~* HIS LOVINGKINDNESS *~
Samuel Medley, 1738-1799

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Psalm 36:7

A Christian should never lose his reason for singing about the Lord and His constant loving kindness. "His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1). Loving kindness has been described as "love in action". God's loving kindness was the act of sending Christ to be our Redeemer "while we were yet sinners" (Romans 5:8).

Samuel Medley, a Baptist minister, lived a dissipated life in the British Navy until he was severely wounded in a sea fight between the French and English in 1759, off Cape Lagos, Portugal. While convalescing, he read a sermon by Isaac Watts on Isaiah 42:6 & 7. These verses ultimately led to Medley's conversion and later to his becoming a minister of the Gospel. "His Loving Kindness" was written as a personal testimony of thanksgiving to God. The text first appeared in published form in 1782. For 27 years Samuel Medley pastored the Baptist church in Liverpool with much success, especially as a preacher to the sailors. Medley wrote a large number of hymns but always stated in the preface of his books that his only purpose for writing was to "comfort Christians and to glorify Christ". It has been said that the underlying purpose of Samuel Medley's ministry, both in preaching and in hymn writing, was to "humble the pride of man, exalt the grace of God in his own salvation, and promote real holiness in the hearts and lives of believers.

The spritely music for this text is an American camp meeting melody in popular use throughout the South before its publication in the 19th Century.

God's loving kindness..."how free," "how great," "how good,"--a comfort in death and a source of eternal joy.



Awake, my soul, to joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise;
He justly claims a song from me -
His lovingkindness, O how free!
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness, O how free!

He saw me ruined in the fall,
Yet loved me notwithstanding all;
He saved me from my lost estate -
His lovingkindness, O how great!
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness, O how great!

Though numerous hosts of mighty foes,
Though earth and hell my way oppose,
He safely leads my soul along -
His lovingkindness, O how strong!
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness, O how strong!

When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
Has gathered thick and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood -
His lovingkindness, O how good!
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness, O how good!

Often I feel my sinful heart
Prone from my Jesus to depart;
But though I have him oft forgot,
His lovingkindness changes not.
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness changes not.

Soon I shall pass the gloomy vale,
Soon all my mortal powers must fail;
O! may my last expiring breath
His lovingkindness sing in death.
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness sing in death.

Then let me mount and soar away
To the bright world of endless day;
And sing with raptures and surprise,
His lovingkindness in the skies.
Lovingkindness, lovingkindness,
His lovingkindness in the skies.



*For Today*: II Samuel 22:3 & 4; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 31:21, 36:5-10, 59:10; Isaiah 54:8 & 10; Ephesians 2:4-7

Recount your salvation experience; reflect on God's leading; anticipate the eternal joys of Heaven--then sing as you go!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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