Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

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1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

2 We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
Be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray.

3 Thou hast promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse, and pow'r to free:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee.

4 Early let us seek Thy favor,
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Hymns for the Living Church

Author (attr.): Dorothy A. Thrupp

Dorothy Ann Thrupp was born in London, June 10, 1779. She contributed some hymns, under the pseudonym of "Iota," to W. Carus Wilson's Friendly Visitor and his Children's Friend. Other hymns by her, signed "D.A.T.," appeared in Mrs. Herbert Mayo's Selection of Hymns and Poetry for the Use of Infant Schools and Nurseries, 1838. She was also the editor of Hymns for the Young, c. 1830, in which all the hymns were given anonymously. She died in London on December 15, 1847. --The Hymnal 1940 Companion… Go to person page >

Notes

The text of "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" first appeared in Hymns for the Young, 1840, which was edited by Dorothy Ann Thrupp (1779-1847). Although no author's name appears with the text, it is thought that Thrupp wrote it, since she often published hymns anonymously, under the pseudonym "Iota," or simply using her initials.

The tune we sing today was written by William Bradbury expressly for this text and appeared in his Sunday School collection, Oriola, 1859. Bradbury was a protege of the great music educator, Lowell Mason. Bradbury sang in Mason's Bowdoin Street Church choir and Boston Academy of Music as a youth, and later started similar church and school music programs in New York where he served as organist at First Baptist Church. Beyond his work as an educator and church musician, Bradbury studied composition in Europe, founded the Bradbury Piano Company with his brother, and edited a number of music books. Bradbury is probably most famous for writing the music to "Jesus Loves Me."

It's interesting that "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" was originally intended for children. In fact, many classic hymns like "Morning Has Broken" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" were originally written for youth. Certainly this proves that educating our children and creating lasting music need not be mutually exclusive goals! --Greg Scheer, 1997

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Saviour, like a Shepherd, lead us. [The Good Shepherd.] The authorship of this hymn is a matter of some doubt. The earliest source to which we have traced it is Miss D. A. Thrupp's Hymns for the Young, 4th edition 1836, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, where it is unsigned. We next find it in the Rev. W. Carus Wilson's Children's Friend for June, 1838, again in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, and signed “Lyte." In the January number of the same magazine there is a National Hymn in the metre of "God save the Queen" ("Lord, Thy best blessing shed"), which is signed "H. Lyte," and dated from "Brixham".

"Saviour, like a Shepherd, lead us" appears again in 1838, in Mrs. Herbert Mayo's Selections of Hymns and Poetry for the use of Infant and Juvenile School, No. 171; and again in the edition of 1846, but without signature. As in that collection several hymns and poems are signed "D. A. T.," it is clear that Mrs. Mayo did not regard the hymn as Miss Thrupp's production. The most that we can say is that the evidence is decidedly against Miss Thrupp, and somewhat uncertain with regard to Lyte as the writer of the hymn. Its use is extensive both in G. Britain and America. [William T. Brooke]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #61
The Cyber Hymnal #6155
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Hymns for the Living Church #321
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #591
Timeless Truths #100
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The United Methodist Hymnal #381
Worship and Rejoice #440

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