I would like to share with you today another old hymn written by Johnson Oatman, Jr., the son of Johnson and Rachel Ann Oatman. He was born near Medford, New Jersey on April 21, 1856. His father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sing the songs of the church. Mr. Oatman received his education at Herbert’s Academy, Princetown, New Jersey, and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute, of Bordentown, New Jersey.
At the age of nineteen he joined the M.E. Church, and a few years later was granted a license to preach the Gospel, and still later he was regularly ordained by Bishop Merrill. However, Mr. Oatman only serves as a local preacher. For many years he was engaged with his father in the mercantile business at Lumberton. His influence on the church across denominations was great because he authored over 5,000 hymns.
He worked as a businessman most of his life, primarily in the insurance business. Although he never influenced the world as a pastorate of a church, his hymns have influenced many generations by their powerful, yet simple, messages. Songs like “No Not One” and “Count Your Blessings” contain great spiritual truth, but are also simple enough that a mere child can understand and relate to them. I trust the message to this great old hymn “Jesus Took My Burden” will touch and bless your heart. Enjoy my brethren!
When I a poor lost sinner before the Lord did fall
And in the name of Jesus for pardon loud did call
He heard my supplication and soon the weak was strong
For Jesus took my burden and left with me a song
Yes Jesus took my burden I could no longer bear
Yes Jesus took my burden in answer to my prayer
My anxious fears subsided my spirit was made strong
For Jesus took my burden and left me with a song
Oft-times the way is dreary and rugged seems the road
Oft-times I’m weak and weary when bent beneath some load
But when I cry in weakness how long O Lord how long
Jesus takes the burden and leaves me with a song
When I was crushed with sorrow I bowed in deep despair
My load of grief and heartache seemed more than I could bear
‘Twas then I heard a whisper you to the Lord belong
Then Jesus took my burden and left me with a song
I’ll trust Him for the future He knoweth all the way
For with His eye He’ll guide me along life’s pilgrim way
And I will tell in heaven while ages roll along
How Jesus took my burden and left me with a son
Sir George Adam Smith an Old Testament scholar said that when he visited the Holy Land he came upon a shepherd and his sheep standing before a stockade. There was no door in that protective enclosure, only an opening the width of a man’s body. Smith asked the shepherd why there was no door, and he explained, “I am the way in. I stand in the opening, and the sheep pass under me into the stockade. When they are all safely inside, I lie down across that opening. No thief can get in and no sheep can get out except over my body. I am the entrance.”
My friend, we are like sheep who need a Shepherd (1 Peter 2:25). For entrance into heaven, a place of eternal bliss, Jesus Christ gave this amazing claim, “I am the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10:7-9). The people listening to Jesus that day didn’t think of a wooden gate swinging on hinges. They understood that He was really saying, “I am the entrance into the homeland of God.” He could claim to be the way into that eternal blessedness, the exclusive way into God’s glory, because He is the incarnate Son of God. Thus, it is written that Jesus Christ is the only way into heaven (John 14:6). We gain entrance only by putting our faith and trust in Him, our Savior and Redeemer.
Come to the Savior, make no delay.
Here in His Word He’s shown us the way;
Here in our midst He’s standing today,
Tenderly saying, “Come!”
When your world seems to be falling apart, look to Jesus who holds everything together.