“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” Heb 6:19 (all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
This is a slight departure from our usual hymn devotion. Today’s selection is not a hymn in the classical sense, but rather a Gospel Song. The Difference? A classical hymn teaches biblical doctrine whereas a Gospel song evokes devotional emotion and expresses joy in the promises of God.
Whispering Hope was composed by Septimus Winner in 1868. The author is sometimes referred to as Alice Hawthorne – an understandable pseudonym for a man with such a name as Septimus Winner. Mr. Winner is also the composer of the musical score of the song.
There are some interesting particulars regarding the author of this song. He is most noted for his folk ballads one of which is “Oh Where, Oh Where has my Little Dog Gone.” Another is a War Between the States favorite entitled, “Listen to the Mocking Bird.” Another added matter of interest is the fact that Septimus Winner was once charged by the Lincoln Administration with Treason for merely writing a song criticizing Lincoln’s firing of the gallant General George B. McClellan.
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.
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.
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, O come, glad fruition,
Come to my sad weary heart;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory,
Never, O never depart.
“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.” During the most desperate moments of this life, the Christian believer has a resource to call upon of which the world knows little – HOPE! Hope is silent in its approach, but bears with its sweet savor a promise of tomorrow. When the believer is faced with insurmountable problems, he dares to hope, and that hope grows moment by moment. Every dark night has its brilliant sunrise morning. Storms of life have short life, and the peace of nature always follows in their paths. Even the chastening of God will pass into a wonderful day of rejoicing: “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5 (KJV) But for those who forget their Lord will see only clouds and more clouds after the dark night passes: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-2)
REFRAIN: “Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.” It is no contradiction for the Christian to experience rejoicing in the midst of staggering sorrow. This, the world cannot comprehend.
“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.” Regardless of the smothering darkness of the road ahead, when we walk with Christ, we bear with us the Light of the World. Where He is, there can exist no darkness. The stars of heaven twinkle with light by means of contrasting darkness and light. The stars cover the canopy of heaven during the bright sunshiny day, but we cannot see them for the sun’s brightness. But the purple canopy of the night sky provides the contrast to see those points of light to guide us through our dark moments. The Evening Star brightens our dark night as a sure promise of coming morn. IT is the Morning Star at daybreak – the last Star of Heaven to by vanquished by the rising Sun. That Bright Morning Star symbolizes the Presence of Christ in the darkness of our earthly walk; and the Sun represents the same Jesus Christ as our Sun of Righteousness to come at the End of Days.
“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, O come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, O never depart.” An anchor will not hold tight when dropped in the swamps and wilderness waters of the world; but when dropped into the stone-strewn depths of the sea or harbor, it adheres to a Rock and will not budge. When our Anchor of Hope is fastened upon the Rock of our Salvation, our bark will not drift. Instead, we turn the ship’s bow into the storm, drop anchor, and weather the storm until it passes. Life is like that. The ‘dark veil’ of the soul may be compared to the Temple Veil which was ripped asunder from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross. It opened the Holiest of Holies to you and me so that we need none other High Priest as an intercessor other than our Lord. Our private souls, also, are a Temple unto the Lord whose veil needs to be rent from top to bottom that we may enter into eternal life with God the Father. The grave is thus robbed of its captive, and the tomb becomes merely a borrowed one like unto that of the Lord’s Garden Tomb. Once we are called and chosen of God, our hope can never depart even under the gravest of circumstances.
See with what courage the reformers went to the burning stake refusing to recant their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Some, such as the Bohemian Reformer, John Hus. “The executioners undressed Hus and tied his hands behind his back with ropes, and his neck with a chain to a stake around which wood and straw had been piled up so that it covered him to the neck. Still at the last moment, the imperial marshal, Von Pappenheim, in the presence of the Count Palatine, asked him to save his life by a recantation, but Hus declined with the words ‘“God is my witness that I have never taught that of which I have been accused by false witnesses. In the truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached I will die to-day with gladness.”’ There upon the fire was kindled with John Wycliffe’s own manuscripts used as kindling for the fire. With uplifted voice Hus sang, “Christ, thou Son of the living God, have mercy upon me.” Among his dying words he proclaimed, “In 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.” His ashes were gathered and cast into the nearby Rhine River. Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of John Hus had come true!