A Hymn Devotion for 15 June 2021 A.D.
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:35-37; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
This is a hymn of Divine invitation to those in whose hearts the Holy Spirit published His calling. The author of both lyrics and musical score, Welcome Voice, is Lewis Hartsough – 1828-1919. He published the hymn in 1872. The hymn reveals the predestinate will of God in calling His chosen while they are yet vile sinners and, like all others, unworthy of salvation save through the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I HEAR THY WELCOME VOICE
1 I hear Thy welcome voice
That calls me, Lord, to Thee,
For cleansing in Thy precious blood
flowed on Calvary.
I am coming, Lord!
Coming now to Thee!
Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
That flowed on Calvary!
- Tho’ coming weak and vile,
Thou dost my strength assure;
Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse,
Till spotless all, and pure.
- ‘Tis Jesus calls me on
To perfect faith and love,
To perfect hope and peace and trust,
For earth and heav’n above.
- All hail! atoning blood!
All hail! redeeming grace!
All hail! the gift of Christ our Lord,
Our strength and righteousness.
1 I hear Thy welcome voice That calls me, Lord, to Thee, For cleansing in Thy precious blood flowed on Calvary. The Voice of Christ calls from o’er the flood, or even through the stone walls of the tomb. His voice sounded through the corridors of Eternity when He proclaimed, “Lazarus, come forth!” The dead ears of Lazarus could not help hearing that call, The dead heart of Lazarus immediately responded with the warm pulse of life, and when our Lord commanded, “Loose him, and let him go,” (John 11:44), Lazarus was set free from the tightly wound graves clothes and set free. We are not clean in any sense when we are drawn to Christ, but we are, at that moment, made clean by His redeeming grace and sacrifice.
- Tho’ coming weak and vile, Thou dost my strength assure; Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse, Till spotless all, and pure. The vessel of the soul does not wash itself – like the sinner, it is helpless to do anything to cleanse itself. It is not worthy. The cleansing is done by its Owner and Maker. The cleansing is first done to the inner man, and then the outward actions and appearance will also reflect that cleansing wave of grace. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7) As our Lord castigated the Pharisees, “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” (Matthew 23:26) The purging of hyssop was an herbal laxative that cleansed the alimentary canal, after which the outside washing made the vessel whiter than snow – that is, unlike each snowflake that has a speck of impurity at its core around which the ice crystals form, the heart of the redeemed is made spotlessly clean.
- ‘Tis Jesus calls me on To perfect faith and love, To perfect hope and peace and trust, For earth and heav’n above. Without the call to putrifying Lazarus, he could never have awakened to new life. Likewise, the sinner who is dead in trespasses and sin, could never awaken to newness of life without the awakening call of the Holy Spirit. The sheep know not where to find pasture or water, but the shepherd leads them by his voice: “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me John 10:25-27 (KJV) We know the voice of the Lord because we are made His. He knows us, and we follow.
- All hail! atoning blood! All hail! redeeming grace! All hail! the gift of Christ our Lord, Our strength and righteousness. Men work for wages but not for gifts. Salvation is of grace and not of works. In order to be a gift, it must be received by the one for whom intended. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) The Lord chooses His elect, not the other way around: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalms 33:12) He does not say are the people who have chosen God, but whom God has chosen.
I am coming, Lord! Coming now to Thee! Wash me, cleanse me in the blood That flowed on Calvary!
The refrain summarizes the theme for the body of the hymn. We are drawn to Christ, and then we are made clean by His blood of sacrifice shed for us on Calvary. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:14-17)
“ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)