We know very little about either the author or the composer of this beautiful hymn. We do know that Frank Davis was a composer who lived in Indiana and wrote this melody while in Burr Oak, Michigan. Mary Kidder (1820-1905) was blinded as a teenager, but fortunately for hymn lovers, had her sight restored after a few years. She belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and lived 46 years in New York City. I trust you will be blessed by the truth and simplicity of this old hymn entitled, “Is My Name Written There”:
Lord, I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold;
I would make sure of Heaven, I would enter the fold.
In the book of Thy kingdom, with its pages so fair,
Tell me, Jesus, my Savior, is my name written there?
Is my name written there,
On the page white and fair?
In the book of Thy kingdom,
Is my name written there?
Lord, my sins they are many, like the sands of the sea,
But Thy blood, O my Savior, is sufficient for me;
For Thy promise is written, in bright letters that glow,
“Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them like snow.”
Oh! that beautiful city, with its mansions of light,
With its glorified beings, in pure garments of white;
Where no evil thing cometh to despoil what is fair;
Where the angels are watching, yes, my name’s written there.
Yes, my name’s written there,
On the page white and fair!
In the book of Thy kingdom,
Yes, my name’s written there.
The author asks a significant question, “Is my name written there?” – meaning is it recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, in heaven. The Book of Life is mentioned a number of times in the Scriptures. Paul speaks of “fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life” (Philippians 4:3). That it lists those who qualify to enter into the heavenly kingdom is made clear by the warning in Revelation: “Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:15). And, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). For Mrs. Kidder, as for each of us also, the question of whether our names will be there is a crucially important one. She says, “Lord, I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold; I would make sure of heaven, I would enter the fold”
So, how does one do that? To be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life requires being rightly related to the Lamb! It will mean we have personally claimed Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the one and only payment for our sins. As stanza two puts it: Lord, my sins they are many, like the sands of the sea, But Thy blood, O my Saviour, is sufficient for me. If you’re a child of the King nothing is able to snatch you from the hands of the Lord (John 10:28-29). Nothing is able to separate the child of God from the love of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Thus, on the basis of God’s promises, those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior can say, as May Kidder din in stanza three, “Yes, my name’s written there”? The question you must ask would be:
(1) Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
Faith is not just believing that Jesus Christ can save; it’s asking Him to do it.