Our blest Redeemer ere He breathed

Our blest Redeemer ere He breathed
  His tender last farewell,
A guide, a comforter, bequeathed
    With us to dwell.
He came sweet influence to impart,
  A gracious, willing guest,
While He can find one humble heart
    Wherein to rest.
And His that gentle voice we hear,
  Soft as the breath of even,
That checks each fault, that calms each fear
    With peace of heav’n.
And every virtue we possess,
  And every victory won,
And every thought of holiness,
    Are His alone.
Lord, in Thy purity and grace,
  Our weakness pitying see;
Oh, make our heart Thy dwelling place,
    And worthier Thee.
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Miss Harriet Auber was the daughter of James Auber of London, and was born in that city, October 4, 1773. After leaving London, she led a secluded life at Bronxbourne and Hoddesdon, in Hertfordshire, writing devotional poetry, sacred songs and paraphrases.

In 1829 her “Spirit of the Psalms” was published; a collection of lyrics founded on the Biblical Psalms. “Haisten Lord, ” is from Psalm 72 known for centuries to Christians as one of Messianic Psalms. Ms. Auber died in Holliston, January 20, 1862. She lived to witness and be in favor of the beginnings of the missionary ventures the 19th century, and, although she could not participate with those who left to distant shores in the name of Christ, she was happy in having written a campaign hymn which they loved to sing. John Julian’s Dictionary of Hymns and Hymn Writers credits “With joy we hail the sacred day“ to both Miss Auber and Henry Francis Lyte. Both have hymns that start with the same line. One died before the other’s works were published. Possibly the collector may have seen a forgotten hymn of Lyte’s with that first line.

The tune that best interprets this hymn in spirit and in living music is Lowell Masons “Eltham. “ Its harmony is like chiming bells. Miss Auber is also credited with writing “Hasten Lord, the glorious time."

(The Story of the Hymns and Tunes).

David Schaub

Justin, Texas, United States

Found a link to the original work for those interested: it can be found from openlibrary. org, search for book title - Spirit of the Psalms - p. 147, 148.

Scott E Bennett

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Oswald Chambers uses part of verse 4 in his great devotional book , My Utmost for his Highest. See the reading for December 30.

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Auber was a quiet Englishwoman known mainly for this one hymn on the Spirit. ... This hymn was composed in the privacy of her bedroom, where she had no paper or pen so she used her diamond ring and wrote it on a window pane.

She wrote other poetry included in the book "Spirit of Psalms" in 1829. Some other hymns she wrote are:

Bright was the guiding star that led

Hasten, Lord the glorious time

Sweet is the work, O Lord

With joy we hail the sacred day

-Songs of the Spirit by Martin