Words by: Matthew Bridges (1800-1894) - vs 1,4,5,6 &9 - 1852
Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) - Vs 2&3 -1874
Music by: George J. Elvey (1816-1893)
In the 1800s there was great tension between the Catholic and Anglican churches (see: History of Hymns). Crown Him with Many Crowns is a wonderful example of how God takes the troubles of man and turns them around for good (Romans 8:28).
The song was originally penned in 1851 by Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), who once wrote a book condemning Roman Catholic theology, and then later converted to Catholicism. Bridges wrote six stanzas, based upon Revelations 19:12, “...and on His head were many crowns.”
Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) was a devout Anglican clergyman who was concerned that this popular hymn was allowing Catholic theology to be sung by protestant congregations. And so he wrote six new verses.
The 12 stanzas have been mixed and matched down through the years. Interestingly, of the following six verses most commonly appearing in hymnals today, three were written by Bridges (vs 1,2,and 4) and three by Thring (vs 3,5 and 6).
George J. Elvey (1816-1893)
Crown Him With Many Crowns
1. Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
2. Crown Him the Son of God, Before the worlds began,
And ye, who tread where He hath trod, Crown Him the Son of Man,
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.
3. Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
4. Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
All Hail Redeemer, hail! For Thou hast died for me
Thy praise shall never, never fail Throughout eternity