Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1810-1876

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Psalm 5:8

"Lead Me, LORD" was written by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. His ancestry was noble yet flawed by the sin of fornication. The surname "Wesley" was passed down to him as a grandson of Charles Wesley, one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. But Samuel Sebastian Wesley was the illegitimate son of Charles Wesley's own son Samuel, who maintained a long term relationship with Sarah Suter but never married her. In an age when illegitimacy carried heavy social consequences, the younger Samuel Wesley could certainly have chosen to be consumed with bitterness. Instead, he lived his entire life devoted to service through music, starting as a boy singing in the choir.

By the age of 16, Samuel Wesley had become a church organist and began writing sacred music. He is known by many as the first great composer of sacred music in the Victorian era. His career would take him through Hereford, Exeter, Leeds, Winchester, and Gloucester, England. Wesley, like his paternal grandfather, was outspoken for the need of reform in church music, which no doubt led to a number of confrontations. In a life filled with so much turmoil in his family and his career, what comfort he must have found in the words of the Psalmist for which he composed a simple, yet deep and moving melody.

(This particular hymn devotional so touched my heart that I included the hymn text in book 4 of the series of books I have written: Never Forsaken.)

Lead me, LORD, lead me in Thy righteousness;
Make Thy way plain before my face.
For it is Thou, Lord, Thou, LORD only,
That makest me dwell in safety.

*For Today*: Psalm 4:8, 27:11; Isaiah 48:17

What a beautiful lesson this is. The LORD God Almighty will lead us in the paths of righteousness if we but ask!


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