Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This very well known hymn was written by Thomas Chisholm in 1923. It was, he said, simply the result of his "morning my morning realization of God's personal faithfulness." It is based mostly on Lamentations 3:22-23 and James 1:17. The second stanza is based on some of the creation Psalms (36 and 104). Some twenty years after he wrote the text, Chisholm wrote:
I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God in that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonished gratefulness.
In this song we sing of God's unchanging compassion and faithfulness (st. 1)—a constancy to which nature attests (st. 2)—and God's unfailing love seen in His forgiveness and "presence to cheer and to guide" us each day as we walk with Him (st. 3). The refrain is inspired by the comforting words of Lamentations 3:22-23—"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

William Runyan composed the tune specifically for this song; hence, it is called FAITHFULNESS. Messrs Chisolm and Runyan were friends and collaborators. Runyan wrote harmonies for twenty of Chisolm's poems. William Runyan was a church organist by the age of twelve. Later he became a minister, serving by turn in the pastoral ministry and evangelism. Beside the work for his friend Chisholm, he wrote a number of hymn tunes and texts.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet

No comments: