Posted by: rcottrill | July 6, 2010

Today in 1846 – John Sammis Born

John Henry Sammis was an American pastor who played a part, along with several other people, in the writing of a familiar gospel song.

Evangelist D. L. Moody was holding meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1886 or early 1887. On this particular occasion, an opportunity was given for testimonies from those whose lives had been touched through the ministry of the Word. A young man stood who clearly had little to say, because the Christian faith was so new to him. He said simply, “I am not quite sure–but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.”

Daniel Towner was the song leader that evening, and the simple statement made an immediate impression on him. Towner was struck by the way the two words trust (or faith), and obedience summarized what the child of God was to do. To walk with the Lord, day by day, involves just that, step by step faith in God and obedience to His Word. It always has, even on the far side of the cross. “By faith Abraham obeyed” (Heb. 11:8).

Towner jotted down the testimony on a slip of paper, possibly suggesting a chorus that might make use of the two words as well. These he sent to his friend John Sammis, asking if he could write the words of a gospel song along that line. The work was soon done, and the lines of verse were returned to Daniel Towner. He wrote a tune for them but, dissatisfied with the result, he crumpled the page and tossed it in the wastebasket.

The next day, his wife was dusting and tidying in his study, and she spotted the crumpled page. Out of curiosity, she took it out and had a look, singing the song to herself. Delighted with it, she placed it on the organ. When her husband saw it later, he explained that he’d thrown it away. She replied, “I know you did, Daniel, but I feel that the melody you’ve written is just what is needed to carry the message.” And it has, ever since, in the song Trust and Obey.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

(2) Jesus, Our Lord and King (Data Missing)
The ordinance of believer’s baptism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41; 8:12) involves both a backward look and a forward look. For the Christian, looking back, it is a testimony to his or her identification with Christ, in His death and resurrection. The mode of total immersion beautifully pictures both.

But there is also involved in the ceremony a public commitment on the part of the believer to look ahead. To testify to a determination to “walk in newness of life”–in other words, to live as one who belongs to Christ and desires to honour Him in all things (Rom. 6:3-4).

Jesus, Our Lord and King is a fine baptismal hymn, expressing something of these twin truths. The authorship is unknown.

Jesus, our Lord and King,
To You our praises rise;
To You our bodies we present,
A living sacrifice.

Now justified by grace,
And made alive to God,
Formed for Yourself to show Your praise,
We sound Your love abroad.

As dead indeed to sin,
We rise to walk anew,
Henceforth, as not our own, but Yours,
We follow only You.

Baptized into Your death,
With You again we rise,
To newness of a life of faith,
To new and endless joys.


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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