Indelible Grace Hymnbook

In The Secret Of His Presence

Ellen Goreh
Christopher Miner

In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus’ side!
Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go,
To the secret place I go.

When my soul is faint and thirsty, ’neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Savior rests beside me, as we hold communion sweet:
If I tried, I could not utter what He says when thus we meet,
What He says when thus we meet.

Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:
Do you think He ne’er reproves me? What a false Friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,
Of the sins which He must see.

Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;
And whene’er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face,
Of the Master in your face.


The author of the words of this beau­ti­ful hymn was a high-caste na­tive of In­dia. Af­ter her con­ver­sion to Christ­i­an­i­ty, it is said, she spent some years in the home of an Eng­lish cler­gy­man, and wrote the po­em…there. It made its ap­pear­ance in a book of po­ems of which she was the au­thor…The hymn was first sung by [George Steb­bins] as an of­fer­to­ry in one of the church­es in Brook­lyn, New York. It was oft­en re­peat­ed as an of­fer­to­ry, and on oc­ca­sions was sung in evan­gel­is­tic ser­vic­es. But it had its larg­er in­tro­duct­ion to the pub­lic dur­ing the All-Winter Mis­sion con­duct­ed by Mr. Moo­dy and my­self in Lon­don in the win­ter of 1883-84, when I sang it fre­quent­ly, as did Mr. Steb­bins, who spent sev­er­al months as­sist­ing in the mis­sion. It was al­so oft­en sung by Miss Beau­cham, daugh­ter of the late La­dy Beau­cham and since the wife of Col­onel Dru­ry-Lowe, one of the he­roes of the In­di­an Mu­ti­ny, and un­cle of Lord Cur­zon, Vi­ce­roy and Gov­er­nor-Gen­er­al of In­dia. The hymn at once came in­to gen­er­al fa­vor, and the deep­ly spir­i­tu­al tone of the words brought bless­ing to ma­ny. The song was af­ter­wards pub­lished in “Gos­pel Hymns,” and in “Sacred Songs and Solos.” Ve­ry soon it found its way in­to all parts of the world. Dr. Hud­son Tay­lor, head of the great Chi­na In­land Mis­sion, stat­ed at North­field [Mass­a­chu­setts] that it was the fa­vo­rite hymn of his mis­sion­ar­ies.

The win­ter of 1890-91 Mr. and Mrs. Steb­bins spent in In­dia. While vi­sit­ing the ci­ty of Al­la­ha­bad, the home of Miss Go­reh, Mr. Steb­bins sought her out and made her ac­quaint­ance. He found her en­gaged in mis­sion work among the wo­men of In­dia, a mo­dest, de­vot­ed Christ­ian, held in high es­teem by mis­sion­ar­ies of all de­nom­in­a­tions and by all who knew her. Thus the two sing­ers whose names had be­come as­so­ci­at­ed in Christ­ian song met each other—one from the far East, and one from be­yond far West­ern seas—both in­spired by the same Lord, in the sec­ret of whose pre­sence they long since came to abide. Sankey, pp. 166-7