Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: In the Hour of Trial, Jesus, Plead for Me

In the hour of trial,
Jesus, plead for me;
Lest by base denial
I depart from thee;
When thou seest me waver,
With a look recall,
Nor for fear or favor
Suffer me to fall.

With its witching pleasures
Would this vain world charm,
Or its sordid treasures
Spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance
Sad Gethsemane,
Or, in darker semblance,
Cross-crowned Calvary.

If with sore affliction
Thou in love chastise,
Pour thy benediction
On the sacrifice;
Then, upon thine altar
Freely offered up,
Though the flesh may falter,
Faith shall drink the cup.

When in dust and ashes
To the grave I sink,
While heav'n's glory flashes
O'er the shelving brink,
On thy truth relying
Through that mortal strife,
Lord, receive me, dying,
To eternal life.

James Montgomery, 1834
St. 1, line 2, alt

Tune: Penitence (Lane), Spencer Lane, 1879


Kim from Hiraeth said...

Those are great words!! Have we ever had that one?

Willow said...

That one is new to me.

And it fits well with the text of today's sermon: James 5.

Dorothy said...

No, we've never sung this one in church. I was just looking through the hymnal after the coffee was set to percolate and came upon it. I love the words too!

Dorothy said...

Hi Willow,

I can see how those words fit in the context of James 5! I was thinking of them in relation to Hebrews 4:14-16:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robert said...

"In the Hour of Trial" was written 175 years ago today. It is a powerful hymn, though James Montgomery himself had second thoughts about the second line, "Jesus, plead for me."

As far as I can recall, there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that is a present ministry of the glorified Christ. As our heavenly Advocate (I Jn. 2:1) He presents Himself as the full payment for our sins at the Father's throne, but that is not quite the same thing.

Montgomery later altered the line to, "Jesus, stand by me," but apparently the change never caught on.

Dorothy said...

Hello Robert,

Thanks for the additional information about this hymn.

I do believe that Christ, the glorified Christ, is presently interceding for His people in His role as our great High Priest. I base my belief on the passage of Hebrews that I quoted in a previous comment as well as this one:

but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:24-25

Indeed, I would interpret the passage you mentioned, 1 John 2:1 which I will quote here:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

as supporting my interpretation of the Hebrews passages.

I would argue that "plead" is very similar in meaning to "intercede" or "speak in defense of."

Yes, I fully agree with your statement that Christ has presented Himself at the throne of God as full payment for the sins of His people but since we are still in this human condition of continuing to sin, we continue to need Him in His priestly role to intercede for us. We are weak but He is not.

Solameanie said...

I have always LOVED that hymn, and it's minor-key feel. Haven't heard it played in church for decades, but it needs to be. Thanks for sharing it.