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245.-The Great Resolve.
MARK X. 28.
T would be interesting to learn what
period of the author's spiritual history this Hymn commemorates. We know
that Mr. Lyte was trained for the profession of medicine, which at an early period he gave up for the work of the ministry. Very probably the Hymn records the feelings with which he resolved upon this change in his career. Or perhaps it may belong to a later period, when he found and joyfully embraced the work of his life among the inhabitants of an obscure fishing village, and so spent his days, content for Christ's sake to be unknown.
The lines first appeared in a little volume entitled Poems, Chiefly Religious, Brixham, 1833.
O let me feel Thee near me ;
The world is ever near :
The tempting sounds I hear: My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within ; But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.
All to leave and follow Thee;
Thou, from hence, my all shalt be : Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, or hoped, or known; Yet how rich is my condition !
God and heaven are still my own !
O let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still, Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will. O speak to re-assure me,
To hasten or control; O speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul !
Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Saviour, 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 may shun me;
Show Thy face, and all is bright!
O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee, That where Thou art in glory,
There shall Thy servant be ; And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end ; O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend !
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure !
Come disaster, scorn, and pain !
With Thy favour, loss is gain !
I have stayed my heart on Thee: Storms may howl and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.
O let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own; My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone!
Uphold me to the end ;
My Saviour and my Friend !
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. O! 'tis not in grief to harm me,
While Thy love is left to me :
7. E. BODE.
Wilt Thou not yet to me reveal
Thy new, unutterable Name ?
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go,
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know. wrote. Dr. Watts is reported to have said that
'Tis all in vain to hold Thy tongue, The single poem · Wrestling Jacob' was worth all the verses he himself had written." James
Or touch the hollow of my thigh ; Montgomery in the Christian Psalmist writes : Though every sinew be unstrung, "Among Charles Wesley's highest achievements Out of my arms Thou shalt not fly : may be recorded, 'Come, O thou Traveller un
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go, known,' in which with consummate art he carries on the action of a lyrical drama ; every turn
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know. in the conflict with the mysterious Being against whom he wrestles all night being marked with What though my shrinking flesh comprecision by the varying language of the speaker, plain, accompanied by intense increasing interest, till And murmur to contend so long? the rapturous moment of the discovery, when he
I rise superior to my pain ; prevails, and exclaims, 'I know Thee, Saviour, Who Thou art !'" Dean Stanley writes : “ The
When I am weak, then I am strong : Hymn on · Wrestling Jacob'is not only a Hymn, And when my all of strength shall fail, but a philosophical poem, disfigured indeed in I shall with the God-Man prevail. parts by the anatomical allusions to the shrunk sinew, but filled on the whole with a depth and a
My strength is gone ; my nature dies ; pathos which might well" draw forth the testimonies just quoted from Watts and Montgomery.
I sink beneath Thy weighty hand, In the words of the Rev. J. Jackson (Life of C.
Faint to revive, and fall to rise ; Wesley), the Hymn "applies with admirable in- I fall, and yet by faith I stand : genuity and tact the patriarch's mysterious con- I stand, and will not let Thee go, flict and the happy result to which it led, to the
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know. process of an awakened sinner's salvation."
Yield to me now ; for I am weak,
But confident in self-despair : "OME, O thou Traveller unknown,
Speak to my heart, in blessings speak, Whom still I hold, but cannot see !
Be conquered by my instant prayer ; My company before is gone,
Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move, And I am left alone with Thee;
And tell me, if Thy Name is Love.
'Tis Love ! 'tis Love! Thou diedst for
me ; I need not tell Thee who I am,
I hear Thy whisper in my heart : My misery or sin declare ;
The morning breaks, the shadows flee : Thyself hast called me by my name,
Pure universal Love Thou art ! Look on Thy hands and read it there; To me, to all, my bowels move ; But who, I ask Thee, who art Thou?
Thy Nature, and Thy Name, is Love. Tell me Thy Name, and tell me now.
My prayer hath power with God; the In vain Thou strugglest to get free,
grace I never will unloose my hold ;
Unspeakable I now receive; Art Thou the Man that died for me?
Through faith I see Thee face to face, The secret of Thy love unfold.
I see Thee face to face, and live : Wrestling, I will not let Thee go,
In vain I have not wept and strove ; Till i Thy Name, Thy Nature know.
Thy Nature, and Thy Name, is Love.
I know Thee, Saviour, Who Thou art ;
Jesus, the feeble sinner's Friend ; Nor wilt Thou with the night depart,
But stay, and love me to the end : Thy mercies never shall remove, Thy Nature, and Thy Name, is Love.
Contented now upon my thigh
I halt, till life's short journey end ; All helplessness, all weakness, I
On Thee alone for strength depend, Nor have I power from Thee to move ;
I Thy Nature, and Thy Name, is Love.
The Sun of Righteousness on me
Hath rose, with healing in His wings; Withered my nature's strength, from Thee
My soul its life and succour brings ;
Lame as I am, I take the prey,
And as a bounding hart fly home,
HYMNS ON CHRISTIAN CHARACTER, LIFE, AND
SERVICE: HERE AND HEREAFTER.
LARGE variety of devotional lyrics will be necessarily included in the present division of our work. Many a meditative strain or outburst of holy feeling can scarcely be called a Hymn. Undoubtedly the outflowing of the
soul to God is better, nobler, than that inward look which takes account of individual experiences-moods of reflectiveness, sorrow, resignation, trust, gladness, and hope. Yet there has always been felt to be room in our Psalmody for the lyrical expression of Christian feeling. David himself has set us the example. If one and another of the following pieces should seem hardly to claim the name of Hymns, call them Songs of the Heart, and their place among the rest will surely be uncontested.
The first Hymns of the section, in close continuance of the preceding, are expressions of devotedness to God, and of joy in fellowship with Him ; then follow various utterances of Christian faith and feeling, of a sense of imperfection and sin, with gratitude for spiritual blessings, holy submission to the will of God, resolution to continue faithful to Him, gladness and exultation in His love. Hymns on Christian service form an important part of the section. Finally, a series of Hymns on the life beyond the veil set forth the Christian's deepest longings and brightest hopes.
1 SAMUEL vii. 12.
ject of an interesting discussion as to
Sedgwick confidently ascribing it to the Countess of Huntingdon. It appears, however, that the only evidence of the Countess's authorship is that a friend of hers, Mrs. Diana Binden, had a copy of Wesley's Hymns (ed. 1747), on the blank leaves of which were copied some Hymns ascribed to Lady Huntingdon, this being among them. On the title-page
Mrs. Binden's name is written, with the date 1759, so that the MS. Hymns were probably not copied until after that date. But an entry by Mr. Robinson in the records of the Baptist Church at Cambridge claims the Hymn as written by him when residing at Norwich, and printed by Mr. Wheatley of that city, in 1758. There is no ground, it would seem, for disturbing this testimony, especially as the Hymn has been generally received as Robinson's in the churches that have employed it in their Psalmody for more than a hundred years. There is a tradition that in his old age Mr. Robinson was heard more than once to say,
“Oh that I could now