Not Now, My Child

Words by Mrs. Pennefather Music by Ira D. Sankey

"Not now, my child,—a little more rough tossing,
A little longer on the billows' foam.”




Mrs. Pennefather, the author of this hymn, was the wife of one of the ministers who invited Mr. Moody and me to England in 1873. She was one of the founders of the Mildmay Conference, in the north of London, and also organized the famous Deaconess Society, composed of many ladies of distinction who therein seek a field for religious effort. I arranged her hymn to music, and often used to sing it as a solo.

A young lady of a titled family, walking one day along the Strand, saw crowds pushing into the large building where we were holding meetings. Following the crowd, she soon found herself seated and listening to a stirring sermon by Mr. Moody. I also sang this hymn as a solo. The whole service much impressed the young lady. At the conclusion of the meeting, when Mr. Moody invited all who desired to become Christians to rise, she stood up with hundreds of others, and later went into the inquiry-room and there gave her heart to God. When she went home she announced to her family that she had become a Christian, and they laughed her to scorn. After a few weeks she decided to leave her home and cast in her lot with those who were living for Christ. She went to Mrs. Pennefather, and put on the dress of a deaconess. There she continued for over a year. One day, more than a year later, she received a letter from her father, a Lord of the realm, asking her to accompany him on his yachting trip to the north of Scotland. While on the trip she was successful in leading her father to the Saviour. Landing in Scotland, they found some friends from London in a little fishing village. On Sunday the question arose as to where they would attend service. They finally agreed to go to a neighboring village where a visiting clergyman was to give an address. The young lady and her father were greatly impressed with the sermon. The next day when they returned to the yacht, his Lordship remarked that he would like to have that clergyman preach his funeral sermon. On the return trip the old gentleman caught a severe cold, and died soon afterward. The young lady communicated her father's wish to the clergyman, and he conducted the funeral services. The clergyman became interested in the young lady, and sought her hand in marriage. After their wedding they moved to Scotland, residing on a large estate to which the clergyman had fallen heir. When Mr. Moody and I were carrying on the campaign in Scotland we were invited to visit their castle. During our visit there we held meetings in the neighborhood for the miners. At the suggestion of our host we used to go into the forest and cut down trees for exercise. Before leaving the estate each of us planted a tree near the castle gate, and the clergyman named one of them ”Moody,” and the other ”Sankey."