Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Woman of Worth
Vengence/Retribution belongs to God,
|430 O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee
438 Forth in Thy Name
399 Take My Life and Let it Be
110 A Mighty Fortress is Our God
389 Freely, Freely
|Delight in God's Law,
The Righteous Way
A Plea for God's Vindication
|441 What Does the Lord Require
Psalter 738, response 1
128 He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought
600 Wonderful Words of Life
See Jeremiah suggestions above
|Mark 9:30-37||True Greatness,
Welcoming the Least Among Us
|548 In Christ There is No East or West
419 I Am Thine, O Lord
712 I Sing a Song of the Saints of God
402 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
344 Tu Has Venido a la Orilla
|James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a||God's Wisdom vs. Earthly Ways,
How to obtain God's Wisdom
|465 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
391 O Happy Day that Fixed My Choice
552 Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather
506 Wellspring of Wisdom
For many years the only information known about this gospel song was what Ira D. Sankey wrote in his autobiography. Sankey (1840-1908) was the well-known gospel singer and hymn writer who accompanied Dwight L. Moody in the late 1800's as the two of them traveled all over the world holding camp meetings and revivals.
And because the tune of this song was written specifically for this text and then sent to Sankey for his use, it is appropriate to take a detour into a consideration of Sankey's considerable influence on American church music. It is largely Sankey that Christianity has to thank for the introduction and preservation of the type of evangelistic, revival music known as gospel songs that is still in existence from this period.
He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in his home in Newcastle, Pa.. There he was a Sunday School superintendent and choir leader. He was also a leader in the Y.M.C.A. and as a delegate to one of their meetings in 1870, he met Mr. Moody. Six months later he joined him as his music leader. He led the singing (in a style seldom seen before that time but is familiar now), sang gospel solos (another innovation in church music), accompanying himself on a small reed organ called a harmonium. What is notable about him, however, was his ability to demonstrate the power of music as a religious force. He wrote: "I never touch a song that does not speak to me in every word and phrase. Before I sing I must feel, and the hymn must be of such a kind that I know I can send home what I feel into the hearts of those who listen."
In 1873, Sankey first published a collection of the gospel songs he sang in the revivals. Someone has said that in 1875 more people read or sang from Sankey's song collection than all the people who heard or performed Bach in the whole 19th century. Many gospel songs still in common use today became popular by inclusion in his collections. One of his collections is still in use in England today. And his autobiography is the source work of information about gospel songs.
"Take Time to Be Holy," Sankey says, was written by William Dunn Longstaff (1822-1894)after hearing a sermon on I Peter 1:16. However, many years later the composer of the tune, George C. Stebbins, said that Longstaff wrote the hymn after hearing a missionary to China being quoted as saying, "Take time and be holy" at a meeting he attended. Whatever the origin (and both elements may be equally true, when you think about it), Stebbins had received the poem from a friend in 1890, who had clipped it from a periodical. Later, while Stebbins was spending a winter in India assisting Dr. George F. Pentecost and Bishop Thoburn in evangelistic and conference work, he recalled that he had the slip of paper with him. He promptly set music to the words and sent it off to Sankey in New York. Part of the reason Sankey probably accepted it was on the basis of his long-time friendship with Longstaff.
Sankey published it first in 1890. The hymn entered the Methodist Protestant hymnal in 1901 and in 1935.
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Contributed by Rev. Linda K. Morgan-Clark
Proverbs: See Index listing, "Daily Work" p.954; "Commitment" p.939;
see also Hymns 126-143 (Providence)
Jeremiah: See Index listing, "Judgment" p.946; "Providence" p.950; see also Hymns 126-143 (Providence); also Hymn 389 can be performed by handbells
Psalm 1: See Index listing, "Guidance" p.942
See Index listing, "Jesus Christ: Example" p.945
See Index listing, "Aspiration and Resolve" p.934; see also Hymns 382-394 (Rebirth and New Creation)
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|