What a Friend We Have in Jesus – Wikipedia
|“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”|
|Published||lyrics published 1865 by H. L. Hastings lyrics with tune published 1870 byOliver DitsonCo.|
|Composer(s)||Charles C. Converse (1868)|
|Lyricist(s)||Joseph M. Scriven (1855)|
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he or she will not be able to enter the kingdom of God.” The ESV translation of John 3:5 Afterward, Peter addressed them, saying, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 is a verse that states that In accordance with this, baptism now saves you, not as a clearance of filth from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, as a result of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
1 3.21 (Peter 3) In order for us to share in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we were buried with him in baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we may share in his resurrection from the dead.
Go then and make disciples of all countries, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to follow all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).
Adapted from Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book II, Chapter XII) and from the lecture notes of Dr.
Linus Nylund’s photo courtesy of Unsplash
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he will not be able to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 in the ESV “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter instructed them. Acts 2:38 (KJV) In accordance with this, baptism now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not as a removal of filth from the body 1 3:21 (II Peter 3:21) In order for us to share in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we were buried with him in baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. Paul writes in Romans 6:4 that And Jesus appeared to them and said, “I have been granted all authority in heaven and on earth. Go then and make disciples of all countries, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have told you. And see, I am with you always, all the way to the end of the age.” 18-20 (Matthew 28:18-20) Adapted from Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book II, Chapter XII) and from Dr. Doug Bookman’s lecture notes on New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission). Image courtesy of Unsplash/Linus Nylund.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he will not be able to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (ESV) “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter instructed them. Acts 2:38 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a cleansing of filth from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, as a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4 (NIV) And Jesus came to them and said, “All authority, both in heaven and on earth, has been given to me.
And see, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 Adapted from Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book II, Chapter XII) and from the lecture notes of Dr.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Linus Nylund
Parodies and homages
According to Jesus’ response: “Truthfully, really, I say to you, unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” ESV translation of John 3:5 “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter instructed them. 2:38 (Acts 2:38) In accordance with this, baptism now saves you, not as a removal of filth from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not as a removal of dirt from the body.
6:4 (Romans 6:4) And Jesus appeared to them and said, “Come, follow me.” “Everything in heaven and on earth has been handed to me as a result of this revelation.
In fact, from now until the end of the ages, I will be with you at all times.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) According to Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book II, Chapter XI2) and the lecture notes of Dr.
Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary, this material was adapted (used by permission). Image courtesy of Unsplash/Linus Nylund
- Rise Up Singing, page 98
- Hymn457 in the Lutheran Hymnal
- And more sources.
- “What a friend we have in Jesus,” according to the Hymnology Archive. Retrieved2020-07-05
- s^ Chapter IX, page 301 of The Valley of the Trent’s The Valley of the Trent, Edwin C. Guillet’s “Community Life: Religion.” The Champlain Society, 1957
- “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” retrieved on 2007-05-03
- Polack, W. G., et al (1941). Lutheran Hymnal: A Handbook for the Lutheran Hymnal. Concordia University Press, St. Louis, Missouri, p. 323
- “Washington Phillips discography.” Washington Phillips discography. wirz.de. Obtainable on August 24, 2015
- George Washington Phillips says, “Jesus is my best friend.” AllMusic, accessed August 24, 2015
- “Pure Hymns overview,” accessed August 24, 2015. Allmusic. “Monty Alexander UPLIFT 2,” which was retrieved on July 4, 2010. Jazz Legacy Productions is a jazz-themed production company. “Bolcom, W.: Gospel Preludes, Books 1-4 (Hand)”, which was retrieved on January 11, 2014. Naxos. “Itsukushimi Fukaki song sheet,” which was retrieved on November 11, 2021. (PDF). 312: What a Friend We Have in Jesus. Retrieved 2008-03-19
- Christhiya Keerthanangal (Christian Hymns). 2007. Hymn 173
- “Trench Songs – When this Lousy War is Over”. The Poetry of the First World War Digital Archive. On the 30th of July in the year 2020,
- “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” says the author. Silver wings is a compilation of brand-new Sunday school music that was composed specifically for this project. Boston, Massachusetts: Oliver Ditson Company, 1870. Retrieved2020-07-05
- Timeless Truths has a piano score (pdf) available.
History of Hymns: ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’
In Jesus, we have an incredible friend. Silver wings is a compilation of brand-new Sunday school music that was composed specifically for this collection. Oliver Ditson Company, Boston, 1870. Retrieved2020-07-05; Timeless Truths has a piano score (in pdf format).
Scriven’s life has been filled with sorrow. His Irish fiancée drowned accidentally the night before their wedding, prompting his relocation to Woodstock, Canada West (now Ontario), where he headed a Plymouth Brethren congregation and lectured. Scriven founded a private school in Brantford in 1850 and also preached throughout the surrounding region. Some historians think that Scriven may have written the first draft of “What a Friend” around this time period, according to their research. In 1855, after settling near Clinton in Huron County, he began reading the Bible to railway construction workers who were working on the Grand Trunk Railway, which was being built across Canada West.
- Tragic events befell him once more when his second fiancée, Eliza Catherine Roach, Pengelly’s niece, died suddenly of an illness just weeks before their wedding in 1860.
- According to hymnologist Albert Bailey, Scriven was known as “the guy who saws wood for destitute widows and sick persons who are unable to pay” because of his altruistic character (Bailey, 1950, p.
- The following is a description of what we know about the circumstances surrounding Scriven’s death in October 1886, according to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Severe ill-health and melancholy accompanied him in his final days.
- Scriven left his bed without disturbing anyone one hot night in 1866, most likely to drink from a nearby spring; he was found dead in the spillway of Sackville’s grist-mill, just a few feet from the spring, some hours later, presumably having fainted or fallen.
- Scriven was buried at the Pengelly burial-ground in an unmarked tomb between Eliza Roach and Commander Pengelly (Macpherson, “Scriven,” n.d.).
- Sackville saw the unhappy Scriven “prostrate in mind and body” a few days before his death, and overheard him remark, “I pray the Lord would take me home” (Cleland, 1895, p.
- It was never determined if his death was the result of an accident or a suicide.
Friends and neighbors eventually placed a monument over his gravestone to commemorate his life. The historical monument for Joseph Medlicott Scriven was unveiled in Otanabee-South Monaghan, Ontario, Canada, to commemorate his homestead and burial site.
Origins of ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’
Hymns and Other Verses was a collection of Scriven’s poetic works that included seventy-one hymns “intended to be sung in assemblies of the children of God on the first day of the week and on other occasions when two or three are met together in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” These were followed by thirty-four scriptural paraphrases “not to be sung in the assembly, but to express truth, as well as convey comfort, instruction, or reproof to our hearts (Scriven, 1869, Preface).
- The song for which he is most known, “What a Friend,” does not feature in the collection, though.
- Some commentators have speculated that the song was composed for his mother, who was unwell at the time of its composition.
- Sankey (1840–1908) (as reported in Bailey, 1950, pp.
- This assumption, on the other hand, is difficult to verify.
- Sackville, near Rice Lake.
- Sackville, whom the elderly woman, who is now over eighty years old, cherishes.
If this is the case, The personal first-person plural perspective of this hymn is in contrast to the author’s other songs.
Carl Daw Jr.
Packard’s Spiritual Minstrel: A Collection of Hymns and Music(1857), however this is incorrect (See Fenner, 2020, n.p.).
Charles Converse (1832–1918), a New England composer and church musician, incorporated the words in hisSilver Wings(1870), which he published with his own melody under the pen name Karl Reden, which is a Germanization of his given name (“reden” meaning “to talk” or “converse”).
There does not appear to be a copy of this hymnal in existence.
Moody (1837–1899)’s revival performances.
Over the years, the text has remained extraordinarily stable, with just a few minor editing modifications.
It was written in four quatrains, the first three of which are well-known to readers.
For more information, please see the text at Fenner, 2020, n.p.
First and foremost, Stanza 1 establishes the fact that Jesus is a friend who is capable of bearing our sins and responsibilities.
The hymnwriters of the nineteenth century are particularly well-known for expressing their personal connection with Jesus.
Stead (1882), “I Must Tell Jesus All of My Trials” by Elisha A.
The second stanza poses two rhetorical questions, which are rhetorical since, after all, all people are subjected to “trials and temptations” and witness “trouble” at some point in their lives.
Lastly, a rhetorical inquiry asks, “Can we find another buddy who is so devoted.?” The comfort that comes from a close connection with someone who “knows our every weakness” is a wonderful thing.
Do your buddies dislike you and abandon you?
Another prevalent motif in hymns from this time period is the idea of Jesus embracing his companion in his arms at the end of the song.
The following fourth stanza was discovered by hymnologist Fred Gealy in Hastings’Songs of Pilgrimage: A Hymnal for the Churches of Christ(Boston, 1886; Second Ed.
1888): Blessed Jesus, thou hast fulfilled thy promise Thou wilt bear all of our responsibilities; may we always, Lord, be bringing all of our burdens to thee in prayer.
It is possible that this stanza was inserted by the editor because he considered that an eschatological focus would be more theologically appropriate for a concluding stanza in this particular hymnal, which appears to be the only one to feature it.
Despite this, Bailey acknowledges that “the immense service the hymn has done renders our critique inconsequential.” Even the most illiterate person may comprehend it; the most modest saint can take its admonitions to heart and practice prayer, so finding his burden less burdensome and his spiritual life enhanced” (Bailey, 1950, p.
- Taking a Lutheran viewpoint, Paul Westermeyer notes that the song has been a source of consolation for many who have heard it, but that the song has also been a part of an evangelical Protestantism that betrays its own past by turning prayer into a means of controlling God’s favor.
- consolation, as well as forfeiting tranquility or enduring sorrow.
- The unfortunate reality is that singing it has sometimes served as a replacement for the entire prayer life that it encourages, and its advice has been valued but not followed” (Daw, 2016, p.
- Although various songs are associated with this poem, CONVERSE by Charles Converse is the most well-known.
- Interestingly, Young (1993, p.
From long-established white performers like Pat Boone (feature=emb title), Rosemary Clooney, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton to African American gospel artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Ike and Tina Turner (feature=emb title), the list of recording artists who have performed this song is staggering.
Baloche’s improvisatory coda serves as a link between the nineteenth century and the twenty-first century.
The simplicity of the language becomes a virtue in translation, and the folk-like melody is easily understood by people of many cultural backgrounds.
There are just a handful hymns that I have heard more frequently all around the world than this one.
5–6) on the liner “Scriven’s Victory.” One hundred years later, this author confirms hearing this song sung in a variety of languages and renditions, including in a humble congregation for people with leprosy near Ogbomosho, Nigeria; a Filipino Anglican congregation in Manila; a thriving Baptist congregation in Matanzas, Cuba; and an African American Methodist congregation in Atlanta, among other locations.
Over the course of more than one hundred fifty years, a simple poem composed in Canada as a private meditation for the author’s mother in Ireland has made its way into many hearts throughout the world and, without a doubt, has been a source of solace for millions of Christians.
Albert E. Bailey’s The Gospel in Hymns (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950) is a collection of hymns written by Albert E. Bailey. What a Friend We Have in Jesus and Other Poems by Joseph Scriven with a Sketch of the Author (Port Hope: W. Williamson, Publishers, 1895): December 27, 2020. James Cleland, What a Friend We Have in Jesus and Other Poems by Joseph Scriven with a Sketch of the Author (Port Hope: W. Williamson, Publishers, 1895): December 27, 2020. Glory to God: A Companion to the Book of Psalms by Carl P.
- (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016) .
- Chris Fenner, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” Hymnology Archive (February 2020), December 26, 2020.
- Margaret Leask, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Hugh D.
- Hugh D.
- “Scriven, Joseph Medlicott,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Vol XI (1881–1890), December 26, 2020).
- Hymns and Other Verses (Peterborough: James Stephens, 1869): December 26, 2020).
- Hymnal Companion: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Paul Westermeyer, Hymnal Companion: Evangelical Lutheran Worship) (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2010).
- Young’s Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal is a must-have for every hymnophile (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993).
- Michael Hawn, D.M.A., F.H.S., is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music and Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, as well as the Director of the Doctor of Pastoral Music Program at the university.
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While suffering, many hymn authors were able to find consolation in the arms of Jesus, and through their music, they were able to guide others to this source of unshakeable pleasure. Discover more about the tragedy that inspired the hymn writer to draft these lyrics by reading a tale from Carl Price’s One Hundred and One Hymn Stories. One of the most useful hymns now in general usage is Joseph Scriven’s song about the friendship of Jesus, the comforter and burden-bearer, which is sung to the tune of “The Friendship of Jesus.” Scriven was born in 1820 in Dublin, Ireland, and died in 1886.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in his hometown.
At the time of his engagement, he had known and loved the lady for quite some time and had always wanted to marry her.
However, only a few days before the wedding, his promised fiancée was unintentionally drowned, and he was plunged into the depths of the most terrible grief.
His strong feeling of dependency on Christ, as well as the tremendous truth so beautifully articulated in his verses, resulted from this tragic experience:
What a Friend we have in Jesus,All our sins and griefs to bear!
While suffering, many hymn authors were able to find consolation in the arms of Jesus and to use their music to direct others toward this source of unwavering pleasure. Discover more about the tragedy that inspired the hymn writer to produce these words in Carl Price’s One Hundred and One Hymn Stories. Joesph Scriven’s hymn about the friendship of Jesus, the comforter and burden-bearer, is considered to be one of the most useful hymns now in common use. Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1820, and died in 1886.
In his hometown, he received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College.
At the time of his engagement, he had known and loved the lady for quite some time and had been thinking about marrying her.
He was devastated when his promised wife was unintentionally drowned only days before the wedding day, and he was thrown into the depths of despair.
The Lyrics to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
Despite their suffering, many hymn authors were able to find consolation in the arms of Jesus and, through their song, to bring others to this source of unwavering pleasure. Discover more about the tragedy that prompted the hymn writer to draft these lyrics by reading a tale from Carl Price’s One Hundred and One Hymn Stories. Joseph Scriven’s hymn about the friendship of Jesus, the comforter and burden-bearer, is one of the most useful hymns now in common usage. Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1820, and died there in 1886.
He immigrated to Canada when he was twenty-five years old, and he remained there until his death on October 10, 1886, at Port Hope, Ontario, on Lake Ontario.
All of the arrangements for the wedding ceremony had been completed, and a date had been set.
His strong feeling of dependency on Christ, as well as the tremendous truth so clearly articulated in his lines, sprang from this tragic event.
Listen toWhat A Friend We Have In Jesus
Hymn 79 on page 87 of Carl F. Price’s One Hundred and One Hymn Stories, which is adapted from the hymn.
- The Story of the Hymn: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
- Story of the Hymn: “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” Story of the Hymn: Praise God, from Whom all blessings abound
- Story of the Hymn: Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
- Story of the Hymn: “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!” What a Friend We Have in Jesus, according to the hymn. When I look at the wondrous Cross, I am filled with awe. Jesus Paid it All: A Song of Thanksgiving
- America’s Favorite Hymns – The Most Popular Hymns From 1737 to 1960
- America’s Favorite Songs
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Story behind the song: ‘What a Friend we Have in Jesus’
- “That appears to be a sober individual
- I believe I will engage him to cut wood for me.” While walking through the streets of Lake Rice, Canada, with a wood saw and a sawhorse in his hands, a guy was accosted by onlookers. The response from a man in the neighborhood was, “That’s Joseph Scriven on the line. He wouldn’t cut wood for you since he knows you can afford to get someone else to do it. He exclusively chops wood for individuals who do not have the financial means to pay for it.” The ideology and attitude of Scriven, a devout member of the Plymouth Brethren Church, appeared to be the same as his actions. A genuine desire to assist individuals who were actually needy compelled him to take action. Joseph was born on September 10, 1819, in the country of Ireland. Fortunately for him, his parents had the financial ability to provide him with an excellent educational experience. He studied in Trinity College in Dublin, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1989. Through this young guy, Ireland had the opportunity to develop into a wonderful citizen with lofty objectives and remarkable ambitions. He became head over heels in love with a young girl who was willing to spend the rest of her life with him. However, on the day before their wedding, she was riding her horse across a bridge over the River Bann when she became disoriented and plunged into the river below. She perished. Joseph stood on the opposite side of the room, powerless as he watched. In an attempt to cope with his grief, he set out on a long journey. By the time he was 25, his adventures had brought him to a region near Port Hope, Canada. The residents of that region grew to view him as a highly respected individual. He helped some of the local youngsters with their schoolwork by tutoring them. It was then that he met a charming young girl named Elisa Roche, with whom he fell in love for the second time. Marriage was on their agenda, and they were looking forward to it. However, tragedy struck once more, and she passed away from illness before they could tie the knot. It has already been mentioned that he worked at Port Hope among destitute widows and ailing people previously in this chapter. He frequently worked for little or no compensation, and he even shared his clothing with others less fortunate than himself. In one instance, while Joseph was sick, a friend who was visiting him noticed a poem by his bed and inquired as to who had written it. “It was between the Lord and myself,” Scriven explained. He hoped that by writing the poem, he might be able to provide some spiritual solace to his mother, who still resided in Ireland. Scriven had not intended for anybody else to see what he had written. Scriven’s body was discovered floating in a body of water near Bewdly, Ontario, on August 10, 1886. To commemorate him, two memorials have been constructed. Each of them has the first verse of his song inscribed on the back of his guitar. The musical setting was written by Charles Converse, an attorney and musician, and is still in use today. What a buddy we have in Jesus, who is willing to suffer all of our sins and sorrows! What an honor it is to bring everything before God in prayer! Oh, what serenity we frequently sacrifice, Oh, what unnecessary suffering we endure, All because we fail to bring everything to God in prayer. “We therefore, who are strong, must bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” – Romans 15:1
- Romans 15:2
History Behind the Hymn: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
It is through moments of grief and loneliness that we come to a deep understanding of God, as expressed in the wonderful song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Originally from Dublin, Ireland, a man by the name of Joseph Scriven wrote the lyrics for the song (1820-1886). This is an important aspect of his story. As a recent graduate of Trinity College, he was looking forward to the day when he and his long-term partner would tie the knot together. She had been his childhood sweetheart, and he had made all of the necessary arrangements for their wedding.
- She was thrown into the neighboring river when her horse was frightened by something while she was riding toward him to greet him.
- In the aftermath of this devastating loss, Joseph was upset by the sight of his family’s house in Ireland, and he fled for Ontario, Canada, where he spent the remainder of his days in the town of Port Hope.
- Finally, he began instructing the children of a local businessman and became smitten with his employer’s niece, Eliza, as a result of his tutoring work.
- Once again, tragedy intervened in Joseph Scriven’s life when the long-awaited wedding day failed to materialize.
- He first sent the words to his mother in a letter, with the intention that she would be the only one to read them.
- His remarks serve as a reminder that, even though life is difficult and terrible at times, we have someone with us who is a dearer friend than any human could ever be, supporting us and sticking near to us through it all, no matter what.
What a buddy we have in Jesus, who is willing to suffer all of our sins and sorrows! I count it a great honor to bring everything before God in prayer! How much serenity we frequently sacrifice, and how much unnecessarily painful suffering we endure, just because we do not bring all to God in prayer!
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
It’s amazing what a buddy we have in Jesus, who is willing to suffer all of our faults and troubles!
I consider it a great honor to bring everything to God via prayer! Oh, what serenity we frequently sacrifice, and what needless suffering we endure, all because we do not bring everything to God in prayer, as the Bible instructs.
What a buddy we have in Jesus, who bears all of our sins and sorrows! What an honor it is to bring everything to God in prayer! Oh, what serenity we frequently sacrifice, and what needless suffering we endure, all because we do not bring everything to God in prayer, as the Bible commands.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and the Faith of Joseph Scriven
In the song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” Joseph Scriven expresses his faith in a straightforward manner. As we commemorate the narrative behind this wonderful song today, we’d like you to join us in remembering it as well.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
Joseph Scriven was born on September 10, 1989, in Ireland, to a well-to-do family. He is the son of a successful businessman. He received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Dublin. Scriven fell in love with a young lady and proposed to her on the spot. However, on the day before their wedding, she was riding her horse across a river when she lost control and plunged into the water, drowning. He stood on the opposite side of the river, powerless, as his beloved watched him. As a result, he decided to travel to Canada in order to get over his grief.
- Unfortunately, she passed away from illness before they could tie the knot.
- Scriven’s religion has kept him afloat throughout these bleak days of the year.
- Scriven was notified of his mother’s illness some years later.
- He began writing a poem for her at that point.
- The hymn’s music was created by Charles Crozat Converse, who altered the title to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” after two years of revisions.
- In 1886, Scriven perished in a lake near his home in Canada.
It is true that God does not guarantee a life of ease, but he does grant people who place their faith in Jesus the opportunity of bringing everything to him in prayer and the assurance that he hears them and will respond. 1 5:15 (John 5:15) The circumstances of Scriven’s life were difficult, but it was his faith that enabled him to remain strong. No matter what occurred, he remained confident in the Lord. He left us with a beautiful song that serves as a constant reminder to turn to God no matter what occurs.
Moreover, God has promised that people who place their confidence in him will never be abandoned or forgotten.
Listen to Allan Jackson’s version of the song:
The tale behind the hymn is one I’ve written multiple times over the years, but I somehow missed this one! What a Friend We Have in Jesus, without a doubt. is a song that we have all listened to at some time in our lives and related to. If we grew up listening to church or gospel music, it’s likely that we can at least sing the chorus. Joseph Scriven was born in the Irish capital of Dublin in 1819. He earned his education and a degree from Trinity College in Dublin, and he went on to work as a teacher.
- Unfortunately, his prospective wife perished in the ocean the day before their wedding.
- There, he met and fell in love with Eliza Rice for the second time, and he made plans to marry her once more.
- Joseph was just 25 years old.
- Joseph took a vow of poverty and proceeded to assist the destitute and crippled in whatever way he could.
- Ten years ago, he made himself accessible to individuals in need, and he found comfort and meaning in doing so.
- Then, unbelievably, the pain would strike once more!
- He wrote the lyrics to this poem just for her, and it has since soothed, encouraged, and elevated countless others!
All of our faults and sorrows to bearWhat a gift it is to bring everything to God in prayerOh, what peace we so frequently forgo in the process!
We’ve been through hardships and temptations.
We should never give up on ourselves.
Is it possible to meet a buddy that is so dependable?
Jesus is aware of every flaw in our character.
Are we weakened and burdened with a tremendous burden of responsibility?
Take it to the throne of grace in prayer.
Take it to the throne of grace in prayer.
There will be comfort for thee there.
Despite this, people from all around the world are getting together to remind one another and to reach out to those who have not yet heard that Jesus is still close by.
He has not abandoned us, and he will never abandon us.
Because we have so much faith in our God, so much hope for our eternal destiny, and so much hope right now that we will see Jesus intervene in our lives and respond to incredible requests, there is a lot of hope in our God.
Are we burdened by an excessive amount of responsibility?
We will bring it to Him in prayer, join together to encourage and pray for one another, and continue to offer amazing online worship opportunities, which have been a joy to so many.
Nevertheless, if we bring our troubles to Him in prayer, He will meet us in our despair and we will receive solace or comfort in His presence.
This teaches me that if we have His Spirit, we have all we need to be salt and light in this world right now and to convey hope to people who are in need of encouragement.
Please see earlier postings about hymns and their roots for more information!
Jesus, the Lover of my Soul, I will follow Him wherever He leads me, Stand Up for Jesus, America the Beautiful, I will follow Him wherever He leads me, Pray for Peace, People All Over the World, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Holy Night, and for the world.
The Story Behind “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
The tale behind the song is something I’ve written numerous times over the years, but I somehow missed writing about it this time. What a wonderful friend we have in Jesus, no doubt about it. At some time in our lives, we’ve all had a music that spoke to us. Even if we didn’t grow up listening to church or gospel music, we’re likely to be able to sing the chorus. Originally from Ireland, Joseph Scriven was born in 1819. In his education, he attended Trinity College in Dublin and graduated with a degree in education.
- For Joseph, his life was looking up, as he made plans to settle down and marry shortly.
- As a result of his anguish, Joseph relocated to Canada in order to begin a new life.’ During his time there, he reconnected with and fell in love with Eliza Rice, with whom he had plans to marry once again.
- Only 25 years old, Joseph was a young man on the rise.
- The destitute and crippled were the focus of Joseph’s charitable efforts when he adopted a vow of poverty.
- Then, out of nowhere, sadness would hit once more!
- He wrote the lyrics to this poem just for her, and it has since soothed, encouraged, and elevated generations of others.
- Having to suffer all of our faults and sorrows is a privilege, and bringing everything to God in prayer is a privilege even more so.
Trials and tribulations have been ours.
No one should ever give up on themselves or their dreams.
Are there any friends that are as dependable as this one?
Despite our shortcomings, Jesus is aware of our situation.
Afraid that we are weak and burdened with a great deal of responsibility.
John the Evangelist, still our fortress Pray about it and bring it to God.
Do they dislike or desert you?
He’ll take you into His arms and protect you.
Now we find ourselves in the middle of an unprecedented crisis in the history of the world.
Thankfully, prayer continues to be effective.
Because we have so much faith in our God, so much hope for our eternal destiny, and so much hope right now that we will witness Jesus intervene in our lives and respond to incredible requests, there is a lot of hope in our God.
Does it seem like we’re carrying a heavy burden of responsibilities?
We’ll bring it to Him in prayer, join together to encourage and pray for one another, and continue to offer beautiful online worship opportunities that have already been a gift to so many people.
Nevertheless, if we bring our troubles to Him in prayer, He will meet us in our despair and we will receive peace or comfort in His company.
This teaches me that if we have His Spirit, we have all we need to be salt and light in this world right now and to convey hope to people who are in need of hope.
Previous entries about hymns and their roots may be found here.
Everything He leads me to will be done with devotion, Stand Up for Jesus, America the Beautiful, Everywhere He leads me will be done with devotion, Everyone, everywhere, please pray for peace, especially in Bethlehem, on this holy night.
What a friend we have in Jesus — Hymnology Archive
I. Original Manuscripts Joseph Scriven (1819–1886) is credited with writing this song of prayer. At least four manuscript copies of the hymn, according to legend, were dispersed among those in Scriven’s circle of influence at one time. These clues assist in determining the historical context of the hymn’s composition. According to biographer Foster M. Russell, Scriven obtained the inspiration for the song while on a journey to Damascus in 1846 and had sent a copy of it back to Dublin. Unfortunately, Russell did not present any evidence to support his claim, and he was mistaken regarding the invention of the music by Charles Converse, which he did not mention (more on this below).
- Despite the fact that Russell’s assertion is speculative, it cannot be disregarded outright.
- Caswell inCanadian Singers and Their Songs (1919 |
- 1), which is a collection of songs by Canadian singers.
- It is believed that the author gave this little paper-bound book, which contains 10 pages of poems written by his own hand, to Mrs.
- Scriven was then a resident of that city, where he ran a private school for children for a period of time, and Mrs.
- It should be noted that the hymn as reprinted here not only changes in some of the lines from the version now in use, but it also lacks eight lines from the later version as well.
It is highly deserving of a spot in this collection because it is, without a doubt, the most widely-known work of Canadian literature.
1: A diagram of the human body.
Caswell, Canadian Singers and Their Songs) (Toronto: McCellandStewart, 1919).
The last quatrain has a few of noteworthy lines, including “Are we frigid and unbelieving?” and “Here the Lord is still our refuge,” among others.
Scriven began his teaching career in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, in the early 1850s, before relocating to Clinton, Ontario, the following year.
His father, John Scriven, had passed away on December 21, 1850, according to tradition.
While there, he met and proposed to Pengelly’s niece, Eliza Catherine Roach, who tragically died of an illness before the couple could be united in marriage.
During the later years of his life, Scriven resided at the house of James Sackville, which was located near Rice Lake and Port Hope, Ontario.
He mailed one copy to his own mother and sent another copy to my mother around the year 1855; and until very recently, even his closest friends were unaware that he was the creator of it.
One manuscript was remained in the ownership of the Sackville family as late as 1903, according to historical records.
Unknown is the exact whereabouts of the Sackville text at this time.
The very first printing The hymn was supposedly originally printed in Dublin, based on the copy Scriven provided to his mother, according to some accounts.
The hymn is frequently mistakenly attributed to J.B.
The hymn’s earliest documented published appearance was in H.L.
Hastings, 1865 |
2), where it was unattributed and presented in three stanzas of eight lines each, with no accompanying musical accompaniment.
In 1870, the hymn was originally published in Silver Wings (Boston: Oliver DitsonCo., 1870 |
3), which was composed by Charles Converse (1834–1918), who wrote the most well-known music for it.
In this publishing, the composer was identified as “Karl Reden,” a nickname Converse employed to refer to himself in German (the word “Reden” literally translates as “to talk”).
The Silver Wings (Figure 3) (Boston: Oliver DitsonCo., 1870).
Russell, believes Converse learnt about Scriven’s hymn while conversing with a salesperson who happened to be visiting the Burdette Organ Company in Erie, Pennsylvania, where Converse was employed.
Even if this fantastic story were true (and the sounds came out of the air, as though Beethoven were deaf, and Scriven’s words had touched him to the core of musicology), Converse’s tune would be compelling if it were true—except that Converse was living in New York in 1870 when his tune was first published, he credited his source for the text in that collection, and he did not move to Erie until 1875.
- The third and final stanza H.L.
- During the same year that Scriven passed away, he was also the first to publish a fourth stanza in Songs of Pilgrimage (Boston: H.L.
- Hastings attributed the hymn to “Joseph Scriven, circa 1855,” which would seem to indicate that the additional stanza was written as early as 1855 rather than being a newly composed piece.
- Unfortunately, due to the unavailability and/or loss of Scriven’s original manuscripts, it is not feasible to establish his authorship.
- Music for the Pilgrimage (Figure 4) (Boston: H.L.
Bliss and published by BiglowMain in Chicago in 1875.
Following the publication of their songbook, Bonar claimed that he had not written the hymn, and his name was thus deleted from later versions.
5 by John Rutter (1887).
The hymn first appeared in the Later Songs and Solos collection of this songbook series, which is published in the United Kingdom.
296–297, Sankey presented an unusual description of his encounter with the hymn: “It was a wonderful experience.” Prior to his death, it was not recognized that he possessed an exceptional poetic aptitude.
Scriven about it, he stated that he had penned it for his mother, in order to console her during a period of tremendous sadness, and that he had not intended for anybody else to see it.
Bliss shortly after returning from England in 1875, and we quickly became involved in the printing of what would eventually become known as Gospel Hymns No.
I happened to pick up a tiny paper-covered brochure of Sunday-school songs that had been published in Richmond, Virginia, just after we had delivered the full compilation to our publishers.
Taking into consideration that the music was composed by my buddy C.C.
As a result, the final hymn to be included in the collection became one of the first to gain popularity.
Horatius Bonar, despite the fact that he was not the author.
It was not until six or eight years after the hymn initially appeared in our collection that we were able to discover who the true author was.
Thompson Baird, 1872), which was co-edited by Converse (Karl Reden), and in which “What a friend we have in Jesus” appeared at no.
Thompson Baird, 1872), which was co-edited by Alternate Tune (Part III) Some hymnals, particularly in England and Ireland, make use of the tune MANOR HOUSE, which was produced by Frederick G.
6); the tune was made specifically for that compilation.
The hymn’s text is thought to be a reflection of some of Scriven’s life experiences, according to some scholars.
The tragic death of his fiancée, Eliza Catherine Roach, occurred while he was still living in Ireland.
Despite the fact that Scriven’s hymn does not directly quote any specific Scripture passage, it contains many scriptural ideas.
1) is “Pray without ceasing,” which is a quote from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 in the Bible.
4) quotes this verse (KJV).
Watson cited Psalm 55:22, “Cast thy weight upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee: he will never permit the righteous to be disturbed,” and 1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their petitions” (KJV).
it’s a piece that may be classified as doggerel.
Our objection is rendered insignificant by the enormous service that the hymn has provided.
The editors of the Companion to Church Hymnal(2000) identified the following advantages and disadvantages: In some quarters, the song has been attacked for being extremely self-centered and for stating nothing about Jesus other than the fact that he is a devoted and empathetic friend of mine.
One possible explanation is the emphasis placed on the need of prayer in times of affliction; the admonition “take it to the Lord in prayer” appears no fewer than four times.
Young stated the following about the tune CONVERSE: “Converse’s gem of simplicity is arranged for ease of remembering in bar-formaabaand is further reinforced by the quasi-antiphon ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer.'” by CHRIS FENNER for Hymnology Archive 25 July 2019rev. 11 March 2021
- Foster Meharry Russell,What a Friend We Have in Jesus(Belleville, ON: Mika Publishing Company, 1981), pp. 37–38
- sEdward S. Caswell,Canadian Singers and Their Songs(1919), pp. 9–10
- s Charles NutterWilbur Tillett, “What a friend we have in Jesus,”The Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church(NY: EatonMains, 1911), p. 289
- s “The authorship of a popular hymn,”The Pacific, San Francisco, CA (29 October 1903), p. 18
- s Foster Meharry Russell,What a Friend We Have in Jesus(Belleville ON: Mika Publishing Company, 1981), pp. 74-76, citing the papers of Ernest and Fred Clarry of Millbrook, Ontario
- s Edward DarlingDonald Davison, “What a friend we have in Jesus,”Companion to Church Hymnal(Dublin: Columba Press, 2000), p. 813
- s Richard Watson, “What a friend we have in Jesus,”Companion to HymnsPsalms(Peterborough: Methodist Publishing House, 1988), p. 329
- s Albert Bailey, “What a friend we have in Jesus,”The Gospel in Hymns(NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950), p. 496
- s Carlton R. Young, “What a friend we have in Jesus,”Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal(1993), p. 688
“The authorship of a well-known song,” says the author. Pacific, San Francisco, California (29 October 1903), p. 18: Google Books My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns(1906), pp. 295–297:Archive.org. Ira Sankey, “What a friend we have in Jesus,” My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns(1906), pp. 295–297:Archive.org. Charles Nutter is a politician in the United Kingdom. What a friend we have in Jesus, Wilbur Tillett, The Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church (New York: EatonMain, 1911), pp.
Caswell’s Canadian Singers and Their Songs (Toronto: McCellandStewart, 1919).
“What a friend we have in Jesus,” The 1940 Hymnal Companion, 3rd rev.
(New York: Church Hymnal Corp., 1962), p.
“What a friend we have in Jesus,” The 1940 Hymnal Companion, 3rd rev.
Foster What a Friend We Have in Jesus, says Meharry Russell (Belleville ON: Mika Publishing Company, 1981).
“What a friend we have in Jesus,” Companion to Hymns and Psalms (Peterborough: Methodist Publishing House, 1988), pp.
Kenneth Trickett, “What a friend we have in Jesus,” Companion to Hymns and Psalms (Peterborough: Methodist Publishing House, 1988), pp.
Scotty A friend in Jesus is what we have in Wayne Gray’s “What a friend we have in Jesus,” in Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal (Nashville: Convention Press, 1992), pages 269–270.
Young, “What a friend we have in Jesus,” Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville: Abingdon, 1993), pp.
Edward Darling is a fictional character created by author Edward Darling.
Daw, Jr., “What a friend we have in Jesus,” Glorify God: A Companion (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016), pp.
“What a wonderful companion we have in Jesus,” says the author.