"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"
C. Austin Miles was a pharmacist who began writing gospel songs and eventually became an editor of hymnals and songbooks, as well as a popular music director at camp meetings and churches.
His hobby was photography, and he found his darkroom perfect for developing photographs, but also a place for developing his devotional life.
One day in March, 1912, while waiting for some film to develop, he opened the Bible to John 20, the story of the first Easter.
As he read it that day he felt part of the scene.
He seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat as if to choke back sobs, walked slowly into the shadows. It was Mary,
As she leaned her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing: (so did C. Austin Miles.) He knew it was Jesus. She knelt before Him, with arms outstretched and looking into His face, cried, "Rabboni!"
Under the inspiration of this vision C. Austin Miles wrote as quickly as the words would be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening he wrote the music.
In addition to "In the Garden," Austin Miles is the author of several other gosped songs, including "A New Name in Glory," "Dwelling in Beulah Land," and "If Jesus Goes with Me I'll Go Anywhere."
This is my favorite hymn.
photo courtesy of all posters