Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exiled Revamp

I've given the blog a little makeover. The main difference is the use of a picture of the old (but still used) Severn Bridge in the header. Concerned American readers sometimes contact me to ask why I'm an "Exiled Preacher". I tell that that it is simply because I am a Welshman living in England, on the "wrong" side of the River Severn. The river separates England from South Wales where I was born and bred. In the photo the sun is setting in the west, disappearing behind the mountains of my homeland. Its a symbol of the hiraeth or homesickness that Welsh people feel when living away from the Land of our Fathers. But the "Exiled" bit also has has spiritual significance. Christians are "elect exiles of the dispersion" (1 Peter 1:1 ESV). Our home is not the wilderness of this fallen world, but the heavenly Canaan. We look foward to the coming of the new creation, where in resurrection glory we shall enjoy the sweetest communion with our Triune God and all his people for all eternity. William William's hymn quoted below gives a marvellous sense of the hiraeth that the believer feels in his heart as he contemplates the glory to come. He speaks for all "elect exiles",
A PILGRIM in a desert land,
I wander far and wide,
Expecting I may some time come
Close to my Father’s side.

Ahead of me I think I hear
Sounds of a heavenly choir,
A conquering host already gone
Through tempest, flood and fire.

Come, Holy Sprit, fire by night,
Pillar of cloud by day;
Lead, for I dare not take a step
Unless Thou show the way.

So prone am I when on my own
To stray from side to side,
I need, each step to Paradise,
My God to be my guide.

I have a yearning for that land,
Where the unnumbered throng
Extol the death on Calvary
In heaven’s unending song.

William Williams, 1717-91;
tr. by Robert Maynard Jones (Bobi Jones), 1929-


Jonathan Hunt said...

Very good boyo

I just ordered some of your tracts from PTS. Some folk at church like them a lot and want them for personal witness. Encouraging!

Exiled Preacher said...

That's good to hear!

Richard said...

Looks good!

Exiled Preacher said...

Cheers, Richard.

rhiannon said...

'Expecting I may some time come close to my Father's side'

Exiled Preacher said...

Well spotted, Rhiannon. I copied and pasted the words of the hymn from a website and didn't notice the error. Corrected.

dp23 said...

I have loved that last verse for a long time ....
Good to meet you in Cheltenham recently!