The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.
What a lovely paraphrase of Psalm 23! The author, Henry Williams Baker, was eager to write and publish hymns that reflected greatness and majesty in worshipping God. His first edition was published in 1861 under the title of Hymns Ancient and Modern . An amusing anecdote is recorded about this. The book became known in Britain by its initials: H.A. and M. Because people knew how fastidiously Henry Baker had worked on each hymn, with much changing and deleting, some referred to it as Hymns Asked for and Mutilated ! However, it became the leading Anglican hymnbook, and sold over 150 million copies. The King of Love appeared only later, in the 1868 revision’s appendix.It became the leading Anglican hymnbook, and sold over 150 million copies Click To Tweet
Baker was ordained in the Anglican Church and eventually became a vicar. Later he was knighted and became a baronet, succeeding his father. When Henry died in 1877 at the age of not quite fifty-six, a friend of his, John Ellerton, was beside him and heard his last words as he quoted from his own hymn the words of the third verse above. No doubt Henry Baker was glad to be carried “Home” by the Lord he loved and had served so well.eager to write and publish hymns that reflected greatness and majesty in worshipping Click To Tweet
WORDS: HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER; MUSIC: JOHN DYKES
S.A. SONG BOOK, 1987 EDITION, #53; 2015 EDITION, #61
REFERENCE: MORGAN, ROBERT J., THEN SINGS MY SOUL
Classic Hymn, different styles