Samuel Medley (1738-1799)

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Hymns #96, 99, 100, 118, 196, 309.
It is said that Samuel Medley wrote 230 hymns. His hymns are marked by the spirit of praise and worship. He was born at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, June 23, 1738. He was first apprenticed to an oilman in London, but disliking this he invoked his legal right to finish his term in the Royal Navy. In 1755 he served aboard His Majesty’s (George II) ship ‘Buckingham,” and was transferred to the “Intrepid,” under Admiral Boscawen. In the Battle of “Cape Lagos,” with the French, August 18, 1759, he was severely wounded in the leg, which led to his leaving the Navy. He went to live with his grandfather, a Mr. Tonge, a pious man who sought to lead Samuel into a different kind of life and a better one. One Lord’s day evening Mr. Tonge remained at home with him and read to him, in hope of reaching his heart, a sermon by Dr. Isaac Watts on Isa. 42:6-76I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. (Isaiah 42:6‑7). By faith in the One preached he had his eyes opened and was brought out into liberty from the prison! After a restoration of health he listened to the Word as preached by George Whitefield.
He was assured of a promotion in the Navy, but he resigned and opened a school near Seven Dials. He married in 1762 and removed his school to King Street, Soho. He began preaching the Word in 1766 encouraged by a minister named Gifford. In 1767 he became pastor of the Baptist Church at Watford, Hertfordshire, and from there removed to Liverpool in 1772. The Lord blessed his work and he was especially helpful to sailors. When near his death, a friend remarked to him, “Sir, Christ is your center.” “Yes, yes,” he replied, “He is, He is! “ Later he added, “I am now a poor, shattered bark, just about to gain the blissful harbor, and, oh, how sweet will be the port after the storm!” Again he said, “Dying is sweet work, sweet work! My heavenly Father! I am looking up to my dear Jesus. My God, my portion, my all in all!” He continued, “Glory! Glory! Home! Home!” and then departed in peace on July 17, 1799.
“When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
Has gathered thick and thundered loud,
He with His church has always stood;
His lovingkindness, Oh how good!
“Soon shall we mount and soar away
To the bright realms of endless day,
And sing with rapture and surprise
His loving kindness in the skies.”