Hymns for Him: God in Person
How can impersonal Mind or Principle be â€œmy best friendâ€? Why do I need a Savior to â€œmake my heaven secure,â€ if heaven is the unchanging reign of Spirit or atmosphere of Soul?
Christian Scientists who sing the familiar Hymn 224, â€œO Lord, I would delight in thee,â€ are juggling such contradictions as these between Mrs. Eddyâ€™s metaphysics and the God of the Bible, whether they know it or not.
I and my family concluded we couldnâ€™t live without the intimate friendship of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost â€“ God in person â€“ even if it meant a break with our Christian Science upbringing.
Did the faint echoes of the Gospel in this and many other â€œadaptedâ€ hymnal selections help move us to that conclusion? Itâ€™s hard to say, but I believe Jesus uses every smallest opening to shine his saving light into the darkness of our self-salvation fallacy.
You can read below, the Christian Science Hymnal adaptation (1932) of John Rylandâ€™s original Baptist verses (1777). Where new phrasing has been substituted, Rylandâ€™s words are shown afterward in brackets.
Despite the metaphysicalizing changes â€“ to avoid saying that the Creator made this earth, for example, or that Christ died â€“ we get the persistent sense of manâ€™s need for a Savior who is, inconveniently, God in person!
O Lord, I would [Grant Lord, I may] delight in thee,â€¨
And on thy care depend;â€¨
To thee in every trouble flee,â€¨
My best, my ever [only] friend.
When all material [created] streams are dried,â€¨
Thy fulness is the same;â€¨
May I with this be satisfied,â€¨
And glory in thy name!
All good whereâ€™er it may [No good in creatures can] be found,â€¨
Its source doth find [But all is found] in thee;â€¨
I must have all things [be blessed], and abound,â€¨
While God is [thou art] God to me.
O that I had a stronger faithâ€¨
To look within the veil,â€¨
To credit what my Savior saith,â€¨
Whose word can never fail!
He that has [Thou that hast] made my [our] heaven secure,
Will here all good provide;
While Christ is rich, can I [we] be poor?
What can I lack beside? [Christ who for us has died!]
O Lord, I cast my care on thee,â€¨
I triumph and adore;â€¨
Henceforth my great concern shall beâ€¨
To love and please thee more.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org