Posted by: rcottrill | October 14, 2016

I’ve Found the Way

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: Daniel Paul Rader (b. _____, 1878; d. July 19, 1938)
Music: Daniel Paul Rader

Wordwise Hymns (Paul Rader born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Paul Rader)

Note: Paul Rader served as pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, and followed founder Albert Simpson as president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination. He founded the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle in 1922 and was senior pastor there for eleven years. He wrote many gospel song lyrics and a few tunes, and was instrumental in the founding of the Tabernacle Publishing Company. He was also a pioneer of Christian radio broadcasting.

For about forty years it was a New Year’s tradition, listening to the Guy Lombardo Orchestra play Auld Lang Syne. The custom cemented the connection between the old song and the dawning of the new year, and it helped make the orchestra famous. Before the group took on Guy Lombardo’s name, they were known as the Royal Canadians, and they promoted themselves as playing “the sweetest music this side of heaven.”

Gaetano (“Guy”) Lombardo (1902-1977) was a second generation Italian-Canadian, whose orchestra became known around the world. With a heavy emphasis on crooning saxophones, they had a unique sound. Some critics panned it as corny, but millions loved it. Even jazz great Louis Armstrong enjoyed their music. By any mark, they were a big success. It’s estimated that the orchestra sold as many as three hundred million recordings.

In 1928, American preacher Paul Rader held evangelistic meetings in Toronto. Guy Lombardo’s orchestra was playing at the hotel where the Rader team was staying. Each night when they returned from a meeting they’d walk past an advertising poster with a picture of the group’s leader, Lombardo, and the slogan, “The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven.”

Paul Rader was curious about what that might sound like, but he didn’t get a chance to hear the orchestra until one day that was so busy he didn’t have time for supper. Arriving back at the hotel late that evening, he asked the team’s music director, gospel song writer Merrill Dunlop, if he’d like to join him for a meal in the hotel’s main dining room, the only place open at that hour.

Since that was where the Lombardo orchestra was playing, the two men got their chance to hear what “heavenly” music sounded like. Dunlop said afterward that he thoroughly enjoyed it. Paul Rader replied, “That’s a good orchestra, and I’m sure it will go places. [However] they may say they are playing the sweetest music this side of heaven, but I disagree. There is nothing sweeter this side of heaven than a song that tells people about Jesus and His love.”

The person of God, and what He has done for us, has inspired the songs of believers for many centuries. Even a millennium before the Christian era, David wrote, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (Ps. 28:7). On this side of the cross, we have many more reasons to sing. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is at the heart of the Christian gospel, the good news of salvation (I Cor. 15:1, 3-4).

The shed blood Christ of has opened the way to God. In Old Testament times, the barrier between sinful man and God was symbolized by the curtain or veil in the temple that closed off the Holy of Holies where the Lord revealed His presence. Today, “having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus…through the veil…let us draw [to God] near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:19-22; cf. Matt. 27:50-51).

During the night after he listened to the Lombardo Orchestra, Paul Rader wrote the words and music for a song now little-remembered, a gospel song to express his thoughts. In the morning, he met with Merrill Dunlop at the piano in the main dining room where the orchestra had played the night before. There the musician added the harmony and the two created the song I’ve Found the Way, sweeter music, in its own simple way, than the “heavenly” music of the orchestra.

1) Often my heart longed to pray;
Sinner, so what could I say?
Then I was told of the blood-cleansing way
Opened by Jesus, my Lord.

I’ve found the way through the blood past the veil
To the Holy of Holies with God.
There in the presence of Jesus I stand,
Glorified Son at the Father’s right hand;
There I can plead, I can claim, I can have
All that He purchased for me.
There, by His pow’r over sin I prevail,
I can walk in the path that He trod.

1) What is it about the Lord and His blessings that you particularly like to sing about?

2) What, in your view, is the greatest hymn in the English language?

Wordwise Hymns (Paul Rader born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Paul Rader)


  1. I’m happy to find something about Paul Rader here. I came upon a hymn ‘To Eternity’ in Al Smith’s Inspiring Hymns yesterday, which prompted me to read up on Mr. Rader. What a testimony he has (Moody Church site) of God Himself.

    This hymn is another testimony to the unspeakable riches of Christ, for through His grace, through His redemptive work on Calvary, He has made a way between God and myself! To think I can stand in His presence, to plead, to claim, to have what He purchased for me is beyond understanding.

    I like best to sing about eternity, about being with God and my Savior Jesus Christ. Redemption is a close second.

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God is the greatest hymn ever.

    Thank you for including Mr. Rader in your collection.

  2. I would love to find the music for this song by Paul Radar, I’ve Found the Way… do you know where?

    • It’s not likely in books still in print. I used it mainly because of the interesting story behind it. I checked a number of sources and couldn’t find it. However, lists three books that used the song. You may be able to find someone with a copy of one of them.

  3. This beautiful hymn is still sung today at Temple Baptist Church in Powell, TN & is found in their church song book. To hear their large congregation sing this, go to: U Tube..enter & state & song title. Many of the hymns of the faith can be heard there. I am 70 years old and I clearly remember singing these great hymns with my family & grandparents at church & at tent revivals in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1950’s!

    • Wonderful. Thanks for sharing that. To my own taste, they sing the hymns just a whisker too quickly–but maybe it’s an American thing, or maybe just my old age. 🙂 A great blessing nonetheless! And reading some of the comments below the video of Fanny Crosby’s He Hideth My Soul touched my heart too. One said, “Oh, I hope these folks realize how fortunate they are to have a church that still sings these wonderful and meaningful hymns.” Amen!

      I receive similar comments from all over the world. People grieving that their church has become “contemporary,” and almost completely abandoned the great hymns and gospel songs of the faith. It’s not that everything old is great, and everything new isn’t. But there’s a reason the old songs are fondly remembered. They speak to the heart about Christ and the gospel. Give folks some new songs of good quality, but don’t shun the tried and true.

      Thanks so much for sharing. God bless.


%d bloggers like this: