Must I Go, and Empty-Handed

Words by C. C. Luther Music by George C. Stebbins

"Must I go, and empty-handed?
Thus my dear Redeemer meet?”

During a series of evangelistic meetings the Rev. A. G. Upham referred in his sermon to a young man who, dying after only a month of Christian service, said to a friend, ”No, I am not afraid ; Jesus saves me now. But oh! must I go, and empty-handed?”The incident made a strong impression upon the Rev. C. C. Luther— for whom Mr. Upham was preaching—and in a few minutes the words of this hymn had arranged themselves in Mr. Luther's mind. A few days later he handed them to Mr. Stebbins, who composed the beautiful tune to which they are sung.

About fifteen years ago a man who was living a reckless, godless life, went to a Sunday morning service in a mission hall in Essex, England. This hymn was used in the service, and as the third verse was rendered,

"Oh, the years of sinning wasted,
Could I but recall them now.
I would give them to my Saviour,
To His will I'd gladly bow,"