Tag Archives: Watson

A Cold-Hearted Old Long Syne? Heaven Forbid, My Heart Is His!

In 1788 Robert Burns wrote the Scottish poem, Auld Lang Syne. The most direct translation is “old long since,” but the idiom has a better meaning in “long, long ago,” or “days gone by,” or simply, “old times.”

Auld Lang Syne was certainly not a phrase that was original to Burns though. In fact, James Watson had printed a poem in 1711 called Old Long Syne. Both had based their ideas on what Burns called, “an old song, of the olden times” which he had “taken down from an old man.”

Watson’s poem opens:

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished, and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold, that loving breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect, on old long syne.

On old long syne my Jo [“Jo” means “dear”], on old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect, on old long syne.

While Burns’ Auld Lang Syne concentrates on better memories, Watson’s poem bemoans a love whose heart has grown so cold and love so extinguished that she can’t reflect on the long ago.

For God’s children, there would be nothing worse. God forbid that our hearts could grow so cold that we can’t, or won’t, remember! We gather every Sunday to sing the old story. We gather to remember Jesus’ sacrifice at the Lord’s Supper. We give our hearts completely. Why? Because our old, long since is alive and well, and our hearts are warm and loving.

As we begin our theme, at Clover, for 2017, “Pursuing the heart of God in all things,” we will consider what we love about our salvation. It is time for a check-up. How is your heart? Jesus is our spiritual cardiologist, and the prescription is God’s Word.

A New Year is a great time to start again. Begin a daily Bible reading; make a commitment to come to church; pursue God’s heart in all things. 

Remember the “old, long since,” is alive today!