Albert Midlane (1825-1909)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name and later went with the Open Party
Hymns #257, Appendix #21, 60, 62, 63, 67, 75, 76.
How often over the years have we all enjoyed singing that hymn “There’s a Home for Little Children,” and above all “There’s a Friend for Little Children”!
Albert Midlane who wrote it was born Jan. 23, 1825, on the Isle of Wight in the town of Newport near the Carisbrooke Castle. He was not brought up in the happy confines of a godly Christian home. How many have that privilege and despise it! If any young people read this, let me say, do not hold lightly the benefits of Christian parents who desire your eternal blessing through Christ. He did get some help from his mother and a devoted sister, but not from his father. He took up printing as a trade, but later switched to that of helper to an ironmonger in which trade he continued for over half a century. He started early to write poetry and hymns. Of Solomon we read that his “songs were a thousand and five.” Albert Midlane did not quite make that number, but came close to it. His faith is so nicely expressed in Appendix #21 in the Little Flock:
“Oh what a Savior is Jesus the Lord!
Well might His Name by His saints be adored.
He has redeemed them from hell by His blood,
Saved them forever and brought them to God.”
On Feb. 7, 1859 he composed the hymn “A Little Lamb Went Straying” after a hard day’s work at business. He finished it at 2 a. m. but was so exhausted by his efforts that medical attention was needed.
The author lived to see the celebration of the jubilee of his best known hymn, and had the experience of listening to three thousand children in St. Paul’s Cathedral sing together “There’s a Friend for Little Children.”
On Feb. 7, 1909, his voice was heard publicly for the last time as he spoke to crowds of young and old as to eternal things in his home town. On Thursday morning on the 11th of February, 1909 at age 84 he was seized by a fit of apoplexy and he never recovered, but passed on quietly in his sleep as Lord’s day morning was approaching on Feb. 28, 1909. Thus he went to that “home above the bright blue sky.”