The hymn below is most commonly sung to the tune 'Abridge', composed c.1770 by Isaac Smith. By way of context, Williams' biographer, writing in 1907, says the following of the collection in which this hymn is found: 'Hymns on the Catechism was written at Bisley and published in 1842. Its object was strictly practical; it was intended as "an aid towards following out that catechetical instruction which is so essential a part of the church system." It cannot be said that these hymns are likely to be so attractive to children, as, for example, those of Mrs Alexander, but they are suitable for congregational, or at any rate, for Sunday school use, and one of them, "Be Thou my Guardian and my Guide," has found its way deservedly into most collections.'
176 years on, and in every Anglican - and Ordinariate - context I have known, the following hymn remains, deservedly, part of the repertoire.
Be thou my guardian and my guide,
And hear me when I call;
Let not my slippery footsteps slide,
And hold me lest I fall.
The world, the flesh, and Satan dwell
Around the path I tread;
O save me from the snares of hell,
Thou quickener of the dead.
And if I tempted am to sin,
And outward things are strong,
Do thou, O Lord, keep watch within,
And save my soul from wrong.
Still let me ever watch and pray,
And feel that I am frail;
That if the tempter cross my way,
Yet he may not prevail.
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian