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MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE

 

Ray Palmer (1830)                             Dr. Lowell Mason (1832)

 

My faith looks up to Thee,

Thou Lamb of Calvary,

Saviour Divine:

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”.

                      

 

Audio CD : BEYOND THE STORMS                                                                                     by Samuel Devadas & Isaac Samuel

An ISPCK  Publication 

http://ispck.org.in/music.php                                                                                              http://ispck.org.in/viewmusic_info.php?pkid=663                    

 

 

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