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Daily Readings/ Editorial

DAILY READINGS

Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, October 2:

Monday: Romans 1:1-17

Tuesday: Romans 3:19-4:4

Wednesday: Romans 4:18-5:11

Thursday: Romans 6:1-23

Friday: Romans 8:18-39

Saturday: Romans 12:1-21

EDITORIAL

“My Faith Looks Up To Thee”

Most poets do their best work later in life, but that was not the case for Ray Palmer. In the fall of 1830, the young Yale graduate was only twenty-two years old. He divided his time between teaching and studying theology. One night that winter, he sat at his desk and began writing. With no thought of creating a hymn and without the slightest intention of penning a poem that any other eyes should ever read much less sing, he wrote six stanzas in 6.6.4.6.6.6.4 meter – the first of which read:

My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior Divine

Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away

O Let me from this day, Be wholly Thine.

He was so deeply moved by what he had written that he stained the closing lines with abundant tears. Before retiring for the evening, he wrote these words in his diary: “I wrote tonight a simple poem. I wrote just what I felt with little effort. I recollect that I penned the last words with tender emotion.”

Later, he made a copy of the poem and carried it with him. After a while, he forgot about it. But in the fall of 1832, almost two years after he had written what was to become his most famous hymn, Ray Palmer visited Boston. While walking down a busy street, he happened to meet his friend, Dr. Lowell Mason, the father of American hymnology. Dr. Mason asked Palmer if he had come across any good new hymns for a hymnbook that Dr. Mason was going to publish in the near future. Palmer reluctantly made reference to the copy of his previous writing.

When Dr. Mason read it, he asked for a copy. Upon arriving home, he was so much impressed with it that he composed an original tune for it. Two days later the two men met again. Scarcely waiting to greet the young poet, Dr. Mason exclaimed, “Mr. Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks up to Thee’.”

Join us this coming Sunday as we study about Paul writing to the Roman Christians that he was not ashamed of the gospel for in it a righteousness from God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17 with reference to Habakkuk 2:4).

(Adapted from Living Stories of Famous Hymns by Ernest K. Emurian)

John Harp

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