Archive for March, 2009

Lead Me To Calvary

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
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Jennie Hussey was a life long Quaker. She had to care for an invalid sister for most of her life. Yet she was cheerful, courageous and wrote more than 150 hymn texts.

Lyrics: Jennie Evelyn Hussey
Music: William J. Kirkpatrick 

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain:
Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Lead Me To Calvary first appeared in the hymn book entitled New Songs of Praise and Power in 1921.

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O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Monday, March 30th, 2009
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The lyrics of this hymn were written in 1153. Bernard was a monk who lived in Clairvaux. He founght heresy and defended the doctrine of the Trinity, but he also advocated a militant faith. Thus, he was a paradoxical character.

The music was written by Hans Leo Hassler and later harmonized by Bach. I feel like I’m riding on the backs of musical giants, whilst rendering this hymn.

Lyrics: Based on Medieval Latin poem
Ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux

Music: Hans Leo Hassler
Harmony:  J. S. Bach

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

This hymn is often sung during Easter which is fast approaching. It speaks of Christ’s great suffering on the cross as He shed His Precious Blood for sinners like me.

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When He Cometh

Sunday, March 29th, 2009
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This was one of Pastor Cushing’s first hymns for children. It was written in 1856 for his Sunday School children. The text is based on Mal 3:17 – “And they shall me mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”

Lyrics: William O. Cushing
Music: George F. Root
Tune Title: JEWELS

When He cometh, when He cometh
To make up His jewels,
All His jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

Refrain:
Like the stars of the morning,
His brightness adorning,
They shall shine in their beauty,
Bright gems for His crown.

He will gather, He will gather
The gems for His kingdom;
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
His loved and His own.

Little children, little children,
Who love their Redeemer,
Are the jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

I have a handbell and vocal version of this hymn on video as well:

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There’ll Be No Dark Valley

Saturday, March 28th, 2009
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This is such an encouraging hymn, with its simple repetitive message. It was used widely by Ira Sankey in his evangelistic campaigns.

Cushing went through a dark valley in his life with the death of his wife and the lost of his voice. We will also have our dark valleys in life. But thank God that these will come to past one day when the Lord Jesus comes. Amen!

Lyrics: William O. Cushing
Music: Ira D. Sankey

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,
There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes;
There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

Refrain:
To gather His loved ones home (safe home),
To gather His loved ones home (safe home);
There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes;
But a glorious morrow when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes,
There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes;
But a blessed reaping when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes,
There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes;
And a joyful meeting when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

I played all four stanzas and slowed down for the last stanza. Hope you like this rendition.

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Hiding In Thee

Thursday, March 26th, 2009
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William O. Cushing said that when he wrote this hymn text in 1876, “it was the outgrowth of many tears, many heart conflicts and yearnings of which the world could know nothing.” After the death of his wife in middle age, Cushing was forced to retire from an active ministry because of poor health. He had been a successful pastor in the eastern areas of the United States. He began to be intensely interested in writing hymns, collaborating with many of the leading gospel musicians of that time. One day when Ira Sankey made a special request for a song in his gospel work, Cushing felt it was a direct call from God. He explained:

I prayed, “Lord, give me something that may glorify Thee.” It was while thus waiting that “Hiding in Thee” pressed to make itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune and by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful in the Master’s work.

William Cushing knew personally the sorrows and turmoil of life, but he also knew where he could find safety and rest-in the “blest Rock of Ages.” When this hymn was first published, the author prefaced it with Psalm 31:2-“Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”

Lyrics: William O. Cushing
Music: Ira Sankey

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine, would I be;
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

Refrain:
Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o’er me its power;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.

An interesting point to note is that William O. Cushing had serious trouble with his voice, meaning that he probably could not sing his own hymns out loud, but only in his heart.

Thank God for this hymn that has ministered to many.

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