believers of many blessings for which to praise the Lord. The hymn mentions that God the Father, who reigns above, gave His Son to die and to redeem all who were ruined by the fall. Another is that the Lord promises eternal life to all who call upon His name. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore (Psalm 113:2).

All praise to him who reigns above,
In majesty supreme,
Who gave his Son for man to die,
That he might man redeem.
Blessed be the name, blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord;
Blessed be the name, blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
His name above all names shall stand,
Exalted more and more,
At God the Father’s own right hand,
Where angel hosts adore.
Redeemer, Saviour, friend of man
Once ruined by the fall,
Thou hast devised salvation’s plan,
For thou hast died for all.
His name shall be the Counseller,
The mighty Prince of Peace,
Of all earth’s kingdoms conqueror,
Whose reign shall never cease.
The ransomed hosts to thee shall bring
Their praise and homage meet;
With rapt’rous awe adore their King.
And worship at his feet.
Then shall we know as we are known,
And in that world above
Forever sing around the throne
His everlasting love.


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