Me A Captive, Lord
The opening phrases of this hymn may be puzzling to some
readers—“Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free; Force
me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.”
One may ask, “How is it possible to be slave and free, winner
and loser, at the same time?”
There are many paradoxes in the Bible.
“When I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:10).
“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Matt.
16:25). “He that is least among you all, the same shall be great”
Jesus said in John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Here is one of nature’s phenomena; a kernel of wheat must
disintegrate and decompose in the ground in order to reproduce itself.
It must die in order that it might continue to live!
No doubt the hymn’s writer George Matheson learned this lesson
through his own personal experience.
As a brilliant young ministerial student of eighteen, he lost his
sight almost completely. Because
of his blindness, he eventually had to give up his research and
scholarship in theology, an activity which he dearly loved.
Instead, George Matheson gave his time and strength to devotional
preaching and writing. During his lifetime as a minister in the Scottish Free
Church, he had a profound influence on all who heard him preach,
including Queen Victoria.
Make Me A Captive, Lord
Make me a captive, Lord,
then I shall be free;
me to render up my sword,
I shall conqu’ror be.
sink in life’s alarms,
by myself I stand;
on me within Thine arms,
strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor,
its master find;
has no spring of action sure,
varies with the wind;
cannot freely move,
Thou has wrought its chain;
it with Thy matchless love,
deathless it shall reign.
My power is faint and low,
I have learned to serve;
wants the needed fire to glow,
wants the breeze to nerve;
cannot drive the world,
itself be driv’n,
flag can only be unfurled,
Thou shalt breathe from heav’n.