Scripture Verse

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1

Introduction

portrait
George J. Elvey
(1816–1893)

Words: Wal­ter J. Math­ams, 1913.

Music: Di­a­de­ma­ta George J. El­vey, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

portrait
Walter J. Mathams
(1853–1931)

Some years ago, writes the au­thor, Dr. Car­ey Bon­ner, em­i­nent Eng­lish pub­lish­er and com­pos­er of hymns for child­ren and youth, asked me to lis­ten to a hymn on which he wished my op­in­ion.

After he had read it to me I said, ‘That seems a good hymn for the pur­pose for which it was wri­tten.’ He then asked, ‘Have you seen it be­fore?’ to which I re­plied, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ He re­joined, ‘Why, man, you wrote it your­self some years ago, and it has been re­cent­ly brought to my no­tice!’

The in­ci­dent set Mr. Math­ams’ mind to work­ing and lat­er he re­called how, un­der the pres­sure of his bu­sy life, the hymn was writ­ten for use among young peo­ple in Chris­tian En­dea­vor and Sun­day School Con­ven­tions. It was in­tro­duced to Am­er­i­ca by Grace Wi­lbur Co­nant, in her Wor­ship and Song, a well known Church School hym­nal, pub­lished in 1913.

Laufer, p. 84

Lyrics

Now in the days of youth,
When life flows fresh and free,
Thou Lord of all our hearts and lives,
We give ourselves to Thee;
Our fervent gift receive,
And fit us to fulfill,
Through all our days, in all our ways,
Our heavenly Father’s will.

Teach us where’er we live,
To act as in Thy sight,
And do what Thou wouldst have us do
With radiant delight;
Not choosing what is great,
Nor spurning what is small,
But taking from Thy hands our tasks
To glorify them all.

Teach us to love the true,
The beautiful and pure,
And let us not for one short hour
An evil thought endure.
And give us grace to stand
Decided, brave, and strong,
The lovers of all holy things,
The foes of all things wrong.

Spirit of Christ, do Thou
Our first bright days inspire,
That we may live the life of love
And loftiest desire;
And be by Thee prepared
For larger years to come;
And for the life ineffable,
Within the Father’s home.