Sunday, February 24, 2019

My Saviour’s Love

The following hymn and tune was written by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932). Charles H. Gabriel was born August 18, 1856 at Wilton, Iowa, to Isaac Newton Gabriel and Cleopatra Cotton. His father was a singing school teacher, who died when Charles was about 17 years old. Gabriel married first Francilla Woodhouse, and second, Amelia Moore. He had a child by each wife. He died September 14, 1932 at Los Angeles, California. His and Amelia’s cremains are interred at the Chapel Of The Pines Crematory. He wrote between 7,000 and 8,000 gospel songs, often composing both the hymn and tune. Several are well-known church songs, such as Send the Light, God is Calling the Prodigal, Higher Ground, His Eye is On the Sparrow, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.[i]  He edited over 80 songbooks. He served as music director at Grace Methodist Church in San Francisco, and in 1912 began to work for Homer Rodeheaver Publishing Company.[ii]  In addition to writing under his own name, Gabriel also used pseudonyms, including T. R. Allen, C. D. Emerson, H. A. Henry, Charlotte G. Homer, S. B. Jackson, Adolph Jesreal, and Jennie Ree. Charles H. Gabriel wrote an autobiography titled Sixty Years of Gospel Song (Chicago, IL: Hope Publishing Company, possibly printed posthumously in 1945). He is a 1982 inductee into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Gabriel wrote and/or copyrighted My Savior’s Love (also known as I Stand Amazed) in 1905.[iii]  The original printing had four stanzas. The meter of this song is 8s.7s. with chorus.

1. I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus, the Nazarene,
And wonder how he could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

Chorus (after each stanza):
How marvelous (Oh, how marvelous),
How wonderful (Oh, how wonderful)!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous (Oh, how marvelous),
How wonderful (Oh, how wonderful)
Is my Savior’s love for me!

2. For me it was in the garden
He prayed, “Not my will, but thine.”
He had not tears for his own griefs,
But sweat great drops of blood for mine.

3. In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.

4. When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of his love for me.

In addition to the four stanzas in the original printing, the song often appears with this stanza below (and often without the original third stanza). I do not know the original source of this stanza. Perhaps Gabriel himself added it at some point.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them his very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone.

The song builds on the wonder and praise created by the suffering sacrifice of Jesus Christ for condemned sinners – ending with the desire to praise him through eternity for his wondrous love.

My Saviors Love by the Kingdom Quartet, on YouTube

[i] Discussion of several Charles Gabriel songs may be found HERE.
[ii] Several sources say Gabriel moved to Chicago in 1912, but actually the censuses show him already living in Chicago in 1900 & 1910 – perhaps he did not begin to work for Rodeheaver until 1912.
[iii] At least it was first published that year, in Praises, Edwin Othello Excell, Chicago, IL: E. O. Excell, 1905. Roughly two dozen songs by Gabriel appear in this volume – including Little Teetotalers!

No comments: