LEAD ME TO CALVARY written in 1921
Not much is known about the writer of this hymn, Jennie Hussey (1874-1958). But, maybe we can connect the dots and get a pretty clear picture.
Jennie lived all her life in rural New Hampshire, and – for most of it – she took care of her invalid sister who had been stricken with rheumatism. Though this certainly restricted her in some ways, Jennie was known for her cheerful and courageous attitude.
She began writing rhymes as a child. Her first poems were published when she was 13. At 16, she began to write stories, articles and designs for crochet needlework for magazines. In 1898, her first hymns were published.
Jennie was a member of the Society of Friends, the Quakers. In fact, she was a 4th-generation Quaker, which takes her Quaker roots back to the 18th-century, almost back to the time of William Penn, the remarkable man who brought the Quakers to America and founded the colony of Pennsylvania.
Besides founding Pennsylvania, William Penn is also remembered for a Quaker classic entitled “No Cross, No Crown”… and Jennie was very familiar with this book.
Maybe this explains why Jennie began her hymn with the words, “King of my life, I crown Thee now”, and ended with the words, “Lead me to Calvary”.
The music for this hymn was composed by that well-known composer, William J. Kirkpatrick.
Read this hymn, and – today – follow the path God has prepared for you… a path that leads to the cross.
King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be;
lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow, lead me to Calvary.
Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine agony;
lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.
Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid, tenderly mourned and wept;
angels in robes of light arrayed guarded Thee whilst Thou slept. (Refrain)
Let me like Mary, through the gloom, come with a gift to Thee;
show to me now the empty tomb, lead me to Calvary. (Refrain)
May I be willing, Lord, to bear daily my cross for Thee;
even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me. (Refrain)