Hymns From History #3: In Heavenly Love Abiding

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For this, the last post of the year, I want to share with you a treasure that I have often found very valuable when thinking about the future. It is the hymn In Heavenly Love Abiding. Very little is known about Anna L. Waring, the author of this hymn. She was born in Wales in 1823 and published her first collection of hymns in 1850, when she was twenty-seven.

Anna Warring never married and this would have made life difficult for her, especially as a woman living in the 19thcentury. In her poetry we can hear the voice of someone who knew what it meant to doubt,  to be fearful, lonely, and anxious but who also leaned on her beloved Saviour as He lead her through life. In hymn One of her Hymns and Meditations she says, “a lowly heart that leans on Thee is happy anywhere” and in Hymn Eight she writes “Of all the gifts in heaven and earth, the greatest and the best is mine: the love of God in Christ made known.” As  F.D. Huntington says of Waring’s poetry, “The ideas of Christian life which are wrought into the poetry are always both strong and tender, vigorous and gentle, brave and trustful.”

If I could, I would put all of Waring’s poems in this post. But as I have to choose one, I have chosen the one which is not only one of my favourites but was also a favourite of the missionary Amy Carmichael. Let these words encourage you as you move forward into the coming year:

In Heavenly Love Abiding

In heav’nly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

 

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

 

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free;
My Savior has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

Sources:

Waring, Anna L., Hymns and Meditations, Boston, 1866 (found on archive.org)

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/waring

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Laetitia_Waring

Elliot, Elizabeth, A Chance to Die, F.H. Revell Company, 1987

 

 

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