Hymn: O Holy Saviour, Friend unseen

O Holy Saviour! Friend unseen,
Since on thine arm thou bid’st us lean,
Help us, throughout life’s changing scene,
By faith to cling to Thee!

Bless’d with this fellowship divine
Take what thou wilt, we’ll not repine;
For as the branches to the vine
We only cling to Thee!

Though far from home, fatigued, oppressed,
Here we have found a place of rest;
As exiles still, yet not unblest,
Because we cling to Thee.

What though the world deceitful prove,
And earthly friends and hopes remove,
With patient uncomplaining love
Still can we cling to Thee.

Though oft we seem to tread alone
Life’s dreary waste, with thorns o’ergrown,
Thy voice of love, in gentlest tone,
Whispers, “Still cling to me.”

Though faith and hope are often tried,
We ask not, need not, ought beside,
So safe, so calm, so satisfied,
The souls that cling to thee.

They fear not Satan nor the grave,
They know thee near, and strong to save,
With thee all danger they can brave,
Because they cling to thee.

Bless’d is our lot whate’er befall,
Who can affright or who appall—
Since as our strength, our Rock, our all,
Jesus! we cling to thee.

Charlotte Elliott

This hymn is from J. C. Ryle’s little book Spiritual Songs, published in 1849, when he was rector of Helmingham, Suffolk. The hymns Ryle selected were not found in the most common hymnbooks of the day.

Suggested tune: Erskine.

Download a .pdf file of the hymnal.

I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Song of Solomon 8:5


  • Daniel J. Sparks

    An Anglican minister, teacher, speaker, and writer, Daniel has served as a parish pastor, military chaplain, and hospital chaplain, and bishop. He is editor of Confessing Anglicans.