Posted by: rcottrill | August 2, 2017

Come, Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice

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Words: Anna Laetitia Akin Barbauld (b. June 20, 1743; d. Mar. 9,1825)
Music: Forgiveness, by George Mursell Garrett (b. June 8, 1834; d. Apr. 9, 1897)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Anna Laetitia Akin was the daughter of a pastor in England. A child prodigy, at the age of two, she was able to read simple stories, and by three she was reading as well as most adults. Her understanding of the Scriptures also grew quickly.

An incident when she was five reveals her precociousness in the latter. Her father spoke to another man about the angels in heaven, saying that their joy and happiness was complete, and they therefore could not experience more, since they were perfectly happy already. But little Anna piped up, “Papa, I think you are mistaken,” reminding him of the text that says, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:7, 10).

By the age of twenty, Anna Aikin had mastered French, Italian, Latin, and Greek, and she became a classics tutor, and a hymn writer. She married a pastor and teacher named Rochement Barbauld, but it was not a happy union. He developed a violent temper which turned into full insanity. When he attacked his wife with a knife, she had him committed to an asylum. He later escaped, and finally committed suicide.

Have you ever watched an ant hill. Those little creatures are constantly coming and going. A steady procession leaves the nest to forage for food, and the ants return, sometimes carrying loads that seem far too great for their size.

On a much larger scale there is continual coming and going all over the world. Whether it’s cars and trucks on busy highways and along city streets, or the streams of people in malls and stores, there is much coming and going. We are each busy with the tasks before us day by day.

Though they did not possess motorized vehicles, it was much the same in Bible times. And God’s Word promised His people Israel, “The Lord shall preserve [guard] your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Ps. 121:8). In the New Testament, after Christ’s disciples had a busy time of ministry, we read, “He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mk. 6:31).

There is a spiritual coming and going as well, and it relates to each one of us. We come to the Lord seeking His grace and mercy, and go out to live for Him and serve Him. To come to the Lord in faith, seeking His help and blessing, will find us abundantly rewarded. Using the symbolism of water to picture the life-giving work of the Spirit of God, Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (Jn. 7:37-39; cf. 4:14).

But many, in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry, followed Him for awhile and then deserted Him. When that happened, “Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (Jn. 6:67-68). To depart from the Lord is to leave the place of blessing and take the path of unbelief and disobedience. In terms of a search for eternal salvation, turning our back on Christ can only be eternal condemnation (Matt. 7:23; 25:41).

But we as believers need to come to Him too. The invitation is still open to respond to the Lord’s summons, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Anna Barbauld wrote a hymn inspired by that verse, during her years after the terrible distress and danger caused by her husband’s insanity.

Her hymn, which she entitled The Gracious Call, shows that she found comfort in the Lord.

CH-1) “Come,” said Jesus’ sacred voice,
“Come, and make My paths your choice;
I will guide you to your home,
Weary pilgrim, hither come.

CH-2) “Thou who, houseless, sole, forlorn,
Long hast borne the proud world’s scorn,
Long hast roamed the barren waste,
Weary pilgrim, hither haste.

CH-3) “Ye who, tossed on beds of pain,
Seek for ease, but seek in vain;
Ye whose swollen, sleepless eyes
Watch to see the morning rise.

CH-4) Ye, by fiercer anguish torn,
In remorse for guilt who mourn.
Here repose your heavy care:
Who the stings of guilt can bear?

CH-5) Hither come, for here is found
Balm that flows for every wound,
Peace that ever shall endure,
Rest eternal, sacred, sure.”

Questions:
1) In what personal circumstance have you found rest for your soul in the Lord?

2) Is there someone you know to whom you could bring words of comfort and assurance during a difficult time?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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