578. Jesus, Lover of My Soul

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1 Jesus, lover of my soul,
let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll,
while the tempest still is high;
hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last!

2 Other refuge have I none;
hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone,
still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed,
all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head
with the shadow of thy wing.

3 Plenteous grace with thee is found,
grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound;
make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art;
freely let me take of thee;
spring thou up within my heart,
rise to all eternity.

Text Information
First Line: Jesus, lover of my soul
Title: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Author: Charles Wesley (1738)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 77 77 D
Scripture: Psalm 23; Matthew 11:28; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:16; Matthew 20:16; Luke 8:25; Galatians 2
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Sickness & Health; Walk with God (6 more...)
Language: English
Tune Information
Composer: Joseph Parry (1879)
Meter: 77 77 D
Key: e minor

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 =Ps. 57:1, Ps.32:6-7, Matt. 11:28
st. 2 =Ps. 91:4, Ps.141:8
st. 3 =Ps. 32: 1-2, Rev. 21:6b, John 4:14

Charles Wesley (PHH 267) wrote this text sometime after his conversion in 1738. The five-stanza text was published in John and Charles Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740). Because the words of the original opening couplets were considered to be too intimate for public worship, many hymnal editors made textual changes before publishing “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” in various nineteenth-century hymnals.

Originally entitled "In Temptation," this text develops the Imagery of the troubled person adrift in a storm of temptation. That person can find a sure refuge only in Jesus Christ.

Liturgical Use:
For times of temptation (as Wesley suggests); as a hymn of prayer following the sermon' with sermons on crossing the Red Sea, Jonah drowning, Peter walking on water, and' other situations in which the cosmological imagery of refuge from the waters of chaos is appropriate.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

For a discussion of ABERYSTWYTH see PHH 18.

The tune's musical contour is a fine match for this text. It climbs from its initial minor phrases through a touch of major to a convincing high point in the final line before settling to a solemn close. Sing in parts throughout at a restrained pace to permit all the eighth notes to sound clearly. ABERYSTWYTH is set in the key of D at 18, which also provides a canonic harmonization that could be used effectively on stanza 2.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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