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Posts Tagged ‘Lowell Mason’

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul! 

Ray Palmer died 3/29/1887, at Newark, New Jersey.  Palmer attended Phillips Andover Academy (he and Oliver Wendell Holmes were classmates there) and Yale University.  He taught at a young ladies’ school (New York) and at a ladies’ college (Connecticut).  Later Palmer was ordained a Congregational minister (1835) and pastored in Bath, Maine and Albany, New York.

Palmer wrote the above lyrics about the time he graduated from Yale (21 years of age).  It is said that Mason (a couple of years later) met Palmer on a street in Boston, and asked him to write something for a new hymnal.  Palmer gave him these words.  Mason is reported to have told Palmer, “You may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee,” a correct prophesy.  Song has been translated into over twenty (20) languages.  Ray was born 11/12/1808, at Little Compton, Rhode Island.

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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Refrain

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.

Lowell Mason born this date, 1/8/1792 at Medford, Massachusetts.  He has been called “Father of American Church Music” writing or arranged more than 1,000 hymn tunes, among which are found “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” “Nearer My God to Thee” “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

Mason died 8/11/1872 at Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

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