…say it best.

An old college friend just called and when I answered with a cheery “hey brother!” I was greeted with a song. That’s what Mark does. The Lord puts one of his friends’ names on his heart and directs him with a song. Today, I was the fortunate friend laid on Mark’s heart and this was the song the Father said “Sing this one to my son.”

Now, Mark didn’t know that I’ve been mostly bed-ridden for nearly a month, fighting fevers, nausea and infections. He didn’t know that ardency and fervor for the Lord had been reduced to a flicker and that my hunger for His fullness had been tamed. Never mind that. All he knows is that he was to call a friend and sing to him an old gem buried deep in a dust-filled bin of old, forgotten hymns.

How tedious and tasteless the hours
When Jesus no longer I see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers,
Have all lost their sweetness to me.
The mild summer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay,
But when I am happy in him,
December is pleasant as May.

His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music his voice;
His presence disperses my gloom;
And makes all within me rejoice.
I always should view him thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No monarch so happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding his face,
My all to his pleasure resign;
No changes of seasons or place
Would make any change in my mind.
While blest with the sense of his love,
A palace of joy would appear,
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Lord if I indeed now am thine,
And thou art my sun and my song,
Say why do I languish and pine,
And why are my winters so long?
O drive those dark clouds from my sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore,
Or take me to thee up on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.

When I researched the hymn I discovered its writer is the same man who penned the lyrics to “Amazing Grace.” That’s right: John Newton. The old sailor had mad skills even beyond his most beloved works and today I benefitted from one of them. This one’s going to stick with me for quite some time.

When I told my lovely that Mark called and sang some song entitled, “How Tedious….ummm…hmmm…” she finished my memory search with “and Tasteless the Hours?” That’s another thing I love about Sange: she is a veritable hymnologist in her own right and I’m so blessed to have such a bountiful resource at my disposal. I think I may have to flip through the catalogue and see what else I’ve been missing.

Post Author: Pasturescott

8 Replies to “Sometimes the Old Hymns…”

  1. I have never heard this hymn. Sandy is amazing, how did she know that one. I think I have that hymnal in my basement…lol
    I love the picture you choose. They could be the hands of any of our parents

    1. Yeah, I’ll just bet you do have that hymn book buried in your basement, Ka-Ka, lol!

      I thought the same thing about her hands. That was what stood out, even more than the old book. How blessed we are to come from such a devoted legacy!!!

    1. Thanks Rick! How did I not remember his singing it? Of course, that doesn’t surprise me at all. Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about YouTube. It never occurred to me to look it up there – especially since I can’t recall the melody!

  2. The thing this post reminded me of was not an old hymn that I know I’ve heard somewhere before….but of an old friend who heard the Lord say, “Call your friend and encourage him.” Byron, who I haven’t seen or talked to in over a year, was obedient and just hearing his voice was encouraging. I’m so glad you have Mark. And I’m so glad that I have some of them too.

    1. Oh that’s wonderful, J! And thank You Holy Spirit for speaking to Byron!

      Jerald, you are always remembered in prayer as you fight this particular good fight. Love you, friend.

  3. I heard Chuck Swindoll talking about this hymn early this morning on Premier Christian radio during one of his weekday sermon and I promised myself I would search for it. Fabulous hymn by John Newton. You just want to read and listen to it again and again. What a treasure to find it on Utube

    1. That’s wonderul Kathy! Thank you for commenting here as it took me back to the timing of this post – the challenges I was facing, and one of my dearest friends who also commented and is now with Jesus – and the faithfulness of God through all those “hours”.


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