“Mean” in Verse 2 carries not only the sense of “cruel”, but also terms such as “underhanded”, “nasty”, “malicious”, “selfish”, and “petty”.
Sometime between 1892, when the first hymnal I posted from was published and 1894, when this hymnal came out, the spelling of “Saviour” (in the British manner) had at least begun to give way to “Savior” (the current American spelling). Since I do not own any other hymnals from this time period, I do not know if the change was universal or if it varied from one publication to another. I prefer “Saviour” myself as it seems, somehow, more complete. Perhaps that stems from my childhood, when all preaching (at least in the churches I attended) was from the King James version of the Bible.
Jesus, make us pure and spotless,
White without and white within;
Thou canst see beneath the surface,
Bring to light the inmost sin.
Ever true, ever pure;
This our watchword still shall be;
Ever true, ever pure,
Even, Jesus, like to Thee.
Far from us be all deception–
Ev’ry word and action mean;
Make the spirit right within us,
Touch the heart and make it clean.
Oh, the tenderness and sorrow
Blended in a Savior’s love;
Reaching thro’ all sin to gather
To the sheltered home above.
Maggie W. Snodgrass/T. Martin Towne