Grand Prairie, TX, United States
SUBJECT: THE WAY OF THE CROSS-GAIN BY LOSS
METER: 126.96.36.199.D. with chorus.
AUTHOR: Watchman Nee
COMPOSER: Stephen C. Foster
1 Olives that have known no pressure
No oil can bestow;
If the grapes escape the winepress,
Cheering wine can never flow;
Spikenard only through the crushing,
Fragrance can diffuse.
Shall I then, Lord, shrink from suff’ring
Which Thy love for me would choose?
Each blow I suffer
Is true gain to me.
In the place of what Thou takest
Thou dost give Thyself to me.
2 Do my heart-strings need Thy stretching,
Songs divine to prove?
Do I need for sweetest music
Cruel treatment of Thy love?
Lord, I fear no deprivation
If it draws to Thee;
I would yield in full surrender
All Thy heart of love to see.
3 I’m ashamed, my Lord, for seeking
Self to guard alway;
Though Thy love has done its stripping,
Yet I’ve been compelled this way.
Lord, according to Thy pleasure
Fully work on me;
Heeding not my human feelings,
Only do what pleases Thee.
4 If Thy mind and mine should differ,
Still pursue Thy way;
If Thy pleasure means my sorrow,
Still my heart shall answer, “Yea!”
’Tis my deep desire to please Thee,
Though I suffer loss;
E’en though Thy delight and glory
Mean that I endure the cross.
5 Oh, I’ll praise Thee, e’en if weeping
Mingle with my song.
Thine increasing sweetness calls forth
Grateful praises all day long.
Thou hast made Thyself more precious
Than all else to me:
Thou increase and I decrease, Lord—
This is now my only plea.
Cherryfield, Maine, United States
This song is the response a new believer should receive when they ask, "What is next?" In Luke 9:23-24 the Lord says, "And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.…" We may be believers but not true disciples unless we receive and embrace this way of living and being. If our Lord and Master went this path we should not expect to do less. Oh, What a Savior!
Long, CA, United States
Until the last two years of my life I have not fully appreciated this hymn. I avoided it in fact. Then I listened to the words on the Lord of Glory CD and because of my situation, my heart was open and willing to pray with the words because the verses of the song are a prayer.
How the Lord would answer that prayer I do not yet know. I only hope that someday fragrance would diffuse, cheering wine would flow, oil would be bestowed, and the Lord would be pleased that it is so.
Changshu, Jiangsu, China
It is not easy to explain in words how this hymn has touched me. I have listened to it more than 50 times, recently. Each time is fresh, living and more than "touching." Yet each time I sense our dear Lord Jesus is searching me deeper and working Himself deeper into me by graciously allowing my to experience the reality of these words, practically. His light infuses us with His light! Just Himself. As I sing the words, both alone and with other dear saints, I feel refreshed, watered, and "lifed." Amen!
Hamilton, New Zealand
Amen. What an encouraging hymn for times of hardship. "Each blow I suffer is true gain to me". Our situation is merely the pressure to produce the oil to anoint others. The crushing of ourselves is so that His fragrance can diffuse. The Lord has measured out the amount of sufferings we should take so that His ministry may be produced. We must praise the Lord! And not shrink from this portion. Thank the Lord and praise Him for our situations! Perhaps we praise with tears, but Lord, we want nothing else.
"Thou hast made Thyself more precious than all else to me: Thou increase and I decrease, Lord - this is now my only plea." Be more precious to me...Do increase!
"In the place of what Thou takest Thou dost give Thyself to me." This line is so wonderful. He takes away but in return He gives us something more precious - Himself.
Sydney, NSW, Australia
The writer of this hymn portrays the crucified life in a most subjective way, without a hint of self-pity or introspection. The flavour of its utterance bespeaks the deeply wrought dealings of the cross to a degree that matches the Lord's heart for us to be conformed to His death in every single way. This hymn is not a dirge, but a detailed experiential exposition of the Christian life under the cross to a degree where the tone of the last verse is that of heartfelt praise and even boasting in the hope of fully expressing Christ. To enter into the sentiment of this hymn requires a full departure from and denial of the self, to the extent where our only interest is that Christ would be fully increased in us in every way, for the ministry.