Scripture Verse

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10


Walter C. Smith (1824–1908)

Words: Wal­ter C. Smith, in Wor­ship in the School Room, ed­it­ed by W. T. Wy­lie (New York: Scher­mer­horn, Ban­croft, 1865).

Music: Fred H. Byshe (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know when the words or mu­sic were writ­ten, or where to get a good pic­ture of Byshe (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


One thing I of the Lord de­sire,
For all my path hath mi­ry been,
Be it by wa­ter or by fire,
O make me clean, O make me clean.


Wash me, Thou, with­out, with­in,
Or purge with fire, if that must be,
Anyhow, if on­ly sin
Die out in me, die out, die out in me.

If clear­er vi­sion Thou im­part,
Grateful and glad my soul shall be;
But yet to have a pur­er heart
Is more to me, is more to me.


Yea, on­ly as this heart is clean
May larg­er vi­sion yet be mine,
For mir­rored in its depths are seen
The things di­vine, the things di­vine.


I watch to shun the mi­ry way,
And stanch the springs of guil­ty thought,
But, watch and strug­gle as I may,
Pure I am not, pure I am not.