Songs of the Savior and Salvation
1. “It Passeth Knowledge” (“The Love of Christ”)
Mary Shekleton, (1827-1883) (1863 alt., pub. 1884,1892; Secretary of the Invalids’ Prayer Union for Women.) (Margaretta Shekleton, one of her three surviving sisters, “Chosen & Chastened & Crowned, Memorials of Mary Shekleton”, 1884. ‘Before three years of age she expressed joy and love for Christ; father dies when she was 6 months old; her widowed mother leaves England and returns to Ireland with her four young girls (6, 4, 2, and 6 month old baby; with help from her mother’s sister she turns to Christ in faith and grace; she quickly began to serve the Lord in the cottages of the poor in reading Scripture, sharing the Gospel; daily in prayer for her daughters; fellowshipped with other believers in church and prayer; Dr. Horatius Bonar was church pastor; secured good Christian education for her daughters, with French as second language; read good Christian books and sermons; demanded of her children not only to know the Lord but to individually serve Him; she often helped the school governess in the lessons for the children; she often knitted; after seven years the governess died, and suddenly also the widowed mother died also from an epileptic seizure, leaving four young girls as orphans. Mary herself was a sickly and weak girl, with early signs of consumption, what is now known as tuberculosis, which in 1883 claimed her life; she suffered greatly her whole life, yet out of this suffering she worked tirelessly, she formed and headed the Women Invalids’ Prayer Union, and many other good works. But her legacy to the Christian Church was this Hymn and Song which out of reflection and remembrance of her own sufferings but most of all of others, and foremost of them her mother, of which hymn she would say: “I know from the reception the hymn has met with that it is liked, but this will never satisfy me.” This hymn has been set to music by Mr. Ira D. Sankey. See ” Sacred Songs and Solos,”; and made popular in “Specimen Glasses,” by Frances Ridley Havergal.)
This hymn and song I found among several Christian churches and in small prayer and Bible groups. It has been a favorite of certain Christians known and dear to me.
It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Savior!—yet this soul of mine
Would of that love, in all its depth and length,
Its height and breadth, and everlasting strength
Know more and more.
It passeth telling, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Savior!—yet these lips of mine
Would fain proclaim to sinners far and near
A love which can remove all guilty fear,
And love beget.
It passeth praises! that dear love of Thine!
My Jesus! Savior yet this heart of mine
Would sing a love so rich, so full, so free,
Which brought an undone sinner, such as me,
Right home to God.
But though I cannot tell, or sing, or know,
The fullness of Thy love while here below,
My empty vessel I may freely bring:
O Thou, who art of love the living spring,
My vessel fill.
I am an empty vessel—not one thought,
Or look of love to Thee I ever to Thee brought;
Yet I may come, and come again to Thee,
With this the empty sinner’s only plea—
“Thou lovest me!”
Oh, fill me, Jesus, Savior, with Thy love;
Lead, lead me to the Living Fount above!
Thither may I in simple faith draw nigh,
And never to another fountain fly,
But unto Thee.
(Lord Jesus, when Thee) face to face (we) see,
When (in Thy kingdom we all are) with Thee,
Then of (Thy) love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
(Our souls) shall sing.
2. Trust and Obey
Rev, John H. Sammis, 1887. Music: Daniel B. Towner .
(“This song gives a simple, clear explanation of living the Christian life. The title expression was used in a testimony meeting, following an evangelistic crusade in Brockton, Massachusetts, by Dwight L. Moody. A young man stood to speak, and it soon became clear he knew little Christian doctrine. But he finished by saying, “I’m not quite sure—but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.” Daniel Towner, who was in the meeting, jotted down the words, and gave them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics from them.” “John H. Sammis was born in Brooklyn. He moved to Logansport, Indiana when he was 22, where he was converted to Christianity. He was active in the Y.M.C.A., serving as secretary for the Terre Haute Association and later becoming State Secretary. After this, he studied at Lane and McCormack seminaries and was ordained in the Presbyterian church at Glidden, Iowa. He also pastored churches in Indianapolis, Grand Haven, MI, Red Wing and St. Paul, Minn. In 1909 he became associated with the Los Angeles Bible Institute. He wrote more that 100 hymns.” Dianne Shapiro, from “The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers” by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916)
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.
3. El Shaddai (The Name Above Every Name). (A Training School for Christ. C. Horton. Superint R. A. Torrey. D. D. “Trust and Obey” and Other Songs By John H. Sammis. Copyrighted, 1918, T. C. Horton Los Angeles, Cal. Some have wrongly published this as Author Unknown. T.C.Horton, who published Sammis’ poems and songs, writes: Mr. Sammis has been for forty years and more, a faithful preacher and teacher of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God; loyal to his heart’s core to every truth in the Bible; a blessed example of a strong, sweet, forceful Christian life. Many of his verses, set to music, have brought comfort and inspiration to tens of thousands of people, in many countries. Eternity alone will reveal all that they have meant to the children of men. I am exceedingly glad to be able to give to his friends the privilege of possessing what to me is a rare treasure.)
WHAT is Jehovah El Shaddai to me?
My Lord, God and Saviour, Immanuel, He;
My Prophet, Priest, Sacrifice, Altar and Lamb;
Judge, Advocate, Surety and Witness, I AM;
My Peace and my Life, my Truth and my Way;
My Leader, my Teacher, my Hope and my Stay;
Redeemer and Ransom, Atonement and Friend;
He’s Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End.
Yea more is Jehovah El Shaddai beside—
Avenger and Shepherd, and Keeper and Guide;
My Horn of Salvation, my Captain in war;
My Dayspring, my Sun and my Bright Morning Star;
My “Wonderful, Counsellor, Wisdom and Light;
My Shadow by day, and my Beacon by night;
Pearl, Ornament, Diadem, Treasure untold;
My Strength and my Sun, in Him I behold.
All this is Jehovah Ropheka and more—
My Bread and my Water, my Dwelling, my Door;
My Branch and my Vine, My Lily and Rose;
Rock, Hiding Place, Refuge, Shield, Covert, Repose;
My sure Resurrection, my Glory above;
My King in His beauty, my Bridegroom, my love;
My All and in all in Christ Jesus I see,
For God hath made Him to be All Things to me.
Now say to thy soul, “What is He to thee?”