Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place?@Psalm 24:3

Walter J. Mathams, circa 1915.

I was minister at St. Columba, Mallaig, Inverness-shire, Scotland, and opposite the Island of Skye. The boys of a large school in the South had been brought up for their summer holiday. I was much interested in them for many of their fathers were away at the war and I thought it well to impress them with the importance of loyalty to their country and to Christ. On one memorable Sunday I preached on Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah? based on Psalms 15 and 24, as contrasted with the hills of fame, wealth, power, and other worldly ambitions. Not cleverness or great ability but purity of heart, clearness of vision, and singleness of purpose are the essential things…I composed the hymn to be used as a peroration and brought in the word adsum, meaning I am here, so much used in our schools as the response to every call to the noblest adventures of life. As the tune Sursum Corda had been haunting my heart for years the words almost unconsciously ran into that most effective meter. The effect on the boys was remarkable.

Walter Mathams, in Laufer, pp. 88-9

Sursum Corda (Lomas) George Lomas, 1876 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Walter J. Mathams (1853-1931)

Christ of the upward way, my guide divine,
Where Thou hast set Thy feet, may I place mine;
And move and march wherever Thou hast trod,
Keeping face forward up the hill of God.

Give me the heart to hear Thy voice and will,
That without fault or fear I may fulfill
Thy purpose with a glad and holy zest,
Like one who would not bring less than his best.

Give me the eye to see each chance to serve,
Then send me strength to rise with steady nerve,
And leap at once with kind and helpful deed,
To the sure succor of a soul in need.

Give me the good stout arm to shield the right,
And wield Thy sword of truth with all my might,
That, in the warfare I must wage for Thee,
More than a victor I may ever be.

Christ of the upward way, my guide divine,
Where Thou hast set Thy feet, may I place mine;
And when Thy last call comes, serene and clear,
Calm may my answer be, Lord, I am here.