O Master, let me walk with Thee

1
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.
2
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 Godward way.
3
Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
  In closer, dearer company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
  In trust that triumphs over wrong.
4
In hope that sends a shining ray
  Far down the future's broad'ning way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
  With Thee, O Master, let me live.
9
Ana Lara

United States

This hymn was published in 1876 during a time in history where much emphasis was given to the social Gospel. The Civil War had ended and the United States was in the pangs of the industrial revolution. Because of this the individual was often exploited for the sake of economic progress. Many American clergymen became champions of social causes. One such leader was Washington Gladden, known as one of our country’s finest liberal clergymen.

Washington Gladden was born on a farm in Potts Grove, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1836. After graduating from Williams College in 1859, he was ordained to the Congregational Churches ministry. While he ministered

in the pulpit, he also spent much time fighting against such political groups as the Tweed Ring which dominated New York’s political corruption in Tamany Hall. Eventually the hall was dismantled in the following elections and “Boss” Tweed served a fifteen year prison sentence. In 1882, Gladden was called to the First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he served for thirty-two years. He became a powerful voice in the pulpit as he continued to preach about “the gospel to the social, political and economic life of America and the world. ” He not only preached but was also an influential writer as well as arbitrated in national strikes and disputes. In 1883 he negotiated the Telegraphers’ strike and the Hocking Valley Coal Strike the following year. He believed that it was the Church’s responsibility to “elevate the masses not only spiritually and morally, but to be concerned about their social and economic welfare as well. ”

Throughout his life Gladden was the object of sharp criticism from many leaders of the business world as well the conservative sector of the church. When he attacked John D. Rockefeller for donating $100, 000 for what he believed to be “tainted” money to the Congressional Church Foreign Missions Board, his own denomination turned against him. He also received criticism from conservative clergymen when he preached that the Bible was merely a book of religion. Two original stanzas of this hymn are no longer included reflecting Gladden’s feelings towards those he felt were his persecutors:

O Master let me walk with Thee before the taunting Pharisee;

Help me bear the sting of spite, the 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.

The tune “Maryton” was composed by an Anglican minister, H. Percy Smith, for John Keble’s hymn, “Son of My Soul. ” It first appeared in “Church Hymns with Tunes” published in 1874. “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee” was not meant to be used as a hymn but as a devotional meditation. It first appeared as a poem in a publication called “Sunday Afternoon” of which Gladden was editor under the caption, “Walking with God. ” When it was eventually suggested that the poem be used as a hymn, Dr. Gladden chose the Maryton tune for his text. He is best remembered for this hymn.


Theresa Wilks

Salina, KS, United States

Father, 2019 was kind of a rough year. I haven't always looked to You even though I knew I should. Forgive me, dear Father, and as I stand here on the door step of 2020 help me to remember that I can do nothing without You. I am nothing without You. Things are still kind of rough around here and I'm just not sure how much security I have right now. But I do know that whether the days ahead bring good or bad, You are the blessed controller of all things. And because of that I know that You will take care of me & mine regardless of anything that Satan or the world throws at us. Thank You, Father, for bringing this beloved old hymn to my mind and help me to make it my prayer in the coming year. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.


Robin Quinn

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I want to walk with You, Lord God, every step, every day. Keep my mind and spirit tuned to your Holy Spirit, day and night, so Your will becomes my will, Your thoughts become my thoughts, Your way becomes my way. I love and NEED You, Father, ALWAYS.


Sarah Pam

Abuja, Plateau, Nigeria

O Lord help me to walk with You. Hold me with Your righteaus right hand. My desire each day is to know You more. Direct my path and teach me the way to follow.


Istifanus Ariko

Kaduna, Nigeria

Oh Lord! In accent clear and still, I declare my fraility and fragility! How weak I am, and how this mortal flesh have continually kept me unfit for You and Your service. Please Lord, help me to walk with Theeeeee!


E Ashu Mbeng

Yaounde, Center, Cameroon

In peace that only Thou can give..... I need Your peace dear Lord. May Your name be praised Lord Jesus.


Jean Patience

Kolwezi, Lualaba, Democratic Republic Of Congo

O Lord, just let me walk with Thee.

Tell me Thy secret, help me bear

The strain of toil, the fret of care.

Help me be better and better for Your glory.

Thank You Lord.

I love You Lord Jesus Christ.


Mark

San Antonio, TX, United States

The words and melody of this hymn draw me into a precious sense of fellowship with our dear Savior Jesus and touch my heart in a profound way.

Oh Lord Jesus!


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Washington Gladden believed that Christians should be involved in the world's problems - and he wasn't afraid to say so. A newspaperman-turned-clergyman, he crusaded against injustice. He fought against the infamous Tweed Ring that controlled New York City politics. He objected to John D. Rockefeller's gift to his denomination's foreign mission board because of the millionaire's policies at Standard Oil. In his various churches, he often preached a social gospel, trying to rouse his congregation to the social and labor problems that were engulfing the country.

When Gladden wrote this hymn in 1879, he said the poem had no theological significance, but that it was an honest cry of human need and of the need for divine companionship. If our friendship with Jesus does not lead us to concern for our fellowman, then we'd better check to see how closely we are walking with the Master. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton