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, August 20, 2023


          I've decided to start this blog with a trivia question.  Question – What do "Listen to the Mockingbird", Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Dog Gone?", "Ten Little Indians", and "Whispering Hope" have in common?
– They were all written by Alice Hawthorne, one of the pseudonyms used by the 19th century songwriter Septimus Winner (1827 – 1902).
          Winner, a self-taught musician, did study violin briefly around 1853 with Leopold Meignen, a former bandmaster in Napoleon's army and a composer and conductor. Winner could play a variety of instruments, including the guitar and banjo, and became proficient in the violin by the age of 20. After graduating Philadelphia's Central High School, he opened a music shop and gave lessons on a number of instruments and performed locally with the Cecillian Music Society and the Philadelphia Brass Band.  
            From 1845 to 1854, Winner and his brother, Joseph, formed a music publishing business, Winner & Shuster, which Winner continued with various partners and names until 1902. During this time, he wrote or edited 200 volumes of music for more than 20 instruments and produced more than 2,000 arrangements for violin and piano plus more than 1,500 easy arrangements for a number of instruments. His book on banjo instruction is still used today.
          During the American Civil War, Winner composed a song entitled "Give Us Back Our Old Commander: Little Mac, The "Peoples Pride".  He aimed it as an appeal to President Abraham Lincoln to return Union General George McClellan to service. Unfortunately, it was deemed anti-Union and Winner was jailed on a charge of treason.  He was freed after he agreed to destroy all remaining copies of the song.
          "Whispering Hope," published in 1868 and also written under the name Alice Hawthorne, was not meant to be a religious song, according to friends of Winner. But it proved to be his most successful song, a fact that amazed, and even amused, Winner. The hymn gained instant success in churches and has been published in hymnbooks continuously since that time.
          Based on Hebrews 6:19, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil," The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering - the "Whispering Hope" for all Christians.
         1 Peter 1:3 ~ "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
          Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.by
          The hope of which Winner wrote is a secure hope not like "I hope it will rain today".  This hope is secure and guaranteed and provided by Jesus whose promises will never fail.  The hymn says that hope is a source of comfort, a source of light in darkness and a source of steadfastness in our lives.
            This grand old song contains several tender expressions which allude to the quiet comfort and strength that we can find in God's "Whispering Hope.".  Let's rejoice in that hope this week.
1    Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone.
Whispering hope, 
oh, how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.
2    If, in the dusk of the twilight,
Dim be the region afar,
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star?
Then when the night is upon us,
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over,
Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain]
3    Hope, as an anchor so steadfast,
Rends the dark veil for the soul,
Whither the Master has entered,
Robbing the grave of its goal;
Come then, oh, come, glad fruition,
Come to my sad weary heart;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory,
Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain]
Listen to it here.   HOPE

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