Original title: …bought with Your blood
Published by Salvationist Publishing & Supplies Ltd.
Index: General Series No. 2200
Description and multimedia
It has been within the Salvation Army meditation form that SA composers have striven for their finest expression of devotional music. That is certainly the case in Ritman’s use of an old choral song by George Marshall, Seal’d by Thy Spirit that first appeared in 1922. In the Netherlands the song appeared in the Dutch SA Song Book under the title “Heer, ik ben de Uwe, gekocht met Uw bloed,” which can be loosely translated “Lord, I am Yours, bought with Your blood.”
The text of the Marshall’s first verse and chorus also serves as a semantic guide to this dramatic and emotive score. Verse 1: “Lord, for Thy righteousness hung’ring and thirsting, Fixing mine eyes on Thy promise divine; Thus would I seek to be fill’d with Thy fullness. Seal’d by Thy Spirit, eternally Thine.” Chorus: “Seal’d by Thy Spirit, eternally Thine….Thus would I be to Thy service devoted… Seal’d by Thy Spirit, eternally Thine.”
As in classic SA practice the composer alternates original episodic material with more straightforward settings of the choral song. The motive sounded in the opening measures serves as a unifying element, as do portions of Marshall’s melody. Such meditations are highly personal, yet provide opportunity for a corporate experience for all who listen carefully and enter into music that leads towards consecration and submission to Christ the Lord.
I am full of admiration for the piece. Marshall’s music has always been centred around an interesting harmonic palette and you have succeeded in preserving, even adding to this interest. You have put enough of yourself into the music without distracting from the beauty of the original. It is so much more than a transcription; it is a re-creation, a re-working, a re-fashioning of someone else’s material into something new, with its own musical integrity. It bridges the gap of 100 years, and deserves to be listened to carefully by today’s worshippers. I believe that their investment of time will be amply rewarded.
– Andrew Blyth, Head of Music Editorial