Our times are in Thy hand

Our times are in Thy hand;
  O God, we wish them there;
Our lives, our souls, our all, we leave
  Entirely to Thy care.
Our times are in Thy hand:
  Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
  As best may seem to Thee.
Our times are in Thy hand;
  Why should we doubt or fear?
A father's hand will never cause
  His child a needless tear.
Our times are in Thy hand;
  Jesus, the Crucified,
Whose hand our many sins have pierced,
  Is now our guard and guide.
Our times are in Thy hand;
  We'll always trust to Thee,
Till we possess the promised crown,
  And all Thy glory see.
Harvey E. Vansciver

Linwood, New Jersey, United States

In 1979, I wrote a poem based upon Psalm 31:15 for the 100th Anniversary of First United Methodist Church, Asbury Park, NJ, where I was pastor. The words were set to music by the late Ross Hastings, who at the time was Staff Arranger and Orchestrator for the Hollywood Bowl Pops. The hymn was copyrighted and published by Bourne Music Publishers, NYC, in 1980.

In addition to the hymn tune "Asbury," Mr. Hastings prepared a festival anthem arrangement which was first performed by the 500 voice Ocean Grove (NJ) Festival Choir on July 12, 1981.

The hymn text is as follows:

1. O God of days gone by, Who led our fathers here,

Who gave them hope and strength and love,

Through all the passing years,

Chorus: Our times are in thy hands; our lives belong to thee,

Thou God of now and yesterday And all that still shall be

2. O God, thou God of now, We hear thy voice and heed

Thy call to serve in such a time Of hopelessness and need


3. O God of days to come, We pledge to thee our best,

To live and serve in Jesus' name As long as life shall last



Houston, TX, United States

AMEN!!!! We Are Thine Oh, Lord!!!

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Dr. Milan is best known for giving the inspiration to Charlotte Elliott to write the hymn "Just as I am". He wrote the music for this hymn and "Take My Life and Let it Be":

One of the most brilliant pastors of the Evangelical Movement of his day and perhaps of all time was Dr. Cesar Malan. Dr. Malan was converted after he had been an ordained minister of the Reformed Church for almost 3 years. Ridiculed and expelled from his church, he was faithful to his Lord and Savior. He held meetings in Great Britain and many were brought to know Christ as their personal Savior through his ministry. It was a statement by Dr. Malan that resulted in the conversion of Miss Charlotte Elliott and later inspired her to write her hymn, "Just as I Am", that has touched the hearts of thousands.

Henri Abraham Cesar Malan was born at Geneva, Switzerland. His father, J. I. Malan, though of Huguenot background was one of the free thinkers of his day. He had money and influence and no time for the Bible. In spite of his father's opposition to the church, Cesar chose the Genevan Reformed Church as a career, and his father need have no qualms about that choice. He wrote, "During my 4 years of theology at Geneva College, I never heard a single word that would lead me to a belief in Christ's divinity." For the New Testament was not required reading.

It was some 3 years after his ordination that Dr. Malan was himself truly converted. He was invited to fill the pulpit of a young pastor in a village near Geneva. After the service the pastor, with tears in his eyes, spoke to Malan. "Monsieur, it appears that you do not know that to convert others you must be converted yourself." Dr. Malan did not know nor understand. This Doctor of Divinity, who spoke only Latin with his eldest son and always read the Scriptures in the original, did not comprehend conversion.

Then came the great transformation. He was reading the 2nd chapter of Ephesians. "When I reached the words: 'For by grace are you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God', the very book seemed afire. I was so moved I had to leave the room. I walked about the College court (he was teaching at Geneva College at the time) saying to myself, 'I am saved, I am saved!'." He said his conversion was like the feeling of a child being awakened by its mother's kiss.

On Easter Sunday, 1817, Rev. Malan made his decision to tell the world of his conversion to Christ. He tells of this experience: "The Church of the Madeleine, Geneva, was too crowded. This enhanced the solemnity of the appeal which, for the first time, I addressed to the conscience of unbelievers and pharisees. They listened at first in profound silence, but the calm was of surprise and disgust. Murmurs arose. Pointing to a wall on the right of the pulpit, I said: "If at this moment the hand, that once in Babylon wrote silently the death-doom of a vicious king, should come out on this wall and write the story of your life and if the lines should declare what you have done and thought in the secret of your hearts, which of you would dare to lift his eyes?"

At this moment many gazed at the wall and others shrugged their shoulders. There was a movement of anger. When the service ended, not one would shake his hand and wish him well. His parents turned against him and his wife was grieved. The pastors of Geneva drew up a paper for all clergy to sign. They were asked to pledge not to preach on original sin or salvation by grace and faith. Dr. Malan was barred from the pulpits of Geneva. Later he was expelled from the Reformed Church of Switzerland. The dreadful indictment against him was that "He substituted the Bible for the manual of religion."

Malan left Geneva and settled in Ferney-Voltaire, home town of the unbeliever Voltaire. He wrote various tracts which were translated into many languages. Visitors from many lands came to hear him.

Through his writings, Dr. Malan became acquainted with the Rev. Mr. Elliott, Vicar of Clapham, London. On more than one occasion he was a guest in the Elliott home, the vicarage, at Clapham. On one occasion Dr. Malan ventured to speak to Mr. Elliott's young daughter, Charlotte, about her soul. At first Charlotte resented his questions, but later, under conviction, asked the elderly pastor how she could go to Jesus for mercy. It was the reply, "Come just as you are", that resulted in her conversion and inspired her some years later to write the hymn, "Just as I Am, Without One Plea".

Dr. Cesar Malan made a short visit to Hendon, London, and while here wrote a hymn-tune which he gave the title "Hendon". This hymn is found in many hymn books and is one of the most popular tunes to which Frances Ridley Havergal's hymn, "Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated, Lord to Thee", is sung.

Shortly before Dr. Malan passed away, he asked his son to repeat the 23rd Psalm with him. His son began in Latin, but the elderly saint smilingly said, "In Hebrew, in Hebrew!" Shortly after he repeated this psalm he went to be with the Shepherd, in his 78th year. - 'More Living Hymn Stories' by Wilbur Konkel

Dorothy Renaud

Trenton, Ontario, Canada

My 1st cousin, 3x removed, ELLIS HARRISON, of Clays Farm, Wrexham, Wales recited this hymn at St. Mary's Parish on the 16th June 1877.