Sweet Music Which Reaches The Depth of One’s Soul
When you hear the music of “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus”, you hear cheerfulness akin to the Christmas favorite “Away In A Manger”, which is one of the hundreds of songs composed by William J. Kirkpatrick. He has made a memorable melody that brings out the message penned by Louisa M.R. Stead of full trust and surrender to Jesus’ care.
The lyrics are more enchanting because Louisa M.R. Stead wrote it a mere two years after her personal tragedy. She and her husband and child were on a picnic by the water one fine day. The family heard a young boy scream for help, so Louisa’s husband swam to save the boy. That fateful day, Louisa witnessed both her husband and the young boy drown. In the following weeks, she and her daughter faced poverty. But faithfulness sustained them both, as Stead was able to create “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” in 1882 and impart hope and joy to all who hear and sing it. These lines she wrote expresses her abundant faith in the face of tragedy, “Oh how sweet to trust in Jesus. Just to trust His cleansing blood. Just in simple faith to plunge me ‘neath the healing, cleansing flood.” The hymn became part of Stead’s “Songs of Triumph”.
From the U.S.A., Stead and her daughter became missionaries and they moved to South Africa to spread the good word of Jesus. Kirkpatrick seriously studied music and apart from singing, he played the fife, cello, organ, flute, and violin. He dedicated himself to serving his church and taught at Sunday school. Kirkpatrick dedicated his time creating music which he wished could save souls. He was keen about composing sacred music since 1859, especially the songs that would make family and children’s celebrations such as Easter and Christmas extra special. “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” has become one of the most popular hymns through the decades: there exist translations of the hymn in German (translated by C.A. Daniel) and in Russian (translated by D.A. Jasko)