Here is another hymn at the beginning of the season of Lent!
Title: Searcher of Hearts, From Mine Erase
Composer: John Bacchus Dykes (March 10th, 1826-January 22nd, 1876)
Author: George Pope Morris (October 10th, 1802-July 6th 1864)
Born in Philadelphia in 1802, George Pope Morris was a well-known American poet. Early in his life, Morris moved to New York, where he became the editor of a Magazine entitled the Mirror (1823-42). From this magazine, several other periodicals were published as well, such as the New Mirror, and the Night Mirror. These short periodicals played an important role in publishing early works by several American poets such as Bryant, Poe, Halleck, Paulding, Willis, Hoffman, and many others. In 1845, three years after the Mirror was finished, Morris started writing another periodical entitled National Press. This periodical was short lived and lasted only until Morris began collaborating with N.P. Willis to create a new periodical in 1846 entitled the Home Journal. Morris is known for being a song writer, especially for composing the ballade “Woodman, Spare That Tree,” which was a story based off of true events. Though Morris doesn’t have many hymns published, “Searcher of Hears, From Mine Erase” was published in Songs for the Sanctuary (1865) and Methodist Hymnal (1878). Morris would have lived in New York from 1822 until his death in 1864.
The tune “Beatitudo” was composed by John B. Dykes, and was original published in the second edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875), where the tune was originally coupled with Isaac Watts’ text “How Bright Those Glorious Spirits Shine.” The word Beatitudo was originally coined by Cicero and means “the condition of blessedness.” The tune offers up a chromatic harmonization to the verses, and is usually sung in harmony for the outside stanzas, and in unison for the inner stanzas. John B. Dykes was born in Hull, England in 1826, where he would eventually become a successful musician and composer. Dykes began studying in Wakefield at St. Catherine’s Hall in Cambridge in 1843. While Dykes was attending St. Catherine’s, he became one of the foremost recognized students in the Music School. Before Dykes began his college career, he studied under Skelton, the organist at St. John’s Church (Hull), which was built by his grandfather, Reverend Thomas Dykes. In 1847, Dykes graduated from St. Catherine’s college, and was appointed Curate at Malton, Yorkshire. In 1849, Dykes became the minor canon and precentor at Dunham Cathedral. To learn more about Dykes and his hymns, see “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”
(1) Searcher of hearts, from mine erase
All thoughts that should not be,
And in its deep recesses trace
My gratitude to Thee.
(2) Hearer of prayer, O guide aright
Each word and deed of mine;
Life’s battle teach me how to fight,
And be the vict’ry Thine.
(3) Giver of allfor ev’ry good
In the Redeemer came
For raiment, shelter, and for food,
I thank Thee in His Name.
(4) Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost,
Thou glorious Three in One,
Thou knowest best what I need most,
And let Thy will be done.
My Take on the Text:
This hymn is a good reminder to give everything up to Christ. Without Christ and without God, we would be nothing at all, and to them, we owe everything we have. The first verse asks God to help the voice focus on what is important, and not on the trivial things. Life is very difficult for people at some points, because there is so much going on. When life gets distracting or hectic, our minds tend to stray from what we should be focusing on, God. C.S. Lewis shows a great example of this in his book A Grief Observed (1961). In this book, Lewis discusses his reactions to the death of his wife. Throughout the book, one of the main themes is focusing on God, and how that will help you heal. God never leads us astray, and if we ask Him to rid our mind of thoughts that are harmful, we will find a clear and distinct message to how we should be living our lives. The second verse asks God to show us how to be victorious over everyday life. Sometimes our thoughts are clear, but life will throw things at us without warning, and it is because we have God on our side that we can handle these Challenges. The third verse thanks God for everything He has given us, and reminds us all that we should pray and be thankful for the things that God has placed in our lives in order to honor his name! The fourth verse is the most prominent to me, because it is surrendering to God’s will. God knows best. God will not leave us hanging, and He will not lead us astray. Sometimes, we spend so much time trying to hear what it is God is telling us, that we forget to stop and listen to him. We all are blessed to be a part of God’s greater plan, and when we accept that he loves us for that plan, we can accept the plans he has for us, and see how we fit in to the plan with others as well. God will guide us, we just need to focus our mind on what is important, ask God to guide us through our ever y day struggles, thank God for the gifts He has given us, and surrender our hearts to God’s will and testament!
|Here is the Hymn. unfortunately there is no Youtube video to accompany the image.|
Psalter, Hymnal Handbook. "Searcher of Hearts, from Mine Erase." Hymnary.org. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
Julian, John. "George P. Morris." - Hymnary.org. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
Julian, John. "BEATITUDO." Hymnary.org. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
Julian, John. "John Bacchus Dykes." - Hymnary.org. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
Dyer, Arthur Edwin. "Dykes, Rev. John Bacchus." Grande Musica â¢ A Digital Library for Music Lovers â¢ Musical Biographies. Grande Musica, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
Unkown. "Searcher Of HeartsHymn Lyrics." Searcher Of Hearts Hymn Lyrics. Hymns.Me, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.