Sunday Hymnary: “Live Out Thy Life Within Me” by F.R. Havergal

I found this unfamiliar text by Havergal in an old Pentacostal hymn book (circa 1900) from my collection.  Although it seems to reflect a passive Christianity, I think it is more appropriately viewed as continually active submission.  If you think of the believer as a living sacrifice (per Romans 12:1,2), you know that it requires surrender to remain upon the altar, with all self will consciously and constantly yielded. As another hymn writer so aptly wrote, we are “prone to wander.”

I love this beautiful, meaningful text:

Live out Thy life within me, O Jesus, King of kings!
Be Thou Thyself the answer to all my questionings;
Live out Thy life within me, in all things have Thy way!
I, the transparent medium, Thy glory to display.

The temple has been yielded, and purified of sin,*
Let Thy Shekinah glory now shine forth from with within,
And all the earth keep silence, the body henceforth be
Thy silent, gentle servant, moved only as by Thee.

Its members every moment held subject to Thy call,
Ready to have Thee use them, or not be used at all,
Held without restless longing, or strain, or stress, or fret,
Or chafings at Thy dealings, or thoughts of vain regret.

But restful, calm and pliant, from bend and bias free,
Awaiting Thy decision, when Thou hast need of me.
Live out Thy life within me, O Jesus, King of kings!
Be Thou the glorious answer to all my questionings.

*Havergal was thought of by some to be the hymn writer of the Keswick movement.  In short, there was a train of thought in this movement that purported the possibility of sinless perfection.  I do not hold to this. Sinless perfection belongs to our Savior alone, and it is in this perfection that I am justified before God.  He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, “the Lord, our righteousness.”  However, I do think it goes without saying that our usefulness to the Lord is increased when we strive to live purified, dedicated lives.


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