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HIS hymn has been ascribed to many writers and seldom to its true author. Yet the matter of its origin would easily have been settled by reference to a novel written several years ago, entitled "Dollars and Cents," where it first appeared in its original form. The writer of this story, answering an inquiry regarding the hymn, writes, "It is certainly mine —so far as that can be said of anything which the Lord himself gives to our hearts to say or do. The hymn just grew up in a scene in a story I was writing, because I found nothing that just suited me." Miss Warner, who is perhaps better known as Amy Lothrop," is the author of a number of stories. The hymn is sung to the beautiful setting of Mendelssohn's "Consolation."
WE would see Jesus; for the shadows lengthen
Across this little landscape of our life; We would see Jesus, our weak faith to strengthen For the last weariness, the final strife.
We would see Jesus, the great rock foundation Whereon our feet were set with sovereign grace: Nor life nor death, with all their agitation,
Can thence remove us, if we see his face.
We would see Jesus: other lights are paling,
Which for long years we have rejoiced to see; The blessings of our pilgrimage are failing:
We would not mourn them, for we go to thee.
We would see Jesus: yet the spirit lingers
Round the dear objects it has loved so long, And earth from earth can scarce unclasp its fingers; Our love to thee makes not this love less strong.
We would see Jesus: sense is all too binding,
What thou hast suffered, our great debt to pay.
We would see Jesus: this is all we're needing;
Strength, joy, and willingness come with the sight; We would see Jesus, dying, risen, pleading;
Then welcome day, and farewell mortal night.
ANNA B. WARNER
MARTIN LUTHER (Eisleben, Saxony, Nov. 10, 1483 - Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546), was not only a great preacher, he was also a poet, the greatest of the German hymnists. As a poet he is best known by his "Ein Feste Burg," which is commonly called Luther's hymn. Heine calls it "The Marseillaise of the Reformation"; it spread like wildfire everywhere among the Protestants, being sung in the cottage, the workshop, and the congregation. Based on the Forty-Sixth Psalm, "God is our refuge and strength," and born in the supreme bour of Luther's great conflict, it was one of the most potent forces of the Reformation. Something of the versatility of Luther is seen in the fact that the tune to which this hymn is always sung was also his composition. The translation was made by Frederick Henry Hedge, of Massachusetts, in the last century.
EIN FESTE BURG
MIGHTY fortress is our God,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
From age to age the same,
And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also:
HENRY FRANCIS LYTE (Kelso, Scotland, June 1, 1793-Nice, France, Nov. 20, 1847), poet and clergyman, early gave promise of a brilliant career; but illness, intrigue, and misfortune seemed to beset him. His great bymns, however, grew out of these experiences. He says that, "scarce able to crawl," he went to his last communion at Brixham, and after the service, as the darkness gathered, he wrote this farewell hymn. To-day this hymn is found in almost all hymn books, and from the churches, the homes, from the forts and the men of war of both great English-speaking nations, its melody floats out on the Sabbath evening air.