The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

“I would not put my Christ to shame”

with 4 comments

Hampstead L.M.

I would not put my Christ to shame,
By living with an empty name;
Not lightly with the righteous sit
But prove at last a hypocrite.

[ It’s not the battle that I fear
But secret ties to sins too dear;
Some lust that will not bow the knee
But takes the throne where Christ should be. ]

A rebel heart for sin a womb:
A polished bowl, a whitewashed tomb,
That wears its righteousness outside –
Within the horrors still abide:

A sinful habit not confessed;
A cherished passion much caressed;
A wanton glance of gross desire
That gathers fuel for the fire.

A mind in filthiness immersed;
The path of folly much traversed;
Sin’s passing pleasures not released;
Deep-hid iniquities increased.

[ Here in the secret place you look,
Each human heart an open book,
Each thought and intent of the mind
Is plain to you, though men are blind. ]

So search me, Lord, my actions try,
If sin will not then I must die –
The whole of life a battlefield,
And everything to Jesus yield.

So as I go – within, without –
Let all things show there is no doubt:
No lie, no show, no veil, no sham,
What I profess be what I am:

The true wheat from the holy seed,
And not a damned but gilded weed,
Christ’s striving servant through and through,
And prove at last a Christian true.

©JRW

See all hymns and psalms.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 28 August 2010 at 21:13

4 Responses

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  1. Painfully accurate!
    Not sure it is one for public worship … but certainly verses to be read and prayed over frequently, under the gaze of the all-seeing Lord (Prove 15:3)

    David

    Tuesday 31 August 2010 at 13:06

    • Thank you, David. I note your comment about it perhaps being a hymn more for private than public worship. Perhaps something like Newton’s “I asked the Lord that I might grow . . .” would be in the same category? Any others? What makes the difference?

      Jeremy Walker

      Tuesday 7 September 2010 at 10:43

      • I have actually sung “I asked the Lord …” in a service – but never “Come O thou traveller unknown”; with 14 verses that takes some doing!

        It’s an interesting subject; should every item in a hymnbook be for public/corporate worship exclusively? Or should hymnbooks have a wider purpose as collections of verses that Christians can use (ie sing, pray over, meditate on, memorise) wherever they happen to be, and whether they are on their own or in company?

        In part, the words will be the clue; is it “I” or “We”? and who is addressed? Is it the Lord? or are we addressing one another? More importantly, “what saith the Scriptures?” Of what nature are the Psalms? If they are mixed in terms of content/nature, and “I”/We”, then a hymnbook should reflect the same balance.

        Then of course there is a real need these days for verses that have theological substance, and spiritual insight and depth, to replace the “songs” that are all froth and noise.

        So I look forward to seeing “I would not put my Christ to shame” (with, of course, many other of your excellent works) in a hymnbook as soon as possible!

        David

        Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 13:38

        • Thanks for the encouragement, David. Whether or not (some of) the hymns and psalm versions shall ever see the light of day in some collected form, I cannot say.

          As for the wider issue, I certainly think that a hymnbook should include some material as appropriate for private and family worship as for public, corporate worship (each category not mutually exclusive, necessarily).

          Interesting, though: can a congregation sing (or not) hymns written in the first person? If we all sing “I” together, about the same truth or experience, is that unhelpful? Would the same principle apply to psalms: perhaps some written in the first person but appropriate for corporate expressions?

          Jeremy Walker

          Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 16:34


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