Jesus, Lover of My Soul
by Gilbert C. Carpenter
In the Sentinel for March 16, 1899, there appeared the following, quoted from the Presbyterian:
Some Americans, who were crossing the Atlantic, met in the cabin on Sunday night to sing hymns. As they sang the last hymn, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” one of them heard an exceedingly rich and beautiful voice behind him. He looked around, and although he did not know the face, he thought that he knew the voice. So, when the music ceased, he turned and asked the man if he had been in the Civil War. The man replied that he had been a Confederate soldier. “Were you at such a place on such a night?” asked the first man. “Yes,” replied the second man, “and a curious thing happened that night, which this hymn has recalled to my mind. I was posted on sentry duty, near the edge of a wood. It was a dark night and very cold, and I was a little frightened, because the enemy was supposed to be very near. About midnight, when everything was still, and I was feeling homesick, and miserable, and weary, I thought that I would comfort myself by praying and singing a hymn. I remember singing these lines: ‘All my trust on Thee is stayed. All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head, With the shadow of Thy wing.’ After singing that, a strange peace came down upon me, and through the long night I felt no more fear.”
“Now,” said the other, “listen to my story. I was a Union soldier, and was in the wood that night with a party of scouts. I saw you standing, although I did not see your face. My men had their rifles focused upon you, waiting for the word to fire, but when you sang, ‘Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing,’ I said, ‘Boys, lower your rifles, we will go home.’”
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high;
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Til 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.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cleanse from 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.
Written by Charles Wesley
In commenting on this story at a later date, Mrs. Eddy stated that the verse that did the work was, “Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.” He gave up to God. That was watching. We must feel the danger and lift our thought to God. He will save us.