My Dream by John Melvin Henson is a short song and tune that I have always enjoyed very much. “One of his contemporaries described Henson as ‘the only person in America, and probably in the world, that could write the words and music to a song, set the type, make the plate, print and bind the book, play the music on piano or organ, and sing the song.’”
I do not know when this song was originally published, but it is found in several Primitive Baptist song books – including Harp of Ages (No. 89; where I became acquainted with it), the Old School Hymnal (No. 402), and the new revision of the Primitive Baptist Hymnal (No. 89). It seems to be popular and widely requested among Old School Baptists who use these books. (I have also sensed that among some there might be some objection to using it in regular services.) My Dream seems to present a sort of “day dream” vision of Jesus and his glory – but one from which we often awake and no longer have the loving and a close relationship with him of which we dreamed.
“I found him whom my soul loveth.” (Song of Solomon 3:4)
I sat by my Savior And looked on His face.
‘Twas full of His glory, And shining with grace.
His smile was endearing, His touch so divine,
His presence most cheering, This Savior of mine.
I could not believe it, That one such as I
Could sit down with Jesus In glory on high.
The poorest of mortals I felt on that hour,
Yet rich with my Savior, Endued with His power.
O’ wonderful story, O’ could I still dream
And rest with my Savior By life’s flowing stream.
More words for My Dream were written by Theata Lawrence of Fort Worth, Texas, words that apply to after we wake. Henson’s tune with Lawrence’s words are number 90 in the Primitive Baptist Hymnal, immediately following the tune with Henson’s words.
But when I awoke, I then heard His sweet voice.
He told me the way To go on and rejoice.
Dear child, take upon you My yoke every day;
Walk on in my footsteps Ne’er ceasing to pray.
With truth gird about you, A garment so fair,
Press on in my Kingdom And dwell with me there,
With hope a sure anchor, My Word as your guide,
My Spirit to lead you Whatever betide.
My gospel a light For your wandering feet,
My staff for your comfort, My chastening sweet,
My smile will encourage When goings are rough;
My touch will secure you, My promise enough.
My child, then arise And your master obey;
Step out on my promise; Oh, do not delay.
My smile will be with you, My presence afford.
This dream is come true While you trust in the Lord.