I Remember Calvary

I REMEMBER CALVARY

“Jesus also…suffered without the gate” (Heb. 13:12)

     INTRO.:  A song which helps us to remind us that Jesus also suffered without the gate is “I Remember Calvary,” often known by its first line, “Where He May Lead Me I Will Go.”  The text was written by William Clark Martin (1864-1914).  Martin produced several other reasonably well-known songs, such as “The Name of Jesus,” “He Calls for You,” “Still Sweeter Every Day,” and “My Anchor Holds,” which have appeared in our books.  The tune was composed by James Milton Black (1856-1938).  Black is perhaps best known for “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” but he provided tunes for some other songs that I have seen in various hymnbooks, such as “Walk Beside Me,” which is found in a few of our books, “Look to the Lamb of God,” and “Where Jesus Is, ’Tis Heaven Below.”

“I Remember Calvary” was first published in the Epworth Hymnal No. 3 edited by Black in 1900 for Eaton and Main in New York City, NY.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie.  Among other hymnbooks in my collection, I have seen it in the 1937 All American Church Hymnal and the 1968 American Service Hymnal both published by the John T. Benson Publishing Company; the 1959 Christian Hymnal (Mennonite) published by the Church of God in Christ Mennonite Gospel Publishers; and the 1972 Living Hymns published by Encore Publications Inc.

The song talks about several things that we should do when we truly remember Calvary.

I. Stanza 1 says that we should go where Christ leads

“Where He may lead me I will go,

For I have learned to trust Him so,

And I remember ’twas for me

That He was slain on Calvary.”

  1. We need to have the attitude that we shall follow wherever Christ goes: Lk. 9:57
  2. This we shall do when we truly learn of Him: Jn. 6:44-45
  3. Our desire will be enhanced when we remember that He was slain for us: Rev. 5:6-9

II. Stanza 2 says that we should delight in His command

“O I delight in His command,

Love to be led by His dear hand;

His divine will is sweet to me,

Hallowed by blood-stained Calvary.”

  1. Those who love Christ will delight in His commands: Jn. 14:15
  2. They will also want to be led by Him: Rev. 7:17
  3. Like the Lord Himself, they will seek to do the will of God: Heb. 10:7

III. Stanza 3 says that we should trust Him without doubt or fear

“Onward I go, nor doubt nor fear,

Happy with Christ, my Savior, near,

Trusting that I someday shall see

Jesus, my Friend of Calvary.”

  1. Christians will always strive to press onward without doubt or fear: Phil. 3:13-14
  2. They are happy or blessed with Christ, their Savior, near, even in times of persecution: 1 Pet. 3:14, 4:14
  3. The reason is that they trust His promise that someday they will see Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3.1-3

CONCL.:  The chorus re-emphasizes what our attitude should be as we are reminded of what Jesus has done for us.

“Jesus shall lead me night and day;

Jesus shall lead me all the way.

He is the truest Friend to me,

For I remember Calvary.”

This song could well be a welcomed addition to the ones that are used to prepare us for partaking of the Lord’s supper, since the very purpose of the supper is to help each of us be able to say, “I Remember Calvary.”

i remember calvary

No Parting There

walt chaney

(Photo of Walt Chaney)

NO PARTING THERE

“…But the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46)

     INTRO.:  A song which emphasizes the eternal nature of life in heaven is “No Parting There.”  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Walter H. Chaney, who was born on Oct. 25, 1938, in Huntsville, AL.  After starting to study music at the age of thirty, he taught singing in Texas for several years and has held many music workshops.  In addition to being song leader at the Mastin Lake Road Church of Christ meeting at 2815 Mastin Lake Road in Huntsville, Chaney directed the Southeastern Singing School in Guntersville, Alabama.  Also, he has written a number of songs which have appeared in different songbooks.  Among his best known ones are “No Parting There,” “He’s the Breath of Spring,” both copyrighted in 1976, and “Walking by Faith.”  “No Parting There” appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons and the 1980 Majestic Praise edited by David N. Henderson.  It was also used in the 1980 Our Garden of Song compiled by Gene C. Finley.  Chaney currently lives in Harvest, AL, near Huntsville.

“No Parting There” suggests several reasons why one would want to go to heaven.

I. Stanza 1 calls heaven a place of bliss

To friends on earth we’ll say good-by

Then drift from mortal’s shore,

But in that land of heavenly bliss,

We’ll live forever more.

  1. We have to say good-by to friends on earth because of death: Gen. 3:19
  2. When we die, we drift from this mortal shore as the angels carry our spirits above: Lk. 16:22
  3. But in heaven we’ll live forever more because we’ll have eternal life: Mk. 10:29-30

II. Stanza 2 calls heaven a place of togetherness

With friends we love when we must part

We’re caught up in despair;

We’ll be together ever more

In Hallelujah Square.

  1. Not only shall we die, but we shall also lose loved ones to death: Heb. 9:27
  2. When this happens, we sorrow: Jn. 11:33
  3. But our sorrow is tempered by the fact that we look forward to being together again in the resurrection: 1 Thess. 4:13-17

III. Stanza 3 calls heaven a place of light

No dark, no night, but Christ the Light

Will brighten up our day,

And God’s almighty, tender hand

Will wipe all tears away.

  1. There will be no night in heaven: Rev. 22:1-5
  2. Christ Himself is the light that will brighten the eternal city: Rev. 21:23-24
  3. And God will wipe away all tears: Rev. 21:1-4

CONCL.:  The chorus reminds us that heaven will be a wonderful place to be desired greatly.

(There will be) No parting there,

(There’ll be) No parting there;

(We’ll be at home) With Christ the Lord,

(There’ll be) No parting there.

Every time we go to a funeral of a loved one in Christ, we can take great comfort from the fact that in heaven there will be “No Parting There.”

no parting

Come to the Savior Now

wigner_jm2

(Portrait of John Murch Wigner)

“COME TO THE SAVIOR NOW”

“I give unto them eternal life” (Jn. 10:28)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which encourages those in sin to respond to the Savior’s invitation so that they may receive eternal life is “Come to the Savior Now.”  The text was written by John Murch Wigner, who was born on June 19, 1844, at King’s Lynn in Norfolk, England, the second son of a Baptist minister named John Thomas Wigner.  The Wigner family moved to Brockley, a southeast suburb of London, England, where Thomas established a congregation of the Baptist Church, one of several that he founded in his lifetime.  John produced these words in 1871 and they were first published in the Supplement to the 1880 Psalms and Hymns, an English Baptist collection compiled by his father.  Young Wigner married Ellen Turnbull on Aug. 27, 1878, and the couple had twelve children, the first of whom, named Ernest, died in infancy.  Educated at London University with degrees in both arts and science, he became a Senior Officer in the India Home Office which had previously been the East India Company, but he was also active on the Council of the Children’s Special Service Mission.

The tune (Invitation–Maker) was composed for Wigner’s text by Frederick C. Maker (1844-1927).  It was first published in The Bristol Tune Book of 1881.  Some of his other famous hymn tunes were written for John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” and Elizabeth Clephane’s “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”  After he retired in 1909, one of Wigner’s outstanding achievements was the building of a scale model of the Old Testament tabernacle, which he took on various lecture tours around the United Kingdom.  He was just about to go on such a tour to Charlotte Chapel at Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1911 when he became ill and died at Brockley in London on Mar. 31, 1911.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song may be found in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann.   Among other hymnbooks of my collection, I have seen it in the 1961 Trinity Hymnal published by Great Commission Publications; the 1965 Christian Praise published by Broadman Press; the 1966 Crusader Hymns and the 1974 Hymns of the Living Church both published by the Hope Publishing Company; and the 1972 Christian Hymnary published by The Christian Hymnary Publishers.

The song is a very tender and pleading hymn to extend the Lord’s invitation.

I. Stanza 1 encourages us to come to Him that we might receive salvation

“Come to the Savior now, He gently calleth thee;

In true repentance bow, Before Him bend the knee.

He waiteth to bestow Salvation, peace, and love,

True joy on earth below, A home in heaven above.”

  1. Through His words recorded in scripture, the Savior calls us to come to Him: Matt. 11:28-30
  2. Coming to Jesus demands repentance on our part: Lk. 13:3
  3. Those who thus come to Him receive salvation both now and in heaven: 1 Pet. 1:5-9

II. Stanza 2 urges to come to Him that we might return to His fold

“Come to the Savior now, Ye who have wandered far,

Renew your solemn vow, For His by right you are.

Come, like poor wandering sheep Returning to His fold;

His arm will safely keep, His love will ne’er grow cold.”

  1. Since all have sinned, one reason that we need to come to the Savior is that we have wandered far like the prodigal son: Lk. 15:11-13
  2. However, even though we have wandered away, we still belong to Him because He is our Creator: Jn. 1:1-3
  3. Therefore, like sheep who have strayed, we should want to return to the fold of the Shepherd who laid down His life for us: Jn. 10:15-16

III. Stanza 3 exhorts us to come to Him that we might cast all our burdens and cares on Him

“Come to the Savior, all, What-e’er your burdens be;

Hear now His loving call, ‘Cast all your care on Me.’

Come, and for every grief In Jesus you will find

A sure and safe relief, A loving Friend, and kind.”

  1. All of us have burdens that we must bear in this life: Ps. 55:22
  2. However, Jesus calls us to come to Him, telling us to cast all our cares upon Him: 1 Pet. 5:7
  3. When we come to Him and cast our cares upon Him, we shall find that He is a Friend indeed: Jn. 15:13-15

CONCL.:  Some books alter the first two lines of Stanza 3 to read, “Bring to the Savior Every burden there may be” and the last two lines of the same stanza to read, “Help, comfort, and relief, A loving friend and kind.”  I assume that these are the changes because only two books, Hymns for the Living Church and Great Songs Revised, that I found have them, whereas the vast majority of the hymnbooks that I checked have the wording as I gave it for each stanza.  Furthermore, Forrest M. McCann, editor of Great Songs Revised, wrote in Hymns and History, the handbook to accompany the hymnbook, “The GSR text is somewhat altered from the original.  (See Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos, No. 399).”  Exactly where and why these changes were made is unknown, but Sankey often made minor alterations to hymns in his books to make them easier for him to sing.  Though this song has appeared in hardly any of our books, it has always impressed me as one that would make a very suitable invitation song to call upon sinners to “Come to the Savior Now.”

come---now

Precious Promise

“PRECIOUS PROMISE”

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Ps. 38:2)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which reminds us that God has promised to instruct us, teach us in the way which we should go, and guide us with His eye is “Precious Promise.”  The text was written by Nathaniel Niles, who was born on Sept. 15, 1835 at South Kingston, RI.  Very little information is available about him.  He was educated at Phillips Andover Academy, admitted to the New York Bar in 1857, and practiced law in Providence, RI.  There was an American figure skater who was born in Boston, MA, competed in single skating, pair skating, and ice dancing between 1914 and 1932, and died in Brookline, MA, named Nathaniel William Niles (1886–1932).  However, he lived too late for this song.  There was also a United States Representative from Vermont who was born in South Kingston, RI, attended Harvard College, graduated from Princeton College in 1766, studied law and medicine, taught in New York City, NY, also studied theology and preached in Norwich and Torrington, CT, named Nathaniel Niles (1741-1828).  However, he lived too early for this song.  Perhaps the author is a descendent of the latter and an ancestor of the former.

All that is known about Niles is what Ira David Sankey said concerning this song in his 1906 book My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns.  “This well-known hymn was written by Mr. Nathaniel Niles, a resident of Morristown, NJ, and at that time a lawyer in New York City….The verses were composed on the margin of a newspaper in the railway car one morning while on his way to business.”  It is usually dated 1871.  The tune (I Will Guide Thee) was composed by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876).  The song was first published in Bliss’s 1873 Sunshine for Sunday Schools.  The following year, the composer included it in his book Gospel Songs and later in Gospel Hymns which he edited with Sankey.  Sankey also used it in Sacred Songs and Solos, which was published for campaigns with Dwight L. Moody in England, and it became one of the most useful hymns in connection with their meetings there.  Moody often asked for it to be sung to accompany his lessons on “The Precious Promises.”  Niles later served as speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly in 1872 and died in 1917.

Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song, to my knowledge, has never appeared nor is it found in any.  The only time I have ever heard the hymn sung was when I was a teenager and visited a revival service with some friends at the local Baptist Church in the little town of New Market, OH, near  where we lived.  Among other hymnbooks of my collection, I have seen it in the 1940 Broadman Hymnal published by Broadman Press; the 1951 Inspiring Hymns published by Singspiration Music; the 1957 Worship and Service Hymnal published by Hope Publishing Company; the 1972 Living Hymns published by Encore Publications Inc.; and the 1972 Soul Stirring Songs and Hymns published by Sword of the Lord Publishers  .

The song mentions some specific times in life when we need to look for God’s guidance.

I. Stanza 1 talks about travelling on the way from earth to heaven

“Precious promise God has given

To the weary passer by

On the way from earth to heaven:

‘I will guide thee with Mine eye.'”

  1. God through Christ has given His people exceeding great and precious promises: 2 Pet. 1:3-4
  2. There is always the danger that those who try to serve God can become weary and faint: Heb. 12:3
  3. Thus, we must look to God’s promises to guide us on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life: Matt. 7:13-14

II. Stanza 2 talks about when temptations arise

“When temptations almost win thee,

And thy trusted watchers fly,

Let this promise ring within thee:

‘I will guide thee with Mine eye.'”

  1. As long as we live upon this earth, we must deal with the problem of temptation: Jas. 1:13-15
  2. While there are times when we can draw strength to face temptations from others, there are also times when all our trusted watchers may fly and desert us, as Paul found: 2 Tim. 4:16
  3. However, we have God’s promise that He will never leave or forsake us: Heb. 13:5-6

III. Stanza 3 talks about when we are discouraged by failed hopes

“When thy secret hopes have perished

In the grave of years gone by,

Let this promise still be cherished:

‘I will guide thee with Mine eye.'”

  1. All of us have had secret hopes and dreams of what we would like to be and have in this life, as did the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: Lk. 24:13-24:
  2. However, in many instances, those plans often perish in the grave of years gone by: Job 18:17
  3. Yet, in spite of the disappointments of life, we still have promises from God upon which we can trust and indeed have a true hope that will be an anchor to our soul: Heb. 6:13-20

IV. Stanza  4 talks about when the time for death has come

“When the shades of life are falling,

And the hour has come to die,

Hear the trusty Pilot calling,

‘I will guide thee with Mine eye.”

  1. The picture of the “shades of life” falling draws upon the concept of one’s life as a day, at the close of which night comes: Jn. 9:4
  2. Therefore, at the end of life’s day, each of us will find that the hour has come to die: Heb. 9:27
  3. However, if we have lived according to God’s plan, He will be our Pilot to take us home to eternal life which is His promise: 1 Jn. 2:25
  4. T

V. There is another stanza in my copy of Hymns of Dawn, published in 1959 by the Dawn Bible Students Association of East Rutherford, NJ, which I believe is an offshoot of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is not in my copy of Gospel Hymns Nos. 1-6 Complete, published by Sankey, which contains almost all of Bliss’s songs, so it was probably not written by Niles. The editors of Hymns of Dawn were notorious for removing stanzas and adding new ones to make the songs fit their theological ideas, so this one was probably by them.  Notice it does not have the internal rhyme of lines one and three, as do all of Niles’s, but it is interesting to note.

“‘By and by the heavenly treasures

Moth and rust could ne’er destroy

Thou wilt find laid up in glory,

Guided to them with Mine eye.'”

  1. God has promised His people an inheritance in heaven: 1 Pet. 1:3-5
  2. In that inheritance there will be treasures which neither moth nor rust can destroy: Matt. 6:19-20
  3. This reward is laid up for us there and will be given to us by the righteous Judge in that final day: 2 Tim. 4:6-8

CONCL.:  The chorus expresses the need for us to look to God for guidance in this life.

“I will guide thee, I will guide thee,

I will guide thee with Mine eye;

On the way from earth to heaven,

I will guide thee with Mine eye.”

Bliss is remembered even today for such famous hymns as “Wonderful Words of Life” and “Almost Persuaded,” as well as tunes for such well known songs as Horatio Gates Spafford’s “It Is Well with My Soul” and Frances Ridley Havergal’s “I Gave My Life for Thee.”  This is one of his lesser known works.  I was impressed with it the one time that I heard it.  It is too bad that it has never been included in any of our books and though once quite popular seems to be fading from hymnbooks generally.  During the hardships and heartaches of life, it is always good to be reminded of God’s “Precious Promise.”

precious promise

Conquering Now and Still to Conquer

“CONQUERING NOW AND STILL TO CONQUER”

“…Behold a white horse: and He that sat on him…went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which pictures Jesus Christ as sitting on a white horse going forth to conquer based upon the action portrayed in the book of Revelation is “Conquering Now and Still to Conquer” or “Victory Through Grace.”  The text was written, under the pseudonym of Sallie Martin, by Frances Jane Crosby VanAlstyne, better known by her professional name of Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915).  The tune was composed by John R. Sweney (1837-1899).  Crosby and Sweney’s best-known collaboration is “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” but they produced other songs together, such as “Jesus Will Give You Rest,” “I Shall Know Him,” and “Take the World, but Give Me Jesus.”  This song, “Victory Through Grace,” was first published in 1890, and when it was renewed in 1918 it was owned by the Hope Publishing Company.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song, to my knowledge, has never appeared nor is it found in any.  Among other hymnbooks of my collection, I have seen it in the 1951 Inspiring Hymns and the 1968 Great Hymns of the Faith both published by Singspiration Music; the 1957 Worship and Service Hymnal published by Hope Publishing Company; the 1961 Trinity Hymnal published by Great Commission Publications; the 1968 American Service Hymnal published by the John T. Benson Publishing Company; the 1972 Living Hymns published by Encore Publications Inc.; the 1972 Soul Stirring Songs and Hymns published by Sword of the Lord Publishers; and the 1992 Pilgrim’s Praises published by Ambassador Publishers.

The song exhorts us to follow the one who promises us victory through grace.

I. Stanza 1 calls Him our King

“Conquering now and still to conquer, Rideth a King in His might,

Leading the host of all the faithful Into the midst of the fight.

See them with courage advancing, Clad in their brilliant array;

Shouting the name of their Leader, Hear them exultingly say:”

  1. Jesus Christ is King because He was raised up to sit on His throne: Acts 2:30-32
  2. He is King of a host of faithful who are fighting the good fight of the faith: 1 Tim. 6:12
  3. His army is clad in their brilliant array of the armor of God: Eph. 6:10-17

II. Stanza 2 calls Him our leader in battle

“Conquering now and still to conquer, Who is this wonderful King?

Whence are the armies which He leadeth, While of His glory they sing?

He is our Lord and Redeemer, Savior and Monarch divine;

They are the stars that forever Bright in His kingdom will shine.”

  1. His armies that He leads are made up of those who are good soldiers: 2 Tim. 2:2-3
  2. They follow Him into battle because He is their Lord and their Savior: Lk. 2:11
  3. Their reward for following such a leader is that they will shine in His eternal kingdom: Dan. 12:3

III. Stanza 3 calls Him the Ruler of all

“Conquering now and still to conquer, Jesus, Thou Ruler of all,

Thrones and their scepters shall perish, Crowns and their splendor shall fall;

Yet shall the armies Thou leadest, Faithful and true to the last,

Find in Thy mansions eternal Rest, when their warfare is past.”

  1. Jesus Christ is Ruler of all because He is far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named: Eph. 1:20-21
  2. As a Ruler, He leads armies that are made up of those who are faithful: Rev. 2:10, 17:14
  3. Again, the reward that their Ruler gives them is to find eternal rest in the mansions above: Jn. 14:1-3

CONCL.:  The chorus, based upon Eccl. 9:11, reminds us that our King, Leader, and Ruler directs us in a spiritual warfare that will not be determined by physical strength or might.

“Not to the strong is the battle,
Not to the swift is the race;

Yet to the true and the faithful

Victory is promised through grace.”

It is a shame that this great hymn of Fanny Crosby’s has not been used in any of our books.  Indeed, it is a shame that it is no longer found in many hymnbooks generally.  However, we live in a day when there is less emphasis on being militant in our stand for truth.  According to the new theology, we must learn to get along with everyone.  Many believers today want to gain the victory but they are unwilling to wage the good warfare that is necessary to obtain it.  However, may faithful Christians remember that we must continue to go out with Him who is “Conquering Now and Still to Conquer.”

conquering

Trust, Try, and Prove Me

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(photo of Lida Shivers Leech)

“TRUST, TRY, AND PROVE ME”

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse….and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts…” (Mal. 3:10)

     INTRO.:  A song which exhorts us to bring all our gifts to the Lord and prove Him is “Trust, Try, and Prove Me.”  The text was written and the tune (Giving) was composed both by Sarah Elizabeth “Lida” Shivers Leech, who was born on July 12, 1873, at Mayville, NJ.  After spending her childhood at Cape May Court House, NJ, she attended Columbia University and Temple University, and became an organist. travelling extensively as a musician in evangelistic services.  During her life, she produced some 500 hymns.  “Trust, Try, and Prove Me” is dated 1923 and was copyrighted by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel.  It first appeared the following year in Robert H. Coleman’s Harvest Hymns.  In Coleman’s 1926 book The Modern Hymnal, it was indicated that the hymn had become the property of Coleman.  When the copyright was renewed in 1951, it was owned by Broadman Press.  Other hymns by Mrs. Leech include “God’s Way Is Best,” “I Have Redeemed Thee,” “No Fault in Him,” “Some Day He’ll Make It Plain,” “The Sweetest Song,” “Thine for Service,” When the Veil Is Lifted,” and “Win One Every Day.”  Living for many years in Camden, NJ, she apparently relocated at some time to California, because she died at Long Beach, CA, on Mar. 4, 1962.

Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “Trust, Try, and Prove Me” has, so far as I can tell, neither appeared nor is found in any.  Among other hymnbooks in my collection, it was found in the 1940 Broadman Hymnal and the 1964 Christian Praise both published by Broadman Press; the 1968 Great Hymns of the Faith and the 1979 Praise: Our Songs and Hymns both published by Singspiration Music; the 1972 Living Hymns published by Encore Publications; and the 1991 Baptist Hymnal published by Convention Press.

The song impresses upon our minds the importance of making sure that we give our best to the Lord so that we can receive His richest blessings.

I. Stanza 1 encourages us to give

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,

All your money, talents, time, and love;

Consecrate them all upon the altar,

While your Savior from above speaks sweetly:”

  1. Perhaps one reason why this song has not been used in any of our books is that it mentions “tithes,” and it may be that hymnbook editors among us were afraid that folks might get the idea that churches of Christ teach tithing. Tithing, literally giving a tenth of one’s substance, was an Old Testament command which is not specified in the New Testament.  However, we are commanded to give to the Lord generally: 2 Cor. 9:6-7.  If we can read Old Testament passages about tithes and make the application to our giving without teaching tithing, we should be able to do the same thing in song.
  2. The fact is that under the New Covenant, the Lord does not specify that we give Him a tenth, but demands that we actually devote and dedicate to Him everything–money, talents, time, and love–in doing His will, counting all things of this world as loss for Christ: Phil. 3:7-8
  3. These things we consecrate upon the altar, again a figurative expression drawn from the Old Testament to indicate that we must present ourselves and all we have as living sacrifices for the Lord: Rom. 12:1-2

II. Stanza 2 encourages us to trust

“When my wavering faith in trials falter,

When His guiding hand I cannot see,

Then in wondrous love and tender mercy,

Through His word He says to me, ‘My child just…'”

  1. There are times when trials and tribulations of life may cause our faith to falter, just as the wind and the waves did to Peter: Matt. 14:26-31
  2. At such times, we may not be able, as well as at other times, to see or be aware of God’s hand guiding us because of our fears and doubts: Matt. 21:21
  3. However, regardless of what happens to us in this life, we can always trust in God’s love and tender mercy to provide for us and our needs: Matt. 6:25-34

III. Stanza 3 encourages us to yield

“I have yielded Him my life forever,

All I am, or have, or hope to be;

Naught on earth my hold on Him can sever,

While I hear Him say to me, ‘My child, just…'”

  1. Yielding our lives to Christ is symbolized in scripture by taking up the cross and following Him: Matt. 16:24
  2. This means giving to Him all that we are, have, or hope to be, meaning that we should lay treasures in heaven rather than on earth: Matt. 6:19-20
  3. When we have this kind of attitude, then there is nothing on earth that can sever or separate us from His love: Rom. 8:38-39

CONCL.:  The chorus completes the thought of each stanza:

“Trust Me, try Me, prove Me,

Saith the Lord of hosts, and see

If a blessing, unmeasured blessing,

I will not pour out on thee.”

There are not many hymns in our books about giving.  Maybe hymnbook editors did not want to seem as if they were asking for money!  More likely, there are just not that many good songs on the subject.  I have always been impressed with this one.  Just as He did to the Israelites during their restoration to Jerusalem following their captivity, He still calls on us to give Him our very best, saying, “Trust, Try, and Prove Me.”

trust try

Tell and Sing the News

r m morgan

(photo of Richard M. Morgan)

TELL AND SING THE NEWS

“…Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee…” (Mk. 5:19)

      INTRO.:  A song which encourages us to go to our friends and tell them what great things the Lord hath done for us is “Tell and Sing the News.”  The text was written by James Rowe (1865-1933). He was a prolific hymn-text writer whose best-known lyric is probably “Love Lifted Me.”  The tune for “Tell and Sing the News” was composed by Richard Monroe “Roe” Morgan, who was born on Feb. 21, 1871, at Gladewater in Upshur County, Texas.  His parents were Richard Washington Morgan (1832–1913) and Elizabeth Adelaide Elder Morgan (1834–1896).  He had four sisters—Laura. Mary Ann, Margaret, and Ellen; and three brothers—Charles, William, and James.

Morgan married Murph Deloris Carwile (1885–1933).  They had four children—sons Harmon and Richard, and daughters Ola Bell and Etna Lee.  Morgan, who was a member of the Church of Christ, taught singing schools and normals for some fifty years and started many on the road to singing.  Among his pupils were Virgil O. Stamps and Palmer Wheeler.

Morgan published several songs in the early part of the twentieth century.  In addition to “Tell and Sing the News,” they include “Some Day” and “Singing All the While.”  He died, aged 67, on Oct. 31, 1938, at Port Arthur in Jefferson County, Texas. His burial took place in West Mountain Cemetery at West Mountain in Upshur County, Texas.  “Tell and Sing the News” appeared in the 1951 Church Hymnal published by Tennessee Music and Printing Co. and was used in the 1980 Our Garden of Song compiled by Gene C. Finley.

The song gives several reasons why we should tell and sing the news.

I. Stanza 1 tells us that Christ offers full salvation

Christ is making sinners free, full salvation giving,

Whosoever will may come, none He will refuse;

Therefore, that the lost may know and with Christ believing,

All the way, every day, tell and sing the news.

  1. Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners: 1 Tim. 1:15
  2. Everyone is invited to receive His salvation: Rev. 22:17
  3. However, the lost must know about this because they cannot believe in Him of whom they have not heard: Rom. 10:13-14

II. Stanza 2 tells us that His mercy brings songs of joy

All transgressions from the past He is freely hiding,

And is giving songs of joy to the sad and lone;

Millions in His presence now safely are abiding:

Tell it out, sing it out, make His mercy known.

  1. God has promised that our sins and transgressions He will remember no more: Heb. 10:16-18
  2. In their place, He will give us songs of joy: Jas. 5:13
  3. These promises are for those who abide in His mercy: Tit. 3:3-5

III. Stanza 3 tells us that His love will give eternal life

All may have eternal life, if they will believe Him,

All may wear the robe and crown in the world above;

He will surely richly bless all who will receive Him;

Shout the news, preach the news, praise His mighty love.

  1. Because of God’s love, all who truly believe can have eternal life: Jn. 3:16
  2. This eternal life will be in the world to come above: Mk. 10:29-30
  3. But it is not enough just to believe—we must receive Him by obedience: Heb. 5:8-9

CONCL.:  The chorus exhorts us to share the good message of salvation in Christ to sinful mankind.

Tell it, sing it, let the breezes wing it,

Helping sinners Christ the Lord to choose;

Tell it, sing it, let your joy-bells ring it,

O’er and o’er, evermore, tell and sing the news.

All have sinned and need salvation.  God loved us enough to send Jesus to die for our sins and offer redemption through His blood.  God’s plan for sinful mankind to be saved is revealed in the gospel.  To make this plan known to the whole world, God’s people should “Tell and Sing the News.”

tell and sing

Threatening Storms and Tempests May Sweep

“THREATENING STORMS AND TEMPESTS MAY SWEEP”

“And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:25)

     INTRO.:  A song which encourages us to build our spiritual house on the rock so that we can withstand the rains, floods, and winds of trial in this life is “Threatening Storms and Tempests May Sweep.”  The text was written by Elisha Albright Hoffman (1839-1929).  A minister with the Evangelical Synod and a prolific hymn-text poet, he is well known for such songs as “Are You Washed in the Blood?”, “Glory to His Name” (or “Down at the Cross”), “Enough for Me,” “I Must Tell Jesus,” “Is Thy Heart Right with God?”, “Is Your All on the Altar?”, “It Is Mine,” “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” “What a Wonderful Savior!”, “To Christ Be True,” and “Where Will You Spend Eternity?”, for some of which he provided only the text while for others he produced both words and music.  The tune (Standing on the Rock) for “Threatening Storms and Tempests May Sweep” was composed by Samuel W. Beazley (1873-1944).  I have not been able to find a date, source of publication, or any other background information about the song.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard.

The song talks about some of the things which we need to do to be protected from the tribulations of life.

I. Stanza 1 mentions trusting in the everlasting God

“Threatening storms and tempests may sweep o’er my soul,

But I dread not the fearful shock.

I am trusting in the everlasting God;

I am standing on the Solid Rock.”

  1. Storms and tempests are often used poetically to symbolize the trials and tribulations of life: Ps. 107:23-28
  2. However, during such storms and tempests, we can trust in the everlasting God: Prov. 3:5-6
  3. We demonstrate this trust by standing on the Solid Rock, which is Christ: 1 Cor. 10:4

II. Stanza 2 mentions standing on the Solid Rock

“Doubts and fears may rise to shake my feeble faith,

And temptation my soul assail;

But I stand securely on the Solid Rock,

And they never, never can prevail.”

  1. There are times when doubts and fears arise to shake our faith, just as the storm affected Peter: Matt. 14:22-31
  2. It is during such times that temptations are most likely to assail our souls: Jas. 1:13-15
  3. However, if we stand securely on the Solid Rock, these things can never prevail, just as the gates of Hades could not prevail against the church because it is built on the Rock: Matt. 16:18

III. Stanza 3 mentions braving every peril

“What have I to fear though wild the billows roll?

God is ruler of wind and wave;

While my feet are planted on the Solid Rock,

Every threatening peril I can brave.”

  1. There is no reason for the one whose feet are planted on the Solid Rock to fear: Heb. 13:5-6
  2. The God whom we worship is ruler of wind and waves, as demonstrated through the power of Christ: Matt. 8:23-27
  3. Therefore, we can brave every threatening peril by being strong and courageous: Josh. 1:6-7

IV. Stanza 4 mentions hiding in the Savior’s side

“I am safe while hiding in my Savior’s side,

Sheltered in His mighty arm;

Anchored to the Rock of Ages, I’m secure.

God will shield me from all ill and harm.”

  1. We can be safe by hiding in the shadow of God’s wings: Ps. 17:8
  2. In this way, He will shelter and protect us by His mighty arm: Deut. 33:27
  3. But we need to remain anchored to the Rock of Ages by our hope in His promises: Heb. 6:19-20

CONCL.:  The chorus exhorts us to continue standing on the Rock of Ages.

“I am standing, standing,

I’m standing on the Rock of Ages;

I am standing, standing,

I’m standing on the Solid Rock.”

There are many different kinds of trials and tribulations which can come upon the child of God.  Some are common to this life, such as sickness, loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, and such like.  Some may even be the result of persecution.  However, whatever the cause, if we always make sure that we cling to the Solid Rock, we can find comfort and protection when “Threatening Storms and Tempests May Sweep.”

threatening storms

Just to Know

“JUST TO KNOW”

“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…” (Phil. 3:10)

     INTRO.:  A song which identifies the blessings of coming to know Jesus Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings is “Just to Know.”  The text was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960).  A prolific author of gospel song texts, he produced such well-known hymns as “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “Living For Jesus,” “O to Be Like Thee,” and “Only In Thee.”  Also, he provided words for several tunes by L. O. Sanderson of the Gospel Advocate Co., including “All Things Work Together for Good,” “Be With Me, Lord,” “Bring Christ Your Broken Life,” and “A New Creature” (“Buried With Christ”).  The tune for “Just To Know” was composed by Samuel W. Beazley (1873-1944).  I do not have the date, source of publication, or any other background information about the hymn.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard, as well as the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

The song mentions several things about our relationship with Christthat we can know.

I. Stanza 1 tells us that we can know that Jesus loves us

“Just to know that Jesus loves me

With a tenderness so great,

Nothing ever shall be able

From His love to separate.”

  1. We know that Jesus loves us because the Bible tells us so: Eph. 5:2
  2. We also know that this love is very tender and great because He gave His life for us: 1 Jn. 3:16
  3. And we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ: Rom. 8:38-39

II. Stanza 2 tells us that we can know that Jesus has forgiven us

“Just to know He hath forgiven

All my sins of all the years,

In the book of life eternal,

That my worthless name appears.”

  1. We can know that Christ has forgiven us: 1 Jn. 2:12
  2. In addition, we can know that not just a few sins are forgiven but that all of our sins are forgiven: Heb. 10:11-12
  3. As a result, we can know that, having been forgiven, our names appear in the book of life: Phil. 4:3

III. Stanza 3 tells us that we can know that Jesus is with us

“Just to know that He is with me,

Just to have His promise true,

That He never will forsake me

All my earthly journey through.”

  1. We can know that Jesus will be with us because He said that He would: Matt. 28:20
  2. We can know that He will keep His exceeding and precious promises to us: 2 Pet. 1:3-4
  3. Therefore, we can know that He will never leave us nor forsake us: Heb. 13:5-6

IV. Stanza 4 tells us that we can know that Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven

“Just to know that up in heaven

There’s a place prepared for me,

That a glorious day is coming

When my Savior I shall see.”

  1. We can know that we have the hope of heaven because God reveals it in His word: 1 Pet. 1:3-5
  2. We can know that Jesus is there now preparing a place for us: Jn. 14:1-3
  3. And we can know that someday He will return from there for us: Phil. 3:20-21

CONCL.:  The chorus reminds us that all we need to know is what God has made known to us through Christ.

“This is all I need to know;

This my cup doth overflow.

All things else I can resign,

Since I know that Christ is mine!”

While we live by faith, this faith is not merely a blind leap in the dark, simply a matter of guessing and wishing.  God has given us His word and confirmed it with many infallible proofs.  Thus, concerning those things that God has told us, it is a wonderful blessing “Just To Know.”

just to know

Deep Settled Peace

“DEEP SETTLED PEACE”

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” (Col. 3:15)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which encourages us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts is “Deep Settled Peace.”  The text was written by Neal A. McAulay, who was born in 1854.  From 1886 to 1907, he was minister with the First Presbyterian Church in Wilton, IA.  Cyberhymnal lists three other hymns by him, “How Could It Be,” “I Love the Gospel Story,” and “The Old Fashioned Faith.”  In addition to gospel songs, he also published poetry in several Masonic works.  I do not have any date, source of publication, or other background information concerning “Deep Settled Peace.”  The tune was composed by Samuel W. Beazley (1873-1944).  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard.

The song explains what we must do to have the peace of God ruling in our hearts.

I. Stanza 1 says that we must kneel at the cross

“Since I knelt at the cross of my Savior

And besought Him my heart to control,

Since I trusted His mercy and favor,

There’s a deep settled peace in my soul.”

  1. To kneel at the cross, while not possible literally, symbolizes the concept of submission in obeying Christ’s will: Heb. 5:8-9
  2. In doing this, we beseech Him to control our hearts by dwelling in them by faith: Eph. 3:17
  3. This submission is a result of trusting His mercy and favor: Eph. 1:12-13

II. Stanza 2 says that we must learn the right way of living

“Since I know He is kind and forgiving

Unto those who their cares on Him roll,

Since He taught me the right way of living,

There’s a deep settled peace in my soul.”

  1. We know that Christ is kind and forgiving: Mk. 3:28
  2. His kindness is seen also in that we can cast all our cares upon Him: 1 Pet. 5:7
  3. But to receive these blessings, we must learn from Him the right way of living and then follow it: Jn. 6:44-45

III. Stanza 3 says that we must lay our all on the altar

“Since my all I have laid on the altar,

And to serve Him I choose to enroll,

Nevermore in His cause will I falter;

There’s a deep settled peace in my soul.”

  1. Laying our all on the altar, while again not a literal act, symbolizes the idea of sacrificing our all to Christ, another picture of which is to take up the cross and follow Him: Matt. 16:24
  2. When we do this, we are choosing to enroll in service to Him as living sacrifices: Rom. 12:1
  3. From then on, we must nevermore falter knowing that he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God: Lk. 9:61-62

IV. Stanza 4 says that we must have His Spirit sustaining our hearts

“Since His Spirit my heart is sustaining,

I know I shall reach the blest goal;

And since glimpses of glory I’m gaining,

There’s a deep settled peace in my soul.”

  1. We should let the Holy Spirit sustain our hearts by allowing Him to dwell in us through the influence of the word that He revealed and to nurture in our lives His fruit: Gal. 5:22-23
  2. In this way, He gives us assurance that we shall reach the blest goal: Phil. 3:13-14
  3. One source of peace is the glimpses of glory that we gain from the word: Rev. 21:1-4

CONCL.:  The chorus expresses praise for the cleansing and the peace that the Lord offers us.

“I shall praise Him for ever and ever

For the cleansing that maketh me whole;

Not a doubt can our friendship now sever

Since this deep settled peace fills my soul.”

There is much warfare in this world, and we often pray for peace.  There is much conflict in the lives of individuals and they long for peace.  We cannot control what goes on in the world around us and in other people’s lives.  However, we can submit to God and live according to His will, knowing that whatever happens to us in this life, we ourselves can have from the Lord in our own hearts a “Deep Settled Peace.”

deep settled peace0008