This is another hymn where it is necessary to remember the time-frame of the publication. “Scientific racism” was in vogue. “Scientists” ranked the “races” according to how far they were perceived to be from the “ideal”, which they felt was “white” Northern Europeans. Dark skin was not seen as a way to deal with climate, but as proof of inferiority. “Savage” was the lowest label. This false belief eventually led to WWII and is still influencing our world in negative ways. Despite proof that there is only one race, Human, many people persist in trying to spread division in this way. I publish these hymns as a form of recording history as well as preserving the hymns of our faith. I cannot, in all honesty, only record the good things about the past.
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does His successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
From north to south the princes meet
To pay their homage at His feet;
While western empires own their Lord,
And savage tribes attend His word.
To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And endless praises crown His head;
His name, like sweet perfume, shall rise,
With every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest sound,
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.
Isaac Watts/Karl Wilhelm, arr.