Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


     "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me."  Matthew 16:24.  As a youngster Henry F. Lyte (1793-1847) and his family lived in severe poverty.  His father abandoned him and his mother. Later he was orphaned at 9 years old and left with no support. He was invited by  a Rev. Robert Burrows into his home, accepted as part of his family, and had his education paid for. He graduated from Trinity College in Dubland, Ireland.  He also suffered throughout his lifetime with a frail body that was always prone to tuberculosis. Shortly after his ordination to the Anglican Church ministry, He was asked to visit a fellow clergyman, an Abraham Swanne, who was dying.  During the visit both came to the realization that  neither had really ever had a personal relationship with Christ or a genuine conversion experience.  They began to study the scriptures together and both made a sincere commitment to God. Lyte said, "I was greatly affected by the whole matter, and brought to look at life and its issue with a different eye than before; and I began to study my Bible, and preach in another manner than I had previously done." It is said that Lyte became a skilled student of the Bible and a tireless preacher of the gospel.   Following his conversion he wrote some eighty hymn texts. His conversion experience stirred him to write this week's hymn choice in 1824.  It  reflects Lyte's own personal attitude toward the "cross" of his suffering and the fact that he found refuge in Christ alone in learning to accept and use suffering in a spiritual sense.  When Christ becomes everything, and all is sacrificed to one's life and service for Him, following the Lord Jesus makes a stark contrast to anything that came before. That is the sober message of this hymn. Faced with it, many would draw back in horror, and their lives would echo Paul's sad reference to a former traveling companion: "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Tim. 4:10).  Jesus declared, "Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Lk. 14:33).  We are humbled when we see this kind of devotion played out in the lives of God's faithful saints. Yet there's no indication that it's to be exceptional and unusual. Each of us is only a steward of what God has given - time and talents, material things, and even relationships. And if we confess all to be truly His, then the Lord has a right to do as He pleases with His property.  It is thought that in addition to Lyte's physical afflictions, difficulty with some individuals in his church also weighed heavily upon him.  This might account for expressions from the second and third verses such as "human hearts and looks deceive me...", "foes may hate, and friends may shun me ...".  But he concludes the hymn with the joyous words, "hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise." The pain and loss suffered here is  small when compared to the blessings of eternity ahead. Mozart was thought to be a possible composer of the tune, but the connection has not been authenticated. Generally Rowland H. Prichard is credited with having written the music. The original hymn had six stanzas. Of these, one, two, four and six are commonly used today. Henry Lyte's publication of the hymn was headed by the words, "Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee" (Mk. 10:28, KJV).

1.     Jesus, I my cross have taken, 
all to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken, 
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition, 
all I've sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition! 
God and Heaven are still mine own.

2.     Let the world despise and leave me, 
they have left my Savior, 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 disown me, 
show Thy face and all is bright.

*3.     Go, then, earthly fame and treasure! 
Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure; 
with Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, "Abba, Father"; 
I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, 
all must work for good to me.

4.     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.
Oh, 'tis not in grief to harm me while 
Thy love is left to me;
Oh, 'twere not in joy to charm me, 
were that joy unmixed with Thee.

*5.   Take, my soul, thy full salvation; 
rise o'er sin, and fear, and care;
Joy to find in every station 
something still to do or bear:
Think what Spirit dwells within thee; 
what a Father's smile is thine;
What a Savior died to win thee, 
child of heaven, shouldst thou repine?

6.    Haste then on from grace to glory, 
armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heaven's eternal day's before thee, 
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, 
swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition, 
faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

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