Jesus Savior Pilot Me [Hymn]

Jesus Savior Pilot Me [Hymn]

“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:23-26

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About Edward Hopper

Jesus Savior Pilot Me was written in 1871 by Edward Hopper. The tune Pilot was composed by John Edgar Gould. Martin in Songs of the Spirit writes the following:

Born in New York City, Hopper became a Presbyterian minister. After pastoring 2 Presbyterian churches in New York, he pastored a small church [Church of Sea and Land] in the New York harbor, ministering to many sailors. It was while he was there that he wrote this hymn anonymously. When asked to write a hymn for the Seamen’s Friend Society, he instead read this already published hymn. It was then that the people, who already knew this song, became aware of its author.

The Hymn writer

“Major D. W. Whit­tle told me the fol­low­ing in­ci­dent in con­nec­tion with this hymn:

‘I went with Gen­er­al O. O. How­ard to hold meet­ings for the sol­diers at Tam­pa, Flor­i­da, and one day while go­ing through the camp I found a young man dy­ing of fe­ver. I knelt by his side and asked him if he was a Christ­ian. He re­plied that he was not, but said that his fa­ther and mo­ther were Christ­ians; and he asked me to pray for him. I did so, but no deep im­pres­sion was made up­on his heart. I went away with a sor­row­ing heart and prom­ised to re­turn ano­ther day.

Two days lat­er I vi­sit­ed him again and, pray­ing with him, the Lord put in­to my mind to sing, ‘Je­sus, Sav­iour, pi­lot me.’ The dy­ing sol­dier said: ‘Oh, that sounds good; it puts me in mind of my be­lov­ed sis­ter in Mi­chi­gan, who used to sing this hymn for me be­fore I en­tered the ar­my.’ He want­ed me to re­peat it over and over again for him, and fi­nal­ly he asked: ‘Will Je­sus be my pi­lot in­to the ha­ven of rest?’ I told the young man that Je­sus would. ‘Then,’ he said, ‘I will trust him with all my heart.’ The next day I called to see him again, but his com­rade said: ‘He passed away dur­ing the night.’”

– From Story of Gospel Hymns by Ira Sankey

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More hymns here.

Lyrics

"Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me"
by Edward Hopper, 1818-1888

1. Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

2. As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say'st to them, "Be still!"
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

3. When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."

Hymn #649
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Matthew 8:26
Author: Edward Hopper, 1871
Composer: John Edgar Gould, 1871
Tune: "Pilot"    

Additional Stanzas

A writer to Hymnal.net includes these additional stanzas:

2. While th'Apostles' fragile bark
Struggled with the billows dark,
On the stormy Galilee,
Thou didst walk upon the sea;
And when they beheld Thy form,
Safe they glided through the storm.

3. Though the sea be smooth and bright,
Sparkling with the stars of night,
And my ship's path be ablaze
With the light of halcyon days,
Still I know my need of Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

4. When the darkling heavens frown,
And the wrathful winds come down,
And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
Lash themselves against the sky,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life's tempestuous sea.

The original last stanza is different:

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."
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Alec Satin
Comfort for Christians Editor
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