The author of this hymn, Thomas Kelly (1769-1855) was one of Ireland's finest preachers. He was an enthusiastic evangelist, gifted poet and musician, and a generous and gracious man. Kelly wrote nearly 800 hymns in a period of 51 years. “Praise the Saviour, Ye Who Know Him” (published in 1806) is probably not well-known since it has not appeared in many hymnals.
Hymnologists say that Kelly’s best hymns were those of praise, and this hymn reflects those qualities. The Lord wants those who know the Saviour to praise Him. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; (Psalm 107:1-2).
Believers are encouraged to gladly give Him all they are and have. Then there is a reminder that no harm can come to those who trust the Saviour because He is faithful and never changes. The believer should also remain faithful to Him until he reaches his eternal reward. At the end of the journey, “we will be where we would be,” in heaven with God, and “we will be what we should be.”
Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
This short hymn, with its simple German tune and Kelly’s interesting rhyming, is quite easy to sing and remember. Once learned, it can occupy our hearts and minds as a simple reminder of praise, consecration, and eternity. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
Praise the Saviour, ye who know him,
Who can tell how much we owe him?
Gladly let us render to him,
All we are and have.
Jesus is the name that charms us,
That for conflict fits and arms us;
Nothing moves, and nothing harms us,
When we trust in him.
Trust in him, ye saints, for ever,
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those he loves from him.
Keep us, Lord, O keep us cleaving
To thyself, and still believing,
Till the time of our receiving
Promised joy in heav’n.
Then we shall be where we would be,
Then we shall be what we should be;
That which is not now, nor could be,
Will then be our own.