James Rowe, 1865-1933

And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me!
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Matthew 14:29-31

How quickly we judge Peter for sinking down in the waves, yet there were 11 other disciples who never stepped foot out of the boat! Many times in Scripture and hymnody the Christian walk is compared to nautical themes. The anchor, a safe harbor, the waves or sea billows, a safe vessel, a lighthouse.... These terms not only bring to mind the ocean, but the LORD of the wind and the waves!

In "Love Lifted Me", James Rowe brings to mind in the first verse our redemption from sin by our Saviour! Then the second verse shows the change in our walk as we owe Him our song, our service, our whole heart. And in the third and final stanza we see Rowe's encouragement to the unbeliever...his witness to the lost. "Look above! Jesus completely saves!" What a beautiful picture of the Christian life:  redemption, sanctification, and evangelization!

James Rowe was born in Horrabridge, Devonshire, England in 1865. Son of John Rowe, a copper miner, James worked for the Irish government for four years, then emigrated to America at age 24. He settled in Albany, New York, and worked in railroads in New York for 10 years. He then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. He then worked for music publishers in Texas and Tennessee, and in his later years, moved to Vermont and worked with his daughter, an artist, writing verses for greeting cards. He and the music composer Howard E. Smith wrote this song in Saugatuck, Connecticut in 1912. According to Rowe’s daughter:
Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all, much less play the piano.... I can see them now, my father striding up and down humming a bar or two, and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down.

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today!


Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!

*For Today*: Psalm 40:1-3, 11, & 17; Mark 4:35-41; I John 4:7 & 8

Determine that even when sinking down in the depths of sin and discouragement, the LORD will hear your cry for help if only you'll call upon Him!
[JMS: AMEN!!!!!!]

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Information on James Rowe and Howard E. Smith also from The Cyber Hymnal

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