Washington Gladden, 1836-1918

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:8

Go labor on: Spend and be spent,
My joy to do the Father's will;
It is the way the Master went,
Should not the servant tread it still?
~H. Bonar~

As God's representatives, we must make it our life's mission to make the invisible Christ visible to lost and needy people through both word and deed. We can do this most effectively by dealing justly with others and by showing compassion and understanding to those who are less privileged than ourselves.

This hymn, published in 1879, comes from a period of religious history in America when there was much emphasis given to the social implications of the Gospel. The Civil War had ended and the country was in the midst of a great industrial revolution. As is often true in such times, the individual was often exploited in the name of economic progress.

Many of our country's clergymen became enthusiastic champions for the cause of social justice. One of the recognized leaders of this movement was Washington Gladden. It was always his conviction that it was the duty of Christians to seek to "elevate the masses not only spiritually and morally, but to be concerned about their social and economic welfare as well." Although Gladden was widely known in his day for his persuasive preaching and writing, he is remembered particularly today for this one hymn text, which teaches us so well that our service for God must always be based on an intimate fellowship with Him.

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.

Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the Homeward way.

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.

The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good.

Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
In closer, clearer, company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.

In hope that sends a shining ray
Upon Thy straight and narrow way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live.

*For Today*: Amos 3:3; Matthew 25:31-46; Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 2:5-7

Actively seek to do for someone at least one good deed that you might otherwise be hesitant to attempt.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Return to Hymn Devotionals Index

Caleb's Country Corner *_*

The Christian Counter