This week I’m adding a hymn to my series Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth for which I could find little to nothing in the way of background information. The lyrics to “Channels Only” were written by Mary Maxwell with music by Ada Gibbs in 1900. I do remember it from the church of my young years though, along with the nagging youthful question of what on earth the lyrics meant. Channel? Huh? It was puzzling for a young lad. I remember the words gradually starting to make sense as I got older though.
How I praise Thee, precious Savior,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.
Channels only, blessèd Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.
Just a channel full of blessing,
To the thirsty hearts around;
To tell out Thy full salvation
All Thy loving message sound.
Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.
Witnessing Thy power to save me,
Setting free from self and sin;
Thou who boughtest to possess me,
In Thy fullness, Lord, come in.
Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water
From our inner self may flow.