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Updated 06/04/2013

 

Take Time to Be Holy

The lyrics to “Take Time to Be Holy” was written by William Dunn Longstaff (1822-1894) in 1882.  Longstaff was trea­sur­er of the Be­thes­da Free Cha­pel in Sun­der­land. He was friends with Sal­va­tion Ar­my foun­der Will­iam Booth, and evan­gel­ists Dwight Moo­dy and Ira Sank­ey. A number of his hymns were pub­lished in the Sal­va­tion Ar­my’s War Cry in the 1880’s.

The music was written by George Coles Stebbins (1846-1945).  Stebbins stu­died mu­sic in Buf­fa­lo and Ro­ches­ter, New York, then be­came a sing­ing teach­er. Around 1869, he moved to Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, to join the Ly­on and Hea­ly Mu­sic Com­pa­ny. He al­so be­came the mu­sic di­rect­or at the First Bap­tist Church in Chi­ca­go. It was in Chi­ca­go that he met the lead­ers in the Gos­pel mu­sic field, such as George Root, Phil­ip Bliss, and Ira Sank­ey.  At age 28, Steb­bins moved to Bos­ton, Mass­a­chus­etts, where he be­came mu­sic di­rect­or at the Clare­don Street Bap­tist Church; the pas­tor there was Adon­i­ram Gor­don. Two years lat­er, Steb­bins be­came mu­sic di­rect­or at Tre­mont Tem­ple in Bos­ton. Short­ly ther­eaft­er, he be­came in­volved in evan­gel­ism cam­paigns with Moo­dy and others. Around 1900, Steb­bins spent a year as an evan­gel­ist in In­dia, Egypt, Ita­ly, Pal­es­tine, France and Eng­land.


George Stubbins



 

Lyrics by William Longstaff

 

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.