For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Henri Abraham César Malan was a prolific composer of hymns in the early 19th century, as well as an ardent evangelist who traveled throughout the European continent preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though few of his hymns have been translated and popularized in English, his impact on the French and Swiss churches of his era has been compared to that of Isaac Watts in England a generation earlier. Continue reading
“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Keith & Kristyn Getty are contemporary hymn writers from Ireland who now live in Nashville. Their combination of timeless, singable melodies with deep theological truth have produced some very powerful hymns for the Church! Continue reading
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Born and raised in the home of a school teacher, Isaac Watts had a knack for language at a very young age. He began studying Latin at age four, with Greek and Hebrew following soon after. He put these gifts to good use, becoming one of the most prolific writers of hymns in the history of the Church. Continue reading
“Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Sometimes, when we talk about singing the “old hymns,” we mean the hymns we used to sing when we were young. But every so often we get to sing a hymn that’s REALLY old, from the days when Christianity itself was young. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence gives us the opportunity to connect with our past while we ponder our future. Continue reading
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
When Presbyterian pastor J. Wilbur Chapman wanted to introduce his stodgy congregation to new hymns written to stir Christians to missionary effort, his Consistory refused to allow it. Distraught, the young minister sought the advice of famed evangelist D.L. Moody, who told him to “print one or two Gospel Hymns on cards and slip them into pews; then have your choir or soloist sing one of them.” The result brought even the most vehemently opposed elder to tears, and the congregation adopted new hymnals—and a new evangelistic fervor—at once. It was the start of one of the most successful evangelistic campaigns in American history. Continue reading
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Though he is known today as the author of one of the most beloved hymns of all times (Rock of Ages), Augustus Montague Toplady was despised by most of his contemporaries… even members of his own family! He was known as “sick and neurotic” by his friends, and as “impulsive, rash-spoken, reckless in misjudgment” by early biographers. When he publicly attacked John Wesley (calling him “the most rancorous hater of the gospel-system that ever appeared on this island,” among other choice insults), Wesley responded dismissively, saying, “I do not fight with chimney sweeps!”
Yet God can use even the most caustic individuals for His glory. Continue reading