This week in my series Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth I’ve selected one that for me doesn’t immediately come to mind for the subject, but once the first line is read, the tune and some of the lyrics begin to flood back to me. I couldn’t find much information about the composition of the hymn or its background, but it was written by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander and published in 1852. The tune was composed by William H. Jude in 1874. For her part, in addition to founding a school for the deaf with her sister, Cecil wrote something like 400 hymns during her lifetime, including “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” She was married to William Alexander, bishop of Derry and Raphoe, who became the Anglican primate for Ireland.
The hymn, when I think back to my youth, is one which always brought to mind an image of the sea. As a child, I really didn’t know what a “tumult” was or fully grasp the metaphor of a tumultuous life. Still, the fading organ sounds come to mind with the last line of each stanza. It was in fact organ and piano in the church of my youth, but I found a nice acoustic guitar instrumental to embed.
Jesus Calls Us
Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”
As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”
Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.