“In That Home of the Soul”

"In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16.11)

     INTRO.: A song which looks forward to that time when we shall be at the right hand of God to enjoy the fullness of joy in His presence and His pleasures for evermore is "In That Home Of The Soul" (#200 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #362 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune was composed both by James Washington Gaines, who was born in Texas in 1880. I have been able to locate very little information about him, except that he lived in Texas for many years, working with the Trio and/or Quartet Music Companies of Waco. His wife’s name was Laurel, and they had six children. He must have been a friend of Franklin L. Eiland, a hymnwriter who was a member of the Lord’s church, because it was while visiting at Gaines’ log cabin home in Palo Pinto County, TX, that Eiland composed his most famous melody which accompanies the hymn, "Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand," by Jennie Wilson.  Eventually the Gainses moved to Shelby County in the Memphis, TN, area where he operated a music business there under his own name and spent the last few years of his life.

     Gaines produced a number of gospel songs, some of which have found their way into our books, including "Take My Hand, and Lead Me," "When Jesus Comes," and the tune used with "You Never Mentioned Him To Me." "In That Home Of The Soul" was copyrighted by Gaines in 1907. The earliest book in my collection in which I have found it is the 1923 Song Service edited by J. E. Thomas and published by the Quartet Music Co. of Ft. Worth, TX, where it is identified as being owned by the Quartet Music Co.  Thomas was not a member of the church of Christ, but several who were associated with him in the Quartet Music Co. were. Gaines himself was a Methodist and died on June 13, 1937 at Oakville in Shelby County, TN.  The song’s popularity among us is likely due to its being included in the Sacred Selections where editor by Ellis J. Crum made a few changes in the song, which have found their way into most other books which have used the song since then.

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1940 Praise and Revival Songs, the 1944 Gospel Songs and Hymns, the 1952 Hymns of Praise and Devotion, the 1955 Sacred Praise, and the 1959 Gospel Service Hymnal all edited by Will W. Slater; the 1959 Majestic Hymns No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert Welch. Today it may be found in the and 1971 Songs of the Church and 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; as well as Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

     The song emphasizes the blessings of heaven.

I. Stanza 1 says that it is a place of joy and peace
"Soon the toils of life will cease, Then no sorrow we shall know
In that home of the soul;
There we’ll dwell in joy and peace, Robed in garments white as snow,
In that home of the soul."
 A. The toils of life can be said to end "soon" because Moses said that even if one’s life reaches eighty years, "it is soon cut off, and we fly away": Ps. 90.10
 B. After death, then the righteous will have joy and peace, because they will know no sorrow but have rest from their labors, a blessing that will continue on into the eternal state after the resurrection: Rev. 14.13
 C. And in this place of joy and peace, the righteous will be robed in garment white as snow, both as they await the resurrection and then as they stand before the throne of heaven: Rev. 7.9-15

II. Stanza 2 says that heaven is a place of glory in the presence of the Savior
"There the Savior we shall see And His glory ever share,
In that home of the soul;
Reunited we shall be With the ransomed over there,
In that home of the soul."
 A. The Bible promises that when Jesus comes, we shall see Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3.1-3
 B. And dwelling in His presence, we shall share His glory: 1 Tim. 3.16, 1 Pet. 5.10
 C. And in this glory, we shall be reunited with the redeemed of all ages around the throne of God: Rev. 4.1-4 (many expositors believe that the 24 elders represent the saved of both covenants, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel standing for those redeemed before Christ, and the 12 apostles standing for those redeemed after Christ)

III. Stanza 3 says that heaven is a place that is eternal
"While the ages onward roll, ‘Round the shining throne we’ll sing,
In that home of the soul;
With the angels we’ll extol Him, the Christ, our Lord and King,
In that home of the soul."
 A. Some object to phrases such as "While the ages onward roll" with reference to heaven saying that there will be no time or ages in heaven; but since we are finite beings who are bound by time, we have to use the time-bound language that is available to us to express the eternal life that we shall have in heaven: 1 Jn. 2.25
 B. In that eternal place, we shall be with the angels who surround the throne of God and worship Him: Heb. 1.6, Rev. 21.12
 C. And with the angels, we’ll extol Christ. Ellis J. Crum, in Sacred Selections, changed the stanza to read, "With the angels we’ll extol Christ, who WAS our Lord and King." In fact, if you have ever noticed, Crum went through the songs about heaven and changed every reference of Christ as King to the past tense. Apparently, his thinking was that 1 Cor. 15.24-28, which says that at His second coming Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father and Himself be subject to Him who put all things under Him, means that Christ will not be King in heaven. First of all, we could sing that in heaven we shall (in the future) extol Christ (who is now at this time), our Lord and King. Even granting that at His second coming Christ will cease to be King in the special sense that He is now as Head over all things to the church, Paul still says that "God may be all in all." Thus, as God the Son, Christ in eternity will still be King or ruler over everything then in existence. And thus, with the angels, we shall extol Him: Rev. 5.11-12.

     CONCL.: The chorus says what a blessed thought it is that we have been granted the hope of dwelling in that place where endless praise will swell to both the Father and the Son.
"Blessed thought there to dwell In that home of the soul;
Endless praise we shall swell In that home of the soul."
God is so gracious to have sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we can have redemption. Therefore, we should sing songs of thanksgiving to Him now for this wonderful privilege, even as the redeemed will do forever "In That Home Of The Soul."


One thought on ““In That Home of the Soul”

  1. I came across “The Gospel in Song” published by The Quartet Music Co. Fort Worth, TX The inside title page is gone, so I don’t know the published date. It is a collection of hymns by John Thomas,, and Thomas Cobb

    It is cloth bound. Is it of any value? When was it published? Appreciate a response. Thank you.

    Cheryl Thomas 682-234-0331 Fort Worth, TX


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