Archive for the ‘The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904)’ Category

Behold a Sower!   1 comment

Above:  Landscape with the Parable of the Sower, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1897) by Washington Gladden (1836-1918)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States


Behold a Sower!  from afar

He goeth forth with might;

The rolling years his furrows are,

His seed the growing light;

For all the just his word is sown,

It springeth up alway;

The tender blade is hope’s dawn,

The harvest, love’s new day.


O Lord of life, to thee we lift

Our hearts in praise for those,

Thy prophets, who have shown thy gift

Of grace that ever grows,

Of truth that spreads from shore to shore,

Of wisdom’s widening ray,

Of light that shineth more and more

Unto thy perfect day.


Shine forth, O Light, that we may see,

With hearts all unafraid,

The meaning and the mystery

Of things that thou hast made:

Shine forth, and let the darkling past

Beneath thy beam grow bright;

Shine forth, and touch the future vast

With thine untroubled light.


Light up thy Word; the fettered page

From killing bondage free;

Light up our way; lead forth this age

In love’s large liberty!

O Light of light!  within us dwell,

Through us thy radiance pour,

That word and life thy truths may tell,

And praise thee evermore.


Abide in Me, O Lord, and I in Thee!   1 comment

Above:  St. Julian’s Episcopal Church, Douglasville, Georgia, August 27, 2017

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States

Words (1855) by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1812-1896)


Abide in me, O Lord, and I in thee!

From this good hour, O leave me never more!

Then shall the discord cease, the wound be healed,

The life-long bleeding of the soul be o’er.


Abide in me; o’ershadow by thy love

Each half-formed purpose, and dark thought of sin;

Quench, ere it rise, each selfish, low desire,

And keep my soul as thine, calm and divine.


Abide in me; there have been moments blest

When I have heard thy voice and felt thy power,

Then evil lost its grasp, and passion hushed

Owned the divine enchantment of the hour.


These were but seasons, beautiful and rare;

Abide in me and they shall ever be;

Fulfil at once thy precept, and my prayer,–

Come, and abide in me, and I in thee.


O Lord of Life, Once Laid in Joseph’s Tomb   2 comments

Descent from the Cross

Above:  Descent from the Cross

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States

Text (1893) by Theodore Claudius Pease (1853-1893)


O Lord of life, once laid in Joseph’s tomb,

Around Thy grave the garden bursts in bloom,

Thy glory breaks the world’s long night of gloom.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


Thou for us all didst hang upon the tree;

The burden of our sins was borne by Thee;

Thy stripes have healed, Thy sorrows set us free.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


Now all is o’er,–Thy toil, Thy grief, Thy pain;

The veil of death by Thee is rent in twain;

Thine earthly loss is our eternal gain.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


Henceforth, through hours of ease and days of care,

Help us with Thee our daily cross to bear,

Strong in Thy strength, and brave Thy cup to share.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


When through dark vales our lonely pathway lies,

Though hearts may faint, and tears may dim our eyes,

Thy light shall guide our footsteps to the skies.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


And when, at last, our work on earth is o’er,

Lead us where Thou hast trod the path before,

Through death to life with Thee forevermore!

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Dear Lord, Who Once Upon the Lake of Stormy Galilee   1 comment


Above:  Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, by Ludolf Bakhuizen

Image in the Public Domain

Text (1890) by Theodore Claudius Pease (1853-1893)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States


Dear Lord, who once upon the lake

Of stormy Galilee,

Didst from Thy weary pillow wake

To hush the wind and sea,–


Come at our prayer, and speak Thy peace

Within each troubled breast;

Bid the loud winds of passion cease,

And waves of wild unrest:


Let that deep calm our bosoms fill,

That dwells for aye with those

Who lose their wishes in Thy will,

And in Thy love repose.

How Blest Thy First Disciples, Lord   1 comment

allsts - 1 (38)

Above:  All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Georgia, May 8, 2016

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Text (1890) by Theodore Claudius Pease (1853-1893)

Source #1 = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States

Source #2 = The Christian Ministry:  Its Present Claim and Attraction and Other Writings (1894)

The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904) contains five of the seven stanzas; The Christian Ministry (1894) offers the complete text.


How blest Thy first disciples, Lord,

Whom Thou didst choose to walk with thee,

Who daily met around Thy board,

And made Thy home and family!


How blest, when throng and press were gone,

And weary day herself had fled,

From all the noisy world withdrawn,

Alone with Thee to break the bread!


Has the long day its burden brought?

Are heavy hearts in sorrow bound?

What sweet relief in kindly thought;

What sympathy with Thee is found!


For every care Thou hast an ear;

Thou knowest all their changing moods:

What stirs the timid Philip’s fears,–

Why thoughtful Thomas sadly broods.


Ah, who would such a meeting miss?

What strength is here to nerve the will!

How fair a home for hearts is this!

Who would not long to find it still?


And is the vision vain as sweet?

Nay, Lord, Thy table still is spread;

And ever where disciples meet,

Thy blessed hands still break the bread.


We see Thee not; yet when we turn,

These moments melt in memory,

And all our hearts within us burn,

For we have met and talked with Thee.

Forgive, O Lord, the Doubts that Break   1 comment

Morning Prayer

Above:  Morning Prayer, 1869

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-05644

Text (1879) by Washington Gladden (1836-1918)

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches of the United States


1.  Forgive, O Lord, the doubts that break

Thy promises to me;

Forgive me that I fail to take

Thy pardon, full and free;

I sought to put my sins away,

I strove to do thy will;

And yet, whene’er I tried to pray,

My heart was doubting still:

2.  I thought that thou with jealous eye

Wast watching me alway,

My deeds to mark, my steps to spy,

Whene’er I went astray:

I hoped that when, by days and years

Of service and of prayer,

I had besought thy grace with tears,

Thy mercy I might share.

3.  Forgive, O Father, this my sin,

This jealous, doubting heart;

For when men seek thy love to win,

And choose the better part,

I know that, swifter than the light

Leaps earthward from the sun,

Thy pardoning love, thy rescuing might

Speed down to every one.

How Sweet and Silent is the Place   1 comment

anth - 1 (33)

Above:  The Right Reverend Keith Whitmore, Assistant Bishop of Atlanta, at St. Anthony’s Episcopal Church, Winder, Georgia, June 14, 2015

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), National Council of Congregational Churches in the United States

Text (1901) by Alice Freeman Palmer (1855-1902)


1.  How sweet and silent is the place,

My God, alone with thee,

Awaiting here thy touch of grace,

Thy heavenly mystery!

2.  So many ways thou hast, dear Lord,

My longing heart to fill,–

Thy lovely world, thy spoken word,

The doing thy sweet will,

3.  Giving thy children living bread,

Leading thy weak ones on,

The touch of dear hands on my head,

The thought of loved ones gone!

4.  Lead me by many paths, dear Lord,

But always in thy way,

And help me make my earth a heaven,

Till next Communion Day.

Eternal Father, Thou Hast Said   1 comment


Above:  Missionary’s House, the Congo, Africa

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-00538

Words (1865) by Ray Palmer (1808-1887), U.S. Congregationalist minister

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), U.S. Congregationalist


1.  Eternal Father, thou hast said,

That Christ all glory shall obtain,

That he who once a sufferer bled,

Shall o’er the world a conqueror reign.

We wait thy triumph, Saviour, King;

Long ages have prepared thy way;

Now all abroad thy banner fling,

Set time’s great battle in array.

2.  Thy hosts are mustered to the field–

“The Cross! the Cross!” the battle-call–

The old grim towers of darkness yield,

And soon shall totter to their fall.

On mountain tops the watch-fires glow,

Where scattered wide the watchmen stand;

Voice echoes voice, and onward flow

The joyous shouts, from land to land.

3.  O, fill thy church with faith and power,

Bid her long night of weeping cease,

To groaning nations haste the hour

Of life and freedom, light and peace!

Come, Spirit, make thy wonders known,

Fulfill the Father’s high decree;

Then earth, the might of hell o’er thrown,

Shall keep her last great jubilee.

Come, Jesus, Redeemer, Abide With Me   1 comment


Above:  Diocesan Confirmation, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, April 6, 2014

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Words (1864) by Ray Palmer (1808-1887), U.S. Congregationalist minister

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), U.S. Congregationalist


1.  Come, Jesus, Redeemer, abide with me;

Come, gladden my spirit that waiteth for thee;

Thy smile every shadow shall chase from my heart,

And soothe every sorrow, tho’ keen be the smart.

2.  Without thee but weakness, with thee I am strong;

By day thou shalt lead me, by night be my song;

Tho’ dangers surround me, I still every fear,

Since thou, the most mighty, my Helper, art near.

3.  Thy love, O how faithful! so tender, so pure!

Thy promise, faith’s anchor, how steadfast and sure!

That love, like sweet sunshine, my cold heart can warm;

That promise make steady my soul in the storm.

4.  Breathe, breathe on my spirit, oft ruffed, thy peace;

From restless, vain wishes, bid thou my heart cease:

In thee all its longings henceforward shall end,

Till, glad, to thy presence my soul shall ascend.

I Sought the Lord   Leave a comment

I Sought the Lord

Above:  The Hymn, from The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904)

A Scan I Made from My Copy of That Volume


Sometimes a little historical research goes a long way.

I noticed this hymn this morning, for we were singing “A Mighty Fortress” in church.  Opposite that hymn in The Hymnal 1982 is this one.  This reality led me to the listed source, The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), the first U.S. hymn book to include the text.  The hymn debuted on page 142 of Holy Songs, Carols, and Sacred Ballads (1880), the hymn’s author listed as Anonymous.  Yet the range of estimated dates of composition includes

  • 1878 (as in The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns, 1966, The Methodist Church–later The United Methodist Church– as well as the Psalter Hymnal, 1987, Christian Reformed Church),
  • 1880 (as in Hymns of Faith and Life, 1976, the Wesleyan Church and the Free Methodist Church),
  • 1887 (as in the Psalter Hymnal, 1934, Christian Reformed Church), and
  • 1890 (The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, The United Methodist Church.)

One reason for post-1880 estimates is the erroneous date of 1889 for the publication of Holy Songs.

Who was Anonymous?  Although Frank Sealy, editor of Common Praise (1913), listed the author as Anonymous in that hymnal, the handbooks to The Hymnal (1933, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.) and the Pilgrim Hymnal (1958, United Church of Christ) suggest that the author was poet Jean Ingelow (1820-1897).  In fact, the former says that Sealy suggested that Ingelow was the author of the text.  We do not know for certain who wrote the hymn, however.  And does that person’s identity really matter?  For the text stands on its own merit.









1.  I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek him, seeking  me;

It was not I that found, O Saviour true,

No, I was found of thee.

2.  Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,–

‘Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,

As thou, dear Lord, on me.

3.  I find, I walk, I love, but, O, the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;

For thou wert long beforehand with my soul,

Always thou lovedst me.