James Procter, dates unknown
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
This song is the testimonial hymn of an avowed atheist who led others in a vain search for the true meaning of life before finding his answer in Jesus. James Proctor grew up in a Christian home and attended church and Sunday school regularly in Manchester, England. In his teens, however, he began to read extensively the writing of infidels and a group called The Free Thinkers. Gradually his faith in God began to be shaken. Eventually James renounced all interest in Christianity. He joined the Free Thinkers’ Society and soon became its president.
Some time later, James Procter became seriously ill and feared that he would not live. Finally in desperation, he called for a minister of the gospel, who came to Procter’s bedside and led him to a definite conversion. Soon after this, as Procter’s sister sat beside his bed, he asked her to locate in his dresser two verses he had written earlier. Then he dictated to her with great excitement the closing two verses of “In Jesus.” James wanted these lines to be particularly meaningful to his many friends in the Free Thinkers’ Society as they would read his personal testimony.
Procter’s faithful sister took her brother’s poem to the well-known musician and composer, Robert Harkness, while he was assisting R. A. Torrey in an evangelistic campaign at the time in Manchester. Mr. Harkness soon completed the music while traveling to another meeting in London.
Every man has a god—even the atheist—a “no-god.” The tragedy is that man becomes like his god—he grows into the image of what he worships and serves. That’s why we must be “In Jesus.”
I’ve tried in vain a thousand ways my fears to quell, my hopes to raise; but what I need, the Bible says, is ever, only Jesus.
My soul is night, my heart is steel—I cannot see, I cannot feel; for light, for life I must appeal in simple faith to Jesus.
He died, He lives, He reigns, He pleads; there’s love in all His words and deeds; there’s all a guilty sinner needs forever more in Jesus.
Tho’ some should sneer, and some should blame, I’ll go with all my guilt and shame; I’ll go to Him because His name, above all names is Jesus.
For Today: Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 10; 34:6; 94:3; John 17:3
Be prepared to enter into a conversation with someone who is struggling with doubts about the existence of God and a personal faith in Him. In a non-judgmental way, seek to answer these questions from your own experience. Learn and sing this little testimonial song written by a former atheist—
Osbeck, K. W.
- But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
- Why standest thou far off, O Lord, and hidest thee in due time, even in affliction? The wicked with pride doth persecute the poor; let them be taken in the crafts that they have imagined. For the wicked hath made boast of his own heart’s desire, and the covetous blesseth himself, he contemneth the Lord. The wicked is so proud, that he seeketh not for God: he thinketh always, There is no God. His ways always prosper: thy judgments are high above his sight: therefore defieth he all his enemies. He saith in his heart, I shall never be moved, nor be in danger. His mouth is full of cursing, and deceit, and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and iniquity. He lieth in wait in the villages; in the secret places doth he murder the innocent; his eyes are bent against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly, even as a lion in his den; he lieth in wait to spoil the poor; he doth spoil the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth and boweth; therefore heaps of the poor do fall by his might. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten, he hideth away his face, and will never see. Arise, O Lord God, lift up thine hand; forget not the poor. Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he saith in his heart, Thou wilt not regard. Yet thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and wrong: that thou mayest take it into thine hands; the poor committeth himself unto thee; for thou art the helper of the fatherless. Break thou the arm of the wicked and malicious; search his wickedness, and thou shalt find none. The Lord is King forever and ever; the heathen are deestroyed forth of his land. Lord, thou hast hard the desire of the poor; thou preparest their heart; thou bendest thine ear to them, To judge the fatherless and poor, that earthly man cause ot fear no more. Psalm 10
- This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:6
- Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? Psalm 94:3
- And this is life eternal, that they know thee to be the only very God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ. John 17:3
***Unable to locate the above-referenced song. While there are similar, they lack correct title and lyrics.***