Crown Him with Many Crowns

By: Matthew Bridges (1800 – 1894) and Godfrey Thring

For a YouTube recording:

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.

Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn;
Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.

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.

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.

Crown Him the Lord of peace, whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and round His piercèd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

Note – Matthew Bridges wrote verses 1, 4-6, & 9 in 1852. Godfrey Thring wrote verses 2-3 and 7-8 in 1874.

Matthew Bridges (1800-1894) was born and raised in the Anglican tradition and converted to Catholicism in his late forties. He had been an ardent anti-catholic in his youth, even writing a major polemic against Catholic practices. There is no extant writing of Bridges which explains the reasons for his conversion. He wrote between four and six verses of this hymn a few years after his conversion during when he was 51 years old.  While there are some references which are uniquely Roman, such as the “Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;” from the second stanza, most of the text is universally accepted. However, years later, in an attempt to purge all Roman references, Godfrey Thring, (1823-1903) also 51 at the time, wrote what is believed an additional 6 verses. Since then hymnals will usually utilize a combination of Bridges and Thring stanzas.

“Crown Him with many crowns” is based upon Revelations 19:12,

12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[a] a name written that no one knew except Himself.

Also Rev  5:11-14

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

And also possibly Revelations 19:12

12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[a] a name written that no one knew except Himself.

The various stanzas touch upon the key doctrines and images of the Christian faith. Starting with the identification of The Lamb of God who died and is the matchless King for all of eternity. The second stanza declares the virgin birth. This is followed by a description of the Sonship of Christ both of God and Man. The fourth stanza explains the resurrection and Christ’s victory over the grave. The final 5 stanzas all deal with the rule of Christ and the results of salvation; his rule of peace throughout the world, his heavenly glorification, and his ransom and redemption of sinners.

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Here are some of my favorite Hymnals:

Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook:

Episcopal 1940 Hymnal: 

Broadman 1940 Hymnal:

Methodist 1939 Hymnal:

Pilgrim 1935 Hymnal:

Now Sings My Soul, New Songs for the Lord by: Linda Bonney Olin:

Choice Hymns of the Faith 1945

Book of Psalms for Singing    (1912 Psalter is unavailable)

Here are my new projects:

Hymns Ancient and Modern

J S Bach Riemenschneider 371 Harmonized Chorales


Dictionary of Hymnology:

American Hymns Old and New