We live by faith, not by sight.@2 Corinthians 5:7
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Ray Palmer (1808–1887)

Ray Palm­er, 1830.

Ol­iv­et (Ma­son) Lo­well Ma­son, 1830 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Lowell Mason (1792–1872)

Pal­mer wrote these lyr­ics up­on re­ceiv­ing a vi­sion of Christ short­ly af­ter his gra­du­a­tion from Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty, while work­ing as a tu­tor at a New York school. How­ev­er, he kept them to him­self un­til meeting Lo­well Ma­son on a street in Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

When Ma­son asked him to write some­thing for a new hym­nal, Palmer dug out his old notes and pro­duced these lyr­ics, writ­ten two years ear­li­er. Af­ter tak­ing the lyr­ics home and read­ing them, Ma­son com­posed this tune. Sev­er­al days la­ter he saw Palm­er again and said, You may live ma­ny years and do ma­ny good things, but I think you will be best known to pos­ter­i­ty as the au­thor of My Faith Looks Up to Thee.

Mrs. Lay­yah Bar­a­kat, a na­tive of Syr­ia, was ed­u­cat­ed in Bei­rut and then taught for a time in Egypt. Dri­ven out in 1882 by the in­sur­rec­tion of Ar­abi Pa­sha, she, with her hus­band and child, came to Amer­i­ca by way of Mal­ta and Mar­seilles.

Her his­to­ry is a strange il­lus­tra­tion of God’s pro­vi­den­tial care, as they were with­out any di­rec­tion or friends in Phil­a­del­phia when they land­ed.

But the Lord took them into His own keep­ing, and brought them to those who had known of her in Syr­ia. While in this coun­try she fre­quent­ly ad­dressed large au­di­enc­es, to whom her deep ear­nest­ness and bro­ken but pi­quant Eng­lish proved un­u­su­al­ly at­trac­tive.

Among oth­er in­ci­dents she re­lat­ed that she had been per­mit­ted to see the con­ver­sion of her whole fam­i­ly, who were Mar­on­ites of Mount Le­ba­non. Her mo­ther, six­ty-two years of age, had been taught ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee’ in Ar­a­bic. They would sit on the house roof and re­peat it to­ge­ther; and when the news came back to Syr­ia that the daugh­ter was safe in Amer­i­ca, the mo­ther could send her no bet­ter proof of her faith and love than in the beau­ti­ful words of this hymn, as­sur­ing her that her faith still looked up to Christ.

Sutherland, pp. 77–79

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Layyah Barakat

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream shall o’er me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!