A Hymn of Repentance
There are some hymns that are very simple, yet they capture the true perspective of their particular subject. One such hymn is Fanny Crosby’s Jesus My All, which is set to the melody “Bethany (Mason) composed by Lowell Mason.
Repentance is one of the great gifts that the LORD God bestows upon man. Without the LORD bestowing this gift upon us, we would have no hope of salvation. In and of ourselves, we will never repent. The Jews of old knew this as they replied to Peter after he rehearsed the conversion of Cornelius and the bestowing of the Holy Ghost upon them:
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11:18)
We are also reminded by the Lord Jesus Christ that repentance is utterly necessary for salvation:
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5)
Even after salvation, repentance is still necessary as we are not freed from this flesh and all its wickedness. We are reminded that we are to continually grow in Christ, else we are subject to lose the ability to repent, and will then be set on a shelf, totally unused of the LORD.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:1-6)
What a terrible way to stand before our Lord and Saviour — to suffer the loss spoken of in I Corinthians, chapter 3:
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (I Corinthians 3:11-15)
With that, I leave you with the words and a link to the melody.
Jesus, My All
Lord, at Thy mercy seat, humbly I fall;
Pleading Thy promise sweet, Lord, hear my call;
Now let Thy work begin, oh, make me pure within,
Cleanse me from every sin, Jesus, my all.
Tears of repentant grief, silently fall;
Help Thou my unbelief, hear Thou my call;
Oh, how I pine for Thee! ’Tis all my hope and plea:
Jesus has died for me, Jesus, my all.
Still at Thy mercy seat, Savior, I fall;
Trusting Thy promise sweet, heard is my call;
Faith wings my soul to Thee; this all my song shall be,
Jesus has died for me, Jesus, my all.
Words: Fanny Crosby, 1866.
Music: Bethany (Mason), Lowell Mason, 1856.