Lord Jesus Christ, we seek Thy face

Lord Jesus Christ, we seek Thy face;
Within the veil we bow the knee;
Oh, let Thy glory fill the place,
And bless us while we wait on Thee.
We thank Thee for the precious blood
That purged our sins and brought us nigh;
All cleansed and sanctified to God,
Thy holy name to magnify.
Shut in with Thee far, far above
The restless world that wars below;
We seek to learn and prove Thy love,
Thy wisdom and Thy grace to know.
The brow that once with thorns was bound
Thy hands, Thy side, we fain would see;
Draw near, Lord Jesus, glory crowned,
And bless us while we wait on Thee.
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Alexander Stewart was born in 1844, in Glasgow, to Scottish parents.

He had a religious upbringing and at the age of nineteen was called to speak at a gospel meeting. It was during this memorable service that Alexander realized for the first time in his life, that, while he sought to lead others to the Savior, he himself was a lost sinner. Soon after this, as he lay awake in his bed, in anxiety, the light of the Gospel shone in, he immediately found peace through believing in the finished work of Calvary.

Alexander’s life was marked by a fervent zeal for his Lord and Savior for which he found an outlet by preaching in the open-air. As time went by, his profession as a lawyer in the city of Glasgow, did not prevent him from exercising the gift of ministry with which he was endowed, and he rarely had any difficulty in securing and holding an audience. “A man of sterling character, ” writes a fellow laborer in the Lord’s work, “his rich commanding voice gentlemanly-bearing, marked ability, joined with deep spirituality, secured for him at all times, either outside or inside, a respectful and attentive hearing. ”

Mr. Stewart was closely associated with Christian meetings in Union Hall, where he served for many years the Word of Life,

and was a familiar and beloved personality in connection with various assembly activities in Glasgow. He was powerful in the exposition of the Scriptures and became a renowned minister on conference platforms throughout the country. Alexander Stuart spent his later years at Prestwick in Ayshire, where he went home to be with the Lord on April 27, 1923.

It is as the writer of “O Lamb of God we lift our eyes, ” that the name Alexander Stuart will always be remembered for though he had a pen of a ready writer and gave to the Church many tuneful hymns, yet this is his best hymn. The text is beautifully sung to the grand old Psalm-Tune “Martyrdom. ” This tune was commonly used in Scotland and is believed to go back as far as the end of the 18th century. As the tune became popular, it passed through revisions and many claimants said that it was their tune. There is evidence however, that the composer of “Martyrdom” was Hugh Wilson, a native of Fenwick.

When for the first time this tune was sung in Edinburg, a writer in “The Psalmodist, ” about eighty years ago, said : “I well remember the day it ( Martyrdom) was first sung in St. George’s Edinburgh, for Dr. Thompson then said to me, ‘O man! I could not sing for weeping. ’”

Stewart’s only other contribution to Assembly Hymn Books, is also a well beloved hymn:

“Lord Jesus Christ, we seek Thy face

Within the veil we bow the knee;

O let Thy glory fill the place,

And bless us while we wait on Thee. ”

In the closing verse, the writer strikes his highest note:

“The brow at once with thorns and bound,

Thy hands, Thy side, we feign would see;

Drawn near, Lord Jesus, glory-crowned,

And bless us while we wait on Thee.

Dr Colin Hadfield

Dapto, Nsw, Australia

Thankyou for the score of this beautiful music which is such a vital part of our Godly heritage as are most other Christian hymns. Next week I'll be playing this on my violin to the residents of a nursing home in a neighboring town.