O Jesus, I Have Promised

Born in London in 1816, John Ernest Bode was educated at both Eton and Charterhouse, as well as Christ Church, Oxford University. Bode served as an Anglican vicar at Westwell, Oxfordshire and Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire. This hymn has its origins in the confirmation of Bode’s daughter and two sons in 1866. It was published two years later as a leaflet by SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) entitled “Hymn for the newly Confirmed” and later in the New Appendix to the New and Enlarged Edition of Hymns for Public Worship (1870), Church Hymns and Tunes (1874), and Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875). The text is based on John 12:23-26 and Jesus’ words that those who love their life will lose it, and in losing it will have eternal life1.

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
Be thou forever near me,
My Master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near:
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised
To all who follow thee,
That where thou art in glory
There shall thy servant be.
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend.


1 thought on “O Jesus, I Have Promised

  1. I found this website that sends you a different hymn every day. Even though you don’t get the audio, yet probably can from Youtube, the old hymn lyrics are hard to beat. Very encouraging and uplifting. Enjoy!


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