Jesus, I my cross have taken

1
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!
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
Steven Ritland

Houston, MO, United States

I'm so glad I found this hymn again. I remember it from many years ago, and was reminded of it by the September 6 reading in "Springs in the Valley" by Mrs. Cowman. A B Simpson said it played a part in his entire consecration to the Lord. I love the words, I suppose because I can identify with them so completely. Praise the Lord for giving such a wonderful song!


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Henry Francis Lyte was the 2nd son of Thomas and Anna Lyte. He was born at Ednam, Scotland. Lyte's father was described as a "ne-er do-well ... more interested in fishing and shooting than in facing up to his family responsibilities". He deserted the family shortly after making arrangements for his two oldest sons to attend Portora Royal School; and Anna moved to London, where both she and her youngest son died.

The headmaster at Portora, Dr. Robert Burrowes, recognized Henry Lyte's ability, paid the boy’s fees, and "welcomed him into his own family during the holidays." Lyte was effectively an adopted son.

After studying at Trinity College, Dublin and with very limited training for the ministry, Lyte took Anglican holy orders in 1815, and for some time he held a curacy in Taghmon. Lyte's "sense of vocation was vague at this early stage. Perhaps he felt an indefinable desire to do something good in life." However, in about 1816, Lyte experienced an evangelical conversion. In attendance on a dying priest, the latter convinced Lyte that both had earlier been mistaken in not having taken the Epistles of St. Paul "in their plain and literal sense." Lyte says of him, "He died happy under the belief that though he had deeply erred, there was One whose death and sufferings would atone for his delinquencies, and be accepted for all that he had incurred;" and concerning himself he adds: "I was greatly affected by the whole matter, and brought to look at life and its issue with a different eye than before; and I began to study my Bible, and preach in another manner than I had previously done."

Lyte began to study the Bible "and preach in another manner," following the example of four or five local clergymen whom he had previously laughed at and considered "enthusiastic rhapsodists."

In 1817 Lyte became a curate in Marazion, Cornwall, and there met and married Anne Maxwell, daughter of a well-known Scottish-Irish family. She was 31, seven years older than her husband and a "keen Methodist." Furthermore, she "could not match her husband's good looks and personal charm." Nevertheless, the marriage was happy and successful.

About 1824, Lyte moved to Lower Brixham, a Devon fishing village. Almost immediately, Lyte joined the schools committee, and two months later he became its chairman. Also in 1824, Lyte established the first Sunday school in the Torbay area and created a Sailors' Sunday School. Although religious instruction was given there, the primary object of both was educating children and seamen for whom other schooling was virtually impossible. Each year Lyte organized an Annual Treat for the 800-1000 Sunday school children, which included a short religious service followed by tea and sports in the field.

Shortly after Lyte's arrival in Brixham, the minister attracted such large crowds that the church had to be enlarged—the resulting structure later described by his grandson as "a hideous barn-like building." Lyte added to his clerical income by taking resident pupils into his home, including the blind brother of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, later British prime minister.

Lyte was a tall and "unusually handsome" man, "slightly eccentric but of great personal charm, a man noted for his wit and human understanding, a born poet and an able scholar." He was an expert flute player and according to his great-grandson always had his flute with him. Lyte spoke Latin, Greek, and French; enjoyed discussing literature; and was knowledgeable about wild flowers. At a former military hospital at Berry Head, Lyte built a magnificent library—largely of theology and old English poetry—described in his obituary as "one of the most extensive and valuable in the West of England."

Nevertheless, Lyte was also able to identify with his parish of fishermen, visiting them at their homes and on board their ships in harbor, supplying every vessel with a Bible, and compiling songs and a manual of devotions for use at sea. In theology Lyte was a conservative evangelical who believed that that man's nature was totally corrupt. Lyte frequently rose at 6 AM and prayed for two or more hours before breakfast.

In politics, Lyte was a Conservative who feared revolt among the irreligious poor. He publicly opposed Catholic Emancipation by speaking against it in several Devon towns, stating that he preferred Catholics to be "emancipated from priests and from the power of the factious and turbulent demagogues of Ireland." Lyte, a friend of Samuel Wilberforce, also opposed slavery, organizing an 1833 petition to Parliament requesting it be abolished in Great Britain.

In poor health throughout his life, Lyte suffered various respiratory illnesses and often visited continental Europe in attempts to check their progress. In 1835 Lyte sought appointment as the vicar of Crediton but was rejected because of his increasingly debilitating asthma and bronchitis. In 1839, when only 46, Lyte wrote a poem entitled "Declining Days." Lyte also grew discouraged when numbers of his congregation (including in 1846, nearly his entire choir) left him for Dissenter congregations, especially the Plymouth Brethren, after Lyte expressed High Church sympathies and leaned toward the Oxford Movement. - Wikipedia and Dictionary of Hymnology by Julian

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In the original, the last line of stanza 1 and the 4th line of stanza 3 say "heav'n" instead of Christ. The last stanza original says, "Heav'n's eternal day's" instead of "God's".

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Following stanza 2 above, there is an additional stanza, which, I think, is good for personal devotion, but not for a general church meeting, because lines 1-2 of it are not something to be prayed lightly.

2a Go, then, earthly fame and treasure!

Come, disaster, scorn and pain!

In Thy service, pain is pleasure;

with Thy favor, loss is gain.

I have called Thee, “Abba, Father”;

I have set my heart on Thee:

Storms may howl, and clouds may gather,

all must work for good to me.

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There is an additional stanza following stanza 3 above:

3a Take, my soul, thy full salvation;

rise o'er sin, and fear, and care;

Joy to find in every station

something still to do or bear:

Think what Spirit dwells within thee;

what a Father's smile is thine;

What a Savior died to win thee,

child of heaven, shouldst thou repine?


Jay Gebauer

Houston, TX, United States

Let us immediately turn towards this God of wisdom, love and might, if He will but smile upon us, will instantly fill us with everything we need: peace, strength and new joy.


The One Whom Jesus Died

I really like this hymn. It has touched me in many ways. I am always challenged by 'What if Jesus meant every word He said?' Do I take up the cross and follow Him?


Faustina Wayoe

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This hymn has touched me so much.It has encouraged me to pick up my cross daily to follow the Lord Jesus although I am not certain I can do what He's called me to do .Since the Lord called me, although I do not know which way Iam going with this calling, this hymn has giving me what I require to go on with the Ministry.I have been forsaken,rejected and beaten my not so Pentecostal executive Church I attended.Keep the good work up

From the life of J. N. Darby, we may see what a truly consecrated person he was. He was greatly used of the Lord in the last century, many thousands being helped spiritually through him. Even in his old age he was still walking a straight path with the Lord. He could very well have had fame and position, but he did not take them. At a certain time in his old age he went to work in Italy and spent a night in a very plain and lowly inn. He was exhausted, and he bowed his head between his hands and sang softly: "Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee…" Even in this condition he had no murmuring, no regrets; he could joyfully sing this hymn to the Lord. I was really touched when I came to this point in reading his life story. The fact that he could preserve the result of relinquishing his future right to the end moved me. Although he was old, his consecration was not old; it was still as fresh as it was in the beginning.