Nothing but Leaves

Words by L. E. Akerman Music by Silas J. Vail

"Nothing but leaves! The Spirit grieves
O'er years of wasted life.”




Mrs. Lucy Evelina Akerman, the author of this hymn, died in Providence, Rhode Island, 1874, at the age of twenty-four.

The hymn was a special favorite at the early Moody and Sankey meetings. I often sang it as a solo for Mr. Moody's lecture on ”The Holy Spirit.” While singing it in Birmingham a lady was convinced, as she wrote me afterwards, that her life had been nothing but leaves; and she then decided to devote the rest of her life to rescuing her lost sisters. She secured a building, which she called ”The Rescue Home, ”and for years she gathered in poor, wretched girls from the streets of the city, gave them employment, and taught them the way of life. Through her efforts hundreds of girls were saved. After her death the city officials took up her work, employing other women, who are still engaged in seeking the lost ones. On my last visit to England I had the pleasure of visiting this rescue home and singing for the inmates.

“During the mission in 1884,”writes M. C. Boardman, of Stratford, East London,”the hymn ' Nothing but leaves ' was often sung. It brought conviction to one of the stewards. He said that this song disturbed him. For years he had been a professor of religion, but with personal interest in view. He said he trusted that henceforth there would be fruit as well as leaves in his life. From that time he has been an ardent Christian worker."