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I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Composer William C. Witherup
Text Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Two-part, flute, oboe (or 2 C inst.), organ
Topics Assurance, Comfort and Encouragement, Eternal Life, Light, Salvation
Matthew 11:28, John 4:14, 6:35, 8:12, 9:5
Length 2' 00" Price $1.95 (U.S.) Released 5/06
Catalog no. 420-451 Difficulty Moderately easy

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The accompaniment for this anthem features both (non-optional) flute and oboe in addition to the organ. Based on the glorious THIRD TUNE of Thomas Tallis, Witherup's anthem strikes an inward, mystical tone throughout, never rising above a mezzo-piano dynamic. The flute and oboe play together in the interludes and final verse, and each instrument separately provides the accompanying color for one of the first two verses. A beautiful anthem suitable for quiet occasions throughout the church year. When instruments are available, it would be especially effective at a funeral with its closing words of "and in that light of life I’ll walk till traveling days are done."

Anthem text
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto to me and rest;
lay down O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast."

I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down, and drink, and live."

I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your day be bright."

I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him, my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk
till trav'ling days are done.

--Horatius Bonar, 1846

Download a review copy of this anthem
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