"THE HALF HAS NEVER YET BEEN TOLD"
"…And, behold, the half was not told me…" (1 Ki. 10.7)
INTRO.: A song which points out that the half of the glories of Jesus Christ has not been told is "The Half Has Never Yet Been Told." The text was written by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879). I have been able to find no further information as to its date or origin of publication. Miss Havergal authored such well known hymns as "I Gave My Life For Thee" and "Take My Life And Let It Be." The tune was composed by Ralph Erskine Hudson (1843-1901). The song was first published in his 1893 Glad Tidings. Hudson is perhaps best known for the melody and chorus "At the Cross" to which we usually sing Isaac Watts’s hymn beginning "Alas, and did my Savior bleed." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "The Half Has Never Yet Been Told" appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1–text only) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch.
The song identifies some of the blessings that Jesus Christ makes possible to those who love Him.
I. Stanza 1 mentions peace
"I know I love Thee better, Lord, Than any earthly joy,
For Thou has given me the peace Which nothing can destroy."
A. We are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength: Mk. 12.30
B. This means that we must seek the things above rather than the joys that are on earth: Col. 3.1-2
C. If we do this, we can have the peace of God that passes all understanding: Phil. 4.7
II. Stanza 2 mentions communion
"I know that Thou art nearer still Than any earthly throng;
And sweeter is the thought of Thee Than any lovely song."
A. Jesus Christ can be nearer still than any earthly throng if we draw near to Him: Jas. 4.8
B. When we do this, He will be sweeter than anything else, just as His word is sweeter than honeycomb: Ps. 19.7-10
C. Those who enjoy His communion find that He is more than just a lovely song: Ezek. 33.32
III. Stanza 3 mentions gladness
"Thou hast put gladness in my heart; Then well I may be glad!
Without the secret of Thy love, I could not but be sad."
A. It is Jesus Christ who has put gladness in our hearts: Ps. 4.7
B. Therefore, His people can rejoice and be glad: Ps. 90.14
C. The reason for this gladness is the secret of His love for us: Eph. 5.2
IV. Stanza 4 mentions hope
"O Savior, precious Savior mine! What will Thy presence be,
If such a life of joy can crown Our walk on earth with Thee?"
A. Jesus Christ is our Savior: Lk. 2.11
B. When Jesus comes, the saved have the hope of being in His very presence: 1 Jn. 3.1-3
C. The songwriter is asking how inexpressible the joy that we can have then if our walk on earth with Christ is so joyful: Phil. 4.4
CONCL.: The chorus then concludes that in this life we really cannot know half of the true meaning of these blessings.
"The half has never yet been told, Of love so full and free!
The half has never yet been told, The blood–it cleanseth me!"
God has revealed, through His Son Jesus Christ in His word, everything that we need to know in order to serve and please Him here on earth in preparation for heaven. However, there are many things that God has not revealed simply because our finite minds could never understand them. Therefore, it is not wrong to suppose that with regard to all the glories of Christ and the blessings that He offers us, "The Half Has Never Yet Been Told."