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
|First Line:||Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go|
|Title:||Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go|
|Author:||Charles Wesley (1749)|
st. 2 = Ps. 139:2
st. 3 = Ps. 16:8
st. 4 = Matt 11:30
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).
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)