Posted by: rcottrill | September 27, 2010

Today in 1735 – Robert Robinson Born

Robert Robinson is the author of two fine hymns still in use: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and Mighty God, While Angels Bless Thee. His story is dealt with elsewhere in the blog, here. He refers in the former hymn of his proneness to wander, and the lyric surely speaks to the spiritual weakness in each of us.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

(2) Today in 1805 – George Muller Born
After living a wild and undisciplined youth, Muller came to Christ around the age of 20. Later, in the mid-nineteenth century he became well known for the orphanages he established, and for his policy of supporting them entirely by faith in God, through prayer. In the latter years of his life he made evangelistic trips to America, India, Japan and Australia. We do not usually think of him as a hymn writer, but there is a hymn attributed to him called The Cross of Jesus. (You can hear the tune on the Cyber Hymnal.)

I saw the cross of Jesus,
When burdened with my sin;
I sought the cross of Jesus
To give me peace within;
I brought my sins to Jesus,
He cleansed me by His blood;
And in the cross of Jesus
I found my peace with God.

I love the cross of Jesus,
It tells me what I am–
A vile and guilty creature
Saved only through the Lamb;
No righteousness or merit,
No beauty can I plead;
Yet in the cross of Jesus
My title there I read.

(3) Today in 1872 – Bentley Ackley Born
Bentley DeForest Ackley’s father was a gifted and trained musician, and the son showed his musical talent early on. As a boy he was able to play the piano, coronet, clarinet, piccolo, and melodeon (a small reed organ). After moving to New York City in 1888, he played the organ in several churches. In 1907, he joined the Billy Sunday evangelistic team as secretary and pianist, traveling with them for 8 years. In his lifetime he composed over 3,000 gospel tunes.

Bentley Ackley was the brother of Alfred Henry Ackley, author of the gospel song He Lives! and many other lyrics. Both men were associated for years with the Rodeheaver Publishing Company. Bentley wrote the tune for Oswald Smith’s 1930 song Joy in Serving Jesus, the first of a number of collaborations with Dr. Smith.

There is joy in serving Jesus,
As I journey on my way,
Joy that fills the heart with praises,
Every hour and every day.

Below is an instrumental duet (violin and keyboard) that incorporates several songs about serving the Lord such as: Joy in Serving Jesus, In the Service of the King, Channels Only, and Give of Thy Best to the Master. Nicely done. Don’t know if they did so, but it would be helpful to have the text of the songs projected, so that those unfamiliar with any of them could get the message while they listened.

And speaking of listening–a pet peeve: If you’re going to sit up front, don’t be chatting–as three pairs of men do here, or thumbing through your Bible. Listen! Focus! Behave yourself! I realize there may be occasional times when it may be necessary to say something to another participant. But keep it brief. Do your planning and preparation before. You set a bad example otherwise. How can we expect members of the congregation to pay attention when we don’t?


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber Hymnal (Oswald […]


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