Thursday, October 28, 2004


This John Wesley hymn was the musical preface to today's Worship lecture. Accompanied by a single guitar, a solo male vocalist sang:
Come, O thou Traveler unknown,

Whom still I hold, but cannot see;

My company before is gone,

And I am left alone with thee.

With thee all night I mean to stay,

And wrestle till the break of day.

I need not tell thee who I am;

My sin and misery declare;

Thyself hast call'd me by my name;

Look on thy hands, and read it there:

But who, I ask thee, who art thou?

Tell me thy name, and tell me now.

In vain thou strugglest to get free;

I never will unloose my hold:

Art thou the Man that died for me?

The secret of thy love unfold;

Wrestling, I will not let thee go,

Till I thy name, thy nature know.

What though my shrinking flesh complain,

And murmur to contend so long?

I rise superior to my pain:

When I am weak, then I am strong!

And when my all of strength shall fail,

I shall with the God-man prevail.
There was silence in the room as the hymn ended. Our professor, who always opens each lecture with wonderful liturgical music, said, "I think this hymn beautifully captures the essence of Christian experience." I think everyone there agreed.

The melody, by an anonymous composer, comes from a 19th century American Methodist hymnal, and was performed by Daniel McCabe of The Boston Camerata (directed by Joel Cohen).

A sample of the accompaniment can be found here.

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