Onwards And Upwards

In Salem Chapel on Sunday, we were reminded of a great hymn from the Reformation that is seldom sung nowadays. It made me think: I keep coming across hymns and spirituals, from various periods, that I’ve never sung anywhere, at any time. Is it just me in my small corner, or have they fallen out of fashion entirely? Here’s one, for example. Perhaps it’s because of the subject-matter: sanctification. Does anyone else know it? There are various versions on YouTube. See what you think. I’d be interested in your opinion.

Higher Ground

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922)