[Image, "Jesus Love," from Lost Seed]
I was reading one of my favorite blogs, An Apostate's Chapel, yesterday and came across the following, which is part of a longer article describing the kind of weird sexuality expressed in many of the old fundamentalist hymns.
The article references Fanny Crosby, for example, a 19th century hymnist,, who wrote innumerable love songs to Jesus, one of which contained these lines:
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o-ershadowed,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.
And then there's Charles Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who penned this kind of stuff:
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly.
But this song really brought back memories, for I recall singing this many times in my youth, never thinking about how truly sick the lyrics were. It was written by C. Austin Miles, also in the 19th century (Could it be the 19th century was sexually repressive?):
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and he talks with me,
And he tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
Yikes! An Apostate's Chapel reponds:
"How romantic! A garden, evening dew, walking and talking together, enjoying an exclusive relationship - and a prefiguring of Burt Bacharach:
"Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you."
If you came out of an "evangelical/fundamentalist" background, you will no doubt appreciate this more than one without that background...
And you can read the entire article here.