Hymn Study: Whiter than Snow


I have to admit that I not had a chance to sing this hymn very often. I know the chorus fairly well, but I need to follow the hymnbook for the verses. Needless to say though, it's a rather nice hymn that reminds us of how we look to the Lord when we are his own.

Whiter than Snow was written by James Nicholson who lived c. 1828-1876.  He was born in Ireland and came over when he was around 25 years old.

 James Nicholson spent much of life as a clerk in the post office in Philadelphia. He was always active in the work of the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The hymn was first published in a pamphlet titled "Joyful Songs" in 1872. The hymn's popularity greatly increased with its inclusion in the well-known Gospel Hymns series published by Sankey and Bliss. (source)    

He spent about 20 years in Philadelphia, eventually moving in c.1871 to work in the post office in Washington, DC.


This hymn is based on Ps51:7 – “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”


Lyrics:
  1. Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
    I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
    Break down every idol, cast out every foe—
    Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    • Refrain:
      Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
      Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    •  
  2. Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
    Apply Thine own blood and extract every stain;
    To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
    Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  3. Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
    And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
    I give up myself, and whatever I know—
    Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  4. Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
    I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet,
    By faith for my cleansing, I see thy blood flow—
    Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  5. Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait;
    Come now and within me a new heart create;
    To those who have sought Thee Thou never said’st “No”—
    Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  6. The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
    Oh, glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
    My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
    The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.


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2 comments

  1. OOoh - I really do like that one. I have never heard it but I think I will be intentionally learning a new hymn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good, glad you liked it. :)

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