He Leadeth Me

Words by Joseph H. Gilmore Music by William B. Bradbury

"He leadeth mel O, blessed thought!
O, words with heavenly comfort fraught.”




"I had been talking,” said Mr. Gilmore,” at the Wednesday evening lecture of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, in 1862. The Twenty-third Psalm was my theme, and I had been especially impressed with the blessedness of being led by God—of the mere fact of his leadership, altogether apart from the way in which he leads us and what he is leading us to. At the close of the service we adjourned to Deacon Watson's home, at which I was stopping. We still held before our minds and hearts the thought which I had just emphasized. During the conversation, in which several participated, the blessedness of God's leadership so grew upon me that I took out my pencil, wrote the hymn just as it stands to-day, handed it to my wife—and thought no more about it. She sent it without my knowledge to ' The Watchman and Reflector,' and there it first appeared in print. Three years later I went to Rochester to preach for the Second Baptist Church. On entering the chapel I took up a hymn-book, thinking, ' I wonder what they sing.' The book opened at ' He leadeth me,' and that was the first time I knew my hymn had found a place among the songs of the church. I shall never forget the impression made upon me by coming then and there in contact with my own assertion of God's leadership."

Mr. Bradbury, finding the hymn in a Christian periodical, composed for it the very appropriate tune with which it has ever since been associated.