“Himself” – a hymn by A.B. Simpson

Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843-1919) the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance was a leader of the church during his day. He wrote a beautiful hymn called “Himself” that is absolutely stunning in its clear emphasis upon dependence on Christ. In the sermon that preceded this hymn, Simpson writes…

“(I once thought) that the Lord would take me like the old run-down clock, wind me up, and set me going like a machine. It is not thus at all. I found it was Himself coming in instead and giving me what I needed at the moment. I wanted to have a great stock, so that I could feel rich; a great store laid up for many years, so that I would not be dependent upon Him the next day; but He never gave me such a store.

I never had more holiness or healing at one time than I needed for that hour. He said: “My child, you must come to Me for the next breath because I love you so dearly I want you to come all the time. If I gave you a great supply, you would do without Me and would not come to Me so often; now you have to come to Me every second, and lie on My breast every moment.”

So often we look to Christ as a means to an End. Simpson makes it clear that Christ is the Means and the End for which we seek.


by A.B. Simpson

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.

Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the veil.

Over at Eclectic Christian you can read the sermon that preceded the writing of this hymn. Excellent Stuff! Click Here!

6 thoughts on ““Himself” – a hymn by A.B. Simpson

  1. Thanks for the link. What is interesting is that Simpson’s first pastorate was a Presbyterian church in my home city of Hamilton, Ontario. (Dundas where I live was a seperate town that was amalgamated into Hamilton.)


  2. I knew there was a reason that I liked him so much (I’m a Presbyterian as well). Thanks for you comment – and thank you for the work you are doing on your blog. It’s pretty good stuff. I think we’re both working toward a similar goal. My particular blog is geared toward emphasizing what I believe to be the unifying factor among churches – The Gospel. In our day, it seems that the Gospel is being hi-jacked by almost every wind of doctrine, philosophy and politic. I am especially saddened at how many churches are forsaking the mandate to preach the Gospel, replacing it with political rhetoric and hot button issues. If Gospel believing Churches are to attain a credible level of unity, it should happen around a renewed emphasis on the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. Again, thanks for the shout out and hope to continue hearing from you.



  3. Actually, needed that today. Lately, as business suffers, I find myself asking for insight into the next six numbers to the Texas Lottery — to make it all better. I guess Jesus has another plan and wants me to have more of him and less of stuff.

    Even in the late 1800’s, men dealt with contentment:
    “I wanted to have a great stock, so that I could feel rich; a great store laid up for many years, so that I would not be dependent upon Him the next day; but He never gave me such a store.”

    Thanks, Tim for the posting.


  4. Simpson had more passion about his Christ, than most people writing christian literature combined. There’s a collection of his writings, The Best of A. B. Simpson compiled by Keith Bailey, if you could like to see more of him.


  5. Pingback: Himself 今要主自己 « TREASURE of GRACE 恩典宝藏

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