1. He leads us on by paths we did not know.
Upward He leads us, tho' our steps be slow;
Tho' oft we faint and falter on the way,
Tho' storms and darkness oft obscure the day,
Yet, when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
2. He leads us on thro' all the' un-quiet years;
Past all our dream-land hopes, and doubts, and fears
He guides our steps; thro' all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o'er-clouded days
We know His will is done,
And still He leads us on.
3. And soon or late the rugged field of strife
Shall catch the sunlight that transfigures life;
The heart shall win the discipline of pain,
And know the struggle has not been in vain;
Its doubts and fears shall cease,
And Christ will bring it peace.
Wiley, Hiram Ozias. (Middlebury, Vermont, May 20, 1831--January 28, 1873, Peabody [Danvers], Massachusetts). He was a Unitarian layman who practiced law in Peabody from 1855 until his death, and was the author of occasional verse contributed to local newspapers. On May 17, 1865, the South Danvers Wizard published his hymn beginning "He leads us on by paths we did not know," and republished it on May 8, 1867, with a note reading:
Some years ago we published the following poem, which was written for our columns by H.O. Wiley, Esq. Since then it has traverse the country in all directions, without any credit being given either to our paper or to the author. We reproduce it from a Western paper in order to correct several errors that have crept… Go to person page >
He leads us on By paths we did not know. [God's Guidance.] This appears in Our Home beyond the Tide (Glasgow, 1878, p. 84), a little book compiled by Ellen E. Miles, where it is given as Anon. It is in various recent hymnals, and sometimes, as in the Methodist Free Church Hymns, 1889, No. 509, marked as "Count Zinzendorf, about 1750. Translated in Hymns from the Land of Luther." We have failed to find any trace of it in Miss Borthwick's works. It seems to be the composition of a Unitarian who desired to write a companion hymn to Miss Borthwick's version from Zinzendorf, "Jesus, still lead on" (p. 589, ii.). In the Unitarian 1873 Supplement to their Sunday School Hymn Book, it begins, "God leads us on," &c. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)