Today’s selection in my series, “Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth” is a piece written in 1905 by Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932).

I Stand Amazed in the Presence

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me,
a sinner, condemned, unclean.
How marvelous! How wonderful!
      (Oh, how marvelous!)       (Oh, how wonderful!)
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
      (Oh, how marvelous!)       (Oh, how wonderful!)
is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
he prayed: “Not my will, but thine.”
He had no tears for his own griefs,
but sweat-drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld him,
and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows
he bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
he made them his very own;
he bore the burden to Calvary,
and suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
his face I at last shall see,
’twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.

An abbreviated version of this hymn appeared on a Bob Fitts worship album in the 1990’s and repopularized it somewhat in charismatic circles. I of course remembered it from my youth and was sad not have the fuller hymn — particularly the last verse — recirculating. Still, it was one of those moments when the hymns of my youth broke into the present, which I appreciate. I do love this hymn, and the picture of standing amazed in the presence of Jesus, longing to see his face and stand “in glory” to sing of his love, a song which will ever proclaim, “Oh, how marvelous, Oh, how wonderful!”

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