Not Worthy, Lord!

Representative Text

1 Not worthy, Lord! to gather up the crumbs
with trembling hand that from thy table fall,
a weary, heavy-laden sinner comes
to plead thy promise and obey thy call.

2 I am not worthy to be thought thy child,
nor sit the last and lowest at thy board;
too long a wand'rer and too oft beguiled,
I only ask one reconciling word.

3 One word from thee, my Lord, one smile, one look,
and I could face the cold, rough world again;
And with that treasure in my heart could brook
the wrath of devils and the scorn of men.

4 I hear thy voice; thou bidd'st me come and rest;
I come, I kneel, I clasp thy pierced feet;
thou bidd'st me take my place, a welcome guest
among thy saints, and of thy banquet eat.

5 My praise can only breathe itself in prayer,
my prayer can only lose itself in thee;
dwell thou forever in my heart, and there,
Lord, let me sup with thee; sup thou with me.

Source: Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #428

Author: Edward Henry Bickersteth

Bickersteth, Edward Henry, D.D., son of Edward Bickersteth, Sr. born at Islington, Jan. 1825, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. with honours, 1847; M.A., 1850). On taking Holy Orders in 1848, he became curate of Banningham, Norfolk, and then of Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells. His preferment to the Rectory of Hinton-Martell, in 1852, was followed by that of the Vicarage of Christ Church, Hampstead, 1855. In 1885 he became Dean of Gloucester, and the same year Bishop of Exeter. Bishop Bickersteth's works, chiefly poetical, are:— (l) Poems, 1849; (2) Water from the Well-spring, 1852; (3) The Rock of Ages, 1858 ; (4) Commentary on the New Testament, 1864; (5) Yesterday, To-day, and For Ever, 1867; (6) The Spirit of Life, 1868;… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs
Title: Not Worthy, Lord!
Author: Edward Henry Bickersteth (1872)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs. Bishop E. H. Bickersteth. [Holy Communion.] Written in 1872, and included in the revised edition of his Hymnal Companion, 1876. It is also in several other collections.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte's "Abide with Me" (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins's Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal tow…

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CONSOLATION (Mendelssohn)


According to some sources, William H. Monk (PHH 332) wrote EVENTIDE for Lyte's text in ten minutes. As the story goes, Monk was attending a hymnal committee meeting for the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern of which he was music editor. Realizing that this text had no tune, Monk sat down at t…

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #428

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