Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A FAMINE OF THE WORD! By James E. Farley

By James E. Farley

I love to read the Word of God,
To learn of Truth and Right,
To meditate upon His law,
By day and then by night.
(Psalm 1:2)

O Lord the Psalmist said it true;
Thy words indeed are sweet.
They serve as a light unto my path;
a lamp unto my feet.
(Psalm 119:103-105)

I read from Paul, and all the rest. . .
From Peter, James and John.
I thrill to read of godliness,
and of that Great Beyond!
(Ephesians 3:3-5; Titus 2:11-12; 2 Peter 1:3; John 14:1-4)

I love to read from godly men
who write with godly sense;
From men like Woods, and Milligan,
McGarvey and from Brents.
(2 Timothy 2:2)

I read from “Tabernacle” talks
in Nashville, Tennessee,
And how so many people came
To listen and be free.
(John 8:31-32; Romans 6:16-18)
I read from men like Boles and Lard,
Calhoun, and Jacob Creath,
These men, and so many more,
Sat oft at Jesus’ feet.
(Luke 8:35)

They studied God’s Word so diligently,
To lead the erring home.
To grow in grace and knowledge too
In order to be strong!
(2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 6:10-18)

A famine now has come to pass;
Have you not seen nor heard?
Not a famine of water or food. . .
But a famine of the Word!
(Amos 8:11)

Many who should understand
Have left the gospel’s call.
They now drink deep from sectarian wells;
From Stanley and Swindoll !!!
(Ephesians 5:17; I Timothy 4:1-3; I John 2:19)

Lucado, Cope, and Shelly too. . .
Lieutenants of this ilk,
No longer preach the sincere Truth. . .
No longer seek the milk.
(2 Timothy 4:1-4; I Peter 2:2)

They seek a wider fellowship. . .
One with the sects so vain,
Who teach for Truth the laws of men
Exchanging God for gain.
(I John 1:5-7; Matthew 15:7-13; Romans 10:1-3;
I Timothy 6:5-6; 2 Peter 2:3)

These no longer abide in Truth,
They’ve left for other fields.
No more are they servants for Christ,
No more the Sword they wield ! ! !
(2 John 9-11; Ephesians 6:17)

No more are they as one with us,
The difference clear and stark!
“Avoid them!” is the command that’s giv’n. . .
These should receive the mark!!!
(Romans 16:17-18)

Surprise? Oh no…not us you see. . .
We knew it from the start.
God’s Word is clear upon this point.
Tis clear. . . “some shall depart.”
(I Timothy 4:1-3)

Our hearts are sad to know some leave -
No more to preach reform.
Their ears? They turn them from the Truth,
And sound doctrine will not endure.
(Philippians 3:18; 2 Timothy 4:1-4)

But still we walk within God’s Light,
Continue in His Word. . .
We preach the Truth, stand for the Right,
Till all the world has heard.
(I John 1:7; John 8:31-32; 2 John 4, 6; 3 John 3, 4; Mark 16:15)

And then one day, when all is done,
Before His throne we’ll stand.
To give account for how we’ve lived,
And then…that crown so grand!!!
(2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Used by permission of James Edward Farley, 10/08/2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Hymns & Hymns Writers: More About Jesus

This hymn was created in 1887 by Eliza A. Hewitt and John R. Sweney. I made the mistake of confusing John R. Sweney with John S. Sweeney (1832-1908) who was a preacher. I have a book of sermons by Sweeney published by Gospel Advocate years ago that I found in an antique store in Akron.

Elisa Edmonds Hewitt (1851-1920), Lyricist

Elisa Edmonds Hewitt was born June 28, 1851 in Philadelphia, PA to James Stratton Hewitt and Zeruiah Edmonds Hewitt. She was a school teacher after she graduated valedictorian of the Girl’s Normal School. She was a Presbyterian and served as a Superintendent for their Sunday School Program at Calvin Presbyterian Church. At some point in her life she was afflicted with severe back injury from a careless student hitting her with a piece of slate which required her to be confined to bed in a cast for six months. She had re-occurrences of injury at times. During this period, she composed poetry which came to the attention of John S. Sweney and William J. Kirkpatrick who published her first book of hymns. She was also friends with Fanny J. Crosby. Her cousin, Edgar Page Stites was also a hymnist. She also wrote under the pseudonym of Lidie E. Edmunds. In addition to “More About Jesus” we sing “For Christ and The Church,” “Stepping in the Light,” “There is Sunshine in My Soul,” “When We All Get to Heaven,” and “Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown?” Elisa Edmonds Hewitt passed away on April 20, 1920 and is buried in Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia. Her tombstone reads “Christian Hymn Writer Author of ‘Sunshine in My Soul Today.”

John R. Sweney (1837-1899), Composer
John Robson Sweney was born in West Chester, PA on December 31, 1837. He had a definite aptitude for music and became a music teacher at a young age. He studied under a professor Bauer of Germany and learned music on the piano and violin. At 22 he taught music in Delaware until he was called into the service of the Third Regiment of Delaware during the Civil War. He was then appointed Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy which facilitated his return to West Chester. He was granted the Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Music by the Academy. He was a music leader in the Bethany Presbyterian Church and Sunday-school program which would lead to his connection with Hewitt.
William J. Kilpatrick and Sweney published several hymnbooks. Some of John R. Sweney’s hymns that are familiar to us include not only “More About Jesus” but “Sing On,” “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus”, “There Is Sunshine in My Soul,” and some may know “Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown.” The last two of these he also did with Hewitt.
John Sweney passed away April 10, 1899 in West Chester. He is buried in Chester Rural Cemetery. He has been credited with 1,000 hymns. His tombstone reads “A Sweet Singer of Israel.”

More About Jesus

The song is a simple message, but it is not a message to be underestimated! The story of Jesus is the story of Christianity! Have you ever thought about why we have four gospel accounts? If you were to eliminate one of these, which would you do? A Christian would never want to do so because we thrive on the life of Jesus and should want to know more!

How do we know more about Jesus? All that we have to know about Him is found in the Scriptures. There are some extra-biblical references to Him by those considered among His foes. Still, think of how many books have been written due to the influence of Jesus of Nazareth and people’s desire to know more about Him.

Why do people want to know more about Jesus? I am sure there are several reasons that could be cited, but I often think of the phrase relating to military people who die in the line of duty as “paying the ultimate sacrifice.” You sometimes hear this phrase in reference to times such as these “No greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.” I often wonder how many times people say that and fail to make the connection to the one who said it best? “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:12–14 NKJV). John would reflect on this fact when he wrote “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16 NKJV). How much do we care for one another? How much do we love one another? How much are we willing to sacrifice to Christ and His church?

We encourage you to learn more about Jesus, the sacrifice that He made for your redemption, and how you can become a child of God.


“Eliza Edmunds Hewitt.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

“Eliza Edmunds Stites Hewitt.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

“Eliza Hewitt.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

Hall, J. H. “Dr. D. Brink Towner.” Biography of Gospel Songs and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 19147.

Howard, V. E., Editor, and Broadus E. Smith, Associate Editor, Church Gospel Songs & Hymns, Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.

“John R. Sweney.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

 “John R. Sweney.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

 “More About Jesus.” No Pages. Cited 29 September 2019.

Wiegand, John P., Editor, Praise For The Lord, Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.