Posted by: rcottrill | August 16, 2013

All That Thrills My Soul

Words: Thoro Harris (b. Mar. 31, 1874; d. Mar. 27, 1955)
Music: Thoro Harris

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Thoro Harris)

Note: Thoro Harris published this beautiful gospel song in 1931. I can recall singing it with a men’s choir in the 1960’s, where I was among a long row of basses that rumbled along. The message of the song has continued to bless me ever since.

Every stanza of this hymn says significant things about our wonderful Saviour, and the emotional strength of the music matches the text well, with the opening note of the refrain sounding like a great exclamation mark–“All that thrills my soul…”

Stanza 1. “Cheer” is a word associated with Christ. He encouraged many to “Be of good cheer,” exhorting hearers to be comforted and take courage (Matt. 9:2, 22; 14:27; Jn. 16:33; Acts 23:11). And it’s the personal qualities of Christ that bring cheer to the heart of Mr. Harris. Jesus is true (Rev. 19:11), true to His promises, and “the [personified] truth” in Himself (Jn. 14:6). He is also pure, and without any taint of sin (I Pet. 2:22). And He is tender and compassionate (Matt. 9:36). No wonder, “to you who believe He is precious” (I Pet. 2:7).

The refrain borrows a phrase from the Song of Solomon to further extol the Lord Jesus Christ. Solomon’s betrothed describes the king as “chief among ten thousand” (S.S. 5:10), a poetic way of saying he is the greatest of all.

1) Who can cheer the heart like Jesus,
By His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious,
O how blest to call Him mine!

All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

Stanza 2. Here are three qualities that are spoken of many times in the New Testament, and associated particularly with Christ: mercy (Heb. 2:17; Jude 1:21; and II Jn. 1:3, which includes all three qualities); love (Rom. 8:35; II Cor. 5:14; Gal. 2:20); grace (Jn. 1:17; Rom. 16:24; II Cor. 8:9).

Stanza 3. The author focuses on God’s great salvation, and our “wonderful redemption” in Christ. Mr. Harris alludes to the promise of God in Isaiah 1:18 to describe how God has cleansed him from sin, through Christ: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’”

Stanza 4. The Bible teaches that the Lord will meet the needs of the saints, day by day. “[When] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps. 32:1). “No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11). “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). In testing times, as we struggle with our burdens and our limitations, we have the assurance: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Cor. 12:9).

Stanza 5. Thoro Harris envisions the beautiful river flowing out from the throne of God in the heavenly city (Rev. 22:1). There, in glory, the saints will continue to “praise and glorify the King.”

“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen (Rev. 1:4-7; cf. 4:8, 10-11; 5:9-10, 12-14).

5) By the crystal flowing river
With the ransomed I will sing,
And forever and forever
Praise and glorify the King.

All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

1) What is it, in particular, about the Lord Jesus Christ, that thrills your soul today?

2) What does the statement in the refrain mean: “He is more than life to me”? (And is it true of you personally?)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Thoro Harris)

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