I Cannot Tell

Today’s hymn is written by Rv William Young Fullerton who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1857. He was raised Presbyterian, but became a Baptist preacher, administrator, and writer. When a young man he was influenced by the preaching of Charles Spurgeon, who became his friend and mentor. He became pastor of the Melbourne Hall Baptist Church. Thousands of people came to Christ under his ministry. Fullerton served as President of the Baptist Union and Home Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society. He published works, including biographies of John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, James William Condell Fegan, and Frederick Brotherton Meyer, as well as compiling several hymnals1.

I cannot tell why he,
whom angels worship,
should set his love
upon the sons of men,
or why, as Shepherd,
he should seek the wanderers,
to bring them back,
they know not how or when.
But this I know,
that he was born of Mary,
when Bethlehem’s manger
was his only home,
and that he lived
at Nazareth and laboured,
and so the Saviour,
Saviour of the world, is come.

I cannot tell
how silently he suffered,
as with his peace
he graced this place of tears,
or how his heart
upon the cross was broken,
the crown of pain
to three and thirty years.
But this I know,
he heals the broken-hearted,
and stays our sin,
and calms our lurking fear,
and lifts the burden
from the heavy laden,
for yet the Saviour,
Saviour of the world, is here.

I cannot tell
how all the lands shall worship,
when, at his bidding,
every storm is stilled,
or who can say
how great the jubilation
when all the hearts of men
with love are filled.
But this I know,
the skies will thrill with rapture,
and myriad, myriad
human voices sing,
and Earth to Heaven,
and Heaven to Earth, will answer:
Jesus the Saviour,
Saviour of the world, is King!


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