Gracious Savior, Gentle Shepherd

Gracious Savior, gentle Shepherd

Author: Jane Elizabeth Leeson (1842)
Published in 134 hymnals

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1 Gracious Savior, gentle Shepherd,
Children all are dear to Thee;
Gathered with Thine arms and carried
In Thy bosom may we be
Sweetly, fondly, safely tended,
From all want and danger free.

2 Tender Shepherd, never leave us
From Thy fold to go astray;
By Thy look of love directed
May we walk the narrow way;
Thus direct us and protect us,
Lest they fall an easy prey.

3 Cleanse our hearts from sinful folly,
In the stream Thy love supplied,
Mingled stream of blood and water,
Flowing from Thy wounded side;
And to heavenly pastures lead us,
Where Thy own still waters glide.

4 Let Thy holy Word instruct us;
Guide us daily by its light;
Let Thy love and grace constrain us
To approve whate'er is right;
Take Thine easy yoke, and wear it,
Strengthened with Thy heavenly might.

5 Taught to lisp the holy praises
Which on earth Thy children sing,
Both with lips and hearts unfeigned
May we our thank-offerings bring;
Then with all the saints in glory,
Join to praise our Lord and King.

The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: Jane Elizabeth Leeson

Leeson, Jane E.. The earliest work by Miss Leeson with which we are acquainted is her Infant Hymnings. Then followed Hymns and Scenes of Childhood, or A Sponsor's Gift (London, James Burns; Nottingham, Dearden), 1842, in which the Infant Hymnings were incorporated. Concerning Pt. ii. of the Hymns and Scenes, &c, Miss Leeson says, "For the best of the Poems in the second part, the Writer is indebted to a friend." In the Rev. Henry Formby's Catholic Hymns arranged in order for the principal Festivals, Feasts of Saints, and other occasions of Devotion throughout the Year, London, Burns and Lambert, N.D. [1851], "Imprimatur, N. Cardinalis Wiseman, May 3rd, 1853," her translation of Victimae Paschali (“Christ the Lord is risen to-day"), and he… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Gracious Savior, gentle Shepherd
Title: Gracious Savior, Gentle Shepherd
Author: Jane Elizabeth Leeson (1842)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.7
Language: English

Notes

Gracious Saviour, gentle [holy] Shepherd. [The Good Shepherd.] In Miss Jane E. Leeson's Hymns & Scenes of Childhood, Published in 1842, three hymns appeared as follows:—
1. "Shepherd, in Thy bosom folded," as No. v."
2. "Loving Shepherd of Thy sheep," as No. xvii.
3. "Infant sorrow, infant weakness," as No. xl.
Upon these hymns the cento, "Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd," is based. It was first published in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, No. 183, in 5 stanzas of 6 lines, and was appointed for Holy Baptism. It is thus composed:—

i. "Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd,
Little Ones are dear to Thee;
Gathered with
Thine arms and carried
In Thy bosom they may be
Sweetly, fondly, safely tended
;
From all want and danger free."

Of this stanza lines 1-4 are from stanza iii. of No. xl., as above, and lines 5, 6 of No. v. The words in italics in this and the remaining stanzas are by Miss Leeson; the alterations and additions being by the Rev. J. Keble.

ii. "Tender Shepherd, never leave them
From Thy fold to go astray;
By Thy look of love directed,
May they walk the narrow way;
Thus direct them, and protect them,
Lest they fall an easy prey."

This stanza is rewritten from No. xvii. as above, no single line of the original being retained. It is based on the whole hymn, and not on any single stanza.

iii. “Cleanse their hearts from sinful folly
In the stream Thy
love supplied;
Mingled streams of Blood and water
Flowing from Thy wounded side
:
And to heavenly pastures lead them,
Where Thine own still waters glide."

The lines in italics are from Miss Leeson's No. v., stanza ii; whilst lines 5, 6, by J. Keble, have nothing in common with the three hymns.

iv. "Let Thy holy word instruct them:
Fill their minds with heavenly light;
Let Thy love and grace constrain them,
To approve whate'er is right,
Take Thine easy yoke and wear it,
And to prove Thy burden light.”

This is a new stanza by J. Keble, the keynote being Miss Leeson's No. v., stanza iii., line 1— "Ever and anon instruct me."

v. “Taught to lisp the holy praises
Which on earth Thy children sing,—
Both with lips and hearts unfeigned
May they their thank-offerings bring;
Then with all the saints in glory
Join to praise their Lord and King!"

This stanza is Miss Leeson's No. v., stanza iii., rewritten.
In 1860 this cento was repeated in Jonathan Whittemore's Baptist Supplement to all Hymn Books, Lond., J. F. Shaw, No. 140, and signed " W.," i.e. "Whittemore." This subscription has led the cento to be described as by "Miss Jane E. Leeson, and the Rev. Jonathan Whittemore, Baptist Minister, b. April 6, 1802; d. Oct. 31, 1860." Seeing, however, that Whittemore's text is a repetition of the Salisbury Hymn Book text, with the single alteration of stanza iii., line 6, from " Where Thine own still waters glide," to "Where the peaceful waters glide," this ascription must be set aside in favour of “Miss Jane E. Leeson, 1842; J. Keble, 1857." [E MSS. and S. MSS.]
The use of this cento in all English-speaking countries is very great. The opening line sometimes reads, "Gracious Saviour, holy Shepherd," but this form is not received with general favour.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

================

Gracious Saviour, gentle [holy] Shepherd, p. 448, ii. Since the published of this Dictionary in 1892 we have found a copy of J. Whittemore's Baptist Supplement to all Hymn Books, dated 1850, and in it, as No.140, is the cento which, as being in the Salisbury Hymn Book of 1857, we attributed to Miss J. E. Leeson, 1842; J. Keble, 1857. It must now read; Miss J. E. Leeson, 1842; J. Whittemore, 1850.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

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Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #508TextPage Scan
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Small Church Music #2253Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #2055TextScoreAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #416TextPage Scan
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