What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Joseph Scriven was born in 1819 of prosperous parents in BanbridgeIreland. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. At the age of 25, he decided to leave his native country and migrate to Canada. His reasons for leaving his country seem to be two-fold: the religious influence of the Plymouth Brethren upon his life estranging him from his family. His fiancée accidentally drowned in 1845, the night before they were to be married. The grief-stricken young man moved to Canada.

In 1855, while staying with companion Mr. James Sackville, he received news from Ireland of his mother being terribly ill. He wrote a poem to comfort his mother called “Pray Without Ceasing”. It was later set to music and renamed by Charles Crozat Converse, becoming the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus“. Joseph did not have any intentions nor dream that his poem would be for publication in the newspaper and later becoming a favorite hymn among the millions of Christians around the world.

About 1857 he moved near to Port Hope, Ontario where he again fell in love and was due to be married, but in August 1860 the young woman suddenly fell ill of pneumonia and died.

He then devoted the rest of his life to tutoring, preaching and helping others.

In 1869 Scriven published a collection of 115 Hymns and other verses which did not include “What a friend”.

Ironically, Joseph Scriven died in a watercourse. To this day, no one knows for sure if his death was an accident or a suicide. He was in a serious depression at the time. A friend reported, “We left him about midnight. I withdrew to an adjoining room, not to sleep, but to watch and wait. You may imagine my surprise and dismay when on visiting the room I found it empty. All search failed to find a trace of the missing man, until a little after noon the body was discovered in the water nearby, lifeless and cold in death.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus 

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s