Wayne S. Walker

“Come unto Me…and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11.28-29).
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.23).

INTRO.: A song which urges people to come to the Savior that they
might find rest for their souls because they have sinned and come short
of the glory of God is “Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing” (#301 in “Hymns
for Worship Revised,” and #622 in “Sacred Selections for the Church”).
The text was written by Mrs. Jessie H. Brown Pounds (1861-1921). Many of
her hymns are in our books, including “The Way of the Cross Leads Home”
and “Anywhere With Jesus.” The tune was composed by James Henry Fillmore
(1849-1936). Many of his melodies are in our books, including “Purer in
Heart, O God” and “I Am Resolved.” Mrs. Pounds and Mr. Fillmore
collaborated on a number of songs, such as “Will You Not Tell It Today”
and “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.”

“Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing” was copyrighted in 1887 and may
have been first published that year in Part III of Fillmore’s “New
Christian Hymn and Tune Book.” However, one source gives the first
publication date of 1897. It may have been copyrighted in 1887 but not
published until 1897, or the 1897 date may be a typographical error. The
song was used in the 1921 “Great Songs of the Church” No. 1 edited by E.
L. Jorgenson, but omitted from the 1948 No. 2 and the 1986 “Great Songs
Revised.” It was found in both the 1948 “Christian Hymns No. 2” and the
1966 “Christian Hymns No. 3” both edited by L. O. Sanderson for The
Gospel Advocate Co., and in the 1963 “Abiding Hymns” edited by Robert C.
Welch. Today it is included in the 1971 “Songs of the Church” and the
1990 “Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed.” both edited by Alton H. Howard,
and the 1992 “Praise for the Lord” edited by John P. Wiegand, as well as
“Sacred Selections” and “Hymns for Worship.”

This has been a rather well known and much used invitation song.

I. Stanza 1 points out the need
“Soul, a Savior thou art needing! Soul, a Savior waits for thee!
Hear His words of tender pleading, Hear His gracious ‘Come to Me.'”
A. Each soul needs a Savior because of sin: Rom. 6.23, 1 Jn. 1.7
B. A Savior has been sent and waits for us: Mt. 1.21, 1 Tim. 1.15
C. This Savior wants us to come to Him: Matt. 16.24, Jn. 6.44-45

II. Stanza 2 points out the provision
“He hath died for thy transgression, If thou wilt, thou canst be free;
Soul, He waits for thy confession, ‘Savior, I will go to Thee.”
A. The provision God made for our salvation is that Jesus died for our
sins: Rom. 5.8, 1 Cor. 15.3
B. As a result of His sacrifice, we can be free from sin: Jn. 8.32, Rom.
C. However, we must determine to confess Him as Savior and Lord that we
might go to Him: Matt. 10.32-33, Rom. 10.9-10

III. Stanza 3 points out the urgency
“Do not linger till the morrow, Let thy loving answer be,
‘Savior, in my joy or sorrow, I will ever go to Thee.'”
A. The sinner should remember that today is the day of salvation and not
linger until the morrow because we have no promise of tomorrow: 2 Cor.
6.2, Jas. 4.14
B. Rather, those in sin need to make their choice and give their answer
as quickly as possible while they have time: Josh. 24.15, Heb. 3.15
C. The way that lost sinners give their answer to go to the Savior is by
hearing and obeying His word: Mk. 16.15-16, Acts 2.36-38

CONCL.: The chorus emphasizes the call of Jesus to come to Him.
“He is calling, softly calling, On thine ear His voice is falling;
He is calling, softly calling, ‘Come to Me and be at rest.'”
The ultimate purpose of the gospel message, whether delivered in a
sermon, a home study, or an invitation song, is to let the sinner know,
“Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing.”

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