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~More Love To Thee (1)

 

       Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss was the youngest daughter of Dr. Edward Payson, a famous and very devout clergyman of Portland, Maine.

       This hymn was written probably in 1856, in a time of great sorrow for her.

       While ministering to a church in New York City during the 1850s, the Prentiss’ lost a child. Then a short time later their youngest child also died.

       For weeks, Elizabeth was inconsolable, and in her diary she wrote, “Empty hands, a worn-out, exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has so many sharp experiences.”

       From her broken heart came this touching poem:

One child and two green graves are mine,

This is God’s gift to me;

A bleeding, fainting, broken heart,

This is my gift to Thee.

       During this period of grief, Mrs. Prentiss began meditating upon the story of Jacob in the Old Testament, and how God met him in a very special way during his moments of sorrow and deepest need. She prayed earnestly that she too might have a similar experience. (cf: Genesis 28:11-19)

       While she meditated, she began writing all four stanzas that same evening; but evidently she did not think very highly of her work, for she never showed the poem to anyone, not even her husband.

       After thirteen years, Mrs. Payson thought to show the poem to her husband.

       Then, in 1869, the hymn was printed on a slip of paper for private distribution. The next year came the great revival, and the hymn sprang into wide popularity.

 

       ++++++++++

More Love to Thee, O Christ

      

(1) More love to Thee, O Christ,

More love to Thee!

Hear Thou the prayer I make

On bended knee;

       This is my earnest plea:

More love, O Christ, to Thee,

More love to Thee,

More love to Thee!

      

(2) Once earthly joy I craved,

Sought peace and rest;

Now Thee alone I seek,

Give what is best;

       This all my prayer shall be:

More love, O Christ, to Thee,

More love to Thee,

More love to Thee!

      

(3) Then shall my every breath

Sing out Your praise;

This be the only song

My heart shall raise;

This still my prayer shall be:

More love, O Christ, to Thee,

More love to Thee,

More love to Thee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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