“BURIED BENEATH THE YIELDING WAVE”
“Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God…” (Col. 2:12)
INTRO.: A hymn which expounds upon the idea of being buried with Christ in baptism and risen with Him through faith in the operation of God is “Buried Beneath the Yielding Wave.” The text was written by Benjamin Beddome (1717-1795). Beddome was an English Baptist minister who throughout his preaching career prepared a hymn every week to be sung after the Sunday morning sermon. A couple of his other hymns still in common use are “God Is the Fountain Whence” and “God, in the Gospel of His Son.” These were never collected and published until after his death. Concerning “Buried Beneath the Yielding Wave,” John Julian, in his Dictionary of Hymnology (1907), said that it was “Published from Beddome’s manuscript in his posthumous Hymns, &c, 1817, No. 603, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, from whence it has passed into numerous collections in Great Britain and America. Original text in Spurgeon’s Our Own Hymn Book, No. 925. In some American collections it is dated 1787 in error.” Perhaps the 1787 date is some hymnbook editor’s guess as to its original writing.
This baptismal hymn, often printed under the title “Faith Views Him,” has been set to several different tunes. One (Azmon) was composed perhaps around 1829 by Carl Gotthelf Glaser (1784-1829). The arrangement was made in 1839 by Lowell Mason (1792-1872). It is usually associated with Isaac Watts’s “I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord.” Another (Arlington) was composed in 1762 by Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778). The arrangement was made in 1784 by Ralph Harrison (1748-1810). It is usually associated with Anna L. Barbauld’s “Again the Lord of Light and Life.” In the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), published by the Gospel Advocate Co., the text, in four stanzas and identified as “Anon.,” was slightly altered, a chorus provided, and a tune composed all by Lloyd Otis Sanderson (1901-1992). It was copyrighted under the title “Planted Together with Him.” A common meter hymn tune (Philippi) which I composed many years ago seems to fit almost perfectly with Beddome’s words.
The hymn points to what should be the results in our lives of being baptized into Christ (Sanderson’s alterations are in parentheses).
I. Stanza 1 says that we behold Him rise
1. Buried beneath the yielding wave,
The dear Redeemer lies;
(The great Redeemer lies)
Faith views Him in the watery grave,
And thence beholds Him rise.
A. The Bible talks about being buried with Christ in baptism: Rom. 6:4
B. Thus, it is in baptism that we put on our great Redeemer: Gal. 3:26-27
C. In so doing, faith views Him having been baptized and risen as recorded in Scripture: Matt. 3:16
II. Stanza 2 says that by following His example we fulfill all righteousness
2. Thus it becomes His saints today,
(And thus do willing souls today)
Their ardent zeal t’express;
(Their ardent zeal express)
And in the Lord’s appointed way,
Fulfill all righteousness.
A. One can see why Sanderson altered this stanza because the original seems to say that it is saints, those already saved, who are to be baptized, whereas the Bible indicates that it is sinners who are to repent and be baptized for remission of sins: Acts 2:37-38
B. When willing souls their ardent zeal express in baptism, they are following the Lord’s appointed way because He Himself commanded it: Mk. 16:15-16
C. And thus we, like Him, fulfill all righteousness: Matt. 3:15
III. Stanza 3 says that we rise and reign with Him
3. With joy we in His footsteps tread,
And would His cause maintain,
Like Him be numbered with the dead,
And with Him rise and reign.
A. Jesus left us an example that we should follow in His steps: 1 Pet. 2:21
B. To do this, we must, like Him, be numbered with the dead by being baptized into His death: Rom. 6:3
C. Then, when we rise, we reign with Him: 2 Tim. 2:11-12
IV. Stanza 4 says that we must continue to obey Him
4. His presence oft revives our hearts,
And drives our fears away;
When He commands, and strength imparts,
We cheerfully obey.
A. Those who are united with Christ in baptism have His presence in their hearts: Eph. 3:17
B. Therefore, we should listen to His commandments: Jn. 14:15
C. The reason for this is that He is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him: Heb. 5:8-0
V. Stanza 5 says that we must live lives of praise
5. Now we, dear Jesus, to Thee would
(Now we, blest Savior, would to Thee)
Our grateful voices raise;
Washed in the fountain of Thy blood,
Our lives shall all be praise.
(Our lives shall be Thy praise)
A. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we should raise our voices to Him: Heb. 13:15
B. Of course, what He did for us is to wash us in the fountain of His blood: Rev. 1:5
C. However, our praise must be more than just words and should be manifested in our lives: Phil. 1:20-21
CONCL.: Sanderson’s chorus echoes Paul’s statement in Rom. 6:5:
Planted together in His death!
Buried, in likeness with Him!
Risen, thence, as the Lord was raised,
To walk a new life in Him.
People have been arguing about and against being “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” for years. Rather than having to debate it, people who want to please God should just accept what the Scriptures teach and determine to obey Christ by being “Buried Beneath the Yielding Wave.”