The Oldest Children’s Hymn


Have you ever wondered while you were singing hymns at Sunday school which hymn might be the oldest Christian hymn? The oldest hymn that we know of was a children’s hymn written in Greek by a man named Clement of Alexandria. He probably wrote it about 200 A.D. and it was translated in 1846 by Mr. Henry Dexter. Here are the words:

Shepherd of Eager Youth

Shepherd of eager youth,
Guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways -
Christ, our triumphant king,
We come Thy name to sing,
Hither Thy children bring
Tributes of praise
Ever near our side,
Our shepherd and our Guide,
Our staff and song,
Jesus, Thou Christ of God,
By Thy enduring Word
Lead us where Thou hast trod,
Make our faith strong

Children of the third century must have been very much like children today. They must have wondered about things such as their safety, their future careers and their fears and temptations, just like you and I do. Many Christians were severely persecuted in those days, too. Perhaps they dressed differently and lived in different homes than we do, but I am sure that Christian children found the Lord Jesus the same then as He is today. Remember - the Lord never changes - "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He was precious to those early Christians as He is precious to us today.

"Unto you therefore which believe He is precious" (1 Peter2:7).

Is Jesus precious to you?

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