Hymn #9: Light in Darkness

Thanks to Charlie Swing (friend, brother-in-law, fellow hymn-lover and electric guitar extraordinaire) for showing me this text.  You may George Matheson for his hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”.  Here’s a bit more about him:

Born in Glasgow, to George Matheson, a merchant and Jane Matheson (a second cousin), he was the eldest of eight. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated first in classics, logic and philosophy. In his twentieth year he became totally blind, but he held to his resolve to enter the ministry, and gave himself to theological and historical study. In 1879 the University of Edinburgh conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.D.. In 1890, he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He died suddenly of apoplexy (stroke) on the 28th of August 1906 in Edinburgh and is buried in the Glasgow Necropolis. He never married.  (from Wikipedia).

Matheson led a pretty tragic life.  If you have some time, check out the story behind “O Love…” from Indelible Grace’s website.  His hope in the midst of tragedy is a great model. Looking back over his life, he once wrote that his was “an obstructed life, a circumscribed life… but a life of quenchless hopefulness, a life which has beaten persistently against the cage of circumstance, and which even at the time of abandoned work has said not “Good night” but “Good morning.”

Hope you enjoy this lesser-known text, “Light in Darkness”.

***********************************

Light In Darkness

(listen | chart)

There is a song of gladness
That rings oft through hours of pain;
There is a night of sadness
That hears oft the morning strain;
There is a peace of fullness
That never fades with grief or fear;
There is a cloud whose dullness
Shall not mar God’s golden year.

Wouldst thou at night have gladness,
And feel peace surprise thy soul?
Wouldst thou have song in sadness,
And hear waves of music roll?
Wouldst thou in want have fullness,
And find grace for every thorn?
Wouldst thou in fire have coolness,
And draw strength from dangers borne?

Come then to Him that rendered
His own life in love for all,
And in the gift He tendered
Beheld His heart’s burden fall;
Whose cross dropped in the waters,
And left no rippling wave behind,
Because earth’s sons and daughters
Alone filled His heart so kind.

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