By: A.C. Bridges (Originally printed in the September 1986 ARP Magazine.)
Our Bible Song of the Month is entitled “As Pants the Hart,” and is found as No. 88 in Bible Songs. It is a metrical version of Psalm 42:1-5. The chorus is a metrical version of Psalm 142:5.
The Psalmist cries out to God because his soul is athirst for God. His enemies bother him constantly with the question, “Where is your God?” But as he cries out to God he knows that there is hope and the conviction of coming deliverance.
The tune is entitled “Saved By Grace” because this is the gospel hymn for which the tune was written. Fanny J. Crosby wrote that hymn, and it was sung at her funeral. George Coles Stebbins wrote the tune.
Stebbins (1846-1945) was a prolific composer of gospel song tunes. He was acquainted with the leading gospel musicians of his day and held positions as a choir director. The well-known evangelist Dwight L. Moody persuaded him to enter evangelistic work and for 25 years he was associated with Moody and other leading evangelists.
(This Psalm can be found in The ARP Psalter 42A or #168 as well as in the Trinity Hymnal #661.)