Mary Bowley (Mrs. John M. Peters) (1813-1856)

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Hymns #6, 8, 16, 56, 111, 114, 153, 156, 186, 191, 206, 210, 231, 275, 286, 299, 302, 304, 316, 333, 334. Appendix 33, 56 (23 hymns). Note: 286 could possibly be by J. G. Deck (see 109),
A refreshing variety is found in the spiritual hymns written by this dear child of God, She was born in the town of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, April 17, 1813. She was married about the year 1830 to John McWilliam Peters who was Vicar at Langford, Berkeshire, England. He died in 1834 and left her a widow at age 21. She knew where to turn in days of sorrow as hymn #334 shows:
“Through the love of God our Savior
All will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor,
All, all is well.”
In all she wrote 58 hymns and Mr. G. V. Wigram when he compiled “A Few Hymns and some Spiritual Songs” in 1856 held them in such high esteem that he included 20 of them. Her early widowhood made her feel the more the emptiness of the things of this world. To her it was a barren wilderness:
“We’re pilgrims in the wilderness;
Our dwelling is a camp.”
There is no gloominess about this expression, but quite the contrary, as she looked on to the moment when we all meet together from every distant shore. She also wrote a history which is out of print, in which she traced the hand of God in all the great events of the world up to the accession of Queen Victoria (1837). The Lord called her to Himself on July 29, 1856, being but 43 years of age. She has thus experienced the truth of those lines from her pen:
“Unseen we love Thee; dear Thy name;
But when our eyes behold,
With joyful wonder we’ll exclaim
The half had not been told.” (#302)
And we can now add:
“How happy we who know Thy name,
And trust Thy faithful Word!”