Original Posting At http://wesleyananglican.blogspot.com/2020/02/holiness-hymns.html
I have mentioned it before, but I tend to sing (usually three) songs when I pray the Daily Office. I am currently singing through the Nazarene hymnal, Sing to the Lord, once again. Today, I was in the section on holiness. In fact, among the three that I sang was one of my three favorite hymns, Holiness unto to Lord. (My other two are And Can It Be? by Charles Wesley and The Love of God by Frederick M. Lehman and Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai.)
This hymn holds special meaning for me, not only because of its content, but also because it is sung at every ordination service in the Church of the Nazarene. – It is unfortunate that, with so many churches moving exclusively to more modern songs, the message of this and several other holiness hymns has been lost for those congregations. This is also the case for the theology of other classical Wesley hymns, as well as those that belong to the larger Christian Church. – I am not opposed to contemporary songs. In fact, I like many of them. However, if that is all we are singing, we are probably missing something import.
Holiness unto the Lord was written by Lelia N. Morris in 1900. Mrs. Morris was a Methodist who wrote more than 1,000 gospel songs, including a number of holiness hymns; this being among them.
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain.
But I received a glorious freedom
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.
(Refrain) Glorious freedom! Wonderful freedom!
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus, the glorious Emancipator –
Now and forever He shall be mine.
2. Freedom from all the carnal affections;
Freedom from envy, hatred, and strife;
Freedom from vain and worldly ambitions;
Freedom from all that saddened my life!
3. Freedom from pride and all sinful follies;
Freedom from love and glitter of gold;
Freedom from evil temper and anger;
Glorious freedom, rapture untold!
4. Freedom from fear with all of its torments;
Freedom from care with all of its pain;
Freedom in Christ, my blessed Redeemer –
He who has rent my fetters in twain.