Scripture Verse

Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Leviticus 19:2


William D. Longstaff (1822–1894)

Words: Will­iam D. Long­staff, 1882.

Music: Ho­li­ness George C. Steb­bins, 1890 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

George C. Stebbins (1846–1945)

Origin of the Hymn

Mr. Long­staff, of Sun­der­land, Eng­land, wrote this hymn after hear­ing a se­rmon at New Brigh­ton on Be ye ho­ly as I am ho­ly.

Take Time to be Ho­ly was first pub­lished in Gos­pel Hymns and Sac­red Songs and So­los, in 1891. It has been much used in ho­li­ness-meet­ings, both in [Am­er­ica] and Great Bri­tain. Mr. Long­staff was the trea­sur­er of Be­thes­da Cha­pel, in Sun­der­land, when we held our first meet­ings in that town, and was the first one to write any­thing in re­la­tion to our meet­ings in Great Bri­tain.

Sankey, pp. 337–38


Take time to be ho­ly,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him al­ways,
And feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s child­ren,
Help those who are weak,
Forgetting in no­thing
His bless­ing to seek.

Take time to be ho­ly,
The world rush­es on;
Spend much time in secret,
With Je­sus alone.
By look­ing to Je­sus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy con­duct
His like­ness shall see.

Take time to be ho­ly,
Let Him be thy guide;
And run not be­fore Him,
Whatever be­tide.
In joy or in sor­row,
Still fol­low the Lord,
And, look­ing to Je­sus,
Still trust in His Word.

Take time to be ho­ly,
Be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each mo­tive
Beneath His con­trol.
Thus led by His Spi­rit
To fount­ains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fit­ted
For ser­vice above.