Interesting choice for the third hymn

Joseph of Arimathea
Painting of Joseph of Arimathea by Pietro Perugino (Image via Wikipedia)

Interesting choice for the third hymn at the royal wedding of Prince William and (now) Duchess Catherine today:

(from William Blake’s “And did those feet in ancient time”) 

And did those feet in ancient time
walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
on England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
till we have built Jerusalem
in England’s green and pleasant land.

For those unfamiliar with the hymn or poem, it was inspired, at least partly, by the legend that Jesus had visited the land we now England, traveling, as a boy, with Joseph of Arimathea, who is presumed in the legend to be Jesus’ uncle.  While I wholeheartedly believe in the identification of England with Ephraim, I am a “foot dragger” and natural skeptic when it comes to legends such as this one (that is, Jesus’ being Joseph’s nephew and visiting England), as intriguing as they may be.

Just caught my eye, today, and thought I would pass it along.  And, no, I did not watch all the proceedings on the news.  I was too busy reading my latest copies of “People” and “Tiger Beat” magazine.  Ha!  No, seriously, I was sleeping.  But I do wish the happy couple all the best.

13 thoughts on “Interesting choice for the third hymn

  1. Linda Patterson

    It was a very good caught your eye piece. I enjoyed the poem and the entire piece. To think that one day, overcoming Satan, world and self; we will be able to know the truths about many things and be able to teach with the proper knowledge a great many truths. I appericate all that you do and your sharing ofcourse.

  2. Howdy, Teresa, and I don’t know if he did, since I wasn’t there. Were you there? I’ve seen his first television spot on the subject (he did a part one and part two) and he did not mention it in the first one. Dr. Winnail has mentioned the possibility of Joseph of Arimathea going to the British Isles as a merchant, I believe, though I can’t recall if he mentioned the additional speculation about his relationship to Christ and Jesus’ inclusion on a trip.

  3. texasborn

    I believe that, since England had a preponderance of tin, Joseph went there to inspect his tin mines there.

  4. Steve

    Yeah, good post.

    According to old Irish texts, the apostle James visited Ireland in the first century. I can’t remember the name of the Irish king right now.

    Anyway, scholars chock this up to Irish fable and legend. And I really don’t know, either. I wasn’t there.

    One thing we do know. Christianity was established in Ireland at an early period, and it was different from the Catholic church of later times.

    But getting back to your post… it’s interesting to see a reference to Jerusalem finding its way into the royal wedding.

  5. Other traditional materials says Jesus also went east, to India, as a boy and is remembered as “St. Issa” there by the Hindus. The proposed reason for Jeus’ visit is the same: the tin trade.

  6. Steven Spence

    I remember reading a book where the author, Steven Collins postulated that Jesus as a young man traveled the Roman empire including the British Isles with Joseph of Arimathea and possibly North America too. Interesting to think about!

  7. texasborn

    There was a popular book that I read reviews about (in the 1950s) that was titled “He Walked the Americas.” Indians in North America looked for the return of Jesus Christ and thought that the Spaniards were the emissaries of Jesus.That’s why the Spaniards were called “gods” when Cortez and others arrived here in America. The legend was/is held by many tribes.

    There is a stone with Hebrew inscription located in a northeastern state of the USA. I have seen pictures of it. Some people speculate that it was written by Danites who visited there, long before Columbus’ arrival. Would Jesus’ presence there have anything to do with that stone? It would be very interesting, Mr. Smith, if you could research it and see if a picture of it, along with the story of it, could be found on the Internet. Perhaps Mr. Rod King has some knowledge of it; it might be helpful if you ask him about it.

  8. texasborn

    I just googled the book of “He Walked the Americas” and discovered that it was published in 1963, not in the 1950s. (So much for my aging brain cells!) It can be found (with reviews) on Amazon’s web site. One reviewer thought that the American Indians were the “other sheep not of this fold.”

  9. Cammy B

    In response to Texasborn’s reference to a stone with Hebrew inscription. My husband has a replica of a stone found here in central Ohio that has ancient Hebrew inscription of the 10 Commandments. There is a hole for it to be hung from a leather belt. Probably for a people who were traveling. The original was and may still be on display in a museum in Coshocton, Ohio (one of my old hometowns).

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