“In the Garden”

We sang this one in church where I grew up all the time. Very pretty tune. But it’s never really touched me as much as this performance — because I think Emily Ann Roberts believes the lyrics. I’m not sure that we did. I think we wished we did. But if someone had actually taught this from the pulpit — well, our hymnology is often truer than our theology.

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.

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.

I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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6 Responses to “In the Garden”

  1. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    I’m just thankful that Miss Roberts had the courage to sing this particular song…and sad that I should have to be thankful!

  2. Chris says:

    Jay, I’ve noticed in the COC, opportunities aren’t normally given to an individual to sing a solo. Yet, I’m sure there are those who would love to use their gifts and talents to edify others. (1 Corinthians 14:26).

  3. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Late 19th Century argument against “special music.” I’ve never really understood the logic. McGowan’s recent book on Christian worship history finds indications of choirs back to the Second Century. The arguments I’ve seen are based on forced interpretations of the NT Greek.

    But to give you a sense of things, Everett Ferguson, who is a world-class scholar and a favorite advocate for a cappella-only music in worship, argues for UNISON singing because only unison singing properly symbolizes the unity of the congregation — and based on arguments made by early church fathers centuries after the apostles. Of course, no Church of Christ that I know of insists on unison singing (or else we couldn’t sing Stamps Baxter) and yet Ferguson is held up as the great defender of a cappella music even though he disagrees with nearly every Church of Christ congregation on the planet regarding unison singing.

    But our arguments for a cappella have so contorted our thinking that we wind up dismissing even four-part harmony just so we can be true to some Fifth Century Christian author. And if a piano might damn, where do we find authority for a gospel quartet or a soloist? Just to be sure — just in case — since the penalty for being wrong is eternal damnation in hell — we’d better stick with what we’ve traditionally done. That’s pretty much the logic: fear.

  4. Lowry Hershey says:

    Question for Jay due to the observation by Chris…have you given an exposition of 1 Corinthians 14:26 or referenced someone who has explored those five listed examples?
    Thank you.

  5. Mark says:

    One time in one cofC where I was visiting I heard a cantor chant the Gospel in plainchant. Other than that you can just leave your talents at the door.

  6. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    For readers not familiar with the citation:

    (1 Cor. 14:26 ESV) 26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

    I recently posted a series on the entirety of 1 Cor. Here’s the post that includes this passage: http://oneinjesus.info/2015/04/1-corinthians-1423-25-each-one-has-a-gift/

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