Draw Me Nearer


Draw me near

  1. I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
    And it told Thy love to me;
    But I long to rise in the arms of faith
    And be closer drawn to Thee.

    • Refrain:
      Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
      To the cross where Thou hast died;
      Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
      To Thy precious, bleeding side.
  2. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
    By the pow’r of grace divine;
    Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
    And my will be lost in Thine.
  3. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
    That before Thy throne I spend,
    When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
    I commune as friend with friend!
  4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
    Till I cross the narrow sea;
    There are heights of joy that I may not reach
    Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Another of Fanny Crosby’s hymns. This lovely hymn was written and literally born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fanny Crosby, the prolific blind poetess, was visiting her friend and collaborator, William H. Doane in his home. The sun was setting, and though Crosby could not see the changing light, she could certainly hear and feel the hush of twilight. Their conversation turned to the nearness of God. Crosby was touched by their talk and wrote the words of this hymn before she retired that night. Doane added the music in the morning.

The text appeared with the following inscription from Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (KJV)

Crosby seems to mix her cleansing metaphors intentionally—“pure water” and “bleeding side.” The connection becomes clearer when one reads the previous verses in Hebrews 10:

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God. . . .”

It may be that the “friend to friend” communion of the third stanza is an allusion to Crosby’s fine friendship with Doane. If a mere human can be such a friend, how much greater would a friendship be with the Author of love, the Lord of all!

Like so many of Crosby’s hymns, “I am thine, O Lord” is written in the first person—a personal testimony of her relationship with Christ. Stanza one begins with a total surrender to Christ, “I am thine, O Lord,” and the desire to “be closer drawn to thee.” The second stanza appropriately draws upon the closeness of this relationship as an impetus of service: “Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine.”

Stanza three defines the relationship further as one forged in prayer: “When I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend!” In the final stanza, Crosby acknowledges that her relationship will not be complete until she reaches heaven (“cross the narrow sea”) and then she will find “rest in peace with thee.”

The refrain is the theological hub around which the spokes of the stanzas all connect: “Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side.”

In this case, it is Christ’s blood that cleanses and perfects the relationship. She had a talent for focusing attention on Christ, and on the glories of eternal life with Him. In that way, she opened the eyes of believers everywhere.

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