Posted by: rcottrill | May 29, 2010

Today in 1936 – Percy Dearmer Died

Mr. Dearmer was an English clergyman who served as a Red Cross chaplain in Serbia during World War One, also working with the Y.M.C.A. in France. In the latter years of his life he was Canon of Westminster Abbey. He was also a noted authority on hymn history, writing or translating many of them himself.

Though Percy Dearmer’s hymn To the Name That Is Salvation mentions God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the last stanza, it seems best to see the words as an invitation to praise the Lord Jesus Christ in particular.

Before Christ was born, an angelic message was sent to Joseph: “She [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you can call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The name Jesus means the Lord [is] salvation. In the words of Dearmer’s hymn, Jesus is “the name that is salvation.”

John the Baptist announced Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). And the Bible says that “through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified [declared righteous before God]” (Acts. 13:38-39). The call of the gospel is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

To the name that is salvation,
Praise and homage let us pay;
Life of every generation,
Law that all the stars obey;
Love and light by whose creation
All that is stands fast today.

(2) Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know written (Data Missing)
In 1924 P. W. Philpott was serving as pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago. One night he was awakened from sleep by a call to come and help a young woman staying at a hotel in the city. He arrived to find her in the company of two family members. The woman, whose name was Lela Long (1896-1951), was gravely ill, and in great distress. Dr. Philpott prayed for her physical needs, and had the privilege of leading her to faith in Christ. Late the next day, he phoned the hotel to see how she was doing, only to learn that the three had checked out. He wondered what had become of them, but had no way of getting in touch. It remained an unfinished story.

But the story of Lela Long has a wonderful conclusion. Several years went by, after the events described above. By that time, Peter Philpott was serving as pastor of a large church in Los Angeles. And at the close of one service, who should come up to him but the three people he had met in Chicago, five or six years previously. They had seen his picture in a church advertisement and had come to meet him.

An emergency had necessitated their rapid departure from Chicago, and they apologized for not getting in touch. The young woman thanked him for pointing her to the Saviour, saying that her life was wonderfully changed, and that she was now using her musical talent to serve the Lord. She handed Pastor Philpott a copy of her song Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know, written in 1924, shortly after her conversion. She said, “I have written this especially for you, in remembrance of the day that you introduced me to the most wonderful Person I have ever known.”

Dr. Philpott was one of the founders of the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada, with which I served for a number of years. I had the privilege of hearing him speak when he was in his nineties. We presently know nothing more about the author, Lela B. Long, but her hymn has been an inspiration to many. (You can hear the melody on the Cyber Hymnal.)

There have been names that I have loved to hear,
But never has there been a name so dear
To this heart of mine, as the name divine,
The precious, precious name of Jesus.

Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He’s just the same as His lovely name,
And that’s the reason why I love Him so;
Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.

And some day I shall see Him face to face
To thank and praise Him for His wondrous grace,
Which He gave to me, when He made me free,
The blessèd Son of God called Jesus.


Responses

  1. Being more of a “book guy” than being involved in computers, I have often wondered about a daily hymn devotional. Thanks, Bob, for introducing me to a hymn of the day. It appears that I have much to look forward to. I anticipate your introduction to many people and hymns I have not heard of before with my best regards.

  2. Thanks Tim. Yes, we’ll be sharing some old favourites together, and exploring some that are perhaps less well known. A lot of good spiritual meat for the soul!

  3. Tim —

    You may also be interested in the books written by Kenneth Osbeck. First is “Amazing Grace: 366 hymn-based devotionals,” also “101 Hymn Stories,” and “101 More Hymn Stories,” and several others. All are available very inexpensively from abebooks.com.

    Carol Blair
    Longview, TX

    • Tim? Not sure you meant this note for me, but it’s great to hear from you again. As to Ken Osbeck’s books, I do have them, along with 50 or so others–some a century and more old, and out of print. But that’s for thinking of me…or Tim! 🙂 God bless.


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