“Whom Having Not Seen We Love”

"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. 1:8)

     INTRO.: A hymn which reminds us that even though we have not seen Jesus, we still love Him, believe in Him, and rejoice with joy unspeakable is "Whom Having Not Seen We Love." The text was written by Civilla Durfee Holden (Mrs. Walter Stillman) Martin (1866-1948). Mrs. Martin is best known for her songs "God Will Take Care of You" and "Heaven For Me," both with music by her husband, and "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" with melody by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel. The tune for "Whom Having Not Seen We Love" was composed by Thomas Benjamin Mosley (1872-1927). The song was copyrighted by the Gospel Advocate Co. in 1923 and first published that year in the 1923 Choice Gospel Hymns which Mosely and C. M. Pullias edited for the Gospel Advocate. Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), edited by L. O. Sanderson and Pullias.

     The song identifies several things that are true even though we have not seen Jesus personally.

I. Stanza 1 says that we have redemption from sin
"Though our eyes have never seen Him, Yet we love our gracious Lord;
We have tasted His great goodness, We believe His holy word.
When He found us in our ruin, He redeemed us by His grace;
We will never cease to love Him, Never cease to sound His praise."
 A. It is possible for us to taste that the Lord is gracious: 1 Pet. 2:3
 B. This is because He found us in our ruin and redeemed us by His blood: 1 Pet. 1:18-19
 C. Therefore, we should never cease to sound His praises: 1 Pet. 2:9

II. Stanza 2 says that we have the Comforter
"Though our eyes have never seen Him, Faith has seen Him on the cross,
And since first we had this vision All the world has seemed as dross.
And the Comforter, the Spirit, Who inspired the written Word,
Came to dwell with us each moment, In the place of Christ our Lord."
 A. Like Paul, Christians should count all earthly things as loss: Phil. 3:7-8
 B. To help us, He sent the Comforter, the Spirit, to guide the apostles into all truth: Jn. 16:7-13
 C. Through His word, the Spirit dwells in us and guides us in the right way: Eph. 5:18-21

III. Stanza 3 says that we have His power
"Though our eyes have never seen Him, Yet He is our dearest Friend,
And upon His arm of power, Every Christian may depend.
We are longing for the moment When we see Him as He is;
To be with Him in the glory Will be everlasting bliss."
 A. The power of Christ is in the gospel: Rom. 1:16
 B. It is by this power that we can have the hope of seeing Him as He is: 1 Jn. 3:1-3
 C. Then we can look forward to being with Him in everlasting glory: 1 Pet. 4:13

IV. Stanza 4 says that we have His grace
"Though we never saw our Savior, Never looked upon His face,
We have felt His saving power, Have experienced His grace.
And we love to tell His goodness, Love to show what He has done;
We invite you, fellow sinner, To repent and trust God’s Son."
 A. It is by God’s grace that we are saved through faith: Eph. 2:8-9
 B. Therefore, we should tell His goodness and show what He has done by preaching the word: Acts 8:4
 C. In this way, we invite sinners to repent and trust God’s Son: Acts 2:38

     CONCL.: This is one of those "songs of yesteryear" which have fallen by the wayside. Not every hymn from the past necessarily deserves to be remembered, but some of them do deserve a second look. Just read the poetry of this one. In my estimation, it is far superior to much of what passes for "praise and worship songs" today because it is firmly rooted in scripture and speaks objectively of spiritual truth rather than simply appealing to the subjective emotions of how we feel. Jesus Christ lived and died nearly 2,000 years ago, but He is the One "Whom Having Not Seen We Love."


One thought on ““Whom Having Not Seen We Love”

  1. You mention the two best known of Martin's songs, "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," and "God Will Take Care of You." But there's another, found in a few old song books, that has a message for today: "The Old-Fashioned Way." The author's point about the gospel and the plan of salvation being still the same as of old is well taken in a day of new fads and "modern" methods. God bless.


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