Scripture Verse

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud…and by night in a pillar of fire. Exodus 13:21


John Hughes (1873–1932)

Words: Will­iam Will­iams, Hal­le­lu­iah (Bris­tol, Eng­land: 1745) (Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch). Trans­lat­ed from Welsh to Eng­lish by Pe­ter Will­iams, Hymns on Var­ious Subjects (Car­mar­then, Wales: 1771). Will­iams pub­lished an­oth­er Eng­lish trans­la­tion in Lady Hunt­ing­don’s Col­lect­ion, cir­ca 1772.

Music: Cwm Rhon­dda John Hughes, 1907 (🔊 pdf nwc). Note: Some of the alternate tunes below use slight­ly dif­fer­ent end­ings to the lyr­ics.

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Hughes,

William Williams (1717–1791)


Hughes wrote this mu­sic in Ton­teg (near Pon­ty­pridd), Wales, to com­me­mo­rate a mu­sic fes­tiv­al held in near­by Ca­pel Rhon­dda, Hop­kins­town. It was first per­formed No­vem­ber 1 that year to Welsh words by Ann Griff­iths.

In the ear­ly days it was simp­ly known as Rhon­dda, but with­in a year he changed the name to Cwm Rhon­dda, used Pe­ter Will­iams’ trans­la­tion, and the rest is his­to­ry.

The hymn was sung at the wed­ding of Bri­tain’s Prince Will­iam & Ca­the­rine Mid­dle­ton in West­min­ster Abbey, Lon­don, April 29, 2011.


Guide me, O Thou great Je­ho­vah,
[or Guide me, O Thou great Re­deem­er…]
Pilgrim through this bar­ren land.
I am weak, but Thou art migh­ty;
Hold me with Thy pow­er­ful hand.
Bread of Hea­ven, Bread of Hea­ven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Feed me with the hea­ven­ly man­na,
In this bar­ren wil­der­ness;
Be my sword, and shield, and ban­ner—
Be my robe of right­eous­ness.
Fight and con­quer, fight and con­quer
All my foes by so­ve­reign grace,
All my foes by so­ve­reign grace.*

Open now the crys­tal foun­tain,
Whence the heal­ing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pil­lar
Lead me all my jour­ney through.
Strong de­liv­er­er, strong de­liv­er­er,
Be Thou still my strength and shield;
Be Thou still my strength and shield.

Lord, I trust Thy migh­ty pow­er,
Wondrous are Thy works of old;
Thou de­liv­er’st Thine from thrall­dom,
Who for naught them­selves had sold:
Thou didst con­quer, Thou didst con­quer,
Sin, and Sa­tan and the grave,
Sin, and Sa­tan and the grave.

When I tread the verge of Jor­dan,
Bid my anx­ious fears sub­side;
Death of deaths, and hell’s de­struct­ion,
Land me safe on Ca­naan’s side.
Songs of prais­es, songs of prais­es,
I will ev­er give to Thee;
I will ev­er give to Thee.

Musing on my ha­bi­ta­tion,
Musing on my heav’n­ly home,
Fills my soul with ho­ly long­ings:
Come, my Je­sus, quick­ly come;
Vanity is all I see;
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
Lord, I long to be with Thee!


*Probably a lat­er ad­di­tion. First known pub­li­cation of this stan­za was in 1810.