… “THE PASSING” OF THE OLD TIME HYMNS
There are few things that can cause more dissension in a church than the decision of what kind of music they are going to offer on a Sunday morning. It is the current trend to “desert” the works of such notables as Fanny Crosby and go for the more contemporary works which seem to include a lot of loud drums, electric guitars, and synthesizers. These are presented under the heading of “Praise and Worship,” implying that the songs before them were, I guess, just songs.
Now, I do have an opinion on this, but I don’t let my choice of church be based on the music offered. There is far more that needs to be considered, the least of which is not the fact that it is Bible based and the sermons contain Biblical Truths. The thing is, I Lament the Passing of the Old Hymns because of all of the great messages – especially in the realm of encouragement – that are being lost with their demise.
To show you what I mean, let’s take a quick look at several of them. We’ll start with my Mom’s favorite hymn, IN THE GARDEN:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear
Falling on my ear
The song of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am his own
And the joy we share
As we tarry there
None other has ever known
He speaks and the sound
Of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody
That He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing
I don’t know about you, but when I read the lyrics of this song a peace just settles in my soul. It tends to allow my spirit and the Holy Spirit to commune on a very special level – a level that I believe exists because of the fact that this song literally woos the Holy Spirit!
I next would like to examine my wife’s favorite, HOW GREAT THOU ART:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art.Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
I don’t know a single Christian that can sing, or even hear!, this song and not get goose-bumps! Take a minute and go back and ingest each and every verse in this song, and then take a little more time and digest what they are saying!
The last song I’m going to address today, (I chose them from some 150 Hymns that I researched!) is one of my favorite, THE SOLID ROCK:
My hope is built on notheing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name
Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay
For me, this is another goose-bumper! Over and beyond that, do you realize how many scriptural truths and promises are in this song? My goodness, how can one sing this song and not be encouraged in their Faith Walk?
The thing of the thing is, I know that the songs we are discussing may not lend themselves to the descriptive phrase, “entertaining.” And, I think, that is my point. I am writing a series of books titled. FANTASTIC FACTS ABOUT 25 OF THE ALL TIME GREAT HYMNS (Volume I to be released in late September, early October of 2020), and in it I discuss the story behind the writing of all of these hymns! You can’t believe the way God spoke to the people who wrote these songs, and the lives they experienced to get them to the point where God could use them to pen they lyrics they wrote!
Today’s GOOD NEWS is the fact that while we may not sing these in our churches anymore, they are available from a number of sources so that we can create a CD/Thumb Drive or whatever music source you have/use. We can enjoy them on our Road Trips; during our alone time with God, or just driving to the Grocery Store. I know this is true, because those are the way I continue to be exposed to them!!!