That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. Mark 1:32–34
Words: Henry Twells, 1868. This hymn was written in a school classroom. A student was busy writing an examination, and was long at it. Twells, the instructor, had to stay until the fellow was done. It was late afternoon, and the sun was beginning to drop below the horizon. As Twells gazed out the window, his thoughts turned to the story of Jesus healing the sick, and in that setting he wrote these words.
Music: Angelus Georg Joseph, Heilige Seelenlust oder Geistliche Hirten-Lieder (Breslau [now Wrocław, Poland]: 1657) (set to the words Du meiner Seelen güldne Ziehr) (🔊 pdf nwc).
If you know where to get a good picture of Joseph (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
At even, ere the sun was set,
The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay;
O, with how many pains they met!
O, with what joy they went away!
Once more ’tis eventide, and we,
Oppressed with various ills, draw near;
What if Thyself we cannot see?
We know that Thou art ever near.
O Savior Christ, our woes dispel;
For some are sick, and some are sad;
And some have never loved Thee well,
And some have lost the love they had.
And some are pressed with worldly care
And some are tried with sinful doubt;
And some such grievous passions tear,
That only Thou canst cast them out.
And some have found the world is vain,
Yet from the world they break not free;
And some have friends who give them pain,
Yet have not sought a friend in Thee.
And none, O Lord, have perfect rest,
For none are wholly free from sin;
And they who fain would serve Thee best
Are conscious most of wrong within.
O Savior Christ, Thou too art man;
Thou has been troubled, tempted, tried;
Thy kind but searching glance can scan
The very wounds that shame would hide.
Thy touch has still its ancient power.
No word from Thee can fruitless fall;
Hear, in this solemn evening hour,
And in Thy mercy heal us all.