Saturday, July 30, 2005

on an answered prayer........

I think Hart grasped the meaning of the lesson better than Wilkinson did........

A saint there was in days of old
(Though we but little of him hear)
In honour high, of whom is told
A short, but an effectual prayer.
This prayer, my brethren, let us view,
And try if we can pray so too.

He called on Israel's God, 'tis said;
Let us take notice first of that;
Had he to any other prayed,
To us it had not mattered what;
For all true Israelites adore
One God, Jehovah, and no more.

"O that thou wouldst me bless indeed,
And that thou wouldst enlarge my bound;
And let thy hand in every need
A guide and help be with me found;
That thou wouldst cause that evil be
no cause of pain and grief to me."

What is it to be blest indeed,
But to have all our sins forgiven;
To be from guilt and terror freed,
Redeemed from hell, and sealed for heaven;
To worship an incarnate God,
And know he saved us by his blood?

And next, to have our coast enlarged
Is, that our hearts extend their plan;
From bondage and from fear discharged,
And filled with love to God and man;
To cast off every narrow thought,
And use the freedom Christ has brought.

To use this liberty aright,
And not the grace of God abuse,
We always need his hand, his might,
Lest what he gives us we should lose;
Spiritual pride would soon creep in,
And turn his very grace to sin.

This prayer, so long ago preferred,
Is left on sacred record thus;
And this good prayer by God was heard,
And kindly handed down to us.
Thus Jabez prayed, for that's his name.
May all believers pray the same.

Gadsby #790 Hart

Friday, July 29, 2005

on his friendship.........

Poor, weak and worthless though I am
I have a rich almighty friend;
Jesus, the Saviour, is His Name;
He freely loves, and without end.

He ransomed me from hell with blood,
And by His pow'r my foes controlled;
He found me wand'ring far from God,
And brought me to His chosen fold.

He cheers my heart, my want supplies,
And says that I shall shortly be,
Enthroned with Him above the skies;
O what a friend is Christ to me!

But ah! I my inmost spirit mourns,
And well my eyes with tears may swim,
To think of my perverse returns;
I've been a faithless friend to him.

Often my gracious Friend I grieve,
Neglect, distrust, and disobey,
And often Satan's lies believe,
Sooner than all my Friend can say.

He bids me always freely come,
And promises whate'er I ask:
But I am straitened, cold and dumb,
And count my privilege a task.

Before the world that hates his course,
My treach'rous heart has throbbed with shame;
Loth to forego the worlds applause,
I hardly dare avow his name.

Sure were not I most vile and base,
I could not thus my friend requite!
And were not he the God of grace,
He'd frown and spurn me from his sight.

Newton--1779 8s Olney Hymns Book 1 Hymn 30

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

on our great High Priest........

This is the text Jamie asked about. It was written by Charitie Lees De Chenez in about 1863. Like many other old texts, it has been recently set to a new tune. If you want to put it to your own tune, you can figure out the meter by counting the syllables in each line. There is probably a metrical index of tunes in your favorite hymnal. This one is 8s--sometimes called long meter(LM). If you don't already know the current tune, you can sing it to the tune for Just As I Am or When I Survey. Look in your hymnal for others that will work. By the way, LMD (long meter double) tunes will work--you'll just use up two verses on one run of the tune. Play around with hymns and you'll begin to hear the words you've always sung......

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on him and pardon me.

Behold him there! the risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!

One with himself, I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by his blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God.

Monday, July 18, 2005

on my need.......

Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive,
Let a repenting rebel live;
Are not thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in thee?

My crimes are great, but don’t surpass
The power and glory of the grace;
Great God! thy nature has no bound.
So let thy pardoning love be found.

O wash my soul from every sin,
And make my guilty conscience clean;
Here on my heart the burden lies,
And past offences pain my eyes.

My lips with shame my sins confess,
Against thy law, against thy grace;
Lord, should thy judgements grow severe,
I am condemned, but thou art clear.

Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
I must pronounce thee just in death;
And if my soul were sent to hell,
Thy righteous law approves it well.

Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope, still hovering round thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there,
Some sure support against despair.

Gadsby #761 Watts

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today is the birthdayof Isaac Watts~~1674-1748

a word of explanation....

Why La~Do~Mi ?

As you know, la-do-mi is a minor triad. Now minor music has gotten a bad wrap from music teachers over the years. Instead of taking the time to delve with their students into the feel and effect of minor music, they have given the short answer: Minor music sounds scary. In my own experience, being a pretty positive person, I took that to mean it was heavy, downbeat (as opposed to upbeat–pardon the pun), and not much use to a happy person.. (If you are one of that rare breed of teacher who doesn’t mind relating that things are actually quite complicated and will take a lifetime to understand, I applaud you.)

Not until adulthood did I understand how soothing and restful minor songs could be. It was about 18 years ago that I began to learn minor hymntunes that were not among the two in my church’s hymnal. What a blessing those tunes are! For, as it turns out, minor tunes are healing and soothing to a burdened soul.

If joy were music, it would be minor. Happiness is Major. Lite. Almost unattached. But joy takes in all things–-tremendous and wretched--and chooses to give back a smile. Joy hurts. It costs you.....but you’re none the worse for having paid. Matter of fact, you’re more real. More useful. Those minor hymns are a balm in Zion to relieve the pain of joy and renew your strength. Is your soul heavy? Learn a minor tune and sing it in the car. Loud.

When I was a child, my blog might have been do-mi-sol; but now I am old and I know the joy of those Everlasting Arms that support this sinful soul for whom Christ died.

Praise Him for minor music.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

on God's tender care....

Elijah's example declares,
Whatever distress may betide,
The saints may commit all their cares
To Him who will surely provide;
When rain long withheld from the earth
Occasioned a famine of bread,
The prophet, secured from the dearth,
By ravens was constantly fed.

More likely to rob than to feed,
Were ravens, which live upon prey;
But when the Lord's people have need,
His goodness will find out a way.
This instance to those may be strange
Who know not how faith can prevail;
But sooner all nature shall change,
Than one of God's promises fail.

How safe and how happy are they
Who on the good Shepherd rely;
He gives them out strength for their day,
Their wants he will surely supply.
He ravens and lions can tame!
All creatures obey his commands!
Then let us rejoice in his name,
And leave all our cares in his hands.

Gadsby #276 Newton

Friday, July 15, 2005

on our native sin........

Innumerable foes
Attack the child of God;
He feels within the weight of sin,
A grievous, galling load.

Temptations, too, without,
Of various kinds, assault;
Sly snares beset his travelling feet,
And make him often halt.

From sinner and from saint
He meets with many a blow;
His own bad heart creates him smart,
Which only God can know.

But though the host of hell
Be neither weak nor small,
One mighty foe deals wondrous woe,
and hurts beyond them all.

‘Tis pride, accursed pride,
The spirit by God abhorred;
Do what we will, it haunts us still,
And keeps us from the Lord.

It blows its poisonous breath,
And bloats the soul with air;
The heart uplifts with God’s own gifts,
And makes e’en grace a snare.

Awake, nay, while we sleep,
In all we think or speak,
It puffs us glad, torments us sad;
Its hold we cannot break.

In other ills we find
The hand of heaven not slack;
Pride only knows to interpose,
And keep our comforts back.

‘Tis hurtful when perceived;
When not perceived, ‘tis worse;
Unseen or seen, it dwells within,
And works by fraud or force.

Against its influence pray,
It mingles with the prayer;
Against it preach, it prompts the speech;
Be silent, still ‘tis there.

In every outward act,
In every thought within,
The heart it draws to seek applause,
And mixes all with sin.

Thou meek and lowly Lamb,
This haughty tyrant kill,
That wounded thee, though thou wast free,
And grieves thy Spirit still.

Our condescending God,
To whom else shall we go?
Remove our pride, whate’er betide,
And lay and keep us low.