Monday, March 28, 2011

Hymn of the Month -- Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

Our Hymn of the Month for April 2011 is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me. You can hear the tune here. (Thanks


Words: Ed­ward Hop­per, in The Sail­or’s Mag­a­zine (1871) and The Bap­tist Praise Book (1871). The nau­ti­cal theme re­flects Hop­per’s min­is­try at the Church of the Sea and Land in New York Ci­ty, where he met sail­ors from around the world.

Music: PilotJohn E. Gould, 1871 (MI­DIscore). Al­ter­nate tune:
Major D. W. Whit­tle told me the fol­low­ing in­ci­dent in con­nec­tion with this hymn: “I went with Gen­er­al O. O. How­ard to hold meet­ings for the sol­diers at Tam­pa, Flor­i­da, and one day while go­ing through the camp I found a young man dy­ing of fe­ver. I knelt by his side and asked him if he was a Christ­ian. He re­plied that he was not, but said that his fa­ther and mo­ther were Christ­ians; and he asked me to pray for him. I did so, but no deep im­pres­sion was made up­on his heart. I went away with a sor­row­ing heart and prom­ised to re­turn ano­ther day. Two days lat­er I vi­sit­ed him again and, pray­ing with him, the Lord put in­to my mind to sing, ‘Je­sus, Sav­iour, pi­lot me.’ The dy­ing sol­dier said: ‘Oh, that sounds good; it puts me in mind of my be­lov­ed sis­ter in Mi­chi­gan, who used to sing this hymn for me be­fore I en­tered the ar­my.’ He want­ed me to re­peat it over and over again for him, and fi­nal­ly he asked: ‘Will Je­sus be my pi­lot in­to the ha­ven of rest?’ I told the young man that Je­sus would. ‘Then,’ he said, ‘I will trust him with all my heart.’ The next day I called to see him again, but his com­rade said: ‘He passed away dur­ing the night.’”
Sankey, p. 185

1. Jesus, Savior, pilot me
 over life's tempestuous sea;
 unknown waves before me roll,
 hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
 Chart and compass come from thee;
 Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

2. As a mother stills her child,
 thou canst hush the ocean wild;
 boisterous waves obey thy will,
 when thou sayest to them, "Be still!"
 Wondrous sovreign of the sea,
 Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

3. When at last I near the shore,
 and the fearful breakers roar
 'twixt me and the peaceful rest,
 then, while leaning on thy breast,
 may I hear thee say to me,
 "Fear not, I will pilot thee."