Jesus, I my cross have taken (Alternate Tune)

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
  Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou, from hence, my all shalt be.
  Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, and hoped, and known;
  Yet how rich is my condition,
God and Christ are still my own!
Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too;
  Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like man, untrue;
  And, while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
  Foes may hate, and friends disown me;
Show Thy face, and all is bright.
Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to Thy breast;
  Life with trials hard may press me,
Christ will bring me sweeter rest.
  O 'tis not in grief to harm me,
While Thy love is left to me;
  O 'twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.
Haste then on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer;
  God's eternal day's before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
  Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days,
  Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Born June 1, 1793, at Kelso Scotland, Henry Francis Lyte knew what poverty was yet he struggled hard at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland ( where J. N. D. later attended) he was awarded the prize for poetry three times. This gave him some much needed money. He intended to be a physician but gave it up to become a minister of the Church of England, all while he was not yet saved!

In 1818 , three years after he entered the ministry a fellow clergyman was agonizing on his death bed because he was unpardoned and unprepared to meet the Lord. Henry then realized that he wasn’t saved either! They read together in Paul’s Epistles and the eyes of their hearts were enlightened to see that salvation comes through the work of Christ. When his friend died, Lyte said, “he died happy under the belief that, though he erred, there was One whose death and sufferings would atone for all his delinquencies, and He accepted for all that he had incurred. ”

Henry worked in Brixham, England, a seafaring town. He had a large Sunday school ministry with a few hundred students and trained about 70 teachers for the task.

One writer says that his life “was filled with disappointments and afflictions”. The last hymn he wrote “Abide with Me” was written under deplorable circumstances. He had been ordered by the doctor to leave for the south because of his poor health. In his last sermon he spoke to his beloved congregation and said, “I stand before you seasonably today as alive from the dead, if I may impress it upon you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with, appreciation of, and a dependence on the death of Christ. ” He then went to his room conscious he was close to dying. As evening approached, he came out of his room and gave the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ to one of his close relatives with a tune to sing it with. The tune was lost but the words remain.

One of the stanzas tell us his own experience at the moment.

“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.

Change and decay in all around I see;

Oh Thou, Who changest not, abide with me! ”

Soon after in that same year on November 20, 1847 he died in Nice, France at the age of 54 on his way to Rome.

He experienced so happily what he penned in this last line:

“Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Istifanus Ariko

Kaduna., Kaduna, Nigeria

A great starting point of my journey with Christ, is when I agree to take my cross and forsake all to follow him!