In The Garden (Hymn)

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.

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.

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; thro’ the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

Charles Austin Miles January 7, 1868 – March 10, 1946 © Public Domain

In The Garden Hymn is a PowerPoint Worship Song about the joy of having a close communion with God. You may consider to add In The Garden Hymn in your repertoire or worship line-up when the topics are about quiet time, prayer, heart, devotion and waiting on God.

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. John 18:1

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:40-41

Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. Psalm 5:2

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

The Story Behind In The Garden Hymn

“He looked a little like a southern colonel with his white mustache and a small flower in his lapel. His extraordinary sense of humor and dry wit could be very caustic if he thought the occasion demanded it – a truly brilliant man.” This is a description of C. Austin Miles, the man who wrote the song which is the subject of this article. It’s popularity is enormous and prolonged.

According to some polls “In the Garden” is popular abroad, as well as in the United States. More than a million recordings and printed copies of it have been sold. It is virtually impossible to pick up a standard hymnal and find it omitted.

Miles attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1892, he abandoned his career as a pharmacist and wrote his first Gospel song, which was published by the Hall-Mack Company. He later became editor and manager of the music publishing company and served them for 37 years.

He said of himself, “It is as a writer of gospel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire.”

Miles’ hobby was photography, and he had managed to build his own “darkroom” for developing his film. He discovered one day that he could read his Bible in the special “red lighting” of the darkroom. He often read passages of scripture as he waited for the developing process to finish. Since he was a musician and a songwriter, he often found himself reading with the express purpose of getting ideas for Christian songs.

One day in March 1912, Miles, while developing film and waiting for the process to complete, picked up his Bible. It had fallen open to John, chapter 20. He found in that chapter the story of Mary’s coming to the garden to visit the tomb of Jesus. As she looked into the tomb her heart sank because he wasn’t there. He, standing nearby, spoke to her, and she recognized Him. Her heart leaped for joy!

Miles imagined that he was present with them in the garden on that glorious occasion, witnessing the wonderful event. When his thoughts returned to the business at hand in the darkroom, he was gripping his Bible. His muscles, according to his own recollection, were tense and vibrating. Reverently he thought, “This is not an experience limited to a happening almost 2,000 years ago. It is the daily companionship with the Lord that makes up the Christian’s life.”

In the inspiration of those moments, he wrote a poem. He later said the words and phrases came quickly. That same evening he composed a musical setting, and in doing so gave to the world a song that has now become extremely well-known, “In the Garden.”

During his latter years, Miles often remarked that he would make it through another year if he could get through the month of March. He confessed that he did not like the winds, which March often brings. Oddly enough, he passed away on March 10, 1946, in Pitman, New Jersey.

“He showed unto them his hands and his side.

Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”


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