Anyway You Slice It, Still The Lord Of All

I was listening to a version of Fairest Lord Jesus, and was surprised to hear in the opening verse the phrase "ruler of all nature." I had expected "ruler of all nations," although I can't remember if that's because I was used to singing that version from somewhere else.

Both expressions are true, of course, but the first fits more comfortably with modern sentiment, while the latter phrasing is a little more immanent (and therefore vigorous and virile). Maybe I should say that I appreciate and echo the praise offered in that first phrasing, but enjoy God's relation to the people-cosmos the second lyric intimates. I googled both phrases, and the first far outnumbers the second (348 to 4). I opened my Trinity Hymnal, and it had "ruler of all nature;" and just to make things even more interesting, my Cantus Christi had "King of creation."

I guess, and not just because of the weight of numbers, that the first phrasing must be closer to the original. My reasoning? You're going to love the logic here. The tune (not the lyrics) is a medieval Silesian tune. Silesia makes me think of forests. "Ruler of all nature" works with forests. Now that's some scholarship.

I wonder if any of you know the deal behind these alternative phrasings? Wanna bring some enlightenment?