So often a hymn will express what we find it difficult to put into words. We thought in our last meditation of a good friend of mine, who discovered late in life that ‘there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother’, Proverbs chapter 18 verse 24. The hymn, ‘I’ve found a Friend’, clothes this verse with some lovely words that encourage us to meditate upon it more deeply:
I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend! He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love, and thus, He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine, forever and forever.
I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend! He bled, He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life, but His own self He gave me.
Naught that I have my own I call, I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all are His, and His forever.
I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend! So kind and true and tender,
So wise a Counsellor and Guide, so mighty a Defender!
From Him who loves me now so well, what power my soul can sever?
Shall life, or death, or earth or hell? No? I am His forever.
The author of this lovely hymn was James G Small from Edinburgh (1817-1888). The well-known evangelist, Ira D Sankey, included it in his Sacred Songs hymn book and it was often sung at his evangelistic rallies.
Do you know this Friend?