Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face

Full Text

1 Here, O our Lord, we see you face to face.
Here would we touch and handle things unseen,
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
and all our weariness upon you lean.

2 Here would we feed upon the bread of God,
here drink with you the royal cup of heaven;
here would we lay aside each earthly load,
and taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

3 This is the hour of banquet and of song;
this is the heavenly table for us spread.
Here let us feast and, feasting, still prolong
the fellowship of living wine and bread.

4 Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear.
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone;
the bread and wine remove, but you are here,
nearer than ever, still our shield and sun.

5 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,
giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
the Lamb's great bridal feast of bliss and love.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #517

Author: Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >


Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face. H. Bonar. [Holy Communion.] Dr. H. Bonar's elder brother, Dr. John James Bonar, St. Andrew's Free Church, Greenock, is wont after each Communion, to print a memorandum of the various services, and a suitable hymn. After the Communion on the first Sunday of October, 1855, he asked his brother, Dr. H. Bonar, to furnish a hymn, and in a day or two received this hymn (possibly composed before), and it was then printed, with the memorandum, for the first time. It was published in Hymns of Faith and Hope, first series, 1857, in 10 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "This do in remembrance of me." In addition to being in extensive use in its original, or in an abridged but unaltered form, it is also given as:—
1. Here would I, Lord, behold Thee face to face, in Psalms & Hymns, Bedford, 1859, he.
2. Here, Lord, by faith I see Thee face to face, in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, &c.
3. Here, 0 my Lord, I humbly seek Thy face, in T. Darling's Hymns, &c, 1887.
4. And now we rise, the symbols disappear. Composed of stanzas v. and x. in the American Baptist Service of Song, Boston, 1871.
5. I have no help but Thine, nor do I need, in the Leeds Sunday School Hymn Book edition 1858.
In literary merit, earnestness, pathos, and popularity, this hymn ranks with the best of Dr. Bonar's compositions. [Rev. John Brownlie]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



LANGRAN (also known as ST. AGNES) was composed by James Langran (b. London, England, 1835; d. London, 1909) and first published by Novello in a pamplet in 1861 as a setting for the hymn text "Abide with Me." Several other texts have also been set to the tune, which is one of Langran's best. Sing it…

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MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte's "Abide with Me" (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins's Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal tow…

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