Henry Francis Lyte was born in Scotland, 1793. His father abandoned his mother and him and later, he was orphaned at 9 years old with no support. He was invited by Rev. Robert Burrows into his home, accepted as part of his family, and had his education paid for. Henry studied at Divinity school, was ordained at 21 and began preaching at St. Munn’s Church in Taghmon, Ireland.
This hymn was written in 1824, when he ministered to Rev. Abraham Swanne who was dying. They both studied the Scriptures together and realized they were both blind guides. After coming to a saving knowledge of Christ, Henry was inspired to write this hymn.
Lyrics: Henry F. Lyte
Music: attributed to Wolfgang A. Mozart
Jesus, I my cross have taken,
all to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
all I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still mine own.
Let the world despise and leave me,
they have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
show Thy face and all is bright.
Man may trouble and distress me,
’twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
while Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
were that joy unmixed with Thee.
Haste then on from grace to glory,
armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heaven’s eternal day’s before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition,
faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
Life is hard, therefore, let us carry our crosses and follow the Lord Jesus.
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