Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.@1 Corinthians 3:7

Georgiana M. Taylor, 1869.

Miss Taylor writes me: The idea for the hymn came into my mind through reading of the expression, Oh, to be nothing, in a volume of an old magazine. I think it occurred in anecdote about an aged Christian worker. At all events the words haunted me; I mused on their meaning, and the hymn was the outcome.

Some one misinterpreted the true meaning of the hymn, and has written another one entitled, Oh, to be something. But it is not in accordance with the Master, who made himself nothing; nor is it in the spirit of the text which says that he that abaseth himself shall in due time be exalted.

This hymn was much used as a solo in our meetings in Great Britain.

Sankey, p. 208

R. George Halls, arranged by Philip P. Bliss (🔊 pdf nwc).

Georgiana M. Taylor (1847–1915)

Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
Only to lie at His feet,
A broken and emptied vessel,
For the Master’s use made meet.
Emptied that He might fill me
As forth to His service I go;
Broken, that so unhindered,
His life through me might show.


Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
Only to lie at His feet,
A broken and emptied vessel,
For the Master’s use made meet.

Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
An arrow hid in His hand;
A messenger at His gateway,
Only waiting for His command;
Only an instrument, ready
For Him to use at His will,
And willing, should He not require me,
In patience to wait on Him still.


Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
Though painful the humbling be,
Yet low in the dust I’d lay me
That the world might my Savior see.
Rather be nothing, nothing,
To Him let our voices be raised,
He is the Fountain of blessing,
He only is meet to be praised.


Yet e’en as my pleading rises,
A voice seems with mine to blend,
And whispers, in loving accents,
I call thee not servant, but friend;
Fellow-worker with Me I call thee,
Sharing My sorrow and joy—
Fellow-heir to the glory I have above,
The treasure without alloy.


Oh! love so free, so boundless!
Which, lifting me, lays me lower
At the footstool of Jesus, my risen Lord,
To worship and adore—
Which fills me with deeper longing
To have nothing dividing my heart,
My all given up to Jesus,
Not keeping back a part.


Thine may I be, Thine only,
Till called by Thee to share
The glorious heavenly mansions
Thou art gone before to prepare;
My heart and soul are yearning
To see Thee face to face,
With unfettered tongue to praise Thee
For such heights and depths of grace.