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Updated 06/04/2013


Trust and Obey

John Sammis

The ti­tle ex­press­ion was used in a test­i­mo­ny meet­ing, fol­low­ing an evan­gel­is­tic cru­sade in Brock­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, by Dwight L. Mo­ody. A young man stood to speak, and it soon be­came clear he knew lit­tle Christ­ian doc­trine. But he fin­ished by say­ing, “I’m not quite sure—but I’m go­ing to trust, and I’m go­ing to obey.” Dan­iel Town­er, who was in the meet­ing, jot­ted down the words, and gave them to John Sam­mis, who de­vel­oped the lyr­ics from them.

A bus­i­ness­man and YMCA work­er in Lo­gans­port, In­di­a­na, John Henry Sam­mis (1846-1919) at­tend­ed Mc­Cor­mick and Lane The­o­lo­gic­al Sem­in­aries, was or­dained a Pres­by­ter­i­an min­is­ter in 1880.

He served in Glid­den, Io­wa; In­di­an­a­po­lis, In­di­a­na; Grand­ha­ven, Mi­chi­gan, Red Wing, Min­ne­so­ta; and Sull­i­van, In­di­a­na. For the re­maind­er of his ca­reer, he taught at the Bi­ble In­sti­tute of Los An­ge­les.

Daniel Towner

Daniel Brink Towner (1850-1919) stu­died mu­sic under his fa­ther (a well known sing­er and teach­er in his own right), John Howard, George Root, and James Webb. He was mu­sic di­rect­or at the Cen­ten­ary Meth­od­ist Church in Bing­ham­ton, New York (1870-1882); the York Street Meth­od­ist Epis­co­pal Church, Cin­cin­nati, Ohio (1882-1884); the Un­ion Meth­od­ist Epis­co­pal Church, Cov­ing­ton, Ken­tucky (1884-1885); and the Moody Bi­ble In­sti­tute, Chi­ca­go, Ill­i­nois (1893-1919). The Amer­i­can Temp­er­ance Uni­ver­si­ty in Har­ri­man, Ten­nes­see, award­ed Towner a Doc­tor­ate of Mu­sic in 1900.

Lyrics by John Sammis


When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.


Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.


But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.


Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.