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Sermons In Song Album Liner Notes

Sermons in Song:
The Sacred Solos of John F. Wilson
Album Liner Notes

A Word From John F. Wilson on His Album

I grew up and now live in England, but I spent nearly 30 years as a government lawyer in many parts of the world, mostly in Commonwealth island countries and in Hong Kong.  My music was written over a period of 40 years and the main body of it consists of solos for use in church services. They were originally published as ‘Sermons in Song’, a title derived from a phrase by Mary Baker Eddy: “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love - be it song, sermon, or Science - blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table …” It also echoes the line from Shakespeare, “Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”  

These 14 solos are a representative selection of my sacred songs, in a range of styles for various vocal types. They include influences from China  and English folk idiom. ‘Christmas Gifts’ is based on a Chinese hymn tune.  ‘Don’t teach the children to hate’ was written as a response to the events of 9/11/01. ‘Mother’s New Year Gift’ was inspired by the setting of ‘Father-Mother God, loving me’ by Martin Broones. ‘Rest’ was written in the same style as the well-loved hymn O Dreamer’.

Many of these songs have been sung in worship services around the world and I hope this recording will bring blessings in church, in the home, or wherever it is played. 

I am grateful to Watchfire Music for producing this, my first CD album, and to the artists for the care they have taken to bring out the healing potential of my music. – John F. Wilson

Soloists on Sermons In Song

Julia Wade

Julia Wade served for 7 years as the soloist of, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Mass., USA and is presently working on her 15th album and performing the leading role in a new episodic podcast musical

Leon Williams

On Broadway, Leon Williams has performed both leading roles of Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Booker T. Washington in the original Broadway cast of the hit musical Ragtime.

Josh Henn

Josh Henn has released 5 very successful albums of sacred music and currently serves as the soloist of The Mother Church.

Judy McLane

Judy McLane starred in over 4000 performances on Broadway in Mamma Mia! making her the longest running lead in Mamma Mia! History.

Album Credits

Pianist: Don Rebic
CD Design: Renee Gannon
Cover Photograph: Robin Palmer
Mastered by Philip Klum Mastering, NYC

Song Credits

‘Love’s Leading‘ – Words by Robert Ellis Key
‘Because I Have Loved God’s Law’ – Words by Peter J Henniker-Heaton

‘Rest’ – Words by Rosa M Turner

‘As The Robin Greets The Spring’ – Words by Louise Wheatley Cook Hovnanian*

Soul’s Art Healing You’ – Words by Godfrey John*

‘Christmas Gifts’ – Words by Neil Stanford*

*used by permission of the Christian Science Publishing Society

The words to ‘Christ my Refuge’, ‘Extempore’, ‘Mother’s New Year Gift’, and ‘Satisfied’ used courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection

Sermons in Song: The Sacred Solos of John F. Wilson
Track Listing

  • Title: The Beatitudes
  • Artist: Leon Williams
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Source: Matt 5
  • Duration:
    04:13
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    The Beatitudes
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Text from Matthew 5, adapted by John F. Wilson

    And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up into a mountain.
    And when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
    and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying –

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom.
    Blessed are the sorrowing, for they shall find joy.
    Blessed are the meek, for all the earth they inherit.
    Blessed are the hungry for truth.
    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers, God calls them His children.
    Blessed are all these by our God!
    Blessed are the people who are persecuted for righteousness;
    theirs is the kingdom of heaven for ever.
    Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you;
    great is your reward in heaven."
    (Repeat x1)

    Blessed are all these by our God.

  • Title: It Matters Not
  • Artist: Josh Henn
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Mary Baker Eddy
  • Duration:
    02:17
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    It Matters Not
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Words by Mary Baker Eddy

    It matters not what be thy lot, so Love doth guide
    For storm or shine, pure peace is thine what e’er betide.
    And of these stones or tyrants’ thrones, God able is
    To raise up seed in thought and deed to faithful His
    Aye, darkling sense, arise, go hence! Our God is good.
    False fears are foes truth tatters those when understood
    Love looseth thee and lifteth me ayont hate’s thrall
    There Life is light and wisdom might and God is All
    The centuries break, the earth-bound wake, God’s glorified!
    Who doth His will His likeness still is satisfied.

  • Title: Rest
  • Artist: Judy McLane
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Rosa M. Turner
  • Duration:
    01:56
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Rest
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Words by Rosa M. Turner

    O lean on God, whose care is all-sustaining;
    O rest in Him whose arms enfold thee round.
    Abide in peace, all heavenly comfort gaining
    From Love divine, wherein all joy is found.

    O lean on Love, if hatred rise around thee,
    When all thy way seems desolate and dim;
    No foe can harm, no enemy confound thee.
    No arrow wounds the heart that leans on Him.

    Leaning on Him, whose wisdom cannot fail thee,
    Thy heart shall find, as birds their quiet nest,
    Sweet place of safety where no fears assail thee;
    Love's secret place of peace where all may rest.

  • Title: God Loves Me
  • Artist: Julia Wade
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: John F. Wilson
  • Duration:
    01:56
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    God Loves Me
    Music and Lyrics by John F. Wilson

    God is with me in the day,
    in my work and in my play.
    God is with me in the night,
    I am always in His sight.
    Yes, God does love me; yes, God does love me;
    yes, God does love me, I know that that is true

    If I pray to Him aright,
    He will make my pathway bright.
    If I put my trust in good,
    I will have my daily food.
    Yes, God does love me; yes, God does love me;
    yes, God does love me, I know that that is true

  • Title: As the Robin Greets the Spring
  • Artist: Judy McLane
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Christian Science Sentinel
  • Duration:
    01:35
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    As the Robin Greets the Spring
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Words from the Christian Science Sentinel

    As the robin greets the spring,
    So does every morning bring
    Thoughts of joy to make me sing
    Thanks for Love’s providing.

    God is caring for us all,
    Every creature, great and small.
    He who marks the sparrow’s fall
    Is our pathway guiding.

    I will follow Him each day
    As He gently leads the way.
    I will listen and obey,
    Safe in Love abiding.

  • Title: Love's Leading
  • Artist: Julia Wade
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Robert Ellis Key
  • Duration:
    02:11
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Love's Leading
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Lyrics by Robert Ellis Key

    Since Love bids you journey, the way must be clear,
    Truth’s glory shall guide you, its presence be near.
    No fear shall assail you, no evil dismay,
    Since Love bids you journey; good goes all the way!

    Since Love bids you journey, joy goes all the way;
    No moment shall weary, no thought go astray.
    Your labour is fruitful, your efforts are blessed,
    Since Love bids you journey at Spirit’s behest!

    Since Love bids you journey, the road is not long;
    Each moment is joyous, and fragrant with song.
    The desolate hear you, and joyfully say –
    "It was Love brought you hither to help us today!"

  • Title: Don't Teach the Children to Hate
  • Artist: Leon Williams
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: John F. Wilson
  • Duration:
    02:01
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Don't Teach the Children to Hate
    Words and Music by John F. Wilson

    It really isn’t right to teach a child to hate,
    It really isn’t right to teach a child to fear.
    It really isn’t right to teach a child such evil.
    It really isn’t right to teach a child to kill.

    Jesus taught the children
    that we should love each other.
    Jesus taught us all that loving is blessed.
    Jesus taught the children
    that we should be peacemakers.
    Jesus’ words are meant to be with us still.

    So let us promise not to teach a child to hate.
    So let us promise not to teach a child to fear.
    So let us promise not to give a home to evil.
    So shall we all fulfill our Father’s request.

  • Title: Soul's Art Healing You
  • Artist: Judy McLane
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Godfrey John
  • Duration:
    02:33
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Soul's Art Healing You
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Lyrics by Godfrey John

    Along broad brushstrokes Soul erases pain;
    Along your waiting stirs Her artistry.
    And you are hushed to see Soul’s likeness gain;
    And you are whole to prove Her mastery.

    Along your listening melts the voice of sin;
    Along Soul’s art you breathe the gospel air.
    And Soul paints purity and health as one,
    And She reveals your lovely likeness there.

    Along broad brushstrokes Soul erases pain;
    Along your waiting stirs Her artistry.

  • Title: O'er Waiting Harpstrings
  • Artist: Julia Wade
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Mary Baker Eddy
  • Duration:
    03:07
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    O'er Waiting Harpstrings
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Words by Mary Baker Eddy

    O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
    There sweeps a strain,
    Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
    The power of pain,

    And wake a white-winged angel throng
    Of thoughts, illumed
    By faith, and breathed in raptured song,
    With love perfumed.

    Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show
    Life's burdens light.
    I kiss the cross, and wake to know
    A world more bright.

    And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea
    I see Christ walk,
    And come to me, and tenderly,
    Divinely talk.

    Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
    Upon Life's shore,
    'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
    Oh, nevermore!

    From tired joy and grief afar,
    And nearer Thee,-
    Father, where Thine own children are,
    I love to be.

    My prayer, some daily good to do
    To Thine, for Thee;
    An offering pure of Love, whereto
    God leadeth me.

    Words used courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection

  • Title: Because I Have Loved God's Law
  • Artist: Josh Henn
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Peter J. Henniker-Heaton
  • Duration:
    02:03
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Because I Have Loved God's Law
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Lyrics by Peter J. Henniker-Heaton

    Because I have loved God's law,
    God's law will protect me.
    Deep in my heart I desire it,
    So it will direct me.

    Even though I stray from the path,
    It will not reject me.
    Far through the rocks and the briers it will seek me
    And home to the fold will collect me.

    Because I have loved God's law,
    God's law will protect me.

  • Title: Christmas Gifts
  • Artist: Julia Wade
  • Composer: John F. Wilson
  • Lyricist: Neal Stanford
  • Duration:
    02:48
  • Sample:
  • Lyrics:

    Christmas Gifts
    Music by John F. Wilson
    Words by Neal Stanford

    What are the gifts that I can bring
    This Christmas Day, unto our King?
    The wise men's gifts of long ago were
    Gold and frankincense and myrrh.
    Why not these very gifts of old –
    Sweet perfume, oil and pure gold?

    I’ll bring to Christ, my Comforter,
    A pure and golden character.
    I’ll bring to him, as Christians should,
    The perfume of deep gratitude.
    And lay before him lovingly
    The oil of heavenly charity.

    These are the gifts that I can bring,
    This Christmas Day, unto our King.
    These are the gifts that I shall bring,
    On Christmas Day unto our King!

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