Studies in Hymns
The Young Person's Guide to the Hymbook
Hymns and Gospel Songs of the Twentieth Century
by Wayne S. Walker
About a week after regular school work was through for the summer, Andrew came over to the church building one afternoon with a question for Dad. The building where Dad's office was located was right next door to the house where they lived. Andrew's violin lessons continued throughout the summer, except when the family was on vacation, and in the morning's lesson, he had played a piece by German-English Baroque composer George Frederick Handel, with his music teacher accompanying on the piano, that sounded familiar. After saying, "My teacher said that it was the 'Triumphal March' from Handel's oratorio Judas Macabbeus, but we don't have things like that in our church services," he played it for Dad and asked him why it sounded familiar
Dad responded, "Yes, I recognize it as being from Handel's oratorio, but the tune has also been adapted for a hymn that we've sung a few times since we obtained the new hymnbooks."
Seth, who was already over at the church building helping Dad move some books, said, "Yes, I recognize it now too. The song has something to do with Jesus's resurrection, doesn't it?"
"That's right," replied Dad. "It begins, 'Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering, Son.'"
Andrew was the next to speak up. "Dad, do you remember about a week ago when you told us about some of the American gospel songs that we so often sing? I think that you ended right about the end of the 1800s, but I would suspect that there are a lot of songs in our books that come from after that time."
"That's right," replied Dad. Picking up one of the new hymnbooks, he opened to a particular page and continued, "Right after the turn of the century, in 1901, a very familiar song was written by Methodist minister Frank E. Graeff, who lived from 1860 to 1919, and spent most of his life with churches around Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. Although he was known as "the sunshine minister" because of his cheery disposition and outwardly pleasant personality, he himself experienced some severe trials and difficulties in his own life. While passing through one such time of tribulation and doubt, he turned for comfort to I Peter 5:7, which says, 'Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you,' and promptly produced this text."
- Does Jesus care when my heart is pained Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress And the way grows weary and long?
- Does Jesus care when my way is dark With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades, Does He care enough to be near?
- Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed To resist some temptation
When for my deep grief there is no relief, Though my tears flow all the night long?
- Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye” To the dearest on earth to
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
"Notice that each stanza asks, 'Does Jesus care?", in different kinds of circumstances -- pain, fear, failure, death -- but each time the chorus answers back."
Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.
"The tune was written by a well-known musician of the day, J. Lincoln Hall, who had helped to found the Hall-Mack Publishing Co., which was later purchased by Homer A. Rodeheaver.
"Another hymn from 1901 is of a similar nature, designed to comfort. Cleland Boyd McAfee, who lived from 1866 to 1944, was a Presbyterian minister living and working in Chicago, IL. That year, the death of his nieces brought great sorrow to his heart, and he penned a hymn to comfort his brother and sister-in-law. The girls had died from diptheria, and his brother's house was still under quarantine. Therefore, McAfee and some others sang the song outside the house on a Saturday night, and it was sung again the next day in the church service. Many have found comfort since then from these words."
- There is a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God.
- There is a place of comfort sweet, Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet, Near to the heart of God.
- There is a place of full release, Near to the heart of God.
A place where all is joy and peace, Near to the heart of God.
Refrain: O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee Near to the heart of God.
"McAfee himself provided the tune, but the song was not published until 1903 after McAfee submitted the manuscript to the Lorenz Publishing Company in Dayton, OH.
"In 1902, the next year after these two hymns were written, a man named Elijah Taylor Cassel, who lived from 1849 to 1930, gave us another gospel song. Born in Indiana, he had moved with his family by ox cart to Nebraska, where he completed his education and became a physician. However, he was also an amateur poet and often provided lyrics which were set to music by his wife, Flora Hamilton Cassel. Together, the two produced this song about being involved in 'The King's Business.'"
- I am a stranger here, within a foreign land; My home is far away,
upon a golden strand;
Ambassador to be of realms beyond the sea, I’m here on business for my King.
- This is the King’s command: that all men, everywhere, Repent and turn
away from sin’s seductive snare;
That all who will obey, with Him shall reign for aye, And that’s my business for my King.
- My home is brighter far than Sharon’s rosy plain, Eternal life and
joy throughout its vast domain;
My Sovereign bids me tell how mortals there may dwell, And that’s my business for my King.
Refrain: This is the message that I bring, A message angels fain would sing:
“Oh, be ye reconciled,” Thus saith my Lord and King, “Oh, be ye reconciled to God.”
"About 1910, when he was over sixty, Cassel left his medical practice and became a Baptist minister, moving with his wife to Denver, CO. Unfortunately, about a year later, his wife was getting into a buggy when the horses became frightened; her skirts were caught in the wheels and she was dragged to her death. Mr. Cassel eventually remarried and moved to California.
"In 1903, a year after the Cassels wrote their most famous work, another well known hymn was set down by Harper G. Smyth, who lived from 1873 to 1945. A native of New York, he eventually settled in Cleveland, OH, where he became song director of the Euclid Ave. Baptist Church. In 1903, he gave us both words and music for the following song."
- Is your life a channel of blessing? Is the love of God flowing
Are you telling the lost of the Savior? Are you ready His service to do?
- Is your life a channel of blessing? Are you burdened for those that
Have you urged upon those who are straying, The Savior Who died on the cross?
- Is your life a channel of blessing? Is it a daily telling for Him?
Have you spoken the Word of salvation To those who are dying in sin?
- We cannot be channels of blessing If our lives are not free from
We will barriers be and a hindrance To those we are trying to win.
Refrain: Make me a channel of blessing today, Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My life possessing, my service blessing, Make me a channel of blessing today.
"It was apparently first published the following year, in 1904. Later, in 1924, Smyth was chosen as song director for the Republican National Convention which was held that year in Cleveland.
"Also in 1904 came another hymn written by a husband and wife team. Walter Stillman Martin, his wife Civilla Durfee Martin who lived from 1866 to 1948, and their young son were in Lestershire, NY, where Mr. Martin was collaborating with the president of the Practical Bible Training School, John A. Davis, in the preparation of a hymnbook. During their stay, one Sunday Mr. Martin, who was a Baptist minister, was invited to preach at a church in a village some distance from the school. That morning Mrs. Martin, who was given to poor health, became suddenly ill and very weak, making it impossible for her to accompany her husband to his appointment. Seriously considering cancelling his speaking engagement because of her condition, he told her that he did not want to be away from her all day. As they discussed the situation, their young son quietly entered the room. Then, just as Mr. Martin was about to telephone the church that he could not come, the son spoke up, 'Father, don't you think that if God wants you to preach today, He will take care of Mother while you are away?' Agreeing with their son's childlike faith, the Martins decided that he would keep his preaching appointment. When he returned following the evening service, he found his wife greatly improved, and, in fact, had begun while he was gone to write a new hymn based on the chance remark of their son earlier that day. Within an hour, Mr. Martin had improvised the melody. That very evening a couple of other teachers were asked to come to the house where the Martins were staying to sing the new song together. Later in the week, it was sung at one of the school assemblies, and the suggestion was made for it to be included in the songbook being compiled by Mr. Martin and Davis. Thus, it was first published the following year in their Songs of Redemption and Praise."
- Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
- Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you.
- All you may need He will provide, God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you.
- No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.
Refrain: God will take care of you, Through every day, over all the way;
He will take care of you, God will take care of you.
"Several years later, in 1916, the Martins identified themselves with the Christian Church or Disciples of Christ, and Mr. Martin became professor of Bible at Atlantic Christian College in North Carolina, before moving to Atlanta, GA, where they spent the rest of their days.
"Around that same time, another reasonably familiar song was written by Charles Albert Tindley Sr., who lived from 1851 to 1933. The son of slave parents, he eventually moved to Philadelphia, PA, where he became janitor of a small church. However, he continued his education, became a Methodist minister, and in 1902 began serving the Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, the same one where he had once worked as janitor. In addition, he wrote songs, such as 'Leave It There' and 'We Shall Understand It Better By and By.' It is believed that around 1905 he penned this song which was apparently published the following year."
- Nothing between my soul and my Savior, Naught of this world’s
I have renounced all sinful pleasure; Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.
- Nothing between, like worldly pleasure; Habits of life, though
harmless they seem;
Must not my heart from Him ever sever; He is my all, there’s nothing between.
- Nothing between, like pride or station; Self or friends shall not
Though it may cost me much tribulation, I am resolved, there’s nothing between.
- Nothing between, e’en many hard trials, Though the whole world
against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self denial, I’ll triumph at last, there’s nothing between.
Refrain: Nothing between my soul and the Savior, So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor. Keep the way clear! There's nothing between.
"The arrangement is attributed to F. A. Clark.
"Also in 1906, another song that we often sing appeared. Louis Edgar Jones lived from 1865 to 1936, and was a YMCA worker who wrote hymns as a hobby. Perhaps his best known song is 'There Is Power in the Blood' which he had produced in 1899, but probably his second most famous song was written in 1906, when he was living in Ft. Worth, TX, and first published in 1907."
- Though the way we journey may be often drear, We shall see the King
On that blessèd morning clouds will disappear; We shall see the King some day.
- After pain and anguish, after toil and care, We shall see the King
Through the endless ages joy and blessing share, We shall see the King some day.
- After foes are conquered, after battles won, We shall see the King
After strife is over, after set of sun, We shall see the King some day.
- There with all the loved ones who have gone before, We shall see the
King some day;
Sorrow past forever, on that peaceful shore, We shall see the King some day.
Refrain: We shall see the King some day, We shall shout and sing some day;
Gathered ’round the throne, When He shall call His own, We shall see the King some day.
"Jones usually provided both words and music for his songs.
"Still another beloved hymn dates from 1906 and was written by Jessie H. Brown Pounds, who lived from 1861 to 1921. A native of Hiram, OH, who was educated at home because of ill health, and later the wife of a minister of the Central Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN, she produced many gospel song texts for various composers, such as 'Anywhere With Jesus' and 'Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.' However, one of her best known hymns reminds us that true Christianity doesn't follow the line of least resistance."
- I must needs go home by the way of the cross, There’s no other way
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light, If the way of the cross I miss.
- I must needs go on in the blood sprinkled way, The path that the
If I ever climb to the heights sublime, Where the soul is at home with God.
- Then I bid farewell to the way of the world, To walk in it never
For the Lord says, “Come,” and I seek my home, Where He waits at the open door.
Refrain: The way of the cross leads home, The way of the cross leads home,
It is sweet to know as I onward go, The way of the cross leads home.
"The tune was provided by Charles H. Gabriel, who, I remember telling you a couple of weeks ago, was a prolific composer of such songs as 'O That Will Be Glory For Me' and 'I Stand Amazed.'
"A lovely little hymn is dated 1907 and was written by Howard Arnold Walter, who lived from 1883 to 1918. Born in Connecticut, he taught English in Japan as a young man beginning in 1906, and on Jan. 1 of 1907 he penned a poem entitled 'My Creed' in three stanzas, saying that it represented his philosophy of life which he wanted to share with others. He sent to his mother, who had it published in the May issue of Harper's Bazaar. Walter apparently added a fourth stanza sometime before his untimely death during an influenza epidemic while working as a missionary in what is now Pakistan."
- I would be true, for there are those who trust me; I would be pure,
for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer; I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
- I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless; I would be giving,
and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness; I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.
- I would be learning day by day the lessons My heavenly Father gives
me in His Word;
I would be quick to hear the slightest whisper, And prompt and glad to do the things I've heard.
- I would be prayerful through each busy moment; I would be constantly
in touch with God;
I would be swift to follow where He leads me; I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.
"The tune was composed by Joseph Yates Peek, a Methodist minister, who met Walter upon his return from Japan in the summer of 1909 and was given a copy of 'My Creed.'
"About three years after 'I Would Be True' was written, Julia H. Johnston, who lived from 1849 to 1919 and spent most of her life at Peoria, IL, as a Sunday school teacher in the Presbyterian Church and also an author of children's Sunday school literature, wrote a hymn which is found in many of our books. While she is credited with around 500 songs, this one, dated 1910, is the only one which remains in common usage."
- Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
- Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, Threaten the soul with
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
- Dark is the stain that we cannot hide. What can avail to wash it
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, Brighter than snow you may be today.
- Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who
You that are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?
Refrain: Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.
"The tune was composed by Daniel B. Towner, who also gave us melodies for 'At Calvary,' 'Trust and Obey,' and 'Anywhere With Jesus.'
"A couple of years later, an extremely famous hymn was produced. The words were written by James Rowe, who lived from 1865 to 1933. Born in England, he emigrated to the United States, married, and eventually settled in Vermont. After working as a railroad employee, he spent the rest of his life in literary pursuits, writing verses for greeting cards and also hymn texts for many different publishers, including, 'I Walk With the King' and 'I Would Be Like Jesus.' But his best known song dates from 1912."
- I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply
stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
- All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling In His blessèd
presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs, Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.
- Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves, He will lift you
by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey, He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
Refrain: Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!
Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!
"The tune was composed by Howard E. Smith. Rowe's daughter said that Smith was a little man whose hands were knotted with arthritis, but he could still play the piano. Rowe was visiting Smith's home in Saugatuck, CT, and as he recited the lyrics of the song, Smith would pick out a melody on the piano to fit and then write it down.
"Also in 1912, a lady named Lelia Naylor Morris, who lived from 1862 to 1929 and spent most of her life in Morgan County, OH, wrote a hymn which has been in most of our books. Actually, she had begun producing hymns back in the 1890s, and her best known songs, 'Nearer, Still Nearer,' and 'Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart' date from 1898, and another, 'Sweet Will of God,' comes from 1900. While we still sing all these songs, the first one of hers that I ever remember learning when I was a child was this one."
- Of Jesus’ love that sought me, when I was lost in sin; Of wondrous
grace that brought me back to His fold again;
Of heights and depths of mercy, far deeper than the sea, And higher than the heavens, my theme shall ever be.
- He trod in old Judea life’s pathway long ago; The people thronged
about Him, His saving grace to know;
He healed the broken hearted, and caused the blind to see; And still His great heart yearneth in love for even me.
- ’Twas wondrous love which led Him for us to suffer loss, To bear
without a murmur the anguish of the cross;
With saints redeemed in glory, let us our voices raise, Till Heav’n and earth re-echo with our Redeemer’s praise.
Refrain: Sweeter as the years go by, sweeter as the years go by,
Richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus’ love is sweeter, Sweeter as the years go by.
"About a year after this hymn was published, Mrs. Morris began to go blind, but until her death she continued writing hymns with the help of a large blackboard, 28 feet long, with large music staff lines on it that her son put up for her.
"In 1914, a couple of years after 'Sweeter As the Years Go By' came out, another popular song was produced by a young man, James Edwin McConnell, who lived from 1892 to 1954. At the age of eighteen, he was working with his father, a Baptist minister, in an evangelistic campaign at Spirit Lake, IA. On a cold winter's day, they were sitting in their motel room, and he began humming to himself. His father, opening the mail, asked what the music was. Ed replied, 'Oh, just another song aborning, Dad.' That night he had completed these words which were sung in the evangelistic meeting."
- I am happy today, and the sun shines bright, The clouds have been
For the Savior said, whosoever will May come with Him to stay.
- All my hopes have been raised, O His Name be praised, His glory has
filled my soul;
I’ve been lifted up, and from sin set free, His blood has made me whole.
- O what wonderful love, O what grace divine, That Jesus should die for
I was lost in sin, for the world I pined, But now I am set free.
Refrain: “Whosoever” surely meaneth me, Surely meaneth me, O surely meaneth me;
“Whosoever” surely meaneth me, “Whosoever” meaneth me.
"A few years later, in 1922, McConnell began a successful radio career using the name 'Smilin' Ed McConnell,' and his program 'Hymn Time' was carried on the National Broadcasting System.
"Also in 1914, a young Baptist seminary student, James Cleveland Moore, who lived from 1888 to 1962, was visiting back in his small Georgia hometown where his father was song director in the Baptist Church. Noticing that his father looked older and weaker and feeling that the beloved parent might not be around much longer, Moore wrote a hymn when he returned to college that he dedicated to his aging father and mother."
- I have heard of a land on the far away strand, ’Tis a beautiful home
of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high, where we never shall die, ’Tis a land where we never grow old.
- In that beautiful home where we’ll never more roam, We shall be in
the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King through eternity sing, ’Tis a land where we never shall die.
- When our work here is done and the life crown is won, And our
troubles and trials are o’er;
All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend, With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.
Refrain: Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where we’ll never grow old;
Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where we’ll never grow old.
"Apparently, the song was not published until 1930, but since then it has become a favorite hymn of many to stimulate desires for a better place and also to provide comfort when loved ones are lost.
"Still another song to come from 1914 was written by Rufus Henry McDaniel, who lived from 1850 to 1940 and was born in Brown County, OH, not far from where I grew up. He became a minister in the Christian Church, and after his son Herschel died in 1913, he wrote this song to remind himself and others of the importance of faith, hope, and joy even in times of trial."
- What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought Since Jesus came
into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought, Since Jesus came into my heart!
- I have ceased from my wandering and going astray, Since Jesus came
into my heart!
And my sins, which were many, are all washed away, Since Jesus came into my heart!
- I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure, Since Jesus came
into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure, Since Jesus came into my heart!
- There’s a light in the valley of death now for me, Since Jesus came
into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see, Since Jesus came into my heart!
- I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know, Since Jesus came into
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go, Since Jesus came into my heart!
Refrain: Since Jesus came into my heart, Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul Like the sea billows roll, Since Jesus came into my heart.
"Like 'The Way of the Cross Leads Home,' the tune was provided by Charles H. Gabriel.
"In 1918, a few years after the last three hymns were first published, another husband and wife team produced their first of many well known songs. Virgil Prentiss Brock, who lived from 1887 to 1978, was a Quaker in early life, but after marrying Blanche Kerr in 1914, he became identified with the Christian Church and began serving as a minister. Blanche was an accomplished musician and provided tunes for poems written by Virgil, like this one."
- I was lost in sin, but Jesus rescued me, He’s a wonderful Savior to
I was bound by fear, but Jesus set me free, He’s a wonderful Savior to me.
- He’s a Friend so true, so patient and so kind, He’s a wonderful
Savior to me;
Everything I need in Him I always find, He’s a wonderful Savior to me.
- He is always near to comfort and to cheer, He’s a wonderful Savior to
He forgives my sins, He dries my every tear, He’s a wonderful Savior to me.
- Dearer grows the love of Jesus day by day, He’s a wonderful Savior to
Sweeter is His grace while pressing on my way, He’s a wonderful Savior to me.
Refrain: For He’s a wonderful Savior to me, He’s a wonderful Savior to me;
I was lost in sin, but Jesus took me in: He’s a wonderful Savior to me.
"Perhaps their most famous hymn came from a few years later, one evening in 1936, when a blind cousin made a chance remark about having never seen a more beautiful sunset, and upon being questioned how a man without sight could 'see' a sunset, he replied that he could see things that others couldn't see, even things beyond the sunset. So that very night Virgil and Blanche teamed up to produce the song that begins, 'Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning.'
"The last several selections that we've noticed, and in fact most of the ones that we've looked at so far today, are still in the 'gospel song' style, but hymns in the older tradition were still being written, such as this one that also comes from 1918. Presbyterian minister and composer Calvin W. Laufer had attended a conference in Emporia, KS, where several young men expressed a desire for a new prayer hymn. Laufer came up with a tune but could go no further. A few weeks later, he chanced to meet a friend and fellow Presbyterian minister William Howard Foulkes, who lived from 1877 to 1961, at a railway station in New York, where both were on their way to another conference similar to the one in Emporia. Laufer told Foulkes of his attempt to produce the prayer hymn. Foulkes asked for the tune and within a few days had written the following words for it."
- Take Thou our minds, dear Lord, we humbly pray, Give us the mind of
Christ each passing day;
Teach us to know the truth that sets us free; Grant us in all our thoughts to honor Thee.
- Take Thou our hearts, O Christ—they are Thine own; Come Thou within
our souls and claim Thy throne;
Help us to shed abroad Thy deathless love; Use us to make the earth like heaven above.
- Take Thou our wills, Most High! Hold Thou full sway; Have in our
inmost souls Thy perfect way;
Guard Thou each sacred hour from selfish ease; Guide Thou our ordered lives as Thou dost please.
- Take Thou ourselves, O Lord, heart, mind, and will; Through our
surrendered souls Thy plans fulfill.
We yield ourselves to Thee—time, talents, all; We hear, and henceforth heed, Thy sovereign call.
"This hymn has been slow to catch on among us, but a couple of our more recent books have included it.
"Another older style hymn that comes from a couple of years later, in 1920, was written by Emily May Grimes Crawford, who lived from 1864 to 1927. A native of Surrey, England, she went as a missionary to South Africa in 1893 where she married a fellow missionary and published a little booklet entitled Unseen Realities which included this hymn."
- Speak, Lord, in the stillness While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen, In expectancy.
- Speak, O blessèd Master, In this quiet hour,
Let me see Thy face, Lord, Feel Thy touch of power.
- For the words Thou speakest, “They are life” indeed;
Living Bread from Heaven, Now my spirit feed!
- All to Thee is yielded, I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender, I am Thine alone.
- Fill me with the knowledge Of Thy glorious will;
All Thine own good pleasure In my life fulfill.
- Like “a watered garden” Full of fragrance rare,
Ling’ring in Thy presence Let my life appear.
"A tune was provided by still another English missionary to South Africa, Harold Green, about 1925. The hymn soon became popular in England and from there made its way across the Atlantic to the United States.
"Also in 1920, a former student at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, Harry Dixon Loes, heard a sermon on the subject 'Our Blessed Redeemer' and was moved to write a tune. He sent it and the suggested title to a songwriter friend of his, Avis Burgeson Christiansen, who lived from 1895 to 1985. She provide these three stanzas and a refrain."
- Up Calvary’s mountain, one dreadful morn, Walked Christ my Savior,
weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on the cross, That He might save them from endless loss.
- “Father forgive them!” thus did He pray, E’en while His lifeblood
flowed fast away;
Praying for sinners while in such woe No one but Jesus ever loved so.
- O how I love Him, Savior and Friend, How can my praises ever find
Through years unnumbered on Heaven’s shore, My tongue shall praise Him forevermore.
Refrain: Blessèd Redeemer! Precious Redeemer! Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading, Blind and unheeding—dying for me!
"Mrs. Christiansen and her husband were affiliated with the Moody Bible Institute for many years, and in 1939 Loes returned to the Institute as a faculty member as well.
"In 1921, a year after Loes and Christiansen collaborated on 'Our Blessed Redeemer,' another collaboration appeared. The words were written by Anna Belle Russell, a poetess who lived from 1862 to 1954 and spent most of her life in Corning, NY. Years later, when asked for the story of the writing of the hymn, she replied that there was no information that she could give about these words."
- There is never a day so dreary, There is never a night so long,
But the soul that is trusting in Jesus Will somewhere find a song.
- There is never a cross so heavy, There is never a weight of woe,
But that Jesus will help to carry Because He loveth so.
- There is never a care or burden, There is never a grief or loss,
But that Jesus in love will lighten When carried to the cross.
- There is never a guilty sinner, There is never a wandering one,
But that God can in mercy pardon Through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Refrain: Wonderful, wonderful Jesus, In the heart He implanteth a song:
A song of deliverance, of courage, of strength, In the heart He
implanteth a song.
"The tune was composed by Dr. Ernest Orlando Sellers who was teaching at the Baptist Bible Institute, now the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, in New Orleans, IN, probably after being given the lyrics or seeing them in print.
"In 1923, a new song began appearing in American hymnbooks. Actually, it had been written back in 1884, but in French, as 'A toi la gloire,' by Edmund Budry, who lived from 1854 to 1932 and was a minister in Vevay, Switzerland. However, it was in 1923 that the hymn was translated into English by Richard B. Hoyle and soon became popular through its usage by the World Student Christian Federation."
- Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son; Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, Kept the folded grave clothes where Thy body lay.
- Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb; Lovingly He greets us,
scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing; For her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
- No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life; Life is naught
without Thee; aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conqu’rors, through Thy deathless love: Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.
"The refrain repeats the opening lines of stanza one to remind us of the importance of Christ's resurrection to our faith."
Thine is the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, Thou o’er death hast won.
"The words were intended to fit that melody which you played, Andrew, known as the 'Triumphal March,' composed in 1741 by Handel, originally for his oratorio Joshua, but transferred to Judas Macabbeus in 1751 where it was set to the words, 'See, the conquering hero comes.'
"In 1925, a couple of years after Hoyle's translation came out, a little hymn was written by Kate Barclay Wilkinson, who lived from 1859 to 1928. Very little is known about her except that she was active in the Keswick Convention movement among evangelicals in England which sought to promote a closer relationship between individuals and God, as evidenced in this song."
- May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling All I do and say.
- May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph Only through His power.
- May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing.
- May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory.
- May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go.
- May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.
"The tune was composed by Arthur Cyril Barnham-Gould, an Anglican minister living in St. Leonard's-on-the-Sea, England, for his 1925 hymnbook Golden Bells. It found its way across the Atlantic Ocean and has recently made it into some of our hymnbooks.
"Also from 1925 comes another small song by Mary Susanne Edgar, who lived from 1889 to 1973. A Canadian, she was involved in YWCA work, helping to establish Camp Glen Barnard for Girls in northern Ontario. These words were written for campers and the poem was awarded first prize in a contest conducted by the American Camping Association."
- God, who touches earth with beauty, make my heart anew.
With your Spirit re-create me pure and strong and true.
- Like your springs and running waters, make me crystal pure.
Like your rocks of towering grandeur, make me strong and sure.
- Like your dancing waves in sunlight, make me glad and free.
Like the straightness of the pine trees let me upright be.
- Like the arching of the heavens, lift my thoughts above.
Turn my dreams to noble action, ministries of love.
- God, who touches earth with beauty, make my heart anew.
Keep me ever, by your Spirit, pure and strong and true.
"The tune was composed that same year by C. Harold Lowden, who was a minister with the Evangelical and Reformed Church and served as music editor for the denomination's Sunday School Board. He is perhaps best known for the tune to "Living for Jesus."
"In 1930, Harry Emerson Fosdick, who lived from 1878 to 1969 and was a Baptist preacher, wrote a hymn for the 'dedication' of the new Riverside Church in New York City, NY, where he was minister. While Fosdick was an admitted liberal in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of his day, his hymn certainly represents the desires and goals of all those who want to serve the Lord."
- God of grace and God of glory, On Thy people pour Thy power.
Crown Thine ancient church’s story, Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the facing of this hour, For the facing of this hour.
- Lo! the hosts of evil ’round us, Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways.
From the fears that long have bound us, Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the living of these days, For the living of these days.
- Cure Thy children’s warring madness, Bend our pride to Thy control.
Shame our wanton selfish gladness, Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal, Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.
- Set our feet on lofty places, Gird our lives that they may be,
Armored with all Christ-like graces, In the fight to set men free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, That we fail not man nor Thee, That we fail not man nor Thee.
- Save us from weak resignation, To the evils we deplore.
Let the search for Thy salvation, Be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Serving Thee Whom we adore, Serving Thee Whom we adore.
"The words were written to fit a tune, known as 'Regent Square' which most people associate with 'Angels From the Realms of Glory,' but in our books is used with 'Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending.' However, most hymnbook editors began paring up Fosdick's text with a Welsh melody that had been composed in 1907 by John Hughes, and so it has been printed in our books.
"In 1932, a couple of years after Fosdick wrote his hymn, a Christian Reformed minister living in New Jersey named William Kuipers, who had emigrated from the Netherlands to America in the 1880s, heard a men's chorus singing a poem to the stirring music of Edward Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1' and decided to try his hand at a hymn text for the same music.
- By the sea of crystal, saints in glory stand, Myriads in number,
drawn from every land,
Robed in white apparel, washed in Jesus’ blood, They now reign in heaven with the Lamb of God.
- Out of tribulation, death and Satan’s hand, They have been translated
at the Lord’s command.
In their hands they’re holding palms of victory; Hark! the jubilant chorus shouts triumphantly:
- “Unto God Almighty, sitting on the throne, And the Lamb, victorious,
be the praise alone,
God has wrought salvation, He did wondrous things, Who shall not extol Thee, holy King of Kings?”
"Unfortunately, at the time Elgar's music was copyrighted and very expensive, so Kuipers sent his poem to a magazine, The Banner, and suggested a contest for a new tune to fit his text. However, when the hymn was finally published in the 1934 Psalter Hymnal, it appeared not with the winner's tune but that of a runner up, John L. Vanderhoven. By then, Kuipers had died, in fact, just a few months after writing the text. This song may not be well known, but it has been found in a few of our books.
"Some years after this, in 1949, Baylus Benjamin McKinney, who lived from 1886 to 1952, and was a Baptist minister, teacher, musician, and hymnwriter, was asked to provide a song for 'Christian Home Week' to be published in the May, 1950, issue of the magazine Home Life.
- God, give us Christian homes! Homes where the Bible is loved and
Homes where the Master's will is sought, Homes crowned with beauty Thy love hath wrought;
God, give us Christian homes; God, give us Christian homes!
- God, give us Christian homes! Homes where the father is true and
Homes that are free from the blight of wrong, Homes that are joyous with love and song;
God, give us Christian homes; God, give us Christian homes!
- God, give us Christian homes! Homes where the mother, in queenly
Strives to show others Thy way is best, Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
God, give us Christian homes; God, give us Christian homes!
- God, give us Christian homes! Homes where the children are led to
Christ in His beauty who loves them so, Homes where the altar fires burn and glow,
God, give us Christian homes; God, give us Christian homes!
"Tragically, McKinney died in an automobile accident just a couple of years after writing this hymn, but of all his hymns, this one has perhaps become the best known and is increasingly popular among churches of Christ. Of course, there are a lot of other hymns that come from the twentieth century, but--Oh! Look at the time! Andrew, you'd probably better get back over to the house and finish practicing your violin, and Seth and I need to finish up here so that we can get home in time for supper."