I come to His presence afresh

9
Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

This hymn seems to be based on "In the Garden" by C. Austin Miles, who abandoned his career as a pharmacist at age 24 to serve the Lord full time. He said, "It is as a writer of gospel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire."

"In the Garden" is based on Mary Magdalene meeting the Lord on the morning of His resurrection in John 20:1-18.

Miles says, "One day in March, 1912, (20 years after he had given up pharmacy) I was seated in the dark room where I kept my photographic equipment and organ. I drew my Bible toward me; it opened at my favorite chapter, John 20 - whether by chance or inspiration let each reader decide. That meeting of Jesus and Mary had lost none of its power and charm. As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary's life when she knelt before her Lord and cried, 'Rabboni! '

My hands were resting on the Bible while I stared at the light blue wall. As light faded, I seemed to be standing at the entrance of the garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat as if to choke back her sobs, walked slowly into the shadows. It was Mary. As she came to the tomb upon which she placed her hand, she bent to look in, and hurried away.

John in flowing robe appeared, looking into the tomb; then came Peter, who entered the tomb, followed slowly by John.

As they departed, Mary reappeared; leaning her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing; so did I. I knew it was He. She knelt before Him with arms outstretched and looking into His face cried, 'Rabboni! '

I awakened in full light, gripping the Bible, with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. Under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed - the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening I composed the music."

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1. I come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses;

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

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Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own,

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

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2. He speaks, and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing.

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3. I'd stay in the garden with Him

Tho' the night around me be falling;

But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,

His voice to me is calling.

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The tune written by Miles for this hymn is tune #501, used for "O Glorious Christ Savior Mine".


PW

Honolulu, HI, United States

When we allow the Lord Jesus to live in us to be our everything, wah! our life is supplied with His unsearchable riches and our living is full of bliss and satisfaction.


Raul Ramirez

Arvada, Colorado, United States

Speak to me and reveal to me all Your riches for me today! And with sweet delight I partake of You, my hunger has passed away!


Jeremy L. Vega

San Carlos City, Neg. Occ., Philippines

Very refreshing! Full of life!


Victoria

Abuja, Nigeria

This is my 'go to' hymn. My all time favorite. A simple but profound hymn full of love and care and succor between two people (the Lord and the singer) who cherish each other.


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

It seems this hymn was inspired by the hymn, "I come to the garden alone" by Charles Austin Miles in 1913 which applied Mary Magdalene's experience in John 20:11-18 to us. The tunes are very similar.


Leira Ruth

Iligan City

Nice one, Tom! I tried singing the way you suggested and indeed it is sweeter!

And in every way I partake of You,

My problems all passed away.

Amen!


Tom

Milwaukee, United States

This song is sweeter and more romantic toward the Lord if you change third person to second person for the Lord:

I come to Your presence afresh

Ere the night has passed into morning;

And Your face I see as it shines on me-

My Lord within you're dawning.

And You speak to me and reveal to me

All Your riches for me today;

And with sweet delight I partake of You,

My hunger has passed away.

etc...


Heorald Jocaz

Wow!!! This guy made a lng comment. I wish I could too, but all I can say is WOW!!!

We also need to eat the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs (Exo. 12:8; 1 Cor. 5:8). In these three items—the flesh of the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs—there are two kinds of lives: the animal life and the vegetable life. In the Scriptures these two kinds of lives typify two aspects of Christ's life. The animal life has blood that can be shed for redemption. Hence, the animal life typifies the redeeming aspect of the life of Christ, a life that redeems us continually (Rev. 13:8). The vegetable life is the generating life and typifies Christ's life in the aspect of generating. Christ was the grain of wheat that fell into the earth, died, and grew up to produce many grains (John 12:24). However, both the redeeming and the generating aspects of Christ's life are for sustaining, nourishing, supporting, energizing, and strengthening. Whether we eat the flesh of the animal life or the unleavened bread of the vegetable life, we will be strengthened and nourished. Christ as life to us is the sustaining and strengthening power. We need to take Christ as such a life.

We may wonder why it was necessary to eat the unleavened bread with bitter herbs. We often speak of how sweet it is to receive Christ, and a number of hymns use this expression (see Hymns, #221, 554, 1143, and 1157). But it is quite significant that in the type of the passover there are bitter herbs. While we are eating the flesh of the lamb and the unleavened bread, we need to experience bitterness also. The proper way to experience Christ as life is, on the one hand, to be sustained, strengthened, nourished, and supported and, on the other hand, to sense that we are sinful. In fact, the more we enjoy Christ, the more we will sense that we are sinful, worldly, natural, fleshly, soulish, and very much against God. The more we enjoy Christ, the more joy we will have, and also the more bitterness we will have. While we are thanking the Lord for being everything to us, we may also be confessing with tears how sinful, worldly, fleshly, and full of the self and the natural man we are, and how much we are for ourselves and how little we are for God. Before God we may feel that everything concerning us is wrong. In our experience the enjoyment of Christ as life is always accompanied by such a real repentance. This is to enjoy Christ with a contrite heart and a broken spirit (Psa. 51:17). Whenever we eat and enjoy Christ as the Lamb, there must also be the bitter herbs.