Richard Decourcy (1743-1803)

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Hymn #32 in Appendix.
This hymn writer was closely associated with Lady Huntington and her work for the Lord. He was born in Ireland in 1743 (or 1744) and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, but being Calvinistic in his views the bishops would not ordain him. He left Ireland for England where he met that fiery Methodist preacher George Whitefield. The latter took off his cap and showed a scar which he had received in Ireland preaching Christ.
Lady Huntington (Selina Shirley) took an interest in DeCourcy and had him ordained by the Bishop of Lichfield. He then preached in many of her Ladyship’s chapels which were connected with Methodism. He was a good expounder of the Scriptures which had a prominent place in his discourses. Later he was affiliated with Lady Glenorchy in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in 1770 was appointed to the curacy of Shawbury, near Hawk-stone, in Shropshire. He also wrote an article against the false principles of Unitarianism. In 1803 he contracted a heavy cold. When the doctor came he said, “I am almost spent. It is a hard struggle, but it will soon be over. I shall not recover, but Christ is mine. He is my foundation. He is the Rock I build upon.” The doctor after examining him went out to get some medicine. DeCourcy then exclaimed, “Thanks be to God for my salvation!” and instantly passed on to be with Christ. This was on the 4th of November, 1803. How well he expresses his confidence in those lines in Hymn Appendix#32:
“ ‘Gainst the giant-like might of our foes we can bring,
As our weapons of fight, but a stone and a sling.
Should this have dismayed us, our souls it may cheer
That, called on to aid us, our Father will hear.”