Words: Unknown author.
Music: Closer Walk, traditional folk song.
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Music: Toplady, Thomas Hastings, 1830. Alternate tunes:
- Cuyler, J. Hyatt Brewer (1851-1931)
- Redhead, Richard Redhead, 1853
Sir William Henry Wills, in a letter to Dean Lefroy, published in the [London] Times in June, 1898, says ‘Toplady was one day overtaken by a thunderstorm in Burrington Coombe, on the edge of my property,
Words: Henry Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, or Sacred Poems, 1650.
Music: Vulpius, Melchior Vulpius, Ein Schön Geistlich Gesangbuch (Jena, Germany: 1609).
My soul, there is a country,
Afar beyond the stars,
Where stands a wingèd sentry,
All skillful in the wars.
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crowned with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.
Music: St. Peter (Reinagle), Alexander R. Reinagle, Psalm Tunes for the Voice and Pianoforte (Oxford, England: 1836). Alternate tunes:
- Heber, George Kingsley, 1838
- Ortonville, Thomas Hastings, 1837
How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
Cowper often struggled with depression and doubt. One night he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself. He called a cab and told the driver to take him to the Thames River. However, thick fog came down and prevented them from finding the river (another version of the story has the driver getting lost deliberately).
Words: James Montgomery, Poet’s Portfolio, 1835.
Music: Terra Beata, traditional English melody, arranged by Franklin L. Sheppard in his Alleluia, 1915. Alternate tune:
- Nearer Home, Isaac B. Woodbury, 1852; harmony by Arthur S. Sullivan, 1874
“Forever with the Lord!”
Amen, so let it be!
Life from His death is in that word
Here in the body pent,
Words: Katharina A. von Schlegel, in Neue Sammlung Geistlicher Lieder, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Jesus hilft siegen); translated from German to English by Jane L. Borthwick in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855.
Music: Finlandia, Jean Sibelius, 1899. Alternate tune:
- Unde et Memores, William H. Monk, 1875
This hymn was reportedly the favorite of Eric Liddell, the athlete who became famous in the 1924 Olympics for refusing to run on the Sabbath (see the movie Chariots of Fire).
Music: Hyfrydol, Rowland H. Prichard, 1830. Alternate tunes:
- Adoration (Luard-Selby), Bertram Luard-Selby, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1904
- Alleluia (Wesley), Samuel S.Wesley, in the European Psalmist, 1872
Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, His the throne.
Music: St. Clement, Clement C. Scholefield, written for this text, and appearing in Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874. Alternate tune:
- Commandments, Louis Bourgeois,