[Biblemat] hymn study, "Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen"
Wayne S Walker
wswalker310 at juno.com
Sat Sep 3 13:38:59 CDT 2005
Wayne Walker here with another weekly hymn study (daily hymn studies can
be seen by sending a blank e-mail to
hymnoftheday-subscribe at yahoogroups.com).
"LET THE BEAUTY OF JESUS BE SEEN"
"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should
follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2.21)
INTRO.: A song which encourages us to follow the example that Jesus
left for us is "Let The Beauty of Jesus Be Seen" (#454 in Hymns for
Worship Revised, and #230 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text
of stanza 1 was written by Albert W. T. Orsborn (1886-1967). No other
information is available, except that it is dated around 1916. Orsborn
is identified as an early Salvation Army leader. A Salvation Army
collectable website lists an e-book entitled The Poet General--Albert W.
T. Orsborn C. B. E., by Bernard Watson, and Kingsgate Publishing has a
compact disc of Salvation Army hymns by Herbert Booth and Orsborn. The
text of stanzas 2-4 was added by George L. Johnson in 1934.
The tune (Bridlington) was composed by Tom M. Jones (1891-1978). It
was published in 1927. The composer is identified as "Rev." Tom Jones in
some books. Older books say, "Copyright property of Rev. Tom Jones,"
while newer ones say, "Copyright--the estate of Tom Jones." Great Songs
of the Church No. 2, edited by E. L. Jorgenson, used only stanza 1 with
an arrangement of the tune made by Edwin E. Young in 1930. The Christian
Hymnal had a version of two stanzas with both words and music arranged by
the editor J. Nelson Slater. Sacred Selections and Hymns for Worship
both have an arrangement made in 1934 by Cleavant Derricks and
copyrighted by the Stamps-Baxter Music and Ptg. Co. Songs of the Church,
Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and Songs of Faith and Praise, all
edited by Alton H. Howard, include an arrangement made in 1971 by Ben
Cumnock. The song is also found in Praise for the Lord edited by John P.
The song exhorts us to live in such a way that the influence of
Christ can be seen in us.
I. Stanza 1
"Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and
May His Spirit divine All my being refine, Let the beauty of Jesus be
seen in me."
A. Christians must conduct themselves so that others will see Christ
living in them: Gal. 2.20
B. Like Paul, we need to imitate Christ in all His wonderful passion and
purity: 1 Cor. 11.1
C. The means by which we do this is to let His Spirit divine dwell in us
and through the influence of His word help us to direct our lives so as
to please the Lord: Eph. 5.18, Col. 3.16
II. Stanza 2
"When your burden is heavy and hard to bear, When your neighbors refuse
all your load to share,
When you're feeling so blue, Don't know just what to do, Let the beauty
of Jesus be seen in you."
A. There are times when our burden, or the cross that we must carry, is
heavy and hard to bear: Ps. 55.22, Matt. 16.24
B. While there is some of our load that we must bear ourselves, there
may be times when others who could help us will refuse to obey Paul's
injunction to bear one another's burdens: Rom. 15.1, Gal. 6.2-5
C. As a result, there will be those occasions when we feel blue or sad,
but it will help us to let His beauty be seen in us by placing our hope
securely in the Lord: Ps. 42.5
III. Stanza 3
"When somebody has been so unkind to you, Some word spoken that pierces
you through and through,
Think how He was beguiled, Spat upon and reviled; Let the beauty of Jesus
be seen in you."
A. There may be times when people are unkind to us: Matt. 18.15
B. There may also be times when people speak piercing words to us: Matt.
C. When those times come, it will help us to let His beauty be seen in
us by remembering how He was beguiled. Some have objected to this stanza
because one definition of "beguile" is "to mislead by guile, deceive,"
and they say that Jesus was not deceived. However, another definition is
"to deprive by deceit, cheat," and Jesus was certainly cheated out of His
rightful judgment by men who deceived others with their lies, yet he
opened not His mouth to lash out in anger when He was spat upon and
reviled: Isa. 53.7-8, Matt. 27.30-44
IV. Stanza 4
"From the dawn of the morning to close of day, In example, in deeds, and
in all you say,
Lay your gifts at His feet, Ever strive to keep sweet, Let the beauty of
Jesus be seen in you."
A. We must let the beauty of Jesus be seen every day from morning until
evening, because Christianity involved bearing our cross daily: Lk. 9.23
B. We let His beauty be seen in us by our example in both deed and word:
1 Tim. 4.12
C. It will help us to keep sweet if we lay our gifts at His feet,
symbolizing our complete submission to Him and His will, as did Mary: Jn.
CONCL.: Someone, who was not fond of the "southern gospel style
hymns" characteristic of the Stamps-Baxter Co., once told me that this
was the only Stamps-Baxter song that he liked, and immediately added his
opinion that it probably did not originate with them but was just
borrowed and arranged. I really do not know very much about the origin
of the song or those who are responsible for it. But it has become a
well loved and much used hymn to remind us that in our daily lives we
should always strive to "Let The Beauty of Jesus Be Seen."
Wayne S. Walker
9024 Amona Dr.
Affton, MO 63123
home phone: (314) 638-4710
office phone: (314) 544-1612
e-mail: wswalker310 at juno.com
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