Posted by: rcottrill | October 24, 2011

O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee

Words: Washington Gladden (b. Feb. 11, 1836; d. July 2, 1918)
Music: Maryton, Henry Percy Smith (b. Dec. ____, 1825; d. Jan. 28, 1898)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The Cyber Hymnal gives us all of Gladden’s poem. However, must hymnals use only CH-1, 2, 5, 6. His two more negative stanzas are omitted. (In the original poem, they constituted a single stanza.)

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.
The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good.

Walking is used as picture language for living the Christian life. The imagery is used dozens of times in the New Testament. For example, we are told:

“Walk in the steps of faith” (Rom. 4:12), and “walk by faith” (II Cor. 5:7).
“Walk in the Spirit [submissive to and empowered by the Holy Spirit]” (Gal. 5:16, 25), and “walk in Him [Christ]” (Col. 2:6).
“Walk just as He [Christ] walked” (I Jn. 2:6).
“Walk worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10).
“Walk to please God” (I Thess. 4:1).
“Walk according to His commandments (II Jn. 1:6), and “walk in truth (III Jn. 1:3, 4).
“Walk in wisdom” (Col. 4:5)
“Walk in love” (Eph. 5:2).

The Christian “walk” (or life) is made up of repeated steps of faith and obedience, faith and obedience. All that’s covered in the above texts, and more, could be included, but Washington Gladden’s hymn focuses particularly on loving service for the Lord. If we “walk as He walked” (I Jn. 2:6), we’ll see the needs of those around us, and respond with compassion and grace.

CH-1) O Master, let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.

CH-2) Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the homeward way.

The last two stanzas call attention to several qualities that will bless our lives and our service for Christ. We certainly need patience. There are many obstacles and disappointments in service. We also need faith and hope that God will work, using our feeble efforts, and multiplying them, by His grace. Finally, there is that settled peace of heart in testing times.

CH-5) Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
In closer, dearer, company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.

CH-6) In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broadening way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live.

1) If we walk as Christ walked, what kinds of things will characterize our life and service for God?

2) For you, what is the most difficult part of walking with the Lord?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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