I grew up with a love for hymns. It was all around my house and it was incorporated into the fabric of my spiritual life. While the hymns themselves were meaningful—the words and the music, I confess that only recently have I begun to truly dwell on the content of the poetry.
I am reading through C.H. Spurgeon’s Devotional work “Morning and Evening” and have been impressed by the quotes of verse that is sprinkled through his words. As I researched this more, I have seen that many of these—if not all, come from pieces of hymns. Often, I will Google the verse and find the entirety of the hymn that he is quoting. As I sit and dwell on these passages, my curiosity expands to my own small collection of hymnals that I have picked up along the way.
This morning, I turned in “The New Baptist Hymnal” of 1926 to find this beautiful verse titled “Depth of Mercy! Can There Be”:
Depth of Mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God his wrath forbear,
And the chief of sinners spare?
I have long withstood his grace;
Long provoked him to his face;
Would not hear his gracious calls;
Grieved him by a thousand falls.
Jesus, answer from above;
Is not all thy nature love?
Wilt thou not the wrong forget?
Lo, I fall before thy feet.
Now incline me to repent;
Let me now my fall lament;
Deeply my revolt deplore;
Weep, believe, and sin no more.
(By Charles Wesley: From “The New Baptist Hymnal” 1926. Broadman Press)
Then I turned to a little song book called “Making Melody” written in 1950 to remind me of this old favorite titled “I Don’t Know About Tomorrow”:
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day today.
I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine,
For it’s skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’re the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.
(By Ira Stanphill. Copyright 1950 by Singspiration. From “Making Melody” 1969. Bible Memory Association.)
There is such depth of theology in both of these hymns. Simple, but an honest expression of faith. It seems like by digging into the verse and poetry of the hymns, I open a whole new world of worship of our Savior.