Scripture Verse

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Matthew 26:41

Introduction

portrait
Horatio R. Palmer
1834–1907

Words & Mu­sic: Ho­ra­tio R. Palm­er, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
Joseph Resists
Potiphar’s Wife

Origin of the Song

This song was an in­spi­ra­tion. I was at work on the dry sub­ject of ‘The­o­ry,’ when the comp­lete idea flashed up­on me, and I laid aside the the­o­ret­i­cal work and hur­ried­ly penned both words and mu­sic as fast as I could write them.

I sub­mit­ted them to the cri­ti­cism of a friend af­ter­ward, and some chang­es were made in the third stan­za, but the first two are ex­act­ly as they came to me—I am rev­er­ent­ly thank­ful it has been a pow­er for good.

Sankey, p. 313


This gos­pel hymn…is said to have quelled a pri­son riot in Sing Sing [New York]. Ac­cord­ing to the sto­ry, a la­dy was vis­it­ing the wo­men’s de­part­ment one Sun­day af­ter­noon. (At one time Sing Sing housed wo­men pris­on­ers as well as men.)

The in­mates were al­lowed to sit in the cor­ri­dor and hear her talk, and sing hymns with her. A ma­tron gave an or­der which the wo­men re­belled against, and a ter­ri­ble up­ris­ing filled with screams, threats, ri­bald­ry and pro­fane curs­es filled the Sab­bath air.

It was well known that a re­volt by the wo­men pris­on­ers was more dif­fi­cult to con­tain than a revolt by the men. The mat­ron, in des­per­a­tion, sent to the men’s de­part­ment for help.

Sud­den­ly a clear, strong voice rose above the clam­or and cry­ing of the re­bel­lious pris­on­ers. Yield not to temp­ta­tion, For yield­ing is sin; Each vic­to­ry will help you Some other to win. Fight man­ful­ly on­ward, Dark pas­sions sub­due; Look ev­er to Je­sus, He’ll ca­rry you through!

A hush stilled the ri­ot. One by one the in­mates joined in the song un­til as one they formed a line and marched qui­et­ly back to their cells.

Stuber, p. 512

Lyrics

Yield not to temptation,
For yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you
Some other to win;
Fight manfully onward,
Dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus,
He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions,
Bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in reverence,
Nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest,
Kindhearted and true,
Look ever to Jesus,
He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

To him that o’ercometh,
God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer,
Though often cast down;
He who is our Savior
Our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus,
He’ll carry you through.

Refrain