Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?

Must I Go, and Empty-Handed? Lyrics

1 “Must I go, and empty-handed,”
Thus my dear Redeemer meet?
Not one day of service give Him,
Lay no trophy at His feet?

“Must I go, and empty-handed?”
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him,
Must I empty-handed go?

2 Not at death I shrink or falter,
For my Savior saves me now;
But to meet Him empty-handed,
Thought of that now clouds my brow. [Refrain]

3 Oh, the years in sinning wasted,
Could I but recall them now,
I would give them to my Savior,
To His will I’d gladly bow. [Refrain]

4 Oh, ye saints, arouse, be earnest,
Up and work while yet ’tis day;
Ere the night of death o’ertake thee,
Strive for souls while still you may. [Refrain]

Must I Go, and Empty-Handed? Hymn Story

“Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?” is a hymn that was written in 1877 by Charles Caroll Luther.

Of the hymn “Must I Go, and Empty Handed” the author of the words, Reverend C. C. Luther, relates that it was inspired by the remark of a dying young man, who said, “I am not afraid to die; Jesus saves me now, but, oh! must I go empty handed?”

During our stay in Providence, Mr. Luther handed the words to me, and the music was written shortly afterward. An incident is told of the singing of the hymn in Essex, England, in a morning service attended by a godless youth.

At the third verse – “Oh, the years of sinning wasted,” etc., the young man was so forcibly impressed that he went home miserable and was unable to eat his dinner.

In the afternoon he went to a Bible class for workingmen, conducted at the other end of the town. As he entered, the same hymn was being sung.

He was so moved thereat and so impressed by the coincidence that it resulted in his conversion and in his leading a consistent Christian life thereafter.

Charles Caroll Luther

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