How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Mp3 | Leadsheet

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer’s ear!

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away his fear.

.

It makes the wounded spirit whole

And calms the troubled breast;

’Tis manna to the hungry soul

And to the weary, rest.

.

Chorus

Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,

My Prophet, Priest and King,

My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,

Accept the praise I bring.

.

Dear name! the rock on which I build,

My shield and hiding place,

My never-failing treas’ry, filled

With boundless stores of grace.

.

Weak is the effort of my heart

And cold my warmest thought;

But when I see you as you are,

I’ll praise you as I ought.


text: John Newton
music: Alexander, R. Reinagle, 1836 (ST. PETER C.M.)
arr. Bruce Benedict, 2007
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4 thoughts on “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

  1. Nice addition, Bruce. I’d always liked the melody of this one, but thought it was a little too short/repetitive for 5 verses. Your chorus rounds out the song nicely. I’ve also used this melody with a psalter setting of Ps 121, and the fit works quite well.

    1. I to the hills will lift my eyes;
    O whence shall come my aid?
    My help is from the Lord alone,
    Who Heav’n and earth has made.
    2 He will not let thy foot be moved,
    Thy Guardian never sleeps;
    With watchful and unslumbering care,
    His own He safely keeps.
    3 Thy faithful Keeper is the Lord,
    Thy Shelter and thy Shade;
    ’Neath sun or moon, by day or night,
    Thou shalt not be afraid.
    4 From evil He will keep thee safe,
    For thee He will provide;
    Thy going out, thy coming in,
    Forever He will guide.

    Look forward to hearing more from your study in the Psalms of Ascent.

  2. H-m-m… Not sure your version really improves on an already superb hymn. I especially wonder about the hop-skippy 6/8 rhythm. The 4/4 time of St. Peter (the tune name) has a smoothness and gentle flow that better reflects the “soothing” intent of the lyrics.

    Did you know that Newton (whose birthday is today, by the way) originally used the line “Jesus! My Shepherd, Husband, Friend”? Most editors today substitute the word “Brother” for Husband. To find out why Newton chose the latter, check out my blog.

    • thanks robert! good thoughts all. Although i find 6/8 carries a more thoughtful and meditative feeling than 4/4. I worked in London last year and had the opportunity to do some newton following. my blog ‘cardiphonia’ is from is published collection of his letters.

  3. Pingback: Hymns of John Newton « Cardiphonia

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