Hymn Devotion for 9 September 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 PETER 1:7-11)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (EPHESIANS 2:8-10; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version
Every regular reader of my hymn devotions will know with what admiration and affection I hold the blessed blind hymn-writer, Fanny J. Crosby. Being blind from infancy, she wrote more hymns than any other writer (9,000). Many of her hymns are, not ironically, about seeing the face of the Lord because she saw more clearly with spiritual eyes than those unhampered with blindness could see with the physical. This hymn, SAVED BY GRACE, she wrote in 1891. The tune, SAVED BY GRACE, is the composition of George C. Stebbins in 1894. The hymn is in public domain and belongs to the ages.
SAVED BY GRACE
Someday the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But, oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace.
Someday my earthly house will fall;
I cannot tell how soon ’twill be;
But this I know—my All in All
Has now a place in heav’n for me.
Someday, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy tinted west,
My blessed Lord will say, “Well done!”
And I shall enter into rest.
Someday: till then I’ll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Savior opens the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.
Someday the silver cord will break, And I no more as now shall sing; But, oh, the joy when I shall wake Within the palace of the King! Indeed, the days of all of us, sinner and elect alike, are numbered in the secret annals of Heaven. “Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7) That silver cord joins the spirit of man to the body. Once the curtain of death falls, that cord is severed and the spirit returns to God who gave it. The majestic hymns we have sung on this earth shall be multiplied in beauty and majesty beyond the Gates of Splendor. The Lord has prepared a mansion for us and it awaits our bodily resurrection.
Someday my earthly house will fall; I cannot tell how soon ’twill be; But this I know—my All in All
Has now a place in heav’n for me. The body we now occupy is our temporary dwelling place awaiting our burial in a borrowed tomb – borrowed since we shall not lie there but for a brief respite when, like our blessed Savior, we shall arise to the sound of the Trumpet and our name being called from the Far Pavilions.
Someday, when fades the golden sun Beneath the rosy tinted west, My blessed Lord will say, “Well done!” And I shall enter into rest. There remains an ‘evening sun’ for all who have been born of woman. Unlike the gradually sinking sun of the world, that last sunset will not sink, but rather fade from our failing eyes so as to be transformed into a brilliant Sunrise! For those who are the ‘called according to His purpose,’ the great Sabbath of the Lord will be granted in rest. He who is our Passover Lamb becomes our eternal Sabbath as well. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” (2 PETER 1:19)
Someday: till then I’ll watch and wait, My lamp all trimmed and burning bright, That when my Savior opes the gate, My soul to Him may take its flight. Our lives are as a tale that is told. As the poet of Persia has said, “The bird of time has but a little way to fly and, lo, the bird is on the wing.” and, “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” Omar Khayyam, 11th century. The prophet Isaiah tells us: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:7-8) The days of man are like the Great Hour Glass of the Lord – the grains of sand gently fall into the bottom chamber and, regardless the deposit of grain in the lower glass, we are not mindful of the number of grains remaining in the upper chamber.
TIME IN A GLASS
The sands of time are passing fine,
each grain a matchless treasure.
But doleful man can ne’er opine
to make a useful measure.
How sadly do the hours fly on,
with golden blessings laden,
At last to wing their ways beyond
and find their ancient haven.
A speck of dust on Time’s far shore
is all that mortals merit.
But human souls may find the Door
and Heaven’s gold inherit.
The upper glass conceals the score
of sand left yet to follow,
And man nor beast can yet discern
The balance of tomorrows.
~ by Jerry Ogles, Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Church
Gospel of St. John 8:32 –
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”