I Need No Other Plea
Lidie H. Edmunds, 19th Century
My faith has found a resting-place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the Ever-living One;
His wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.
Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.
My heart is leaning on the Word,
The written Word of God,
Salvation by my Saviour’s name,
Salvation thro’ His blood.
My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.
There is something special about the old hymns. Many of them carry a powerful message, a strong anointing, and a doorway into the praises of heaven—helping to carry our spirits to new heights of adoration and a deeper sense of the heart of God.
These old hymns are not only delightful to sing, but their words provide a rich and rewarding resource for prayer and meditation. Why are they so impactful? Why have they endured the test of time, enriched our lives, and helped us to express our worship? One of the main reasons is because they were birthed out of an intimate relationship that the hymn writers had with the Lord, and because of the comfort, hope, and encouragement they received from His Spirit as they walked through the dark valleys of life.
In this world of so many doctrines of which most are perverse, it is important to know exactly whom you believe in. This hymn has profound memories for me. I first heard and sung this hymn at Choma secondary school in the early 1980s as a high school student. It was one of the first songs in the school hymnbook which all of us had to buy as part of registration for admission to the school. I sung it without much thought about the words then. But recently, this song has had fresh meaning in my life as my family has undergone various challenges. When all is said and done, I have learnt top say; my heart has found a resting place. It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me. His is a hymn which helps us to appreciate the fact that it is the Lord who redeems us is “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place.”
Very little is known about neither either the author of this hymn nor the source of the tune other than that it is based on an old Norwagian tune. The text was written, under the pseudonym of Lidie H. Edmunds, by Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920). A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, PA, Mrs. Hewitt wrote many songs which became popular and are found in many hymn books, such as “Sunshine in My Soul, “When We All Get To Heaven,” “More About Jesus,” “Give Me Thy Heart,” and “Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown.” The tune (No Other Plea, Landas, or Norse Air) is usually identified as a Norwegian folk melody originally with the words “The Hardy Norseman’s House of Yore.” It has been attributed to Belgian opera composer Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry (1741-1813). The arrangement for use with the hymn was made by William James Kirkpatrick (1838-1920). It is not in many of the older denominational hymnbooks that I have in my collection, but it is found in a large number of the newer ones.
Recently I found some comments from a great-nephew of Eliza Edmunds Hewitt on one of the Christian blogs who had contacted the blogger as a result of an internet search on his great aunt in which he came across some of the posts that have been done on her hymns.
This song emphasizes the fact that Jesus Christ as the only basis for our faith.
I. Stanza 1 says that Jesus lives
“My faith has found a resting place, Not in device nor creed;
(the altered version says, “Not in a man-made creed”)
I trust the ever living One, His wounds for me shall plead.
(the altered version says, “That He for me will plead”)
Our faith can find a resting place in Christ because He offers us rest: Matt. 11.28-30, Heb. 4.3. Therefore, our faith must be in Him, not in any device, creed, or other expression of human wisdom: 1 Cor. 2.1-5. “His wounds for me shall plead” is simply the poet’s way of saying that it is because Jesus died for our sins He now is able to make intercession for us: Heb. 7.25
II. Stanza 2 says that Jesus saves
“Enough for me that Jesus saves, This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him, He’ll never cast me out.”
(the altered version says, “He will not cast me out”)
Because Jesus saves, He alone can remove all fear and doubt: 2 Tim. 1.7, 1 Jn. 4.18. No need for further srching on what can wash away our sins. Jesus saves and it is enough. What causes fear and doubt is our sin, and all of us come to Him as sinful souls: Rom. 3.23. The great news is that He has promised to all who come to Him in simple faith, humble repentance, and submissive obedience that He will never cast them out: Jn. 6.37. Christ will never turn away any serious sinner who comes to him for salvation. It does not matter how sinful one is. No matter what they have done, He will never cast you out. No one is beyond redemption with God.
III. Stanza 3 says that Jesus leads
“My heart is leaning on the Word, The written Word of God;
(the altered version says, “My soul is resting on the word, The living Word of God”)
Salvation by my Savior’s name, Salvation through His blood.”
(the altered version says, “Salvation in my Savior’s name”)
The means by which Jesus leads us is the written word of God; it is true that God’s word is living and powerful, but we must remember that the means by which God chose to reveal that word to us is in writing: Heb. 4.12, 2 Pet. 1.12-15 & 31. The written word reveals to us that salvation is only in the name of Jesus: Acts 4.12 and it reveals to us that salvation is only through His blood: Rom. 5.8-10
IV. Stanza 4 says that Jesus heals
“The great Physician heals the sick, The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed, For me His life He gave.”
While the healing of body is important and Jesus does heal diseases, the healing of the sick here refers to the spiritual man because the purpose for which Jesus came was to seek and save the lost: Lk. 19.10, 1 Tim. 1.15. Our hearts are sick with sin and He came to take away that sin. Because of that physical sickness is also healed for he is the great physician that heals the sick. Therefore, He shed His precious blood for us: Matt. 26.28. In other words, He gave His life for us that we might have life in Him: 1 Jn. 3.16
The chorus the points out that we need nothing other than what Jesus provides for us:
“I need no other argument, I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died And that He died for me.”
(the altered version reads, “And rose again for me).
With this sentiment, I am surprised that this hymn has not been found in more of our hymnbooks. As I look around at all the religious confusion in the world, I need to remember that in Jesus Christ alone “My Faith Has Found A Resting Place.”