Satisfied by Clara Tear Williams (Hymn Story)

Author –Clara Tear Williams, 1858-1937
Composer –Ralph E. Hudson, 1843-1901

“For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9

The author, Clara Tear Williams, has given the following description of the writing of this inspirational testimony hymn:

“About 1875, I was helping in meetings in Troy, Ohio, where Professor R. E. Hudson conducted the singing, when, just before retiring one night, he asked me to write a song for a book he was preparing to publish. Before sleeping, I wrote “Satisfied.” In the morning, he composed the music.”

In his book, Songs That Lift the Heart, George Beverly Shea (See “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” No. 42) gives the following account regarding the author of this hymn:

“My father, the Reverend A. J. Shea, and I were on an afternoon shopping trip for Mother, as I recall. When we came out of a store in Houghton, New York, where we had recently moved from Winchester, Ontario, we met a tall, elderly woman making her way slowly up the street. She was walking in that slow, mincing step older people sometimes do, cautious not to lose balance.

“Dad tipped his hat and said good-day to her as we passed. She stopped and looked up to see who was speaking. Smiling sweetly, she returned his greeting.

“‘Do you know who that was, son?’ he asked me on up the way. I turned and watched as she continued her careful progress. Though a distinguished woman (whom I would now describe as looking a lot like Whistler’s Mother)–I had no idea who she was.

“‘That,’ said Dad, ‘was Mrs. Clara Tear Williams. She writes hymns.’ There was a near reverence in his voice, and though I was only eight years old, I was duly impressed. Already, I was fascinated by music and anyone who was involved in it. . ..

“When Dad and I got home that afternoon, I told Mother about meeting Mrs. Williams, the hymnwriter. She smiled knowingly and nodded her head. Then she went to the piano bench and found a hymnal that contained one of Clara Tear Williams’ compositions.

“She explained that Mrs.Williams–aWesleyan Methodist like us–had written the words, but that the music had been written by Ralph E. Hudson, an Ohio publisher who also was an evangelistic singer.

“A few years later, when I was in my teens and began to sing solos, I memorized the hymn that Mother played that day and sang it. It was entitled “Satisfied.”

The composer of this hymn, Ralph E. Hudson, was born on July 9, 1843, in Napoleon, Ohio. Following his discharge from the Union Army and the Civil War in 1864, he taught music at Mount Vernon College, Alliance, Ohio, for five years. He became licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church and was active in evangelistic work. He was also known as a singer, songwriter, and compiler, establishing his own publishing company at Alliance, Ohio. A strong prohibitionist, Hudson wrote several temperance songs and published The Temperance Songster, in 1886. Several of his hymnal collections include Salvation Echoes (1882), Gems of Gospel Song (1884), Songs of Peace, Love and Joy (1885), and Songs of the Ransomed (1887), all of which were later combined into one volume, titled Quartette.

Other gospel hymns for which Ralph Hudson has supplied music include: “Blessed Be the Name,” “At the Cross,” “A Glorious Church,” and “I’ll Live for Him” (words only).

Clara Tear Williams’ text with Ralph Hudson’s music appeared in the first printing of Gems of Gospel Song (1881), compiled by E. A. Hoffman, J. H. Tenney, and Ralph E. Hudson. It is still widely sung today.

“Three things make us happy and content: the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and the responsive heart.” –Missionary Digest

“Have your heart right with Christ, and He will visit you often, and so turn weekdays into Sundays, meals into sacraments, homes into temples, and earth into heaven. –Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I have tasted heaven’s manna,
And I want no other bread.
In green pastures I am dwelling,
And my hung’ring soul is fed.

“At the living fount of waters,
I have quenched my thirst for aye.
I am living in God’s glory,
And my sins are washed away.”
–Avis B. Christiansen

All my life I had a longing
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.

Refrain

Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.

Refrain

Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

Refrain

Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.

Refrain


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