Hymn Story: Take the Name of Jesus with You
Lydia Baxter lived her life in bed as an invalid for the majority of her adult life. However, she is said to have had a “cheerful and patient” manner.
She was born on September 2,
Lydia and her sister are said to have been responsible for establishing the Baptist church in Petersburg, New York, her hometown.
In 1832, she married John Baxter, a ship chandler. She moved to New York City after their marriage, to join her husband. The couple had at least three children together.
Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck notes, “Her friends used to say that a visit to her sickroom was not so much to give her encouragement and comfort as to receive some buoyancy for their own spirits.”
In 1855, a book of her poems was published, titled Gems by the Wayside or, Religious and Domestic Poems. The book was over 260 pages of her works.
She would tell her friends “I have a very special armor. I have the name of Jesus. When the tempter tries to make me blue or despondent, I mention the name of Jesus, and He can’t get through to me anymore.”
She was a lifelong student of the Bible and loved to discuss the “significance of scriptural names with her friends”.
She wrote Take the Name of Jesus With You while on her sick bed, four years before her death on June 22, 1874.
Upon finishing her poem, William Doane wrote the music for the texts.
The hymn was first published in the 1871 Pure Gold for the Sunday School.
The hymn became popular during the Moody-Sankey evangelistic crusades in the late 19th Century. The song is also known as Precious Name Oh How Sweet!