this should have posted yesterday but posterous was having an off day. We are so blessed that we worship a God with no off days.
Martha Reed Garvin has a gift, to bring people to praise and worship the Lord with joy and in celebration. She has a spot on youtube but her ministry has lasted over forty years, way before the internet and streaming video. She says:
“In 1988 when our youngest was a senior in high school”, Martha says, “I began to realize that young people like my own five children really did’t know these blessed old songs. That seemed like a real shame because the best of these hymns are timeless. They’ve endured because they bring a lot of encouragement and comfort to people.”
One of the youtube vids I watched was of this beautiful old hymn by Philip Doddrige, she actually apologised at the end for being too happy! Philip Doddridge was a well known non-conformist theologian and writer as well as being a leader, hymnwriter and educator. His most famous work “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (1745)” brought many people to the Lord including William Wilberforce. He gathered around him many of the well known Christian thinkers and writers and was friends with Isaac Watts.
One of his published sermons is on the occasion of a death of young five year old girl and it is absolutely beautiful, tender and true. He had poor health himself, being the last child of twenty, his mum and dad died whilst he was still a boy. His dad had a great job a purveyor and dealer in pickles and oil.
This hymn is his most well known and is still sung today, it was written in 1751 shortly before his death and is based on 2 Chronicles 15:15
All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought Godeagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.
O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.
Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day
Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.
O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.
’Tis done: the great transaction’s done!
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me, and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.
Now rest, my long divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest.
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heavenly pleasures fill my breast.
High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.
It reminds me of:
14 As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.
22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.