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~He Leadeth Me

       Joseph H. Gilmore, the writer of this beloved hymn, tells his story:

       I had been speaking at the Wednesday evening service of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Corner of Broad and Arch Streets, about the 23rd Psalm, and had been especially impressed with the blessedness of being led by God.

       At the close of the service we adjourned to Deacon Watsonís pleasant home where we were being entertained. During our conversation the blessedness of Godís leading so grew upon me that I took out my pencil, wrote the hymn just as it stands today, handed it to my wife, and thought no more of it.

       She sent it without my knowledge to the Watchman and Reflector magazine, and there it first appeared in print.

       Three years later I went to Rochester, New York, to preach as a candidate for the Second Baptist Church. Upon entering the chapel I took up a hymnbook, thinking, I wonder what they sing. The book opened up at He Leadeth Me, and that was the first time I knew that my hymn had found a place among the songs of the church.

       The writerís father was the governor of the state of New Hampshire. He graduated from the Newton Theological Seminary in 1861. Throughout his lifetime he pastored several Baptist churches, served as a secretary to his father the governor, was a professor of Hebrew at Newton Seminary, and later at Rochester. Although Gilmore was highly respected both in religious and educational circles, he is best remembered for this hurriedly written text when he was just 28 years of age and a visiting supply preacher in Philadelphia.



He Leadeth Me


(1) He leadeth me, O blessed thought!

O words with heav'nly comfort fraught!

Whate'er I do, where'er I be,

Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.


CHORUS: He leadeth me, He leadeth me,

By His own hand He leadeth me;

His faithful follower I would be,

For by His hand He leadeth me.


(2) Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,

Nor ever murmur nor repine;

Content whatever lot I see,

Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.


(3) And when my task on earth is done,

When by Thy grace the vict'ry's won,

E'en death's cold wave I will not flee,

Still God through Jordan leadeth me.







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