In past posts I have highlighted several American hymn writers who contributed to early Southern Baptist hymnody, including Benjamin Cleavland, Abram Poindexter, and Basil Manly, Jr. Another Southern Baptist worth noting, who contributed a hymn specifically on the ordinance of baptism, was Robert T. Daniel.
Robert T. Daniel was born in Middlesex County, Virginia on June 10, 1773. When he was a child, his family moved to North Carolina. Here he was baptized in 1802 and became a member of Holly Springs Baptist Church in Wake County. After ordination into the ministry a year later, Daniel became one of the first missionaries sent out by the North Carolina Baptist Benevolent Society. In 1812 he founded the First Baptist Church of Raleigh. He said of his ministry in 1833:
… during the years of my ministry I have traveled about sixty thousand miles, preached about five thousand sermons, and baptized more than fifteen hundred people. Of that number many are now ministers, twelve of whom are men of distinguished talents and usefulness.
Daniel died in Paris, Tennessee on September 14, 1840. He is best known for his hymn on baptism, his only hymn appearing in The Baptist Psalmody, #909. The hymn was originally published in the Dover Selection of 1828. It is also included in C.H. Spurgeon’s Our Own Hymn Book, 1866.
The hymn draws from several passages of Scripture including Paul’s explanation of baptism in Romans:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4, ESV).
The hymn is a passionate plea for sinners to come to Christ as well as a beautiful description of the picture baptism presents us of the gospel in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Lord in Humble Sweet Submission
If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).
Lord, in humble, sweet submission,
Here we meet to follow thee;
Trusting in thy great salvation,
Which alone can make us free.
Naught have we to claim as merit;
All the duties we can do
Can no crown of life inherit;
All the praise to thee is due.
Yet we come in Christian duty
Down beneath the wave to go;
On the bliss! the heavenly beauty!
Christ, the Lord, was buried so.
Come ye children of the kingdom,
Follow him beneath the wave;
Rise, and show his resurrection,
And proclaim his power to save.
Is there here a weeping Mary,
Waiting near the Savior’s tomb;
Heavy-laden, sick, and weary,
Crying, “O, that I could come!”
Welcome, all ye friends of Jesus,
Welcome to his church below;
Venture wholly on the Savior
Come, and with his people go.
“Lord, in Humble, Sweet Submission”
Words by Robert Daniel (1773–1840)
Music by Tom Wells, 2001
Words ©Public Domain
Music ©2001 Tom Wells (Used by Permission)
Tom Wells (Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas) composed the tune for this hymn. Download free sheet music (PDF), including a guitar chord chart, an arrangement of the hymn tune MCNEW for classical guitar.
 Charles W. Hughes, American Hymns Old And New (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 361.
 Ibid., 362.
 Henry S. Burrage, Baptist Hymn Writers and Their Hymns (Portland, Maine: Brown Thurston and Company, 1888), 248.