Scripture Verse

I am with you always. Matthew 28:20

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, 1776.

Music: So­li­tude (Downes) Lew­is T. Downes, 1851 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Downes (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Origin of the Hymn

Bull, in his life of New­ton, gives the fol­low­ing account of the ori­gin of this hymn:—

In No­vem­ber [1776] Mr. New­ton un­der­went an op­era­tion for a tu­mour in his thigh. He was mer­ci­ful­ly brought through it, and was ve­ry soon able to re­sume his or­di­na­ry du­ties. On this oc­ca­sion he comp­osed the 71st hymn, Bk. ii. in the Ol­ney Hymns.

As in­ti­mat­ed, the hymn ap­peared in the Ol­ney Hymns, 1779, in 7 st. of 4 l., and head­ed Part­ing. It came in­to use in the old­er col­lect­ions, and is still found in a few hymn­als both in G. Bri­tain and Am­er­ica. The hymn, For a sea­son called to part, which is giv­en in the New Cong., 1859, No. 848, and oth­er col­lect­ions, es­pe­ci­al­ly in Am­er­ica, is co­mposed of st. iv., v., and vi. of this hymn.

Julian, p. 85.

Lyrics

As the sun’s en­liv­en­ing eye
Shines on ev­ery place the same;
So the Lord is al­ways nigh
To the souls that love His name.

When they move at du­ty’s call,
He is with them by the way;
He is ev­er with them all,
Those who go, and those who stay.

From His ho­ly mer­cy seat
Nothing can their souls con­fine;
Still in spi­rit they may meet,
And in sweet com­mun­ion join.

For a sea­son called to part,
Let us then our­selves com­mend
To the gra­cious eye and heart,
Of our ev­er pre­sent friend.

Jesus, hear our humble prayer!
Tender shepherd of Thy sheep!
Let Thy mercy and Thy care
All our souls in safety keep.

In Thy strength may we be strong,
Sweeten every cross and pain;
Give us, if we live, ere long
Here to meet in peace again.

Then, if Thou Thy help afford,
Ebenezers shall be reared;
And our souls shall praise the Lord
Who our poor petitions heard.