Posted by: rcottrill | May 4, 2010

Today in 1865 – Peace, Troubled Soul sung

This hymn, written by Samuel Ecking, was performed by a 250 member choir on this date at the State House in Springfield, Illinois. The body of assassinated president Abraham Lincoln lay in state, and the song was sung just before the casket was closed and taken to the cemetery.

There is a thoughtful message in the words that applies to all our times of distress and sorrow.

Peace, troubled soul, thou need’st not fear;
Thy great Provider still is near;
Who fed thee last, will feed thee still:
Be calm, and sink into His will.

The Lord, who built the earth and sky,
In mercy stoops to hear thy cry;
His promise all may freely claim;
Ask and receive in Jesus’ name.

Without reserve give Christ your heart,
Let Him His righteousness impart;
Then all things else He’ll freely give;
With Him you all things shall receive.

Thus shall the soul be truly blest,
That seeks in God His only rest;
May I that happy person be,
In time and in eternity.

(2) Today in 1887 – Foss Fellers Born
Little is known of gospel musician Foss Luke Fellers. He served as a music teacher at Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago, around 1910-1924, and he published one of the early books of piano arrangements of hymns. Fellers wrote the tune for the hymn Give Me a Passion for Souls, written by Moody student Herbert Tovey. (For a bit about Mr. Tovey, see the second item under Today in 1809.)

Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord,
A passion to save the lost;
O that Thy love were by all adored,
And welcomed at any cost.

Jesus, I long, I long to be winning
Men who are lost, and constantly sinning;
O may this hour be one of beginning
The story of pardon to tell.

(3) More from Fanny Crosby
Older hymn books credit the 1890 gospel song The Saviour with Me to Lizzie Edwards, but this is just one of the more than 200 pen names used by Fanny Crosby. (You can hear the tune played on the Cyber Hymnal.)

A number of times believers are promised the continuing presence of the Lord with them. At the time of His ascension, the Lord Jesus promised His followers, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20; cf. Hab. 13:5). During his imprisonment, and facing execution, the Apostle Paul found it a great comfort that: “The Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (II Tim. 4:17).

I must have the Saviour with me,
For I dare not walk alone,
I must feel His presence near me,
And His arm around me thrown.

Then my soul shall fear no ill,
Let Him lead me where He will,
I will go without a murmur,
And His footsteps follow still.

I must have the Saviour with me,
For my faith, at best, is weak;
He can whisper words of comfort,
That no other voice can speak.

I must have the Saviour with me,
And His eye the way must guide,
Till I reach the vale of Jordan,
Till I cross the rolling tide.


  1. […] To read about a notable historic occasion on which this hymn was used, see Today in 1865. […]

  2. I searched for the words and possible story behind “Passion for Souls” and found you. I’d say, that was a good find!

    • Glad you found what you’re looking for. One enthusiastic blogger called Wordwise Hymns “the best kept secret on the Net.” But that seems to be one way readers across the world find Wordwise Hymns. They are looking for information on a particular song, and stumble on my site. As I keep adding new material, week by week, it increases the possibility that this will happen. Can 184,000 visitors from over 90 countries be wrong? 🙂

      • I plan to enter your wordpress site to the blog I am currently working on for publication, perhaps later tonight or in the morning. I hope that’s okay with you.

      • If you mean you’ll provide a link to my site on yours, that would be great. Thank you.


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