Scripture Verse

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. Hosea 11:4

Introduction

Words: James G. Small, The Re­vi­val Hymn Book, se­cond ser­ies, 1863.

Music: Con­stance (Sul­li­van) Ar­thur S. Sul­li­van, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Small (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
Arthur S. Sullivan
(1842–1900)

Anecdotes

On one oc­ca­sion when Mr. Moore­house and I were hold­ing mee­tings at Scar­boro, in the north of Eng­land, the ser­vic­es were at­tend­ed by a num­ber of Quak­er lad­ies, among them a cousin of John Bright, the great Eng­lish states­man.

Wishing to have this hymn sung at one of the meet­ings, this la­dy wrote out the fol­low­ing hymn re­quest: Will Mr. San­key please re­peat the hymn ‘I’ve Found a Friend,’ in his us­u­al way? In thus word­ing her note she avoid­ed ask­ing me to sing, which is against the cus­tom of the So­ci­ety of Friends.


We were hold­ing a cot­tage pray­er-meet­ing in a lodg­ing house, says a min­is­ter of Not­ting­ham­shire, Eng­land, when a young man lodg­ing there came in to the meet­ing in fun-seek­ing man­ner.

We sang, prayed and read a chap­ter out of God’s Word, and then the young man asked if we would sing a hymn for him. He chose ‘I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend.’ When we had sung one verse he began to shed tears, and I am glad to say that he gave his heart to God through the sing­ing of that beau­ti­ful hymn.

The next morn­ing, he left the place, but be­fore leav­ing he wrote me a let­ter, of which I give these ex­tracts: I asked you sing that hymn be­cause it was a fa­vo­rite of my dar­ling sis­ter, who is wait­ing for me at the gates in hea­ven. I have now pro­mised to meet her there.

By God’s help, if we do not meet again on earth, I pro­mise to meet you in hea­ven. You will al­ways think of me when you sing, I’ve Found a Friend. Show this let­ter to my two oth­er friends.

Sankey, pp. 170–71

Lyrics

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
Forever and forever.

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
He bled, He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self He gave me!
Naught that I have mine own I call,
I’ll hold it for the giver,
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His forever.

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
All power to Him is given,
To guard me on my onward course,
And bring me safe to Heaven.
The eternal glories gleam afar,
To nerve my faint endeavor;
So now to watch, to work, to war,
And then to rest forever.

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
So kind and true and tender,
So wise a counselor and guide,
So mighty a defender!
From Him who loves me now so well
What power my soul can sever?
Shall life or death, shall earth or hell?
No! I am His forever.