Posted by: rcottrill | June 17, 2019

Jesus, These Eyes Have Never Seen

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Words: Ray Palmer (b. Nov. 12, 1808; d. Mar. 29, 1887)
Music: Sawley, by James Walch (b. June 21, 1837; d. Aug. 30, 1901)

Wordwise Hymns (Ray Palmer) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Ray Palmer, the son of a Rhode Island judge, was an American pastor who served churches in Maine and New York State. He also wrote a great deal of poetry, including the familiar hymn, My Faith Looks Up to Thee. And in the present lesser known song he speaks movingly of our spiritual fellowship with the Lord now, and of the day when we shall see Him face to face. The Cyber Hymnal will give you the little incident that led to the writing of Pastor Palmer’s lovely hymn.

T here are individuals whose words or works are so influential they significantly affect their own time, and even cast a long shadow after they’re gone. We speak of the long reigns of both Queen Elizabeth the First and Queen Victoria that way. The Elizabethan Age, and the Victorian Era have affected many beyond the bounds of their own lives.

And it’s not only monarchs who’ve had a radical effect beyond their span of years. Thomas Edison died in 1931, but the impact of his many inventions continues to be felt. Sound recording, motion pictures, the electric light bulb, and more, have had a part in changing our world. And the theories of Albert Einstein, though he died over sixty years ago, are still built upon in the area of theoretical physics.

In Christianity, the theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin, and the Protestant Reformation in which they had a crucial part, can still be seen in the tenants and policies of many churches today. And, following in the line of prominent American evangelists Dwight Moody, and Billy Sunday, came Billy Graham. His large evangelistic campaigns continued for nearly sixty years, making him one of the most influential Christian leaders of the twentieth century.

In an infinitely surpassing way, the incarnate Son of God became the most significant and history making Man who ever lived. Though He was a physical presence on earth for only about thirty-five years, and though His public ministry involved but the last three years of that, what He did, and what He said, continues to transform lives and whole societies two millennia later. To explore His dominant place, Herbert Lockyer wrote his fine two volume history called The Man Who Changed the World.

It must have been a wonderful thing to be there when Jesus taught the multitudes and performed His miracles. Things that happened were so memorable His disciples, Matthew, Peter, and John, spoke about them and wrote about them years afterward. But His ascension back into heaven (Lk. 24:50-51) ended, for a time, any physical engagement with the Lord Jesus. His departure was, in that sense, the end of an era.

That’s not to say, however, that we’re deprived, today, of spiritual fellowship with the living Christ. At the time of His ascension, He promised His followers, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). He also promised, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). And, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (Jn. 14:18).

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1:9).

The reality of that fellowship is realized, both individually and corporately, when people of faith meet Him in His Word and in prayer. Through the Scriptures, He speaks to us, and in prayer we commune with Him.

Here is Ray Palmer’s hymn in full.

CH-1) Jesus, these eyes have never seen,
That radiant form of Thine;
The veil of sense hangs dark between
Thy blessèd face and mine.

CH-2) I see Thee not, I hear Thee not,
Yet art Thou oft with me;
And earth hath ne’er so dear a spot,
As where I meet with Thee.

CH-3) Like some bright dream that comes unsought,
When slumbers o’er me roll,
Thine image ever fills my thought,
And charms my ravished soul.

CH-4) Yet though I have not seen, and still
Must rest in faith alone,
I love Thee, dearest Lord, and will,
Unseen, but not unknown.

CH-5) When death these mortal eyes shall seal,
And still this throbbing heart,
The rending veil shall Thee reveal,
All glorious as Thou art.

1) What truth presented in this hymn is a special blessing to you?

2) How has the Lord demonstrated the reality of His presence with you, in recent days?

Wordwise Hymns (Ray Palmer) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


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