A Hymn Devotion for 27 October 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. * 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 ¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
This beautiful old Gospel song was written as a poem by an English evangelist, Katherine Hankey (1834-1911. The lyrics were written in 1866 and reduced to its musical score in 1969 by Mr. Willian G. Fischer. Its melodious notes call our souls back to the Word first preached by our Lord and His Apostles and, even before, to the law and prophets which heralded His coming. It should be a subject of the uttermost importance in the minds of every professing Christian. The famous hymn writer and hymnologist, Ira Sankey, wrote the following account describing the meaning of the song:
“Last winter a young man ap¬peared here from Bri¬tish Co¬lum¬bia,” says a let¬ter from Sur¬rey, Eng¬land. “He was in the Roy¬al Ma¬rines. He was a to¬tal ab¬stain¬er and was do¬ing all he could to pro¬mote temp¬er¬ance among his com¬rades. While here he went to church, and the cur¬ate, who had a con¬ver¬sa¬tion with him, was much pleased with his man¬ly be¬hav¬ior and re¬so¬lute de¬sire to do right. He wore a me¬dal and had good con¬duct marks on his clothes. This man was the lit¬tle boy whom Miss T. had picked up in Bat¬ter¬sea Park ma¬ny years be¬fore, and who had learned of the gos¬pel of sal¬va¬tion en¬tire¬ly by list¬en¬ing to the maid¬ser¬vants sing¬ing sac¬red songs while scrub¬bing the door¬steps and clean¬ing win¬dows. The hymn that, as a child, he seemed to make en¬tire¬ly his own was, ‘I love to tell the sto¬ry,’ though he knew sev¬er¬al others when he was picked up in the park. As he had ne¬ver been to church or ch¬apel, the hymns were the on¬ly chan¬nel through which di¬vine truth had been con¬veyed to him, and by which the first seed was sown in his heart that made him a man of char¬ac¬ter and use¬ful¬ness.” Ira D. Sankey, THE HYMN MAKERS, 1908 pp 164-5
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love. I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true; It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us in Parables of things earthly to describe those divine wonders in Heaven that our minds were incapable of perceiving. Knowing the beauty of God’s Paradise as described in Scripture, as well as the Mighty Sovereign who loved us more than death, how could we not proclaim to every listening ear that old, old story? It is too good to be true, yet, true it is. How glorious to know and share such wonderful news to the world!
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. You may read all the tabloid stories you please of men who have ‘died and gone to heaven, and returned,’ but you will never grasp the magnificence of Heaven from such yellow journalism. “9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Go to the fountains source and still you will fail to grasp the wonders and majesty of Heaven – human words are incapable of the descriptive adjectives required for the description. We have been showered with Heavens blessing in knowing the truth. How can we hoard it for ourselves?
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story, for some have never heard The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word. The Word of God is as a constantly renewing Manna. It is sweet to the taste and a comfort to the belly. With each retelling and each re-reading of it, we discover fresh new gems of love and promise that had escape our notice in times past. There are many who have never heard the Word, and there are some who listened the first time with untrained ear; but once the Word has entered into the heart, it will bear luscious fruit – such fruit that draws the sinner, as with a hook in the jaw, to the throne of mercy and grace.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, ’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long. My childhood memory recalls those old, old hymns my mother sang. They impressed my mind with such indelible truth that those could not be expunged by a time of forgetfulness of God. There was always a hunger in my heart for the love and righteousness to which those old songs and hymns called me. Finally, I was awakened in my soul to search out the deep, deep meaning behind the worlds – and there I renewed my love and trust in Christ.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love. It is love that drew us to hear that old, old story; and it is love that compels our sharing it abroad to every heart and soul who will abide it.