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WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

I want to close this message by singing a great hymn of prayer and faith. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." This hymn was written by Joseph Scriven who lived from 1819 to 1886.

Joseph Scriven had wealth, education, a devoted family, and a pleasant life in his native Ireland. Then unexpected tragedy entered. On the night before Scriven’s scheduled wedding, his fiancée drowned. In his deep sorrow, Joseph realized that he could find the solace and support he needed only in his dearest friend, Jesus.

Soon after the tragedy Scriven dramatically changed his lifestyle. He left Ireland for Port Hope, Canada, determined to devote all his extra time in being a friend and helper to others. He often gave away his clothing and possessions to those in need, and he worked without pay, for anyone who needed him. Scriven became known as "the Good Samaritan of Port Hope."

When Scriven’s mother became ill in Ireland, he wrote a comforting letter to her, enclosing the words of his newly written poem with the prayer that these brief lines would remind her of a never-failing heavenly Friend. Sometime later, when Joseph Scriven himself was ill, a friend who came to call on him happened to see a copy of these words scribbled on a scratch of paper near his bed. The friend read the lines with interest and asked, "Who wrote those beautiful words?"

"The Lord and I did it between us," was Scriven’s reply.

(From a sermon by Ray Ellis "Wait On the Lord" 1/25/2009)

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