Opening Hymn & Information, Spirit of Prophecy Sabbath, October 22, 2005

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"We Would See Jesus"
(SDAH 494, CH 29)

Verse One:
We would see Jesus;"
for the shadows lengthen
Across the little
landscape of our life;
We would see Jesus,
our weak faith to strengthen
For the last conflict,
in this mortal strife.

Verse Two:
"We would see Jesus,"
Rock of our salvation,
Whereon our feet were set
with sovereign grace;
Not life, nor death,
with all their agitation,
Can thence remove us,
gazing on His face.

Verse Three:
"We would see Jesus;"
other lights are paling,
Which for long years
we did rejoice to see;
The blessings of this
sinful world are failing;
We would not mourn them,
in exchange for Thee.

Verse Four:
"We would see Jesus;"
this is all we're needing—
Strength, joy, and willingness
come with the sight;
We would see Jesus,
dying, risen, pleading,
Soon to return
and end this mortal night!

Background Information to Hymn #494

Anna Bartlett Warner (1820-1915) wrote this hymn of seven stanzas in 1852. It appeared in her novel Dollars and Cents under her pen name, Amy Lothrop. The theme is based on the request of the Greeks who came to the Temple at Jerusalem after the Lord’s triumphal entry and expressed their desire to Philip: “Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:21). The hymn first appeared with six stanzas in Hymns of the Church Militant, which Warner edited in 1858.

Anna Bartlett Warner was born on Long Island, New York, the daughter of a New York lawyer. When she was 17, she and her family moved to Constitution Island, near West Point, New York. She wrote several novels under the name Amy Lothrop and two books of hymn verse. She is the author of the words to the children’s song, “Jesus Loves Me.” For many years she and her older sister held Sunday school classes for the cadets at West Point Military Academy. Their home, named Good Crag, was willed to the academy and is now a national shrine. When Anna died in 1915 at the age of 95, the military academy gave her a funeral as though she had been one of the soldiers.

The tune to “We Would See Jesus” was composed in 1899 by Franklin Edson Belden (1858-1945), a nephew of Ellen G. White and a prolific song writer. It appeared first in his Christ in Song, 1900.

Adapted from Wayne Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988).

SDAH = Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal
CH = Church Hymnal