LOOKS UP TO THEE
(1830) Dr. Lowell
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray;
Take all my guilt away;
Oh, let me from this day
Be wholly Thine.
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As Thor hast died for me,
Oh may my love to Thee
Pure, warm and changeless be-
A living fire.
While lif’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs a-round me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away;
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee a side.
When ends life’s transient dream
When death’s cold sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll
Blest Saviour then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
Oh. Bear me safe above
A ransomed soul.
Author: Dr. Ray Palmer, 1808-1887
This is one of the finest American Hymns ever
written. The text was
written by a schoolteacher, Ray Palmer at the age of twenty-two.
He later became an outstanding, evangelical minister.
He was born on November 12th 1808 in
Little Compton Rhode Island. He graduated from Yale University in1830.
While studying Theology at the University, he was doing
part-time teaching in a private girls’ school in New York City.
Even after his graduation, he lived with the family of the lady
who directed the girls’ school where he taught: while battling
illness and loneliness. One
night he happened to read a German poem picturing a needy sinner
kneeling before the Cross. Palmer
was moved and he translated the lines into English and afterwards
added four stanzas that later on became the text for ‘My Faith Looks
Up To Thee”. Palmer
copied the verses into a small notebook –which he always carried
with him to read for his own devotions.
After two years while he was walking along a busy
street in Boston, he happened to meet his friend Lowell Mason. Mason
told Palmer that he was in the process of compiling a new hymnal, and
asked him if he knew of any good text that could be included. Palmer
showed him his little notebook. Mason
was interested and he made a copy of the song.
After a few days, they met again in the street.
Mason 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”.
Palmer wrote thirty-seven other hymns for which
he never accepted payment. But
he is best remembered for his first hymn, “My Faith Looks Up To
Thee”: which he wrote when he was just twenty-two years old.
He died at the age of Seventy-nine
Composer: Dr. Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
Lowell Mason composed a melody for this text, a
tune that he called “Olivet”.
The hymn was published in 1832 in a hymnal called Spiritual
Songs for Social Worship, edited by Mason and Thomas Hastings.
Lowell Mason has contributed the music for about
7oo hymns texts and compiled more than 8 song and hymnbook collection.
He was instrumental in introducing music into the Public School
Curriculum in Boston in 1838.
Other noted hymns composed by Lowell Mason are,
“Joy To The World”, “Nearer, My God to Thee” and “When I
Survey The Wondrous Cross”.
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