Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go

Representative Text

1 Forth in your name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labor to pursue,
determined only you to know
in all I think or speak or do.

2 The task your wisdom has assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
in all my works your presence find,
and prove your good and perfect will.

3 May I find you at my right hand;
your eyes see truly what I do.
I labor on at your command
and offer all my works to you.

4 Give me to bear your easy yoke
and ev'ry moment watch and pray
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to your glorious day.

5 For you I joyously employ
whate’er you in grace have giv’n:
I run my daily course with joy
and closely walk with you to heav’n.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #739

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepene… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go
Title: Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go
Author: Charles Wesley (1749)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Ps. 139:2
Rom. 12:1-2
st. 3 = Ps. 16:8
st. 4 = Matt 11:30
Matt 26:41

Charles Wesley (PHH 267) wrote the text of this hymn and published it in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749) as a hymn "for believers." It was entitled "Before Work."

The hymn originally had six stanzas. Following John Wesley's example in his Collection (1780), most modern hymnals, including the Psalter Hymnal, omit the original stanza 3.

Recognizing the significance of daily work for the Christian, Charles Wesley wrote and sang hymns not only for Sunday but also for daily use. The text of this hymn reflects Wesley's views about work: we are to do our work in the name of the Lord (st. 1); God calls us to our work in obedience to his will (st. 2); we may offer all our work to God (st. 3); as we journey from this life to glory, we may always view our work as part of the coming of God's kingdom (st. 4); we may gratefully use all God's gifts for his glory (st. 5).

Liturgical Use:
Close of worship; worship services in which labor is stressed (Labor Day Sunday); springtime prayer services for crops and industry; New Year's Day; ordination; profession of faith; commissioning services; when used during the Easter season, substitute an "Alleluia" for the final "Amen."

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988
Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go. C. Wesley. [Morning.] First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, vol. i. p. 246. "For Believers Before Work," No. 144, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It was included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, in 1780, with the omission of stanza iii. It has come into most extensive use both in Great Britain and America. In common with many of the older hymns it has undergone alterations at various hands. The line which has given the greatest trouble to the compilers is, "And prove Thy acceptable will." This has undergone many changes, but that given in the Leeds Hymn Book, in 1853, "And prove Thy good and perfect will," has been received by common consent as the best and most musical reading. Original text, Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. v. p. 50. The doxology in Hymns Ancient & Modern and some other collections is not in the original. In 1767, R. Conyers gave it in his Collection as "Forth in Thy strength, O Lord, we go," but this alteration has passed out of use.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Derived from the fourth piano piece in Robert A. Schumann's Nachtstücke, Opus 23 (1839), CANONBURY first appeared as a hymn tune in J. Ireland Tucker's Hymnal with Tunes, Old and New (1872). The tune, whose title refers to a street and square in Islington, London, England, is often matched to Haver…

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Instances (1 - 42 of 42)

Ancient and Modern #476

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #201


Christian Worship (1993) #456


Christian Worship #739

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #567

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #494

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #529

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Common Praise (1998) #467

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Common Praise #430


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #188

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Complete Mission Praise #159

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CPWI Hymnal #517

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #506

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #501

Hymnal #415

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #239

Hymns and Psalms #381

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #306


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #529

Hymns of the Saints #498

Hymns Old and New #143


Lutheran Service Book #854


Lutheran Worship #380


Moravian Book of Worship #638

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #324

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Rejoice in the Lord #79

Sing Glory #623

Singing the Faith #550

The Baptist Hymnal #466

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The Book of Praise #652

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The Covenant Hymnal #670


The Cyber Hymnal #1588

The Irish Presbyterian Hymnbook #591

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The New English Hymnal #235


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #667


The United Methodist Hymnal #438


The Worshiping Church #397


Together in Song #571

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #206

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Voices United #416

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Worship and Rejoice #718

生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #345

Include 302 pre-1979 instances
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