IN THE GARDEN
C. Austin Miles, 1868–1945
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that He had said these things to her. (John 20:18)
It was in 1912 that music publisher Dr. Adam Geibel asked author and composer C. Austin Miles to write a hymn text that would be “sympathetic in tone, breathing tenderness in every line; one that would bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the weary, and downy pillows to dying beds.” Mr. Miles has left the following account of the writing of this hymn:
One day in April, 1912, I was seated in the dark room, where I kept my photographic equipment and organ. I drew my Bible toward me; it opened at my favorite chapter, John 20—whether by chance or inspiration let each reader decide. That meeting of Jesus and Mary had lost none of its power and charm.
As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary’s life, when she knelt before her Lord, and cried, “Rabboni!”
My hands were resting on the Bible while I stared at the light blue wall. As the light faded, I seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat, as if to choke back her sobs, walked slowly into the shadows. It was Mary. As she came to the tomb, upon which she placed her hand, she bent over to look in, and hurried away.
John, in flowing robe, appeared, looking at the tomb; then came Peter, who entered the tomb, followed slowly by John.
As they departed, Mary reappeared; leaning her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing, so did I. I knew it was He. She knelt before Him, with arms outstretched and looking into His face cried, “Rabboni!” I awakened in sun light, gripping the Bible, with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. Under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening I wrote the music.
* * * *
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing; and the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him tho the night around me be falling; but He bids me go—thru the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling.
Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
For Today: Matthew 20:28; Matthew 28:5–9; John 20; Romans 5:6, 10, 11
Let your mind join Mary and the disciples in the garden when Christ first appeared to them following His resurrection. Respond as did Mary—“Rabboni!” (my Master). Carry this musical truth throughout the day—
Osbeck, K. W.
- Even as the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for the ransom of many. Matthew 20:28
- But the Angel answered, and said to the women, Fear ye not: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord was laid, And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead: and behold, he goeth before you into Gailee: there ye shall see him: lo, I have told you. So they departed quickly from the sepulcher, with fear and great joy, and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus also met them, saying, God save you. And they came, and took him by the feet, and worshipped him. Matthew 28:5–9
- Now the first day of the week came Mary Magdalene, early when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb. Then she ran, and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they came unto the sepulcher. So they ran both together, but the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooped down, and saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in. Then came Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and saw the linen clothes lie, And the kerchief that was upon his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also the other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw it, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, That he must rise again from the dead. And the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulucher weeping: and as she wept, she bowed herself into the sepulcher, And saw two Angels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where they body of Jesus had lain. And they said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She said unto them, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She supposing that he had been the gardener, said unto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and said unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. The same day then at night, which was the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands, and his side, Then were the disciples glad when they had seen the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father sent me, so send I you. And when he had said that, he breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive the holy Ghost. Whosoever’s sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: and whosoever’s sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord: but he said unto them, Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put mine hand into his side, I will not believe it. And eight days after, again his disciples were within, and Thomas was with them. Then came Jesus, when thedoors were shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. After said he to Thomas, Put thy finger here, and see mine hands, and put forth thine hand, and put it into my side, and be not faithless, but faithful. Then Thomas answered, and said unto him, Thou art my Lord, and my God. Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou believest: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. And any other signs also did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these things are written that ye might believe, that Jesus is that Christ that Son of God, and that in believing ye might have life through his Name. John 20
- For Christ, when we were yet of no strength, at his time died for the ungodly. … For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life, And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans 5:6, 10, 11