Is this thy will, and must I be

Is this thy will, and must I be. Susanna Harrison* (1752-1784).  From Songs in the Night (1780). It is an interesting example of a hymn by an uneducated woman writer who is nervous about her work appearing in the public domain, with herself as a ‘living witness’. It had a note at the foot of the page: ‘Composed after being made acquainted that her verses were designed to be printed.’ She claims to be unworthy of this, but this serves as an artifice which allows her to declare to all the saints what God has done for her (stanza 2), and to proclaim submission to the will of God (stanza 3). It also suggests that she is following ‘the path of duty’ (stanza 4): Is this thy will, - and must I...

If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.

Cite this article