"Yield Not to Temptation" is a hymn I remember singing as a child in rural Oklahoma. It was written in 1868 by noted music scholar, Dr. Horatio Palmer. Palmer attended the Rushford Academy in New York, then taught there (1855-65), eventually becoming the Academy’s music director. He later moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he served the Second Baptist Church as choir director. In 1873 Palmer moved back to New York where, in 1881, he organized the Church Choral Union which eventually boasted 20,000 singers. When the CCU performed in Madison Square Garden in New York City, Palmer had to limit the choir size to 4,000 voices!
Dr. Palmer wrote the lyrics to over 30 hymns, and the music to over a dozen more, most notably, "Master, The Tempest is Raging," On the composition of "Yield Not to Temptation" he says:
"This song was an inspiration. I was at work on the dry subject of ‘Theory,’ when the complete idea flashed upon me, and I laid aside the theoretical work and hurriedly penned both words and music as fast as I could write them. I submitted them to the criticism of a friend afterward, and some changes were made in the third stanza, but the first two are exactly as they came to me—I am reverently thankful it has been a power for good."
"Yield Not to Temptation"