The Last Hymn
in a village by the sea.
The uttered benediction touched the
and they rose to face the sunset in the
glowing lighted west,
and they hastened to their dwellings
for God's blessed boon of rest.
But they looked across the water, and
a storm was raging there;
a fierce spirit moved above them--the
wild spirit of the air--
and it lashed and shook and tore them
till they thundered, groaned and boomed,
and, alas! for any vessel in their yawning
Very anxious were the people on that
rocky coast of Wales,
lest the dawn of coming morrow
should be telling awful tales,
when the sea had spent its passion and
should cast upon the shore
bits of wreck and swollen victims as it
had done heretofore.
With the rough winds blowing round
her, a brave woman strained her
as she saw along the billows a large
vessel fall and rise.
Oh, it did not need a prophet to tell
what the end must be,
for no ship could ride in safety near
that shore on such a sea!
Then the pitying people hurried from
their homes and thronged the
Oh, for power to cross the waters and
the perishing to reach!
Helpless hands were wrung in terror,
tender hearts grew cold with dread,
and the ship, urged by the tempest, to
the fatal rock-shore sped.
"She's parted in the middle! Oh, the
half of her goes down!"
"God have mercy! is His heaven far to
seek for those who drown?"
Lo! when next the white, shocked faces
looked with terror on the sea,
only one last clinging figure on a spar
was seen to be.
Nearer to the trembling watchers came
the wreck tossed by the wave,
and the man still clung and floated,
though no power on earth could save.
"Could we send him a short message?
Here's a trumpet, shout away!"
'Twas the preacher's hand that took it,
and he wondered what to say.
Any memory of his sermon? Firstly?
Secondly? Ah, No!
There was but one thing to utter in
that awful hour of woe.
So he shouted through the trumpet,
"Look to Jesus!
Can you hear?" And "Aye, Aye, Sir,"
rang the answer o'er the waters
loud and clear.
Then they listened, "He is singing,
'Jesus, Lover of My Soul.'"
And the winds brought back the echo,
"While the nearer waters roll."
Strange, indeed, it was to hear him,
"Till the storm of life is past,"
singing bravely o'er the waters, "Oh,
receive my soul at last!"
He could have no other refuge,
"Hangs my helpless soul on thee."
"Leave, ah! Leave me not..." the singer
dropped at last into the sea.
And the watchers, looking homeward,
Through their eyes by tears made
said, "He passed to wait for Jesus in
the singing of that hymn."
Charles Wesley was conducting one of his many open-air
He took refuge in a farmhouse nearby. Jane Moore, a kind-
Mrs. Moore tried to divert their attention by preparing
Quickly, she bade him, get through the rear window, and
While waiting for the vindictive Irishmen to give up
Dr. George Duffield, author of Stand Up for Jesus,
--E. H. Jordan
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall--Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.