Archive for February, 2009

At Calvary

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

The words for “At Calvary” were written by American hymn writer, William Newell (1868 – 1956). Song leader Daniel Towner wrote the musical portion of the hymn. One afternoon, Newell was walking to teach his next class while thinking about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. When he got to his classroom, he grabbed the only paper around, an old envelope, and the lyrics began to flow out of him. He showed the poem to his friend at the school, Towner, and just as quickly the song leader penned the musical portion. Thus, ” At Calvary” was born in a quick manner.

Lyrics: William R. Newell
Music: Daniel B. Towner

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

The Light Of The World Is Jesus

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Philip Bliss wrote this hymn one year before he died. This hymn was written in Bliss’ home. According to Major D. W. Whittle, “It came to him together, words and music, one morning while passing through the hall to his room, and was at once written out”

Jesus is the Light of the World! (Jn 8:12)

Lyrics and Music: Philip P. Bliss

The whole world was lost
In the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No darkness have we
Who in Jesus abide;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
We walk in the light
When we follow our Guide!
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Ye dwellers in darkness
With sin blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Go, wash, at His bidding,
And light will arise.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No need of the sunlight
In Heaven we’re told;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
The Lamb is the Light
In the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Sweet Hour Of Prayer

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

This hymn was written in 1845 and first ap­peared in The New York Ob­ser­ver, Sep­tem­ber 13, 1845, ac­com­pa­nied by the fol­low­ing, writ­ten by Thom­as Sal­mon:

During my re­si­dence at Coles­hill, War­wick­shire, Eng­land, I be­came ac­quaint­ed with W. W. Wal­ford, the blind preach­er, a man of ob­scure birth and con­nect­ions and no ed­u­ca­tion, but of strong mind and most re­ten­tive mem­o­ry. In the pul­pit he ne­ver failed to se­lect a less­on well adapt­ed to his sub­ject, giv­ing chap­ter and verse with un­err­ing pre­ci­sion and scarce­ly ev­er mis­plac­ing a word in his re­pe­ti­tion of the Psalms, ev­ery part of the New Tes­ta­ment, the pro­phe­cies, and some of the his­to­ries, so as to have the rep­u­ta­tion of “know­ing the whole Bi­ble by heart.” He ac­tu­al­ly sat in the chim­ney cor­ner, em­ploy­ing his mind in com­pos­ing a ser­mon or two for Sab­bath de­liv­ery, and his hands in cut­ting, shap­ing and po­lish­ing bones for shoe horns and other lit­tle use­ful im­ple­ments. At in­ter­vals he at­tempt­ed po­e­try. On one oc­ca­sion, pay­ing him a vi­sit, he re­peat­ed two or three piec­es which he had co­mposed, and hav­ing no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the store­house within. “How will this do?” asked he, as he re­peat­ed the fol­low­ing lines, with a com­pla­cent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he sub­ject him­self to cri­ti­cism. I ra­pid­ly co­pied the lines with my pen­cil, as he ut­tered them, and sent them for in­ser­tion in the Ob­serv­er, if you should think them worthy of pre­ser­va­tion.

This lovely hymn reminds us to rely on the Lord in prayer. Interestingly, Psalm 57 can be sung to the same tune.

Lyrics: William W. Walford
Music: William B. Bradbury

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

Psalm 57

O God be merciful to me,
My soul for refuge comes to Thee;
Beneath Thy wings I safe will stay
Until these troubles pass away.
To God Most High shall rise my prayer,
To God who makes my wants His care;
From heaven He will salvation send,
And me from every foe defend.

Great foes and fierce my soul alarm,
Inflamed with rage and strong to harm,
But God, from heaven His dwelling place,
Will rescue me with truth and grace.
Be thou, O God, exalted high,
Yea, far above the starry sky,
And let Thy glory be displayed
O’er all the earth Thy hands have made.

My soul is grieved because my foes
With treacherous plans my way inclose;
But from the snares that they devise
Their own undoing shall arise.
My heart is steadfast, O my King,
My heart is tuned Thy praise to sing;
Awake, my soul, and swell the song,
Let vibrant harp the notes prolong.

Yea, I will early wake and sing,
A thankful hymn to Thee will bring,
For unto heaven Thy mercies rise,
Thy truth is lofty as the skies.
Be Thou, O God, exalted high,
Yea, far above the starry sky,
And let Thy glory be displayed
O’er all the earth Thy hands have made.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, was written by Isaac Watts, and published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707. It is significant for being an innovative departure from the early English hymn style of only using paraphrased biblical texts. Charles Wes­ley re­port­ed­ly said he would give up all his other hymns to have writ­ten this one.

This grand old hymn is more than 300 years old. There are two tunes that I know of to this hymn. This one is named ROCKINGHAM. I love the harmonies of this hymn. But more than that, this hymn talks about the wondrous love of the Lord Jesus for sinners like us.

Lyrics: Isaac Watts
Music: Edward Miller

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Saved, Saved!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

This is a happy hymn about the joy of Salvation.

Jack Scholfield writes that “The melody just came to me, al­most as a gift. Then I sim­ply tried to make the words fit the tune. It was pop­u­lar from the start.”

Scholfield grad­u­at­ed from Bak­er Un­i­ver­si­ty, Bald­win Ci­ty, Kan­sas, in 1906. He then taught school, be­came an evan­gel­is­tic sing­er, and worked for the Home Mis­sion Board (1912-1917, 1919). Around age 49, he en­tered the real es­tate field in Fort Scott, Kan­sas. In 1950, he re­tired and moved to Pop­lar Bluff, Mis­souri.

Words and Music: Jack P. Scholfield

I’ve found a Friend, who is all to me,
His love is ever true;
I love to tell how He lifted me
And what His grace can do for you.

Saved by His power divine,
Saved to new life sublime!
Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
For I’m saved, saved, saved!

He saves me from every sin and harm,
Secures my soul each day;
I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm;
I know He’ll guide me all the way.

When poor and needy and all alone,
In love He said to me,
“Come unto Me and I’ll lead you home,
To live with Me eternally.”

Search Me, O God

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

This hymn goes out to William Goh who is preparing a message for his homiletic class with the same title. Please be patient, I’m working on other hymn requests as well.

Interestingly, this hymn has a Maori melody and a meter of which means 10 syllables per line. James Orr wrote these words at a re­viv­al meet­ing in Ngarua­wa­hia, New Zea­land, tak­ing less than five min­utes to put them down on pa­per.

Orr was or­dained an Amer­i­can Bap­tist min­is­ter in 1940, at­tend­ed North­west­ern Un­i­ver­si­ty (MA 1941) and North­ern Bap­tist Sem­in­ary (ThD 1943), and served as a chap­lain in the U.S. Air Force in the Pa­ci­fic in World War II. Af­ter the war, he con­tin­ued his school­ing, at­tend­ing Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty (PhD 1948) and the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Los An­ge­les (EdD 1971); he al­so re­ceived hon­o­rary de­grees from an In­di­an sem­in­ary and the Un­i­ver­si­ty of South Afr­i­ca. In 1967 he be­came a pro­fess­or in the School of World Mis­sions at Ful­ler The­o­lo­gic­al Sem­in­ary, Pa­sa­de­na, Cal­i­forn­ia. He wrote at least six hymns, and a number of books.

Lyrics: James Edwin Orr
Music: Maori melody

Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me;
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

He Hideth My Soul

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Fanny Crosby was the blind poetess who wrote this hymn.She could not see with her natural eyes, but she could see with her heart. She could not explain what a human face looked like, but she knew the face of God. Blind from six weeks old because of a surgical mishap, her life was different than most, but it was not worse than most. Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) supported herself as a teacher at a blind school, she had dear and close friends around the world, and she wrote and published thousands of beautiful hymns, many that are still sung today. Regarding her plight in life she wrote the following words:

“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”

I’ve been wanting to record this hymn all week. We sang it last Sunday. May this hymn be a blessing to you.

Lyrics: Fanny J Crosby
Music: William J Kirkpatrick

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away,
He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God!
For such a Redeemer as mine.

When clothed with His brightness transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high.

O That Will Be Glory

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Another wonderful hymn by Charles H. Gabriel. A very expressive hymn with lots of rubato in the timing.

There was a lot of criticism by other musicians when this song was published in 1900. One said, “Oh, it will never go! There are too many quarter notes!” But once people learned the song it became very popular! So the critics were put in their place!

This song commemorates an expression of Ed Card, Superintendent of the Sunshine Rescue Mission in St. Louis, Missouri. An enthusiastic man, he usually ended his prayers and testimonies with: “And that will be glory for me!”

Lyrics and Music: Charles H. Gabriel

When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

O, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

I Stand Amazed In The Presence

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Growing up on an Io­wa farm, Ga­bri­el taught him­self to play the fam­i­ly’s reed or­gan. He be­gan teach­ing in sing­ing schools by age 16, and be­came well known as a teach­er and com­pos­er. He served as mu­sic di­rect­or at Grace Meth­od­ist Epis­co­pal Church, San Fran­cis­co, Cal­i­for­nia (1890-2), then moved to Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois. In 1912 he be­gan work­ing with Hom­er Ro­de­heav­er’s pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny. His ed­it­ed some 43 song books, 7 men’s chor­us books, 19 an­them col­lect­ions, and 23 can­ta­tas.

This hymn goes out to all my new friends Leon Estes, Ruthie and all else tuning in. Thanks for supporting hymnpod.

Music and Lyrics: Charles H. Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me, A sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful! Is my Savior’s love for me.

For me it was in the garden He prayed: “Not my will but Thine”,
He had no tears for his own grief, But sweat drops of blood for mine..

In pity angels beheld Him, And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows He bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry, And suffered, and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see,
‘Twill be my joy thro’ the ages To sing of His love for me.

O Perfect Love

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This is possibly the most romantic hymn in the whole hymnal. It is a wedding hymn that asks for blessings on the newly wed couple. I remember playing this hymn at my brother-in-law’s wedding – Joo Seng and Grace. Grace will be delivering her first child this Apr in Melbourne.

Another interesting fact is that it is the only hymn written by Dorothy B. Gurney specially for someone’s wedding as well. I hope you like this piano rendition.

Lyrics: Dorothy B. Gurney
Music: Joseph Barnby 

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance
of tender charity and steadfast faith,
of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance,
with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
that dawns upon eternal love and life.