Souls in heathen darkness lying

Souls in heathen darkness lying

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander (1852)
Published in 61 hymnals

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Representative Text

1 Souls in heathen darkness lying,
Where no light has broken through;
Souls that Jesus bought by dying,
Whom His soul in travail knew;
Thousand voices,
Thousand voices
Call us o’er the waters blue.

2 Christians, hearken, none has taught them
Of His love so deep and dear;
Of the precious price that bought them;
Of the nail, the thorn, the spear;
Ye who know Him,
Ye who know Him,
Guide them from their darkness drear.

3 Haste, O haste, and spread the tidings
Wide to earth’s remotest strand;
Let no brother’s bitter chidings
Rise against us when we stand
Tell the judgment,
Tell the judgment,
From some far, forgotten land.

4 Lo! the hills for harvest whiten,
All along each distant shore;
Seaward far the islands brighten,
Light of nations, lead us o’er;
When we seek them,
When we seek them,
Let Thy Spirit go before.

Source: Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #267

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander

As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Souls in heathen darkness lying
Author: Cecil Frances Alexander (1852)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Souls in heathen darkness lying. Cecil F. Alexander, née Humphreys. [Missions.] This hymn is known in four forms, each by Mrs. Alexander, and beginning with the same first line, as follows:—
1. In E. Hawkins's Verses in Commemoration of the Third Jubilee of the S. P. G., 1851-52, p. 55, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines.
2. In the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Hymns for Public Worship, 1852, No. 184, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, of which stanzas i.-iii. are from No. l and stanzas iv. is new. This is the form in which it is usually given in modern hymnbooks.
3. In Mrs. Alexander's Legend of the Golden Prayers and Other Poems, 1859, p. 167, in 8 stanzas of 6 lines. This is the text of the Verses, &c, 1851-52, with the omission of stanzas iv.
4. In Mrs. Carey Brock's Children's Hymn Book, 1881, No. 310 is composed of stanzas i., ii., vi., viii., from The Legend of the Golden Prayers, &c, as above.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #6252
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The Cyber Hymnal #6252

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