Posted by: rcottrill | November 12, 2018

Hallelujah to the Lamb

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Isaac Watts (b. July 17, 1674; d. Nov. 25, 1748)
Music: Gräfenberg, by Johann Crüger (b. Apr. 9, 1598; d. Feb. 23, 1662)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: In 1707, pastor and hymn writer Isaac Watts published the present hymn calling on believers to unite with the songs of worship around the throne of God. This hymn sometimes takes its title from the first line: Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs.

The word tomorrow, in Old English, was tō morgenne (to morning), a reference to the beginning of a new day. And once tomorrow becomes today, the following day is a new tomorrow. Shakespeare’s Macbeth found a bleak monotony in this:

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time.”

But that raises the question: What then? If we come to a point where there are no more tomorrows in this mortal life, what then? The atheist and the agnostic have no satisfying answers. For them, the only certainty is this physical world and our brief time in it. There is no God who created it and rules over it, says the atheist, and death is the end of our existence. The agnostic simply shrugs, and says these things are unknown and unknowable.

The Bible rejects this depressing dead-end-street. It begins with God creating the world and everything in it (Gen. 1:1-31), and ends with the triumph of the saints in the eternal kingdom of God. In between, the rule of God is made evident. He dominates the scene. All history is His story. The words “God,” and “Lord,” are used in the Bible over ten thousand times. “Even from everlasting to everlasting, [He is] God” (Ps. 90:2).

And the Lord is not remote and unknowable. Hundreds of times we read of Him communicating with human beings. And the Scriptures themselves are presented as the utterly trustworthy revelation of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). And we may confidently say, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Ps. 119:160).

Further, it becomes clear that the focus of the entire Bible is especially on the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in particular on His saving work on the cross. He told the Jewish leaders of His day, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (Jn. 5:39). And He taught His disciples from the pages of the Old Testament all about Himself (Lk. 24:27, 44).

Christ’s coming is prophesied and foreshadowed in the Old Testament, and described and explained in the New. Then, when the curtain descends on this old world’s history, heaven will still resound with His praise, when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ [Messiah], and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

We’re told a few things about heaven, but much would likely be beyond our understanding now. We do know the throne of God is there (Rev. 4:2), and that the pain and suffering of this life will be gone (Rev. 21:4). We are told that in heaven, the saints will serve Him (Rev. 22:3), but we’ll have to wait and see what that service will entail.

In the book of Revelation Christ is repeatedly called the Lamb, reminding us of how He died to pay our debt of sin (cf. I Pet. 1:18-19). John the Baptist introduced the Saviour by announcing, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). And eternity will echo with glorious adoration from saints and angels. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12).

Dr. Watts’s joyful song says:

CH-1) Come, let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne.
Ten thousand, thousand are their tongues,
But all their joys are one.

CH-2) “Worthy the Lamb that died,” they cry,
To be exalted thus!
“Worthy the Lamb,” our hearts reply,
“For He was slain for us!”

CH-3) Jesus is worthy to receive
Honour and power divine;
And blessings more than we can give,
Be, Lord, forever Thine.

CH-4) Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air and earth and seas,
Conspire to lift Thy glories high,
And speak Thine endless praise!

Questions:
1) How will our praise of Christ in eternity differ from that of the angels?

2) What will we have to praise Christ for in eternity, besides His dying for our sins?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | November 5, 2018

If We Could See Beyond Today

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: (unknown author)
Music: Norman John Clayton (b. Jan. 22, 1903; d. Jan. 1, 1992)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Norman Clayton)
The Cyber Hymnal (Norman Clayton)
Hymnary.org (Norman Clayton)

Note: Norman Clayton was a church organist for five decades, and served as the accompanist for Jack Wyrtzen’s Word of Life rallies, in New York. He was also a writer and editor for a music publisher, and wrote both words and music for many fine songs, including Now I Belong to Jesus, My Hope Is in the Lord, and We Shall See His Lovely Face.

Fortune telling is big business. Many people crave the knowledge of what will happen in the future, to them, or to family members or friends. And, for a price, there are a host of people who claim they can find out for us–by holding seances, analyzing dreams, reading palms, using the stars, fortune cookies, tea leaves, magic boards, and more. They’re in the business of marketing hope–but it’s a counterfeit.

Skeptics of these supposed prognosticators abound. English professor and award-winning television host Bergen Evans (1904-1978) said fortune telling is the “naive selection of something that has happened from a mass of things that haven’t, the clever interpretation of ambiguities, or a brazen announcement of the inevitable.” Put more simply, fortune tellers are good guessers–but their guesses are more often wrong than right.

Yet people continue to hand over large amounts of cash, in the vain hope that maybe someone will know…something. It’s estimated that this is a two billion dollar-a-year business across North America. Most who claim psychic ability tell fortunes as a sideline. But there are some who do it full-time, and make their living at it.

There are some things that can be predicted as possible because they are statistical probabilities. This often applies to the vague pronouncements of fortune cookies. “You will receive some good news this week,” for example. And yes, that may well happen. But it’s far from a personal, detailed, and explicit prophecy. No one has a knowledge of the future to that degree.

As a Bible-believing Christian, let me suggest an exception to that. I do believe Satan and his host of demons have great power. And when fortune tellers invoke occult powers, they sometimes gain information beyond what is humanly available. However, God condemns this practice (Lev. 20:6), and we need to keep in mind that Satan’s ultimate goal is to deceive and destroy (Jn. 8:44; I Pet. 5:8). A recent television exposé on CTV’s W5 told of Jack who, ensnared by occult fortune tellers, lost his marriage, his job, his house and almost his sanity.

In terms of prophecy, the Word of God, the Almighty’s only written revelation to man, is in a class by itself. A God of truth (Deut. 32:4), who knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10), has revealed about a thousand specific prophecies in the pages of Scripture. Half of them have already been fulfilled (many associated with Christ’s first coming), giving us confidence that the rest will be, in His good time.

God’s main purpose in Scripture is the revelation of His person, and of His saving work, through Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

But, though God knows all that will happen to each of us, the Bible does not contain such details. When the Lord Jesus revealed to Peter that he would one day die as a martyr, Peter asked, “But Lord, what about this man [John]?” Christ’s response was sharp, “What is that to you? You follow Me” (Jn. 21:21-22). God is not in the business of satisfying idle curiosity.

Further, He wants us to trust in Him, step by step, and knows that with explicit information about our future we’d have greater trouble doing that. We’d be more inclined to careless complacency, or sinful independence. There’s a hymn about that. Gospel song writer Norman Clayton took some thought provoking words by an unknown author, and wrote music for If We Could See Beyond Today. It begins:

1) If we could see beyond today
As God can see,
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee,
O’er present griefs we would not fret,
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet,
For you and me.

The second stanza assures us that “Someday life’s wrongs will be made right, faith tells us so.” Then, the last stanza says:

3) If we could see, if we could know,
We often say,
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more:
He leads us till this life is o’er,
Trust and obey.

Questions:
1) Since we, as Christians, don’t know the details of our future, what should the result of this be today?

2) What things, as Christians, do we know, with certainty, about our future?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Norman Clayton)
The Cyber Hymnal (Norman Clayton)
Hymnary.org (Norman Clayton)

Posted by: rcottrill | October 31, 2018

My Mother’s Bible

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Milan Bertrand Williams (b. Oct. 30, 1860; d. ____, 1941)
Music: Charles Davis Tillman (b. Mar. 20, 1861; d. Sept. 2, 1943)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Milan Williams)
Hymnary.org

Note: Milan Bertrand Williams was an American evangelist. His song was first published in 1893. You can see dozens of songs about mothers on the Cyber Hymnal. I’ve dealt with several of them on this blog: Tell Mother I’ll Be There; Faith of Our Mothers; Mother’s Prayers Have Followed Me (see my Index).

It’s a small leather-bound book; I have a picture of it on my phone. My mother’s Bible. She got it at the age of fifteen, after she trusted in Christ as her Saviour. It was a treasured possession while she lived, and now it’s become that for me.

What stands out about my mother is her godly character. She was a woman committed to Christian values. A woman of prayer. And a woman who really knew her Bible. Early on, she began committing the Scriptures to memory. She memorized the entire book of Psalms, and several other Bible books. On into her eighties, if you gave her the first few words of a psalm, she could quote it for you.

At her Memorial Service, a friend talked about how she first met my mother. Lorraine had been a New Yorker. She’d just moved to Canada, and married a man more than twenty years older than herself, taking on the care of his children. She said:

“I was a mother of five children when I first met Isbell. I was looking for something in my own Christian walk with the Lord, and had been invited to come to this church. I’d just settled my four younger children into their Sunday School classes, and was directed to a young women’s Bible class. Isbell was the teacher of that class.

One Sunday evening, a few weeks later, I was invited to her home. What I didn’t know, at that point in time, was that this would be the day our friendship truly began. I had a physical mother who lived in the United States. Now I had been given a spiritual mother here in Canada.

We laughed together, shared together, and most of all prayed together. And Isbell and I shared many times with the Word of God, about being a better wife and mother. I learned a lot of valuable lessons from this special lady. Down through these many years I have come through some hard times, but Mom was there for me. And she never asked anything in return for that kind of friendship.”

The “hard times” Lorraine mentions included what was happening at home. Her husband was an alcoholic, and unsaved. But she and my mother prayed earnestly that God would save Fred, and deliver him from bondage to alcohol.

One Sunday, Fred came to church. A gospel invitation was given, and while Mom and Lorraine gripped each other’s hands, Fred made his way to the front of the church, indicating his desire to commit his life to Christ. The Lord not only set him free from drink, he became a godly, loving husband and father. Fred joined my mother in heaven recently.

The gospel song called My Mother’s Bible is sentimental, and old fashioned. I suspect it’s rarely sung today. Many would label it “corny.” But it contains an important truth: that how parents live will influence their children. The Bible tells us that (Prov. 22:6). My mother’s love for God’s Word has deeply affected me. And she, in fact, was the one who led me to faith in Christ, many years ago. “Her worth is far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10).

Mr. Williams’ song says:

1) There’s a dear and precious Book,
Though it’s worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago;
When I stood at mother’s knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.

Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves
I love to look;
Thou art sweeter day by day,
As I walk the narrow way
That leads at last
To that bright home above.

3) There she read of Jesus’ love,
As He blessed the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care;
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me.”

4) Well those days are past and gone,
But their mem’ry lingers still,
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His words abide.

Questions:
1) What kind of spiritual influence did your mother have on you?

2) What legacy of faith will you leave to your children or grandchildren?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Milan Williams)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | October 29, 2018

Messiah

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Charles Jennens (b. _____, 1700; d. Nov. 20, 1773)
Music: George Frederick Handel (b. Feb. 23, 1685; d. Apr. 14, 1759)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Handel)
The Cyber Hymnal (George Handel)
Hymnary.org (George Handel)

Note: On one occasion, Handel’s Messiah was to be presented in a city near us. I organized a bus-load of people from our church to attend. All, I believe, received a blessing. I’ve also had the idea, for some years, that the oratorio (specifically the Scriptures used) could be used for a discussion Bible study, but haven’t done anything on it…yet. Meanwhile, while I’m driving any distance, I’ve listened, over and over, to Messiah, as I go. What a blessing!

He sat at his painstaking work, hour after hour, already an old man at fifty-six, two decades past the average life expectancy of his day. He was all but bankrupt. Even worse, he was suffering from depression, and was in great physical pain from arthritis. Playing the organ, or writing music, as he was, caused him intense agony. He was at one of the lowest points in his life. But the Lord was going to use him mightily.

A musical genius, his name is George Frederick Handel. What he produced is a musical masterpiece called simply Messiah (without the initial word “The”). It’s not a retelling of the whole life of Christ, but a gospel message about the drama of redemption. In effect, it presents, in music, one of the greatest sermons ever preached. John Wesley, after attending a performance, wrote in his journal, “I doubt if that congregation was ever so serious at a sermon.”

Handel’s friend Charles Jennens put together the text. He had a deep knowledge of the Scriptures, and used verses (from the King James Version) from both Old and New Testaments. It may well be the grandest expression of the gospel in music ever created. Beethoven, on his deathbed, pointed to Handel’s work and said, “There is truth.” When someone commented after a performance that it was “excellent entertainment,” Handel replied, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them; I wish to make them better.”

The Bible presents Christ’s redeeming sacrifice over and over. “[He] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us” (Tit. 2:14). We are redeemed from the slave market of sin “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19). In heaven, the saints exclaim, “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). And we respond, with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” (Job 19:25).

The over four dozen separate pieces in the work are presented in three parts, originally named: The Promise of Redemption; The Price of Redemption; The Power of Redemption. After writing the famous Hallelujah Chorus (for Part 2) Handel exclaimed, “I did think I did see all heaven before me, and the great God Himself.”

Handel’s masterpiece is all Scripture, and only Scripture. For your interest, and further study, the references of all the texts used in Messiah are given in the Wordwise Hymns link above. (In some cases, only part of a particular verse is used.) The entire work is rich and wonderfully enriching. But here are four examples. (I’m quoting from the New King James Version, below, so the wording may be slightly different from the older text Handel used.)

¤ “The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isa. 40:5). What has impressed me especially here is the clause that ends the verse. What is promised will happen without fail, because God has spoken, and His Word is certain.

¤ “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). A joyful celebration of the coming of Messiah.

¤ Psalm 2:1-4, 9 is powerfully presented in a series of four selections. The futile wrath and rebellion of man against Christ that will come in the last days, before the Lord’s return is dramatically portrayed.

¤ The above is followed by a combination of Scriptures constituting the famed Hallelujah Chorus. “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Rev. 19:6); “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15); “King of kings and Lord of lords” (I Tim. 6:15).

On August 22, 1741, Handel began his labours, completing Part One in six days, Part Two in nine days, and Part Three in six, fleshing out the orchestral parts in a further three days. In a mere twenty-four days he had written 260 pages of complex music. Apart from its powerful message, it’s been called the greatest feat of musical composition in history.

The premiere of the massive oratorio–which takes about two and a half hours to perform–came on April 13, 1742. The demand for tickets was so great men were asked not to wear their swords, and women asked not to wear hoops in their skirts. This provided room for a hundred extra people. Hundreds more had to be turned away. When the first performance was given in London, King George II attended, and he stood for the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus, all the others rising with him. This has become a tradition that remains to this day.

There was strong criticism from some of the clergy because the work was sometimes presented in a theatre, using professional musicians who weren’t necessarily born again Christians. To the Puritan mind of the time, this was an outrage, and it caused some to label Handel a heretic. But in spite of the critics, it’s become the most beloved choral work in the English language. And heaven will likely reveal that it was used of God to bring many to faith in Christ.

In 1752, a man wrote to a pastor friend, urging him to take his wife to hear Messiah. He said, “You will hear glad tidings and truly divine rejoicings at the birth of Christ, and feel real sorrows for His sufferings–but oh! when those sufferings are over, what a transporting full chorus!”

Questions:
1) Have you ever listened to the whole Messiah, or attended a performance of it?

2) What blessings did you receive from the experience?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Handel)
The Cyber Hymnal (George Handel)
Hymnary.org (George Handel)

Posted by: rcottrill | October 24, 2018

Looking in the Face of Jesus

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Harry Dixon Clarke (b. Jan. 28, 1888; d. Oct. 14, 1957)
Music: Harry Dixon Clarke

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Harry Clarke)
Hymnary.org

Note: Harry Dudley Clarke was born in Wales. As a boy, he ran away from the orphanage where he was living, and worked at sea for almost a decade. Coming to live in America, he was involved in composing, music publishing, evangelism (as song leader for evangelist Billy Sunday) and later in pastoral ministry. Mr. Clarke also wrote the music for Avis Christiansen’s song, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

A person’s face has an important social function. Even apart from the words we speak, we communicate a great deal with our faces, especially our emotions. Love, happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, sincerity, fear, and more, are mirrored in the face.

It’s why there has been a debate about whether a Muslim woman who wears a veil (a niqab) in public should be required to remove it in court. One side argues covering her face with a veil is related to her religious beliefs–which she has the freedom to express. The opposing argument is that it’s difficult for the judge and lawyers to assess her credibility if they can’t see her facial expression when she speaks. The issue has yet to be fully resolved in Canada.

When we speak of a face-to-face meeting, we have something particular in mind. Those involved are in each other’s physical presence, and in each other’s sight. They’re directly connecting with each other, without mediation (i.e. not communicating through a go-between), and in close enough proximity to discern facial expressions.

A little more than two thousand years ago, multitudes of people saw the Lord Jesus Christ, and spoke with Him face to face. Though He has been pictured many times by artists, we actually have no certain idea what He looked like. There’s a long sheet of cloth kept in Turin, in northern Italy. Beginning in 1390, some have asserted “The Shroud of Turin” is the burial cloth of Jesus, and that the faint facial image imprinted on it is His. However, there have been many skeptics of this claim.

There are two remarkable instances in the biblical record when Christ’s face was of particular significance.

One is at His transfiguration, when the Lord briefly revealed Himself in His heavenly glory. The Bible says, “Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun” (Matt. 17:1-2). Years later, Peter refers to this when he says, “We…were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (II Pet. 1:16-18).

But a later scene contrasts starkly. After Jesus was arrested, and before He was crucified, He was cruelly tortured. God’s Word tells us, “Having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, ‘Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?’” (Lk. 22:64). “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” (Matt. 26:67-68).

In the first instance, the Lord revealed His glory, and God the Father spoke from heaven, saying, “‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’ And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid” (Matt. 17:5-6).

In the second scene, He was so abused that Isaiah says, prophesying centuries before, “His visage was marred [disfigured] more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men” (Isa. 52:14). And through this, and His crucifixion that followed, He gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin, for you and me. (I Cor. 15:3).

The thought of looking in the face of Jesus has been the theme of a number of our hymns. There’s Carrie Breck’s “Face to face with Christ my Saviour,” and Hortius Bonar’s lovely Communion hymn, “Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face.” And there’s Fanny Crosby’s song, Saved by Grace, with it’s refrain beginning, “And I shall see Him face to face.”

Mr. Clarkes’ song takes up this theme:

1) Looking in the face of Jesus,
Wondrous beauty there I see;
Tenderness divine abounding,
Purer love there could not be.

O, I want to be more like Him
So that others plainly see
Christ in all His wondrous beauty
Living on, His life in me.

3) Looking in the face of Jesus,
Hope and comfort there I see,
Giving me that blest assurance
That He will return for me.

On that day I shall be like Him
Clothed in immortality,
When I rise in His own likeness
Living on, His life in me.

Questions:
1) In what way(s) have you reflected the character of Christ in the past week?

2) In what way(s) have you displayed just the opposite?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Harry Clarke)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | October 22, 2018

Channels Only

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Mary E. Maxwell (no information)
Music: Ada Rose Gibbs (b. Oct. 5, 1863; d. Apr. 16, 1905)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: The hymn, Channels Only, appeared in the early twentieth century, credited to Mary E. Maxwell, for whom we have no definite information. In the first Wordwise Hymns link above, I make a suggestion of who Maxwell might be. However, Dick Adams, on the Cyber Hymnal, offers a sound opposing argument. We just don’t know. And there’s an interesting irony in that. She is the “channel” of the hymn, but remains hidden, leaving the message to be the focus (cf. Jn. 3:30).

Of Ada Gibbs, the composer of the tune, we do have some interesting information. She was a contralto soloist with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, in Britain, a group that staged many of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. But at some point, Gibbs seems to have had a spiritual transformation that headed her in a new direction. She left the Company, and joined the Salvation Army. When evangelist Dwight Moody came to Britain, she sang at his meetings.

T here’s an old story about an elephant crossing a rickety bridge. Once across, a flea on the elephant’s ear said, “My! We sure shook the bridge that time, didn’t we, brother elephant!” But in fact the tiny insect could not share much credit with the massive beast for that. And in human affairs it’s worth asking where credit belongs.

There have only been three men, in the history of professional baseball, who’ve hit more than 700 home runs in their careers: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds. But though it was a wooden bat, in every case, that hit the ball, no one would credit the bats with this feat. It was the exceptional athletes wielding them who did it.

When Moses was a shepherd in Midian, God called him to go to Egypt and deliver his people from slavery. “What is that in your hand?” the Lord asked him (Exod. 4:2). It was his shepherd’s rod. And with it, he’d perform a number of miracles that would bring the Israelites out of bondage, finally enabling them to pass through the Red Sea on dry ground (Exod. 14:16, 22). Yet the power did not come from the rod, but from Almighty God (Exod. 15:1-2).

Later, in Canaan, the Midianites oppressed Israel, and the Lord chose a man named Gideon to lead the Israelites against them. Gideon was fearful, and reluctant. “He said to Him, ‘O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’” (Jud. 6:15-16). And he did. The presence and power of God is what made the difference.

The late evangelist, Billy Graham, preached the gospel for over six decades. With his many evangelistic meetings, and through radio and television, more than two billion people heard him preach. It’s estimated that 2.2 million of those attending his crusades responded to the gospel invitation to trust Christ as Saviour. Yet Billy did not take the credit for this. Those who were genuinely saved responded to the Word of God, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Graham was merely an instrument in the hands of God, a channel through whom He could work.

The Apostle Paul had it right. Writing to the Christians at Corinth and Thessalonica, he said:

“I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (I Cor. 2:3-5). “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit” (I Thess. 1:5).

It’s the same with any spiritual and eternal work accomplished for the Lord. When we are willing channels of His blessing, good things happen. But, “as it is written, ‘He who glories, let Him glory in the Lord….Our sufficiency is from God” (I Cor. 1:31; II Cor. 3:5). As the Lord Jesus told His disciples, “Without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).

The present a hymn deals specifically with this. It says:

CH-1) How I praise Thee, precious Saviour,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.

Channels only, blessèd Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.

CH-2) Just a channel full of blessing,
To the thirsty hearts around;
To tell out Thy full salvation
All Thy loving message sound.

CH-3) Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Questions:
1) How have you served as a channel of God’s blessing in the past week?

2) What do you hope and desire the Lord to do through you in the days ahead?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | October 17, 2018

Jesus Is Always There

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Bertha Mae Lillenas (b. Mar. 1, 1889; d. Mar. 13, 1945)
Music: Bertha Mae Lillenas

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Bertha Lillenas)
Hymnary.org (Bertha Lillenas)

Note: Bertha Mae Lillenas was the wife of prolific gospel song writer and music publisher Haldor Lillenas. The Lillenas’s had two children. And Mrs. Lillenas was a gifted musician in her own right. An ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, she served as an evangelist, singer, composer and pianist. In 1934 she published a song called Jesus Is Always There, reflecting the promises of God’s Word. Her tunes are usually quite singable, and because she herself had a lower voice, the songs are often pitched within reach of those of us who can appreciate that.

It’s wonderful to have someone you can count on. Someone you trust to stick with you, ready to offer counsel, encouragement, or help in some way. “We’re there for you.” That phrase is part of the advertising for a dentist, a police force, a bank, a labour union, a television news outlet, and more. One even says, “There for you, no matter what.”

Realistically, though, we realize that these are human beings, and human organizations. They may fail to do as they promised, for a multitude of reasons. A husband or wife who has vowed otherwise may prove unfaithful. Or it may be discovered that a company or organization is corrupt and their pledge means little. Trite phrases such as, “We’ve got your back,” may actually mean they’re ready to stab us in the back!

Only Almighty God can be relied upon to always tell us truthfully and accurately the way things are. He is “a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He” (Deut. 32:4). Because of His holy perfection, “God…cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2).

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

This assurance relates to the promise of His presence with each believer. We know that God is what theologians call omnipresent. “‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord” (Jer. 23:24). But to the saints of God this has a more immediate and personal dimension. He is, in the words of the psalmist, “a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). The Lord is actively involved in our lives. “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Though He’s promised to return one day (Jn. 14:3; cf. Acts 1:10-11) the disciples of Christ faced the prospect of His departure. The Lord had fulfilled His mission to pay our debt of sin on the cross, and had risen from the tomb. After some days of instruction given to His followers, He prepared to ascend back to His Father (Lk. 24:50-53). But among His last words are these: “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). The Amplified Bible gives extra emphasis to that significant promise:

“I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.”

And “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). “By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (I Jn. 3:24).

Let it be noted that the divine presence is not only for times when things are going well, but when we are struggling too. We have the assurance of His compassionate understanding of our needs (Heb. 4:14-16), and of the resources of heaven to meet them. “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Lillenas’s song is certainly reassuring. Of the first line of the refrain I would add, “Never a burden that He doth not carry, if we ask Him to, and allow Him to. Sometimes, we suffer things that we need to bring to Him, “casting all [our] care upon Him, for He cares for [us]” (I Pet. 5:7).

1) Sometimes our skies are cloudy and dreary,
Sometimes our hearts and burdened with care;
But we may know, whate’er may befall us,
Jesus is always there.

Never a burden that He doth not carry,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share;
Whether the days may be sunny or dreary,
Jesus is always there.

3) When we are walking through the green pastures,
Or over mountains rugged and bare;
Precious the thought and sweet the assurance,
Jesus is always there.

4) “Lo, I am with you alway,” is written,
God will not fail to answer our prayer;
Trusting His Word, we rest on His promise–
Jesus is always there.

Questions:
1) Has there been a situation recently when you particularly sensed the nearness of the Lord?

2) In what way was this a blessing and a help to you?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Bertha Lillenas)
Hymnary.org (Bertha Lillenas)

Posted by: rcottrill | October 15, 2018

Make Me a Blessing

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Ira Bishop Wilson (b. Sept. 6, 1880; d. Apr. 3, 1950)
Music: Ira Bishop Wilson

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ira Wilson)
Hymnary.org

Note: Ira Wilson was born and raised in Iowa. In his early years, he showed an interest in music, and his older sister taught him to play the violin and the organ. After attending Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago, he went to work for the Lorenz Publishing Company, publishers of sacred music. He spent the rest of his life there, using his musical gifts to produce choral arrangements of hymns, and other church music.

The saying has been attributed to an IBM computer programmer. We know it’s been around since the mid-1950’s. “Garbage in, garbage out” is a reminder that we can’t expect computers to come up with correct calculations if we feed in wrong data. In general terms, what we enter will affect what is produced. Stated positively: Feed in what is correct and helpful, and there will be a greater probability that what is produced will be correct and helpful.

The principle can be applied to child rearing too. Poet Alexander Pope gave us, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Early influences and training tend to show themselves in adult years. As the Bible puts it, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

But let’s bring it down to the personal level. There’s a sense in which our minds store data and put it to later use, just as a computer does. If we focus our attention on things that are corrupt and corrupting, that will have a strong influence on our thinking. What kind of books and magazines do we read? What kind of movies and television shows do we watch? What sites do we visit on the Net? If they emphasize or glorify what is vulgar and sinful, what then? This is why the Bible urges us:

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy–meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8).

Some years ago, I used to visit a senior citizen who found it difficult to get out. As I was leaving, she frequently ended our conversation with this benediction: “May the Lord bless you and make you a blessing.” This is close to what the Lord told Abraham:

“I will bless you…and you shall be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (I Pet. 4:10, NIV).

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Rom. 12:6).

Blessings in, blessings out.

Certainly the blessings of God are given for us to enjoy. “God…gives us richly all things to enjoy” (I Tim. 6:17). But it mustn’t stop there. God’s blessings are a stewardship, and a stewardship brings responsibility. We are to seek out ways in which God’s blessings can be shared to the benefit of those around us. The Lord asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” (Exod. 4:2). It was his shepherd’s rod. And when he wielded it in obedience to God, some mighty works were done.

In the 1940’s Ira Wilson was visited by his friend Phil Kerr, who told him what a blessing one of his songs had been. But when Phil played it, Ira Wilson didn’t recognize it. He had forgotten he’d written the song decades earlier. It’s one still found in many hymn books. Make Me a Blessing expresses the hope and prayer that God will bless us so that we can be a blessing to others.

1) Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Saviour, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.

3) Give as ‘twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

Questions:
1) What individuals do you know that are facing difficulty, or have a special need?

2) What gifts, talents, opportunities do you have that you could use for the Lord this week, perhaps to help the one(s) noted above?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ira Wilson)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | October 10, 2018

I Sing of Thee

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Charles Frederick Weigle (b. Nov. 20, 1871; d. Dec. 3, 1966)
Music: Gladys Blanchard Muller (no information)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charles Weigle)
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)
Hymnary.org

Note: Gladys Blanchard Muller was a music editor who frequently worked with Charles Weigle. A book of his which takes its title from the present hymn, I Sing of Thee, lists her as the editor of the music, as does another song book of Weigle’s, Sing a New Song. She also wrote the music for Weigle’s song, I Have Found a Hiding Place. The present song was published in 1943.

We wouldn’t likely think much of a waitress who came to our table in a restaurant and tried to sell us a car, or a car salesman who presented us with a dinner menu and wanted to sell us on a steak dinner. That’s not what we’re there for, in either case, and not what we want.

Not that we’d object to the waitress briefly mentioning she liked her new car, or the car salesman talking about a recent feast at Steaks Are Us. It’s just that, as the saying goes, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

That applies to writing essays or preaching sermons, too. Once a theme has been decided upon, each paragraph should be related to that, expanding on the subject, explaining and illustrating its relevance, and so on. If your subject is bridge building, explaining the rules for tennis would not seem to be relevant. If your theme is the music of Beethoven, talking about a horse you just purchased would seem to be far off target.

When it comes to the Bible, the subject can be summarized as: God and man, and the relationship between the two.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all [or, “this is everyone’s duty” NLT] (Ecc. 12:13).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8).

All well and good, but that’s not the inclination of the sinful heart. In ourselves, apart from God’s help, we’re simply not going to do that. “There is none who seeks after God….all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:11, 23). We need someone to rescue us from ourselves, to cleanse us from our sin, and infuse in us a new spiritual nature that delights in the will of God.

This is where Christ comes in, the one Mediator between God and men” (I Tim. 2:5). We know what a mediator is in labour disputes. It’s a person who can lay his or her hand on management’s shoulder and say, “I understand your requirements,” and on labour’s, saying, “I appreciate your problem”–and out of that bridging of the two, to bring them together. That’s what Christ has done in the spiritual realm, providing a way, through His cross, for God and man to come together. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

It is possible to see Christ and His saving work as the “main thing” the Bible talks about. In the Old Testament there’s the anticipation of it, symbols relating to it, and prophecy pointing forward to it. The Lord was therefore able to teach His followers about Himself from the Old Testament (Lk. 24:27, 44).

Then, the Gospels describe His death and resurrection, Acts gives us the early evangelistic work of the apostles, and the rest of the New Testament explains the gospel (the good news) of salvation through faith in Christ. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3).

Further, it’s appropriate that our hymnody focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ. “The Lord is my…song; He also has become my salvation” (Isa. 12:2). This theme, which saturates all of Scripture is explicitly stated in a song called I Sing of Thee, by American evangelist and gospel song writer Charles Weigle.

1) I sing of Thee, O blessed Christ,
Since Thou hast saved me by Thy grace;
Redeemed by Thee, at dreadful price,
With angels I would sing Thy praise.

I sing of Thee, O blessed Saviour,
Thy praise shall now my tongue employ;
I’ll sing of Thee, O Lord forever,
For Thou hast filled my soul with joy.

3) Of Thee I’ll sing while life shall last,
At home, abroad, on land or sea;
And when through death to life I’ve passed,
Forevermore I’ll sing of Thee.

Questions:
1) According to Colossians 3:16, what are the reasons to sing about Christ?

2) What is your favourite song about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charles Weigle)
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | October 8, 2018

When Rising from the Bed of Death

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Joseph Addison (b. May 1, 1672; d. June 17, 1719)
Music: Third Mode Melody, by Thomas Tallis (b. ___, circa 1505; d. Nov. 23, 1585)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Joseph Addison)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Joseph Addison was a newspaper editor in England three centuries ago. He is considered one of the premier authors in the English language. Sometimes, in writing an editorial for his newspaper, he would compose and include some lines of verse relative to his point. In this way, he has given us a couple of stellar hymns that are found in many hymnals. The Spacious Firmament is a powerful declaration of the truth of Psalm 19:1. When All Thy Mercies, O My God proclaims the Lord’s providential care of us all through life.

We’ve all likely heard the words in one setting or another. “Attention, please!” or “May I have your attention.” And there follows an announcement of some interest, such as, “Passengers for flight 647 are now boarding at Gate Three.” Or, “A new shipment of asparagus is now available at a great price in aisle five.”

And there are many other ways of getting attention. A shout, or a scream, does it, in a sudden emergency, or a drum roll or familiar music is associated with the arrival of some celebrity. Commercials on television have a similar purpose, to get our attention and promote a product or service–or, before an election, a certain candidate.

And what about the signs we see, almost everywhere. Years ago I worked in the photographic department of an advertising agency. One of the things we produced was signs–everything from small counter displays for stores, to large roadside signs intended to attract the business of passing motorists. In 1910, neon signs were introduced–bright, colourful, attention getting.

On a much more sombre note, an attempted suicide can be a sign. The late Judy Garland once said, “There have been times when I have deliberately tried to take my life. I think I must have been crying for some attention.” That statement should give us pause. Attention? A gifted singer and actress, she had multitudes of fans lauding her, through her television shows, movies, and so on. Ah, but that was most often attention to her talent, not a caring concern for her personal struggles.

It may be a surprise to some, but there are times when God wants to get our attention. He has that desire because He loves us, and wants us to make sure we’re on the right road in life. One of the ways He does this is through the exquisite beauty and thundering power of His creation. The Bible says, “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20).

Another important means of seeking our consideration of important truths about our eternal welfare is His Word, the Bible. The psalmist says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path….The entrance of Your words gives light” (Ps. 119:105, 130). And the biblical message can be amplified by sermons we hear, or books we read.

Finally, danger and difficulty of various kinds is a startling and intrusive method of the Almighty calling us to investigate our spiritual need (cf. II Cor. 12:7-10). A profane slave ship captain named John Newton freely admitted it was a terrible storm that threatened to sink the ship he was on that got him to face his eternal destiny and change course spiritually. His conversion gave us the hymn Amazing Grace, and a number of others.

Joseph Addison is another example. He went through a time of serious illness in 1712 that awakened him to his spiritual need. During his illness, he wrote a hymn about the way God used this to change his outlook. Though it’s not a hymn congregations know and use today, it does remind us the Lord can use unusual means to get our attention.

CH-1) When rising from the bed of death,
O’erwhelmed with guilt and fear,
I see my Maker face to face,
O how shall I appear?

CH-2) If yet, while pardon may be found,
And mercy may be sought,
My heart with inward horror shrinks,
And trembles at the thought;

CH-3) When Thou, O Lord, shalt stand disclosed
In majesty severe,
And sit in judgment on my soul,
O how shall I appear?

CH-5) Then see the sorrow of my heart,
Ere yet it be too late;
And hear my Saviour’s dying groans,
To give those sorrows weight.

CH-6) For never shall my soul despair
Her pardon to procure,
Who knows Thine only Son has died
To make her pardon sure.

Questions:
1) What means has the Lord used lately to get your attention?

2) What has been your response to this?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Joseph Addison)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

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