The Little Flock Hymn Book: Its History and Hymn Writers

Table of Contents

1. Its History and Hymn Writers
2. The Little Flock Hymn Book
3. Part 1 - The Hymn Book
4. Part 2 - The Hymn Writers
5. Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
6. James Allen (1734-1804)
7. John Ash (1725-1779)
8. John Bakewell (1721-1819)
9. Christopher Batty (1715-1797)
10. John Beaumont (―)
11. Henry Bennett (1813-1868)
12. Bernard Abbot of Clair Vaux (1091-1153)
13. Mrs. Frances Bevan (1827-1909)
14. Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
15. Mary Bowley (Mrs. John M. Peters) (1813-1856)
16. Sir John Bowring (1792-1872)
17. Charlotte Elizabeth Brown (1790-1846)
18. Miss Hannah Kilham Burlingham (1842-1901)
19. Richard Burnham (1749-1810)
20. Lady Margaret Cockburn-Campbell (? - 1859)
21. William Cameron (1751-1811)
22. Lord Adalbert P. Cecil (1841-1889)
23. John Cennick
24. Robert Cleaver Chapman (1803-1902)
25. Christian Gottfried Clemens
26. Samuel O'malley Cluff (1837-1910)
27. Josiah Conder (1789-1855)
28. Anne Ross Cousin (Nee Cundell) (1824-1906)
29. William Cowper (1731-1800)
30. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
31. Samuel Davies (1724- 1761)
32. James George Deck (1802-1884)
33. Mary Jane Deck (Mrs. M. J. Walker) (? - 1878)
34. Richard Decourcy (1743-1803)
35. David Denham (1791-1848)
36. Marie deFleury ( — )
37. Miss Caroline Dent (1815-1887+)
38. Wolfgang Christopher Dessler (Deszler) (1660-1722)
39. Mrs. Anna Dober (Nee Schindler) (1713-1739)
40. Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
41. Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
42. James Harrington Evans (1785-1849)
43. Jonathan Evans (1748 or 1749-1809)
44. John Fawcett (1739-1817)
45. George West Frazer (1830-1896)
46. John Gambold (1711-1771)
47. Samuel Whitlock Gandy (? - 1858)
48. Paul Gerhardt (1601-1676)
49. Dr. Thomas Gibbons (1720-1785)
50. Mrs. Ann Taylor Gilbert (1782-1866)
51. G. Gilpin (? ― ?)
52. Susannah Harrison (1752-1784)
53. Joseph Hart (1712-1768)
54. Thomas Haweis (1732-1820)
55. Dr. Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
56. Richard Holden (?-1886)
57. Josiah Hopkins (1786-1862)
58. George Horne (1730-1792)
59. Miss Amelia Matilda Hull (Circa 1825-1884 or Beyond)
60. James Hutton (1715-1795)
61. Johann Christian Jacobi (1670-1750)
62. George Jekell
63. Andrew Jukes
64. Richard Jukes
65. Thomas Kelly (1769-1855)
66. John Kent (1766-1843)
67. Christian I. Latrobe (1758-1836)
68. Littlewood
69. William Freeman Lloyd (1791-1853)
70. Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)
71. Mrs. Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)
72. William P. Mackay (1839-1885)
73. Martin Madan (1726-1790)
74. Dr. Cesar Henri Abraham Malan (1787-1864)
75. John Mason (? - 1694)
76. Samuel Medley (1738-1799)
77. Albert Midlane (1825-1909)
78. Mrs. Elizabeth Mills (1805-1829)
79. James Montgomery (1771-1854)
80. Morshead
81. John Henry Newman, Cardinal (1801-1890)
82. John Newton (1725-1807)
83. Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608)
84. Miss Marianne Nunn (1778-1847)
85. Catesby Paget
86. Miss A. E. Price
87. Thomas Edie Purdom
88. Robert Robinson (1735-1790)
89. Dr. H. L. Rossier (1835-1928)
90. Johann Andreas Rothe (1688-1758)
91. Archibald J. Rutherford
92. John Ryland (1753-1825)
93. Robert Sandeman (1718-1771)
94. W. Saunders
95. Mary Shackleton (Or Shekleton) (1827-1883)
96. Anna Shipton (1815-1901)
97. Joseph Denham Smith (1816-1889)
98. J. Wilson Smith
99. Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704 -1792)
100. Joseph Stennett (1663-1713)
101. John Stocker
102. Miss A. M. Stoney
103. Hugh Stowell (1799-1865)
104. Joseph Swain (1761-1796)
105. Nahum Tate (1652-1715)
106. Miss Clara Taylor (? - 1778)
107. Thomas Rawston Taylor (1807-1835)
108. Theodulf (Theodolph) of Orleans, France (Circa 750-821)
109. Miss Cenita Thompson (? - 1909)
110. Dorothy Ann Thrupp (1779-1847)
111. Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778)
112. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875)
113. Mrs. John Alfred Trench (1843-1925)
114. William Trotter (1818-1865)
115. R. Viney
116. Anna Laetitia Waring (1820-1910)
117. Samuel Miller Waring (1792-1827)
118. Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
119. H. Weir
120. Miss C. A. Wellesley
121. Charles Wesley (1708-1788)
122. John Wesley (1703-1791)
123. Samuel Wesley (1766-1837)
124. Frederick Whitfield (1827-1904)
125. Miss F. T. Wigram (? - 1871)
126. George Vicesimus Wigram (1805-1879)
127. William Williams (1717-1791)
128. John Reynell Wreford (1800-1881)
129. W. Yerbury (Died 1863)
130. Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
131. Part 3 Unknown Hymn Writers
132. Part 4 Bibliography

Its History and Hymn Writers

By Adrian Roach
The purpose of this little book is to acquaint those who use the Little Flock Hymn Book with those who composed the various hymns. This will bring before them the grace of God to these dear believers led to write these hymns in various exercises of soul, but all for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, this book should also be of interest to all Christians, even those not using the Little Flock, as the writers are from all walks of life and from many religious groups. There are authors from the Methodists, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Moravians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Church of England, Lutheran, Independents and others. There are also hymns written by those who, led of the Lord, have gone outside the “camp” (Heb. 13), leaving behind all religious names, rituals, man’s order of ministry, organization and human titles. They are simply gathered to the Lord’s Name on the ground that the church is one (Eph. 4:4) and that the Lord adds to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47), and there is no need to join anything. Acting on Matthew 18:18-20 they, as led by the Spirit, own the Lord’s authority in the midst of all gathered to His precious Name.
The hymn book under consideration is the one originally set up by Mr. George V. Wigram in 1856 and revised by John N. Darby in 1881. Some having left the ground of gathering have undertaken further revisions of the Little Flock, but none of these is in view in this history, though the same hymn writers will be involved.
Our desire is that the spiritual enjoyment may increase for those who sing these hymns as they realize God’s matchless grace to the hymn writers and to themselves! How good to have such scriptural vehicles for expressing praise!
It is regretted that for a number of writers we could find little or no information.
The writer freely owns his indebtedness to various sources of information listed at the end of this book for ready reference.
A. Roach
December 3, 1974

The Little Flock Hymn Book

Its History and Hymn Writers
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).

Part 1 - The Hymn Book

It would be strange indeed to walk into the meeting places of the saints gathered to the Lord’s Name and not find the Little Flock Hymn Book on hand. Yet up to 1856 there was no such book! It was then that G. V. Wigram undertook the revision of hymns then in use and produced the 1856 book. It was called “A Few Hymns and Some Spiritual Songs (Selected 1856).” The title “Little Flock” was not actually applied until the 1881 revision by J. N. Darby.
The Lord had graciously restored to exercised believers the scriptural ground of gathering to the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, based on the truth that the Church is one and is the body of Christ on earth (1 Cor. 12:12-13: Eph. 1:22-23 and 4:3-4). Between 1812 and 1820 there was a great concern as to the worldly formalism in the professing church by companies in New York, Great Britain and elsewhere. The result was that under the Lord’s guiding hand many were gathered outside the religious camp (Heb. 13:12-16), that is from the systems men had set up, to the precious Name of Christ (Matt. 18:20). One of the first things was that they net to break bread in remembrance of the Savior as instituted by Him (Luke 22:14-20 and 1 Cor. 11:23-26). They met also for prayer and reading of the Scriptures and learned that the Holy Spirit led and taught in the assembly entirely apart from a one-man ministry. Many of them were clergymen and saw that this was not according to Scripture. This was about the year 1826 and while they did not at first see the need for entire reliance on the Spirit (they appointed certain ones to break the bread or to expound on the Scriptures at readings), they were led on to see things clearly as they acted on the light God’s Word gave them.
Various hymn books were at first used among them until 1838, at which time G. V. Wigram compiled a book called “Hymn for the Poor of the Flock” (Zech. 11:7). This book had a special arrangement of hymns by category such as “Baptism,,” “Lord’s Day,” “Lord’s Supper,” etc. Mr. Darby makes reference to “The Poor of the Flock” in his letter of October 25, 1879 (Letter of J. N. D., Vol. 3, p. 45). It contained many hymns written by the gathered saints as well as others of the Lord’s people. Apparently other books were also in use among the gatherings. In 1856 Mr. Wigram was called upon to review the whole matter of hymns. We shall let him tell in his own words what took place:
“Upon this let the compiler’s private account of his labors be heard. I was asked in 1856 to examine carefully some hymn books which were in common use. To do so was easy: to express my judgment faithfully, and yet not invidiously, was difficult. After consideration I determined to give my judgment by this attempt at a book more suited for present need than any I know of. It rests with others to decide how far I have or have not succeeded. I may add that my rules while working were these:
1. Retouch as little as possible, and with as light a hand as possible; But —
2. Allow to remain (1) no false, no faulty, no defective doctrine—cost what it might; (2) no dispensational incongruities; (3) no want of keeping in the truth or truths stated; (4) no ambiguities between that which is and that which is not true. And,
3. Add as many new hymns as the Lord might enable me. I now leave my labor with the Lord.
- G. V. Wigram,”
This book was entitled “A Few Hymns and Some Spiritual Songs (selected 1856).” It was published by Groombridge and Sons of Paternoster Row, London, England.
In the years just prior to 1881 Mr. J. N. Darby gave his attention to a revision of the 1856 hymn book. He was chiefly concerned about the lack of hymns to the Father. On June 10, 1880, he wrote:
“I had been going through the hymns that we have, for a new edition, and the question of hymns to the Father presented itself, and the study of our relationship with the Father was much blessed to me, developing in to my heart. How gracious He is!” (Letters, Vol. 3, p. 93)
Again in July 1881 he wrote:
“Take hymns and see how many you have addressed to the Father, or continue to have Him and not ourselves for their subject after the first verse, etc.” (Letters, Vol. 3, pp. 173-174.)
He therefore included in the new book these hymns to the Father: #25, 41, 50, 178, 331, and Appendix #7 and 48.
This edition was completed soon before his going to be with Christ, which took place April 29, 1882. It is known as “A Few Hymns and Some Spiritual Songs for THE LITTLE FLOCK” (Luke 12:32).
The preface to this book should be read carefully and thought upon. The “Little Flock” is still in use, with its valuable collection of hymns, among those Christians gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
No hymn book is perfect, not being the work of divine inspiration, but we shall find a close adherence to the whole truth maintained in the book. Only one really needed correction occurs to the writer and that is in the second verse of #80 in the Appendix. Christ was no helpless Babe as was later taught by false teachers who caused a division among His people. The author of the hymn (Lord A. P. Cecil) we are sure had no wrong doctrine in mind, which developed after his departure. One would suggest that helpless Babe” be eliminated and “newborn Babe” substituted therefor.

Part 2 - The Hymn Writers

The writers whose hymns appear in the Little Flock came from all walks of life and from various religious connections. Believers evidently most of them were, and valued Christ and His work, though all were not gathered to His Name, some having lived long before that truth was restored to the church. There are hymns from a monk, a bishop, a cardinal, from Methodists, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians and other denominations, and from those gathered to His Name. This shows that the narrowness of sectarianism did not govern in the choice of hymns. However, many had to be revised as explained more fully in the Preface to the book itself.
It is the purpose of this writer to be as brief as possible with each author, but give enough of the history to assess the spiritual path of the said author. In some cases there is a paucity of information and in some, as will be seen, no information available at this time. There are 126 writers who are identified and there are 25 hymns for which there is no identification. In some cases the story of the writer’s conversion is not available and it is by the words of their hymns that we can form a judgment as to their actual relation with God. There is even a hymn from a Unitarian and we do wonder just how such an one could stand before God in denying both the Father and the Son. Our purpose is to give facts for our readers and therefore this does not mean that this author approves or holds everything said as approved by the Word of God. The reader’s spiritual discernment will have to judge of such details. Our desire is to edify with the accounts of those of our Lord’s servants and people led to write “spiritual songs,” and circumstances under which they were written.
It is intended to arrange the names alphabetically with year of birth, death, and religious affiliation, with a list of the hymn numbers as shown in the Little Flock book.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Hymn #297 (written in 1712).
The father of Joseph Addison was Launcelot Addison, rector of Milston, near Amesbury, in Wiltshire, England, and afterward he became Dean of Lichfield. Joseph was born May 1, 1672, and he grew up under his father’s staunch feelings for the Episcopal Church and hatred of all that was Puritan. He was enabled to travel about and more than once experienced the Lord’s good hand in preserving him. In 1700 he left on a voyage to Marseilles and encountered a dreadful storm in the Mediterranean. Despair was in every heart, but Addison was calm. Later he wrote a poem showing that the Lord was his defense. Little information as to his conversion, but the expressions in his hymns and poetry indicate his faith in the Lord. He was assailed both by asthma and dropsy and at the early age of 47 he left this scene. Just before he died on June 17, 1719, he called the Earl of Warwick (his stepson) and said to him: “See in what peace a Christian can die.”
Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful song raise;
But, oh! eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise.

James Allen (1734-1804)

Hymn #252 (written in 1757).
This writer was son of Oswald Allen, and was born at Gayle, Yorkshire, England, on June 24, 1734. Just how he was led to Christ is not known, but he early had his conscience aroused as to evil flagrantly allowed in the Church of England. He became an itinerant “Inghamite” preacher after embracing the Methodist beliefs. Once when “field preaching” a mob threatened his life and he was saved by the local magistrate who was an old friend of his. One of his hymns is a real challenge to the conscience: —
“Sinners, will you scorn the message?”
Charles Wesley says of him (Oct. 17, 1756), “A young preacher came to spend the evening with me at Mr. Grimshaw’s. I found love for him, and wished that all our sons in the Gospel were equally modest and discreet.”
In Scotland he along with Christopher Batty compiled a hymn book. This included 71 of Allen’s hymns or 50% of the book. At that time he wrote what is now #252 in the Little Flock. This hymn, however, was helpfully revised by Walter Shirley (a cousin of Lady Huntington). It then began, “Sweet the moments, rich in blessing.” He returned to the place of his birth at Gayle and there continued to preach the gospel until his death on October 31. 1804. He has truly “found the dawn of heaven.”

John Ash (1725-1779)

Hymn Appendix #82.
John Ash was born in the year 1725 at Stockland, Dorset-shire, England. Little is known of him, but he became a Baptist minister and in collaboration with another Baptist clergyman named Caleb Evans published a hymn book at Bristol, England, with 412 hymns.
“Look not within for peace,
Within there’s naught to cheer;
Look up, and find release
From sin and self and fear.
If gloom thy soul enshroud,
If tears faith’s eye bedim,
If doubts around thee crowd,
Come, tell them all to Him.
Come, come, come.”

John Bakewell (1721-1819)

Hymn #18 (1757).
This venerable man was one of the earliest of Wesley’s so-called lay preachers. He was born at Brailsford, Derbyshire, England, in the year 1721. The particulars available of his life are brief. When about 18 years of age he was deeply touched by a book he had read. This turned his thoughts to the Lord and by the time he was 23 he was preaching the gospel in his own neighborhood. He next became associated with the Wesleys and their work in London. From 1749 he preached at the “Greenwich Royal Park Academy.” He not only preached the Word frequently, but also wrote several hymns. He was a close friend of Wesley, Madan, Toplady and other servants of the Lord. On his tombstone, in City Road Chapel (buried near to John Wesley), appears the following inscription:
“Sacred to the memory of JOHN BAKEWELL, late of Greenwich, who departed this life March 18, 1819, aged ninety-eight. He adorned the Doctrine of God, our Savior, eighty years, and preached His glorious Gospel about 70 years. ‘The memory of the just is blessed.’”
“Jesus, hail! enthroned in glory,
There forever to abide;
All the heavenly hosts adore Thee,
Seated at Thy Father’s side;
Worship, honor, power, and blessing,
Thou art worthy to receive;
Loudest praises, without ceasing,
Meet it is for us to give.”

Christopher Batty (1715-1797)

Hymn #71.
This writer was born at Newby Cote, near Yorkshire, in 1715. He became associated with the so-called “Inghamites” and worked with them in the northern parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire. He assisted James Allen (named herein) in 1757 in the production of “Kendal Hymn Book” to which he contributed 31 hymns. Verse three of his hymn in the Little Flock expresses desires after the grace of God and a turning away from things here:
“The more through grace ourselves we know,
The more rejoiced we are to bow
And glory in Thy cross;
To trust in Thine atoning blood,
And look to Thee for every good,
And count all else but dross.”

John Beaumont (―)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymn #238.
Just a brief reference to John Beaumont in N. Noel’s “History of the Brethren” is accessible at this time. He is there seen preaching the gospel in 1871 among those gathered to the Lord’s Name. Mr. Napoleon Noel sat under the Word by him. When Mr. Wigram died in 1879 John Beaumont was one of those who took part in the services at the grave. He read a few passages from the New Testament, concluding with the closing verses of the Book of Revelation. What lovely thoughts he expresses in these words! —
“When faith and hope shall cease, and love abide alone,
Then shall we see Him face to face, and know as known;
Still shall we lift our voice, His praise our song shall be;
And we shall in His love rejoice, Who set us free.”

Henry Bennett (1813-1868)

Hymn #185.
Here again little is known, not even his religious affiliation. He was born April 18, 1813 at Lyme Regis, England, and died at Islington, November 12, 1868. A year later his hymns were published under the title “Hymns by the Late Henry Bennett.” To show his faith in Christ, as expressed by himself, we quote one verse of hymn #185 (Little Flock):
“The Savior’s precious blood
Has made our title sure;
He passed through death’s dark raging flood
To make our rest secure.”

Bernard Abbot of Clair Vaux (1091-1153)

Roman Catholic
Hymn #119.
Bernard was a monk and founder of monasteries. He was one of the most illustrious preachers of the Middle Ages. Born in 1091 at Fontaines, near Dijon in Burgundy, France, his father being a knight named Tecelin and his mother Aletta (Aleth) daughter of a noble house of Mon-Bar. His father perished in the crusades and his pious mother died while Bernard was yet a boy. He was physically unfit to bear arms and his mother wanted him trained for God. Bernard resolved to become a monk, though this was opposed by his close relatives. He was selected with twelve others to build a monastery in an area “haunted by robbers.” As they toiled they sang praises until at length it was called “Clair Vaux” or the “Bright Valley.” By his learning, eloquence and piety he obtained great influence in the affairs of the day.
However, his life was greatly influenced by the Scriptures. “He was saturated in its language and in its spirit—and it saved him from the grosser aberrations of medieval Catholicism” (Britannica). In his letters and sermons he seldom mentions the saints or the “lady.” They were overshadowed in his mind by the grace of God and the moral splendor of Christ. The preciousness of Christ comes out in his hymn: —
“Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.”
Martin Luther held him in high esteem, saying, “He was the best monk that ever lived.”
It has been said that his heart overflowed with love to Christ and this was no doubt the result of his own enjoyment of the love of Christ. It is apparent too that contradictions of action were taken by him as the result of the darkness of the age and yet God’s grace lifted him above much. He died in 1153 at the age of 62 and is now with the One whose sweetness he learned on earth.
“We give Thee thanks unfeigned,
O Savior! Friend in need,
For what Thy soul sustained
When Thou for us didst bleed.
Grant us to lean unshaken
Upon Thy faithfulness,
Until to glory taken
We see Thee face to face.”

Mrs. Frances Bevan (1827-1909)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymn #93.
Mrs. Bevan was born as Emma Frances Shuttleworth on September 25, 1827, at Oxford, England. She was the daughter of Anglican clergyman Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New College, Oxford. He later became Bishop of Chichester. When but a young girl Emma had a German governess for a teacher, and became interested in Gothic art and medieval Christianity. Later she was much attached to the family of the Prussian representative at the Court of St.James, Baron Von Bunsen, which led to her study of German literature and to her translating of German hymns into English. When she was 27 years of age she attended Bible reading: at the home of Mr. R.C. L. Bevan and these made a lasting impression on her. Two years later she was married to Mr. Bevan, who was a Lombard St., London banker. Three sons and six daughters were born into this Christian household. She met with those who according to Matthew 18:20 were gathered to the Lord’s Name and its authority, but was perplexed and saddened by the Stuart heresy as to atonement and its aftermath in 1885. She and her husband spent more time in Europe, and after his death in 1890 she spent her time at Cannes, France. Various brethren came there from time to time to remember the Lord in His death in the breaking of bread
Mrs. Bevan published a series of translations of hymns from the German under the title “Songs of Eternal Life.” Hymn 57 in the Little Flock is one from the German-”On the Lamb our souls are resting.” She also wrote that wonderful book, “The Three Friends of God,” as well as giving sketches of “The Quiet in the Land.”
On February 13, 1909, at age 81 she passed on to glory and was buried at Cockfosters, Herts, England in the family vault located in the church area outside of Trent Park.
“From the palace of His glory,
From the home of joy and love,
Came the Lord Himself to seek us;
He would have us there above.
And in past and distant ages,
In those courts so bright and fair,
Ere we were, was He rejoicing,
All He won with us to share.”

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Free Church of Scotland
Hymns #15, 84, 319, Appendix 26, 73.
This hymn writer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, December 19, 1808. His deliverance from the power of sin is fully expressed in those well known gospel hymns, “I heard the voice of Jesus say, Come unto Me and rest,” and “I was a wandering sheep, I did not love the fold.” The grace of God led him to say in faith:
‘Jesus my shepherd is:
‘Twas He that loved my soul,
‘Twas He that washed me in His blood,
‘Twas He that made me whole.”
He took up the work of the “ministry” at Kelso in 1837 so that he must have been brought to Christ before that date to actually serve the Lord. In 1843 he attached himself to the Free Church of Scotland. He preached with great earnestness and did house-to-house visitation. He spared not himself to bring the gospel to the perishing. Many were led to Christ through his efforts. Thus he lived for several score of years to serve the Lord in the gospel.
He passed on to glory July 31, 1889 and now rests from his labors, but his works follow him.

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

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!”

Sir John Bowring (1792-1872)

Hymn Appendix #9.
This distinguished man of letters was born at Exeter, England on October 17, 1792. His education was confined to ordinary grammar school, and then he worked for his father in manufacturing woolen cloths for export to Spain and China. He had a strong liking for languages and by the time he was 16 had mastered five from those he was brought into contact with by business.
He held many appointments under Government and in 1854 was knighted by Queen Victoria. He was made Governor of Hong Kong in which position he did not manifest Christian traits and became unpopular. It was also under him that opium was forced upon China by war, During hostilities the Mandarins managed to poison the bread with arsenic. Sir John lived, but his health was impaired, while Lady Bowring later died from its effects. One historian wonders how to reconcile Sir John’s early piety with his hard dealings later. But “power corrupts” and a Christian should learn that he is a stranger here and the day of ruling with Christ is yet future (2 Tim. 2:12).
His hymn mentioned above is a lovely piece and the author of this book has been lifted up spiritually by it many times since gathered to the Lord’s Name in 1923. Sir John also wrote:
“In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.”
He died on November 23, 1872, and on his tombstone is engraved the first line of the hymn by which he is best known:

Charlotte Elizabeth Brown (1790-1846)

Hymn #311.
Charlotte E. Browne was the only daughter of Michael Browne, Rector of St. Giles at Norwich, England. She was born October 1, 1790 and as a young woman was married to Captain George Phelan of the 60th Rifles. However, he died in 1837 and later she married a minister named Lewis H. Tonna. Her hymns have been published under the name of “Charlotte Elizabeth.” Her hymn numbered above is a prayer to keep the Shepherd in constant view until we attain our final resting place. She departed there July 12, 1846.
“While to several paths dividing,
We our pilgrimage pursue,
May our Shepherd, safely guiding,
Still be kept in constant view.
May the bond of blest communion
Every distant soul embrace,
Till, in everlasting union,
We attain our resting-place.”

Miss Hannah Kilham Burlingham (1842-1901)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #39, 189, 261, 287, Appendix 16, 47, 48, 78.
Hannah Kilham Burlingham was born March 17, 1842, being the eldest daughter of Henry Burlingham of Evesham, Worcestershire, England. He was a member of the Society of Friends and so she was thus brought up in the piety and godliness of a Quaker home. It seems too that when she was but twelve, three of the family circle died including her eldest brother.
Her poetic ability came out while she was quite young and it is said she won a prize for an excellent poem describing the school excursion. It was said that when she became of age she associated herself with those believers who were gathered to the Lord’s Name alone apart from sectarianism. This is the Scriptural ground for the present dispensation as a testimony to the truth that “there is one body” according to Ephesians chapter 4.
She translated many hymns from the German, as for example #16 in the Appendix. This hymn was written by Samuel Christian Gottlieb Küster, who died in 1838, Miss Burlingham translating it June 13, 1865. It begins, “O Jesus! Friend unfailing.” Her translations were considered as excellent from the German, as also evidenced by #325, “We wait for Thee, O Son of God.”
It was said of her: “I never met any one who loved her Bible as she did. Though she was interested in current topics, they were wholly subservient to her one great interest. Her love for her Lord and Savior was deep and real, and one felt that with her, everything else must take a ‘back place’.”
While she was but a short way on her sixtieth year she became suddenly ill with a meningitis, and in three days was gone, so that on May 15, 1901 she entered into that rest of which she speaks in verse 3 of #189:
“Eternal is our rest,
O Christ of God, in Thee!
Now of Thy peace, Thy joy possessed,
We wait Thy face to see.
Now to the Father’s heart received,
We know in Whom we have believed.”

Richard Burnham (1749-1810)

Hymn #279.
Richard Burnham, born in Guildford, Surrey, England, in 1749, seems to have stayed most of his life in London as pastor of a Baptist church. Next he moved, in the same capacity, to a congregation in Grafton Street, Soho. In these two places he exercised thirty years of ministerial labor. He had some difficulties due to personal matters that laid him open to criticism. Be that as it may, we can rejoice with him in what he expressed of his Savior in verse 3:
“Soon the redeeming Lord shall come
For us whose sins He bore,
To see the glories of the Lamb,
And praise Him evermore.”
He passed peacefully away on October 30, 1810, and was buried at Tottenham Court chapel, London.

Lady Margaret Cockburn-Campbell (? - 1859)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #50, 59, 199.
“Not many noble are called” (1 Cor. 1:26); but it does not say “not any.” In the 18th century God raised up Lady Huntington (Selina Shirley) as a great help in the spread of the gospel. Then in the 19th century there was Lady Powerscourt (Theodosia Howard) as well as others of the nobility, such as Lord Congleton and G. V. Wigram. The gospel thus reaches the rich and mighty as well as the poor.
Lady Campbell, of whom we now write, was eldest daughter of the British General Sir John Malcolm, who distinguished himself in India and was a close friend of the Duke of Wellington. The date of her birth is not available, but she was married June 20, 1827, to Sir Alexander Thomas Cockburn-Campbell who at that time took the name of “Campbell.” He was with the early saints gathered to the Lord’s Name on the ground of the one body. He is named by J. Butler Stoney in some remarks dated July 12, 1871, as follows:
“I was at the meeting at Lady Powerscourt’s in September (1838). —Mr. Darby spoke last—touching on all that had been previously said. Mr. Wigram sat next him, Capt. Hall, Mr. George Curzon, Sir Alex. Campbell, Mr. Bellet, Mr. Thomas Maunsell, Mr. Mahon, Mr. Ed. Synge were there.”
This shows the early connection with the truth for Lady Campbell.
Sir Alexander became resident magistrate in Albany, West Australia, and died there in 1871. Lady Margaret had two children, Charlotte Isabella and Olympia. Her hymn #59 is deeply impressive as to the majesty of God’s power in creation, but with the emphasis laid on His eternal counsels. She died, probably in Australia, in 1859 and is now in the very presence of the objects of her praise in hymns 50 and 199.
“All praise and glory, Jesus,
Be Thine for evermore!
Thou didst from guilt release us,
Our souls Thou dost restore;
And oh! Thy grace transcending
Its fullness will declare,
When, from on high descending,
We meet Thee in the air.”

William Cameron (1751-1811)

Hymn Appendix #58.
This writer was born in Scotland in 1751 and received his education at Mareschal College in Aberdeen. When and Under what circumstances he was brought to Christ is not known from our sources of information. In 1775 he was in association with others employed in altering and amending the paraphrases of Scripture used in the Scottish Church, and which were appended to the version of Psalms for public worship. Ten years later he was ordained to the ministry and settled in Kirknewton, in Mid-Lothian, Scotland. To him are attributed the 66th, 14th and 17th of the Scottish Paraphrases; and one of his hymns, commencing “How bright those glorious spirits shine,” is confessedly an alteration of Isaac Watts’ hymn. William Cameron left this scene, which is filled with “trifles light as air” as expressed in his hymn mentioned herein, on November 17, 1811. He is now in the place “whence living waters flow.”

Lord Adalbert P. Cecil (1841-1889)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns Appendix #22, 50 51, 69, 79, 80.
Lord Cecil was born the son of the second Marquis of Exeter on July 18, 1841. While little is available as to his early boyhood, he came as a young man in contact with William Has-lam, an earnest preacher of the gospel in the Church of England. After he was saved he grew much in his soul and became active in proclaiming the gospel. He also ministered helpfully to the Lord’s people. Because of his position he was free to use his time and effort for the Lord’s work (1 Cor. 7:21).
He was more interested in the heavenly family than in human distinctions. He mingled with rich and poor alike and through grace was at home with each. The testimony of one who knew him was:
“Lord Adalbert Cecil was one of the most godly men
we have ever known. Christ mastered his being.
Rank, title, wealth, influence, society, and all that
is valued in the world were cheerfully surrendered and
laid at the feet of his beloved Savior and Lord.”
The writer of this book has heard responsible brethren say that on one occasion it was said to him, “No wonder you are happy—you have wealth and position.” He replied to this effect: “You can take all that from me and you will leave the source of my happiness untouched.”
The Lord took him home suddenly in an unexpected manner. On June 11, 1889, he went on board a boat at Belleville on Lake Ontario and sailed to a place where there was a group of Indian believers in whose welfare he was interested. On the return to Picton a strong wind made the boat a bit unmanageable. As he stood up to adjust the sails Adalbert lost his balance and fell overboard. He could have made the shore, but his concern (as supposed) about a young man named Churchill in the boat led him to swim after the boat. His strength gave out and he soon sank and did not rise again. He is buried at Napanee, Ontario, from where his body shall be raised and fashioned like unto Christ’s body of glory (Phil. 3:21).

John Cennick

(1718-1755) Moravian Hymn #170 (verse 2 only)
John Wesley once wrote: “On Friday, March 1739, I came to Reading, where I found a young man who had in some measure known the powers of the world to come. I spent the evening with him and a few of his serious friends, and it pleased God much to strengthen and comfort them.” He was speaking of John Cennick who was born December 12, 1718, at Reading, Berkshire, of a family which on his father’s side were Quakers. He was strictly brought up until he was thirteen, at which time he went to London to seek a trade. This had a bad effect on his life and he became a wild and a reckless lad, of warm feelings and somewhat headstrong in character. He was taken up with dancing, card playing and the theater. One day as he walked the streets of London he felt a deep conviction of sin which brought him to despair. He tried infidelity and open sin and then he turned to penance. For three long years he labored under a bad conscience. While reading something George Whitfield had written God brought light to his dark soul. In 1739 he began to preach Christ to the colliers at Kingswood. He linked up with Wesley and Whitfield in their preaching tours, but in 1745 he took his place with the Moravians. His later life was spent in the north of Ireland. His sincere and spiritual piety has been indicated by all who have commented on his life. He preached with unction.
He returned to London June 28, 1755, in feeble condition of health, and died there on July 4, 1755, at the age of 37. He speaks in one hymn of how he fought against the power of grace:
“The more I strove against its power,
I felt its weight and guilt the more;
Till late I heard my Savior say,
Come hither, soul. I am the way.”
Hymn 170 is compositely composed, with Cennick supplying verse 2 and Charles Wesley verses 1, 4 and 6, and Martin Madan verses 3 and 5.

Robert Cleaver Chapman (1803-1902)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name and later went with the Open Party
Hymns #66, 143, 223, 229, 255, 289, Appendix 71.
This dear saint of God was born in Denmark, January 4, 1803, and lived to be 99 years old! His folks were temporarily living in Denmark at the time. In his early years there his mother trained him well at home and later he was educated under a French priest, and then sent to school in Yorkshire where he did well in his studies. He loved literature and desired to give his time entirely to it. But God was plotting the course and his father, Thomas Chapman, who once was rich lost much of his resources, so Robert had to take employment. He became a lawyer and advanced well in that profession. The great event of his life took place when he was aged twenty; he was invited to hear the preaching of James H. Evans (see hymn writer #38) at John Street Baptist Chapel in Bedford Row. Immediately confessing Christ as his Savior his life showed that he was a new man within and a changed man without!
Later he learned the truth of the one body with Christ as the Head and only gathering center on earth (and in heaven), and was gathered out to the Lord’s Name alone on the basis of Matthew 18:18-20, Ephesians 4:4 and Hebrews 13:12-16. He lived at Barnstaple for over fifty years and ministered the Word faithfully. He once said, “My great aim is to live Christ!” In 1837 he published “Hymns for use of the Church of Christ,” which book was used at the meetings of the gathered saints. Several of the hymns in that book were included by Mr. Wigram in the 1856 hymn book and carried over to the present (1881) Little Flock book. Hymn 143 was in all three books.
When a crisis arose because of evil doctrine as to the Person of Christ and there was the rejection by some at Bethesda of the truth of the one body, he took a faithful stand. However, later he became identified with the company in fellowship with Bethesda and known as Open Brethren. It seems from our sources of information that he was never married. On June 2, 1902, at age 99, being in his one hundredth year on earth he departed to be with his Lord whom he had served for eighty years. He yet awaits the “happy morn” of which he wrote in hymn #229:
“O happy morn! the Lord will come
And take His waiting people home
Beyond the reach of care;
Where guilt and sin are all unknown;
The Lord will come and claim His own,
And place them with Him on His throne,
The glory bright to share.”

Christian Gottfried Clemens

Hymn #164.
He preached in various places in England and Wales from 1789-1815. No other data is available, so the entire hymn 164 is quoted as follows:
“O Jesus Christ, most holy-
Head of the Church Thy bride,
In us each day more fully
Thy Name be magnified!
Oh may in each believer
Thy love its power display,
And none among us ever
From Thee, our Shepherd, stray.”

Samuel O'malley Cluff (1837-1910)

Hymn Appendix #24.
Again we have drawn a blank as to this writer. All that is known comes out in the three volumes of letters of Mr. John Nelson Darby, who refers to some adverse doctrine taught by Mr. Cluff. We shall here quote the hymn written by him with such healthful spiritual desires expressed:
“Nothing but Christ, as on we tread,
The gift unpriced—God’s living bread.
With staff in hand and feet well shod,
Nothing but Christ—the Christ of God.

Everything loss for Him below,
Taking the cross where’er we go,
Showing to all, where once He trod,
Nothing but Christ—the Christ of God.

Nothing save Him, in all our ways,
Giving the theme for ceaseless praise;
Our whole resource along the road,
Nothing but Christ—the Christ of God.”

Josiah Conder (1789-1855)

Hymn #150.
Josiah Conder, the fourth son and sixth child of Thomas Conder, was born in Falcon Street, Aldersgate, London, England, on September 17, 1789. His grandfather Dr. John Conder was a noted Dissenting clergyman. His father Thomas was also a strong Nonconformist and so Josiah grew up in this environment. At five years of age he was inoculated for smallpox and the disease blinded him in his right eye. Fearing the possible loss of the other eye he was sent to Hackney for electrical treatment. His physician became his teacher, and carried him through the fundamentals of French, Latin and other studies. At fifteen he entered into his father’s bookstore as an assistant. In 1810 we find him, in co-operation with Ann and Jane Taylor and Eliza Thomas (who later became his wife) and some others, in publishing a book called “The Associate Minstrels.” It secured a second edition in 1812. He also edited a newspaper called “The Patriot,” but was never entirely out of financial problems, but went on encouraged by his Lord. He once had a fall from his horse which laid him aside in much pain and suffering, but at that time he could write:
“Fix my heart on things above:
Make me happy in Thy love.”
It is not known to the writer as to how Mr. Conder was brought to Christ, but there is definite evidence of his confidence in the sovereign grace of God, as the following lines from his pen show:
“ ‘Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou, from the sin that stained me,
Hast washed and set me free,
And to this end ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.”
But to what heights do we rise in hymn #150! What makes this hymn so wonderful is that it directs the worshipping heart to the blessed Person of Christ Himself, in fullest measure. No direct reference is even made to the work of Christ, blessed and necessary as that is for our salvation. The inscrutability of the eternal Son, and yet revealing the Father to us, is so fully expressed. The Spirit, as with all other hymns, must lead to give this out at the right moment, and what holy elevation of soul there is on such occasions!
He went home to be with Christ at St. John’s Wood, London, December 27, 1855.
‘The higher mysteries of Thy fame
The creature’s grasp transcend;
The Father only Thy blest name
Of Son can comprehend.”

Anne Ross Cousin (Nee Cundell) (1824-1906)

Free Church of Scotland
Hymns #137, Appendix 77
No record of her actual date of birth and death is at our disposal. She was the daughter of David Ross Cundell of Leith and became the wife of William Cousin of whom it was said that he was “an honored clergyman of the Free Church of Scotland.” “The Sands of Time” was first published in “The Christian Treasury” in 1857. In 1876 a volume was published called “Immanuel’s Land and Other Pieces,” by A. R. C. She was much the mouthpiece of Samuel Rutherford who lived from 1600 to 1661. He never wrote poetry, but his sayings were so much enjoyed by Mrs. Cousin that her poetic ability gave expression to these sayings in hymns. He was imprisoned for his faith for about two years and during that time he expressed much of his joy and confidence in the Lord. So it is his thoughts that Mrs. Cousin put into happy verse. She became a widow, but the year in which her husband died is not available.
“For me, Lord Jesus, Thou hast died,
And I have died in Thee;
Thou’rt risen: my bands are all untied,
And now Thou liv’st in me.
The Father’s face of radiant grace
Shines now in light on me.” (#137)

William Cowper (1731-1800)

Hymns #1, 4, 49, 291, 322, Appendix 44.
William Cowper was born in the English countryside at Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, England, on November 26, 1731. His father John Cowper was the rector of the parish and chaplain to George the Second. On his mother’s side he was descended from Henry III. His mother’s name was Anne Donne and she died when William was only six years old. This was a great blow to him because of his closeness to her and need of her attentions. He became a barrister (lawyer) in 1754 and his father died two years later. He then began to drift from one thing to another—Commissioner of Bankrupts, 1759, and reading clerk to the House of Lords in 1763. About this time a melancholy settled over him and he attempted suicide. The rope broke and he was spared for better things.
One evening he was picking his way among the gravestones of St. Margaret’s on his way home to bed. It was a moonless, dark night. The only sound that broke the stillness was the recurring crunch of the sexton’s spade digging a grave. Then suddenly Cowper felt his leg struck by a round object. By the light of his lantern he examined it to see what it was. The light shone upon the eyeless sockets, the repulsive contours, of a human skull! He at once felt a stab of fear with a sense of the emptiness of all here. What good was it to avoid other dangers when here was one he could never avoid?
In July 1764, at the age of 33, he sat in his garden reading Romans chapter 3. He was arrested by verses 24 and 25: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.” He rested on the blood, faith laid hold of salvation. He said, “Immediately I received strength to believe. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement that Christ had made, my pardon in His blood, the fullness and completeness of my justification.” Later when living at Olney he was helped much by John Newton with whom he compiled the “Olney Hymns.” How he valued the precious blood of Christ may be seen by reading hymns 1 and 322. He went home to be with Christ April 25, 1800, and there was fulfilled what he had expressed so well:
“Then, in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stamm ‘ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave.”
(as originally written.)

John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #12, 14, 25, 64, 76, 79, 139, 148, 178, 235, 270, 331, 323 (vs. 3 only), Appendix 2, 18, 23 (15 hymns).
Mr. Darby is well known for his extensive written ministry which has been the source of much edification and teaching to the Lord’s people. However, he is also the author of several hymns of high spiritual character so this rightfully gives him a place among the hymn writers.
He was born November 18, 1800 (the year in which William Cowper died), the youngest son of John Darby, of Markley, Sussex, and of Leap Castle, King’s County, Ireland. His mother was of the Vaughan family, well known in Wales. His father’s side descended from the Normans. In 1798 Lord Nelson won the Battle of the Nile and serving under him was Mr. Darby’s uncle, Sir Henry Darby, who commanded the ship-of-the-line Bellerophon. So it was Lord Nelson who sponsored John Nelson Darby in baptism and gave him his middle name. He was in a position and had the ability to have been great in this world. But Christ became all to him and in one of his hymns he puts it:
“‘Tis the treasure we’ve found in His love
That has made us now pilgrims below,
And ‘tis there, when we reach Him above,
As we’re known, all His fullness we’ll know.” (#139)
Like Cowper he early lost his mother to whom he refers tenderly in his writings. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1819, winning the classical Gold Medal. First entering the legal profession as desired by his father, being converted to God he left that vocation. He was saved by reading the Bible, as he says: —
“One qualification I may boast of—profound, unfeigned (I believe divinely given) faith in the Bible. I have, through grace, been by it converted, enlightened, quickened, saved. I have received the knowledge of God by it to adore His perfections-of Jesus, the Savior, joy, strength, comfort of my soul.... That work, which is ever God’s, was wrought in me through the means of the written Word. He who knows what the value of Jesus is will know what the Bible will be to such a one.”
(Collected Writings, Vol. 6, p. 3.)
He then took up “holy orders” in the Church of England and was made a deacon in 1825 by Archbishop Magee and was appointed to a large parish in Wicklow County, Ireland. Here diligently he applied his efforts to the good of the people while he himself walked with the Lord. A year later when he went up to the city to be made a priest by the Bishop he was exercised then as to the condition of the Church of England, the Establishment. But returning to his parish he did much helpful work among the Roman Catholics, many of whom he led to Christ as Savior. A notice from the Bishop that converts must take an oath of allegiance to the King, as head of the Anglican Church, stirred up his conscience to action. Asked later by a fellow—clergyman (James Kelly) why he had left the Church of England, he replied: —
“I find no such thing as a National Church in Scripture. Is the Church of England—was it ever—God’s assembly in England?... her constitution is worldly because she contemplates. . . the population, not the saints.... It was that I was looking for the body of Christ (which was not there, but perhaps in all the parish not one converted person): and collaterally, because I believed in a divinely appointed ministry. It was a system contrary to what I found in Scripture.”
He and others met at Lady Powerscourt’s Castle in Ireland where they at first took up prophecy. Church truth came out and God gave grace for some to act upon it. At Dublin several including Edward Cronin, J. Parnel (later Lord Congleton) and J. G. Bellett broke bread, and Mr. Darby, recognizing this as a work of the Lord, identified himself with them. The Lord gave him to bring out many truths for the help of those who were now gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, outside the religious camp of Christendom. Justification by faith was more clearly seen, what the church is as the body of Christ, the house (God’s dwelling place on earth), the rapture of the saints before the tribulation, Israel’s place and restoration after the church is taken out. He became the first real expositor of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and it is his written ministry that has helped others to develop in meditation much more that is precious to the saints of God. His labors carried him all over Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Hawaii, and the south sea islands of the Pacific. “In labors more abundant.” He has left a legacy of 34 volumes of ministry (Collected Writings, edited by Wm. Kelly), the Synopsis of the whole Bible, three volumes of letters (in which he stood firmly for the truth without the fear of man), all of which are yet treasured by those that love the truth.
In 1881 he revised the Little Flock Hymn Book and, as shown in the introduction, his concern was to have more hymns of definite praise to the Father. The hymns so added at that time were numbers 7, 25, 41, 50, 178 and 331, and Appendix 7 and 48. In fact it was at this time that the book was called “The Little Flock.”
He became ill, being afflicted with dropsy, in February, 1882, but continued as he says, “through mercy I work half the day.” On April 29, 1882, Doctor A. H. Burton, his attending physician, gave the news that brother J.N.D. had finished the wilderness journey: and we bring this to a close by quoting from his hymn (#76), and one of his last statements: —
“When to Canaan’s long-loved dwelling
Love divine thy foot shall bring,
There, with shouts of triumph swelling,
Zion’s songs in rest to sing—
There no stranger-God shall meet thee,
Stranger thou in courts above—
He Who to His rest shall greet thee
Greets thee with a well-known love.”
On April 11, 1882, he said: —
“Well, it will be strange to find myself in heaven: but it won’t be a strange Christ—One I have known these many years. How little I know Him. I am glad He knows me—I KNOW MY SHEEP.”

Samuel Davies (1724- 1761)

Hymn #112.
This author has written several hymns though only one is in the Little Flock. He was born in Newcastle, Delaware, on November 3, 1724, and his devoted Christian mother, believing that God had given him in answer to her prayers, named him Samuel (heard of God). At fifteen he became an earnest Christian and at twenty-two he began to preach as a Presbyterian minister in Newcastle and then later in Virginia. The Lord granted him a measure of success as the result of his self-denying labors. In three years’ time his small group grew to three hundred. He was described as “a model of the most impressive oratory. As his personal appearance was venerable, yet benevolent and mild, he could address his auditory, either with the most commanding authority, or with the most melting tenderness.”
In 1759 he became President of the College at Princeton, New Jersey, as successor to Jonathan Edwards. At the beginning of 1761 he preached on the words, “This year thou shalt die” (Jer. 28:16). A month later he passed away at the early age of 36! As his dear mother gazed upon the casket she said, “There is the son of my prayers, and my hopes—my only son—my only earthly support. But there is the will of God, and I am satisfied.” How she exemplified the happy attitude of Job (Job 1:21)! She has long since been reunited with her “only son” in a brighter sphere where we shall all be quickly introduced, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52). He is now in that place of which he wrote:
“Eternal praise, our God, shall rise:
In mansions far beyond the skies
Thy Name shall be adored.
With joyful hearts our songs we raise;
Our God and Father, Thee we praise,
While waiting for our Lord.”

James George Deck (1802-1884)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #2, 7, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30, 48, 52, 63, 74, 85, 86, 106, 107, 109, 110, 123, 136, 146, 149, 151, 173, 187, 192, 193, 201, 205, 208, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 218, 219, 230, 234, 249, 278, 282, 318, 327 (44 hymns). (The last verse of #109 could possibly be by Mary Bowley—see #286)
J. G. Deck, the eldest son of John Deck, Esq. of Bury St. Edmunds, was born there November 1, 1802 (some say 1807) with a praying mother. He studied for the Army at Paris under one of Napoleon’s generals. In 1829 he was in the Army and stationed at Bangalore, India. Before that in 1826 he had been brought under conviction of sin by a sermon preached by a faithful Church of England clergyman. He got saved and returned to India to witness among his fellow officers that he was Christ’s. He returned to England on account of ill health, in 1835, with his wife and two children. He also was exercised as to a Christian’s being in military service. He said to his wife: “I have left the Army to become a clergyman, but now see that the Church of England is contrary to the Word of God. What shall we do?” Her answer was: “Whatever you believe to be the will of God, do it at any cost.” They followed the Word and were soon gathered to the Name of Christ alone, on the ground that the Church is one as formed by the Holy Spirit. He then gave his time to preaching Christ in the villages and the Lord supported him and his family in the work. Due to failing health in 1852 They moved to New Zealand, where he recovered, but his wife went home to be with Christ and was buried there. He labored for thirty more years in that area, until in 1882 he became a helpless invalid for two years. On August 14, 1884, he passed on to that scene of glory and into the Presence of which he wrote those precious words:
“God of love, our souls adore Thee!
We would still Thy grace proclaim,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee
And in glory praise Thy Name.
Praise and worship
Be to God and to the Lamb.”

Mary Jane Deck (Mrs. M. J. Walker) (? - 1878)

Hymns 438, Appendix #3.
Jane Deck was the sister to J.G. Deck, but date of birth is lacking. She married the English clergyman Dr. Edward Walker, rector of Cheltenham, in 1848. A few of her poems were issued as leaflets, but most were contributed to a collection of lyrics which was compiled by her husband. This was called “Psalms and Hymns for Public and Social Worship” and was published in 1855. One of her hymns contains the following stanza:
“Jesus, the Father’s only Son,
Jesus, His own beloved One,
Jesus, now seated at His side,
Hath claimed us for His own, His bride.
Of Him and His the Spirit tells,
Upon His love He sweetly dwells;
And while we listen to His voice
We wonder, worship, and rejoice!”
This sister went home to glory July 2, 1878, and from her own hymn, #3 in the Appendix, we learn what she is enjoying now more fully:
“Yea, in the fullness of His grace,
God put me in the children’s place,
Where I may gaze upon His face,
O Lamb of God, in Thee!”

Richard Decourcy (1743-1803)

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.”

David Denham (1791-1848)

Hymn #225.
David Denham was an English Baptist minister. He was connected with Dr. R. S. Hawker’s congregation before becoming a clergyman and after that he settled at Margate, London, and Chelsea. He edited a collection of hymns that bears his name, but wrote chiefly for religious magazines. His title for the hymn mentioned above (#225) was “The Saints’ Sweet Home,” to which he applied Psa. 73:24, “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” It was in use in America in the “Christian Lyre,” and the author contributed seventy of his own hymns to the book “The Saints’ Melody” in 1837,
“‘Mid scenes of confusion and creature complaints,
How sweet to the soul is communion with saints;
To find at the banquet of mercy there’s room,
To feel in communion a foretaste of home.”

Marie deFleury ( — )

Hymn #20.
This author lived in England and about the year 1791 published a book entitled “Divine Poems and Essays on Various Subjects.” This is all that is available to the writer at present. Her hymn is quoted as follows:
“Lord Jesus, we worship and bow at Thy feet,
And give Thee the glory, the honor that’s meet;
While through Thee, O Savior, our praises ascend
And join in the chorus that never shall end.”

Miss Caroline Dent (1815-1887+)

Hymn #260.
Miss Caroline Dent was born August 14, 1815, being great-granddaughter of John Collet Ryland and great-grandniece to John Ryland (a hymn writer and Baptist minister). She was born at Milton, near to Northampton where she was still residing in 1887, the last date known as to her life. Her date of death is not available, but she was still living in 1887. In 1854 she published a book, ‘Thoughts and Sketches in Verse,” mostly her own composition and the rest by her sister Mrs. Trestrail. How we all enjoy the expressions in her hymn #260, from which we now quote:
“Lord Jesus, Come, and take Thy rightful place
As Son of Man, of all the theme!
Come, Lord, to reign o’er all supreme,
Lord Jesus, Come!
Lord Jesus, Come, and let Thy glory shine,
That quickly these changed bodies may
Each one reflect a living ray.
Lord Jesus, Come!”

Wolfgang Christopher Dessler (Deszler) (1660-1722)

Hymn #294. Translated by John Wesley.
W. C. Dessler was born at Nurnberg, Germany, February 11, 1660, being the son of Nicolaus Dessler, a jeweler. His father wanted him to be a goldsmith, but he was not physically suited to this so instead he went to the University of Altdorf to study theology. Poverty and bodily weakness compelled him to give up his studies. He returned to Nurnberg to work as a proof reader. He met there Erasmus Finx (a hymn writer) who guided him in translating foreign religious articles into German. In 1705 he was appointed to be the co-rector of the School of the Holy Ghost at Nurnberg. He labored with much zeal till 1720 when a stroke of paralysis made him resign. He died there on March 11, 1722, after having written over one hundred hymns. What a precious desire does he express in hymn 294!—
“Take Thou our hearts, and let them be
Forever closed to all but Thee;
Thy willing servants, let us wear
The seal of love forever there.”

Mrs. Anna Dober (Nee Schindler) (1713-1739)

Hymn #307. Translated by Charles Wesley.
Anna Schindler was born on April 9, 1713, at Kunewald, near Fulnek, Moravia. In 1725 she moved to Herrnhut where in 1730 she helped to form a society of “the unmarried sisters.” But on July 13, 1737, she became the wife of L. J.Dober, then the General Elder of the Moravian Church, though made Bishop of Herrnhut in 1742, three years after his wife’s decease. She assisted him in his labors for converting the Jews to Christ at Amsterdam. She went to be with Christ on December 12, 1739, at the early age of 26 at Marienborn, in Hess-Darmstadt. She was said to have been “a faithful and gifted servant of Christ” and the author of many hymns, full of personal devotion to her Lord and of deep trust in Him.
Her hymn (307) was translated from German into English by Charles Wesley and it appears in the Methodist Hymnal of 1878, the first stanza being—
“Dust and ashes though we be,
Full of sin and misery,
Thine we are, Thou Son of God;
Take the purchase of Thy blood.”
This same stanza is rendered in the Little Flock as follows:
“Poor and feeble though we be,
Savior, we belong to Thee!
Thine we are, Thou Son of God,
Thine, the purchase of Thy blood.”
So her short life was spent for her Lord nearly 250 years ago, and should be an encouragement to us now.

Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)

Hymns #47 (vs. 1 and 5), 159, 194, 197, 236, 253, 292, 306, 308, 338, 341, Appendix 34 (12 hymns).
Philip Doddridge was born June 26, 1702, son of an oil merchant in London, England. He was the youngest of twenty children in the family! One biographer states that “at his birth he showed so little sign of life that he was laid aside as dead. But one of the attendants, thinking she perceived some motion, or breath, took that necessary care of him on which, in those tender circumstances, the feeble frame of life depended, which was so near expiring as soon as it was kindled.”
His mother was the daughter of an exiled Bohemian clergyman, John Bauman. She was a devoted Christian and with her father left Prague, Bohemia, because of persecution. They gave up a large estate and journeyed as peasants, carrying a Bible of Luther’s translation.
Young Philip was taught the history of both Testaments by his mother before he could read. In early life he showed great piety. He became an orphan while still young. He once said: “I know the heart of an orphan, having been deprived of both of my parents at an age in which it might reasonably be supposed I should be most sensible of the loss.”
While desiring to study for the ministry he had an offer to study law, and after prayer he suddenly and unexpectedly received an offer of help in ministerial studies from Samuel Clark, a Presbyterian minister. At twenty when first he preached, two souls were saved, his text being, “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha.”
In 1730 he started an academy at Northampton to train young men for the ministry. Here he spent the rest of his life. He is described as a man “above middle stature, extremely thin and slender. His sprightliness and vivacity of countenance and manner commanded general attention in the pulpit and private circles.”
After a season of sickness he once wrote: “It is impossible to express the support and comfort which God gave me on my sick-bed. His promises were my continual feast. They seemed, as it were, to be all united in one stream of glory, and poured into my breast. When I thought of dying, it sometimes made my very heart to leap within me.” His health, never very good, broke down as a consumption took hold on him. He was advised by friends in September 1751 to go to the warmer climate of Lisbon, Portugal, to recover. Lady Huntington as she entered his study saw tears in his eyes. “What! weeping again, my dear doctor?” she asked. “I am weeping, madam,” he faintly replied, “but they are tears of joy and comfort. I can give up my country, my friends, my relatives, into the hands of God; and as to myself, I can as well go to heaven from Lisbon as from my own study at Northampton.” His resignation is further expressed in one of his hymns:
“Where Jesus dwells my soul would be;
It faints my much-loved Lord to see.
Earth! twine no more about my heart,
For ‘tis far better to depart.”
He is perhaps best known for that joyful hymn:
“O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice
And tell its raptures all abroad.”
But two weeks after arriving at Lisbon he went home to sunnier, brighter scenes above. The “peace of God which passeth all understanding” smoothed his dying pillow and spread such a halo of glory around his death couch that his wife could write to the children, “Oh, my dear children, help me to praise Him. Such supports, such consolations, such comforts has He granted, that my mind... is ready to burst into songs of praise under its most exquisite distress.” So, on October 6, 1751, he went home to that eternal “Happy Day.”
“ ‘Twas past and o’er, that deathful pain,
When forth the life—blood flowed
That washed our souls from ev’ry stain,
That paid the debt we owed.”
(Original words were, “O precious Savior, deep Thy pain.”
The rest of the hymn was left unchanged by Mr. J. N. Darby.)

Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)

Hymn #332.
How often have our hearts been touched at gospel meetings when singing that precious hymn, “Just as I am without one plea!” It tells out the satisfaction of a heart won by Christ and His love. This hymn was written by Miss Charlotte Elliott, who was born March 18, 1789, at Westfield Lodge, Brighton, England. The preacher Henry Venn was her maternal grandfather, as his daughter Eling was married to Charles Elliott of Clapham and Brighton. Charlotte was the third daughter of six children. Two of her brothers became clergymen and her uncle Dr. John Venn was one also. From her childhood she was surrounded with culture and piety, but was in a state of chronic ill health. In 1821 she became and remained a confirmed invalid. In 1822 This affliction was blessed of God to her through Dr. Caesar Malan, man of God from Geneva, who was then visiting her father. She had not yet realized the fullness of salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Seeing that she was held back from the Savior by her own sell-saving efforts, he said, “Dear Charlotte, cut the cable, it will take too long to unloose it—.” She greatly resented his efforts to bring her to Christ and perhaps because of the irritability caused by her poor health she was very abrupt with him on one occasion. Later she apologized for her sharpness and told him that she was miserable-”I want to come to Jesus, but I don’t know how.” Dr. Malan answered, ‘Why not come just as you are! You have only to come to Him just as you are.” She soon found her resting place on the value of the blood of Christ.
“Just as I am without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee—
O Lamb of God, I come.”
Her father died in 1833 and from this time she was able to get much consolation from the employment of her pen in prose and verse. On the death of her mother and two sisters in 1843 the home was broken up; and in 1845 she and her surviving sister went to live (after a visit to the Continent) in Torquay in Devonshire, England. While there a doctor, under whose care she was, presented her with a leaflet which had been printed by a certain Christian woman, with her hymn “Just as I am.” The surprise and pleasure were mutual when she recognized her own hymn, and he discovered that she was the author!
On September 22, 1871, the Lord graciously took her home to Himself to enjoy more fully what she had expressed in another of her hymns:
“Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
My Savior, mine eternal rest;
Then only will this longing heart
Be fully and forever blest.”

James Harrington Evans (1785-1849)

Hymn #237.
J.H. Evans was born April 15, 1785, being the son of Dr. Evans, the priest-vicar at Salisbury Cathedral. He was educated at Wapham College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1803. The story of his conversion is not available, but his confidence in the Lord Jesus is clearly set forth in his hymn:
“His faithfulness, forever sure,
For endless ages will endure;
His perfect work will ever prove
The depths of His unchanging love.”
In 1808 he became an Anglican clergyman, but in 1815 withdrew from that position to be a Baptist minister. He served at John Street Baptist Chapel, Gray’s Inn Road, London, for many years. His death took place at Stonehaven, Scotland, on December 1, 1849. He had published in 1818 a book entitled, “Hymns, Selected Chiefly for Public Worship,” containing 179 hymns, of which several were his own.

Jonathan Evans (1748 or 1749-1809)

Hymn #133.
This writer was born at Coventry, England, with year of birth being uncertain. His father was a working man, not a man of letters or great education. Jonathan as a youth was employed in a ribbon factory and in 1778 he joined the Congregationalist church at Coventry which was then under a pastor named G. Burder. He had formerly no profession of religion but associated much with the degraded and ungodly-bad company indeed! In 1776 he was deeply convicted of sin and after coming to Christ became a very different person. He became a most active and tireless Christian worker. Although a business man all his life he began to manifest the gifts the Lord had given him in preaching the Word. He not only preached at the Chapel but was active in gathering the neglected children at Foleshill, near Coventry, to teach them the Scriptures.
In 1784 he fitted out a house-boat on the canal as a place of Christian activity. This grew into a chapel in 1797 and he continued there to the day of his death. He also ministered to the physical and mental infirmities of the people and was considered a “doctor” as well. On August 31, 1809, he suddenly passed on to the blissful shore he wrote about:
“We soon shall reach the blissful shore,
And view His glorious face;
His name forever to adore,
And hail Him ‘Prince of Peace’.”

John Fawcett (1739-1817)

Hymn #267.
This writer is perhaps best known for his hymn, “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.”
John Fawcett was born at Lidget Green, England on January 6, 1739. When he was but twelve years of age, his father died and he was apprenticed for six years at Bradford. A heavy burden fell upon his widowed mother and his employment at a trade was helpful to her. At sixteen he heard George Whitefield preach on the words, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” and he got saved! He once remarked, “As long as I live, I shall remember both the text and the sermon.”
In 1758 he joined the Baptists at Bradford and later (1765) he became minister at Wainsgate. Two years later he wrote his “Poetic Essays” and in 1782 he collected his hymns, one hundred and seventy-six, in a volume entitled “Hymns adapted to Public Worship and Private Devotion.”
At Wainsgate his family and expenses so increased that his income was quite inadequate. An opportunity to remove to a Baptist Church in London at a greater stipend presented itself. His decision to go nearly broke the hearts of his parishoners who crowded round the six or seven wagons he was loading. Both he and his wife sat and wept at the thought of leaving; it was too much for them and so they unpacked and stayed under the financial hardship. This event led him to write:
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear:
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.”
He continued preaching until 1816, at which time he was paralyzed by a stroke. He went to be with his Lord on July 25, 1817, at the age of 78. His last words were: “COME, LORD JESUS, COME QUICKLY!”

George West Frazer (1830-1896)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #140, 141, 162, 188, 200, 244, 245, 265, Appendix #7, 15, 37, 46, 66, 74 (14 hymns).
Mr. George W. Frazer was born in Bally, Ireland about the year 1830. His father was of a family from Inverness, Scotland, although born in Tralee, Ireland, where he later became a police inspector.
In 1850 George was brought to face eternal realities through the preaching of an evangelist named Guinness. The meetings were held in Dublin, Ireland and George’s brother, who was a saved man, wanted him to go, but he refused. Later he heard that the place was so crowded that there was no room. This made him decide that he was going to hear the preaching. He climbed the rainleader to an upper window and perched himself on the ledge. What text did the preacher read? “Yet there is room”! (Luke 14:22). The attendant circumstances with this text made a deep impression on his young mind. He was twenty at the time. He climbed down in an unhappy state of mind. He spent two anxious weeks until one night in deep anguish he exclaimed, “If I must perish, I am resolved to perish at His feet;” and there and then he cast himself at the feet of Jesus. Later he was brought into full peace of soul by resting on 1 Timothy 1:15.
Some years later he left his position at the bank and went out into the Lord’s work completely. He moved to Cheltenham where he was the neighbor of C.H.M. That he enjoyed and entered into the meaning of the breaking of bread is fully evidenced by hymns 245 and 188. The Lord’s coming and God’s eternal counsels are also set forth in hymns 140 and 141. He also wrote the gospel hymn, “Come! hear the gospel sound, ‘Yet there is room’,” and no doubt this was connected with the night when he was first awakened to his need. In his last moments the joy of the Lord was his portion. He said to those around, “It is infinitely more to me to be with Christ.” On January 24, 1896 he was taken home where he is awaiting “the archangel’s heaven-sent cry” in the place of joy and rest. We shall all soon join him there. (Rev. 22:20)
“We know Thee now exalted high,
Ourselves in Thee accepted;
We wait the hour which now draws nigh,
Thy coming long expected.
Till Thou dost come we still would be
With grateful hearts remembering Thee.”

John Gambold (1711-1771)

Hymn #250.
John Gambold was born April 10, 1711 at Puncheston, Pembrokeshire in the southwest part of Wales. His father was the vicar of the parish. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1730 with his B.A. degree. His M.A. degree he secured in 1734. We have no details of his conversion but we do see his confidence in the Lord expressed in his hymn:
“Let us our feebleness recline
On that eternal love of Thine,
And human thoughts forget;
Childlike attend what Thou wilt say,
Go forth and serve Thee while ‘tis day,
Nor leave our sweet retreat.”
In 1739 he became an Anglican clergyman at Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, but resigned in 1742 and joined the United Brethren (Moravians). He was chosen by them to be a Bishop in
1751. He had published an edition of the Greek New Testament and other works. He translated 26 hymns and wrote 18 more for the Moravian Hymn Book. He passed on to where he no longer is concerned in passing “through the world’s deserts rude and waste, or through its gardens fair,” nor being where “the storms of trouble sweep.” How good is the rest of God, our rest to come!

Samuel Whitlock Gandy (? - 1858)

Hymns Appendix #4 and 12.
No details are available, but we can quote his precious hymn #4 Appendix
“His be the victor’s name Who fought the fight alone;
Triumphant saints no honor claim,
His conquest was their own.
By weakness and defeat He won the meed and crown,
Trod all our foes beneath His feet
By being trodden down.
Bless, bless the Conqueror slain, slain in His victory,
Who lived, Who died, Who lives again,
For thee, His church, for thee.”
Hymn #12 Appendix is also worthy of consideration and we shall quote one stanza:
“There, in His book, I bear
More than a conqueror’s name,—

Paul Gerhardt (1601-1676)

Hymns #55, 274, 339, Appendix 36.
Paul Gerhardt was born on March 12, 1606 (or 1607) in a little town of Saxony called Grāfinhainichen, son of the burgomaster. In his early years the “Thirty Years’ War” raged in Germany. He was a scholar at Wittenberg in 1628. The exact time and circumstances of his conversion to God are not known at this time. His faithful walk in the Christian pathway speaks loudly of the One to Whom he belonged. He was in charge of a work in Berlin (being a Lutheran) from which he was unjustly detached by the king. He had married Anna Bertholdt, daughter of a lawyer for whom he worked as a tutor. He was over fifty when this took place. Driven from Berlin his wife accompanied him. They journeyed on foot the weary and footsore miles. Coming to an inn they spent the night, but while there two men came to ask for him, and his wife feared some new calamity. But these men came with a request that they settle in Merseburg under the protection and support of Duke Christian. He then showed his wife a hymn which he had composed earlier in the evening:
“Commit thou all thy griefs and ways
Into His hands,
To His sure truth and tender care, Who earth
And heaven commands.” etc.
This same confidence in the Lord is expressed in #55 in the Little Flock. He also celebrates the Lord’s love, goodness and salvation in #274 and 339. In the Appendix #36 is very practical and heart-warming to our souls.
His wife went home to glory first, in 1668, and he lived on here below until 1676. He then went to be with Christ, his only son being present; and as he came to the end he repeated part of one of his hymns:
“Death has no power to kill,
But from many a dreaded ill
Bears his spirit away, opens you bright path
That glows with light of perfect day.”
Thus he has gone “to meet the Savior, His glorious face to see.”

Dr. Thomas Gibbons (1720-1785)

Hymns #207, Appendix 1.
This writer was born May 31, 1720 at Reak, near Newmarket, England. He was educated by a Dr. Taylor at Deptford and was ordained in 1742 as the assistant minister to Mr. Bures at Silver Street Chapel, London. In 1743 he became minister at Independent Church in Haberdasher’s Hall where he continued until his death on February 22, 1785. He had also been a tutor (1754) at the Dissenting Academy at Mile End, London. He gave Sunday evening lectures (1760) at Monkwell Street and four years later received an M.A. degree from the College of New Jersey. He wrote books on Calvinism and other subjects as well as poetical works and is considered a “disciple in hymn writing” of Dr. Isaac Watts whose life he wrote.
It will be readily seen that hymn #207 is based on Heb. 13:20-21. In the Appendix hymn (#1) how happily he speaks of forgiveness and the response there should be in hearts:
“For this stupendous gift of heaven,
What grateful honors shall we show!
Where much transgression is forgiven
May love with fervent ardor flow.”

Mrs. Ann Taylor Gilbert (1782-1866)

Hymn #155.
Miss Ann Taylor was born January 30, 1782, being the daughter of Isaac Taylor, at that time an engraver in London, England. He later became a Congregationalist minister and went to reside at Colchester, then Ongar. In 1813 Ann married another minister named Joseph Gilbert. He was a tutor of mathematics at the Congregational College at Rotherham, Yorkshire. He died at Hull in 1852 and she remained in Nottingham. She wrote hymns in conjunction with her sister Jane Taylor. She wrote that encouraging children’s hymn:
“God is in heaven; can He hear
A little child like me?
Yes, little child; thou needst not fear;
He’ll listen e’en to thee.
God is in heaven; would He save
A little child like me?
Yes, little child, for Jesus gave
His life for such as thee.”
This would show that the salvation of children was upon her heart. She went to that heaven upon her death December 20, 1866. How precious to our hearts as believers is hymn #155!
“What was it, blessed God,
Led Thee to give Thy Son,
To yield Thy well-beloved
For us by sin undone?
‘Twas love unbounded led Thee thus
To give Thy well-beloved for us.’

G. Gilpin (? ― ?)

Hymns #115, Appendix 43.
There is no data available, so we shall quote from both hymns:
“Head of the church, Thy body,
O Christ, the great salvation!
Sweet to the saints it is to think
Of all Thine exaltation!
All power’s to Thee committed,
All power on earth, in heaven;
To Thee a name of widest fame
Above all glory’s given.”
“O God of grace, our Father,
All praise we give to Thee,
‘Tis in Thy sovereign favor
All blessedness we see.
There only is the fountain
Whence living waters flow,
Which like a glorious river
Still gladden as they go.”
(Appendix #43)
The first hymn is addressed to Christ the Son and Head of the church, and the second to the Father and takes in His sovereign grace. What a portion to enjoy!

Susannah Harrison (1752-1784)

Hymn #217.
Little is known of Susannah Harrison. She became an invalid by age 20. In 1780 she published a book of 133 hymns entitled “Songs in the Night” and this exceeded ten editions. Two of her best known hymns are “Begone my worldly cares, away!” and “O happy souls that love the Lord.”
She died August 3, 1784. We shall quote from hymn 217 which she wrote in 1779:
“Look, look, ye saints, within the vail,
And raise your happy song;
Your joys can never, never fail,
For you to Christ belong.
And glory in your Lord and God;
See, see Him as He is;
Your robes are spotless through His blood.
Your happiness is His.”

Joseph Hart (1712-1768)

Hymns #23, Appendix 54.
Joseph Hart was born of pious parents in London in 1712. But he turned away from the gospel, although at times anxious about his soul. He admitted that he for nine years rebelled against God and taught others the same. He fell into despondency of mind and shunned all company, preferring to be alone. In this sad state he went to hear preaching at the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane and the text was Rev. 3:10: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” It made a great impression on him and he says: “I was hardly got home, when I felt myself melting away into a strange softness of affection which made me fling myself on my knees before God. My horrors were dispelled and such comfort flowed into my heart as no words can paint. The Lord, by His Spirit of love, came with such power into my soul that I was lost in blissful amazement. I cried out, ‘What, me, Lord?’ His Spirit answered in me, ‘Yes, thee!’ I objected, ‘But I have been so unspeakably vile and wicked!’ The answer was, ‘I pardon thee freely and fully!’ I threw myself willingly into my Savior’s hands. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is now the only thing I desire to know.”
He had been a sinner “poor and needy” and so his hymn #54 in the Appendix, written in 1759, appeals to such. In 1760 he settled in London in charge of a work in the “Old Wooden Meetinghouse.” Here he preached earnestly to a large congregation. He suffered great affliction, but went on with the work of the Lord until his death, May 24, 1768. In the funeral sermon it was said of him: “He was like the laborious ox that dies with the yoke on his neck; so died he with the yoke of Christ on his neck; for ye are witnesses that he preached Christ to you, with the arrows of death sticking to him.”
The gathered saints will remember this dear brother more for hymn #23. How often have we sung that wondrous song:
“How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
Whose love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end.”

Thomas Haweis (1732-1820)

Hymns #11, 328, 329, Appendix 83.
Dr. Thomas Haweis was born at Truro, Cornwall, England in 1732. His family was aristocratic and moved in the higher levels of society. He was well educated and in his student days was associated with an actor named Samuel Foote. However, when he was fourteen years of age he was brought to Christ through the preaching of a Church of England minister at St. Mary’s in Truro. He then entered Oxford and was at the age of 24 ordained to the ministry.
He preached the gospel so faithfully that he was readily accused as a “Methodist” and that “he made religion quite too serious a matter upon men’s consciences.” The Bishop of Oxford (John Hume) thereupon “ousted him from his curacy.” A place was opened at the “Lock Hospital” Chapel in London. (A “Lock Hospital” was one where depraved and abandoned persons were cared for.)
He became one of that glorious group of hymn writers which surrounded Selina Shirley, Countess of Huntington. Like others he contributed to the admirable collection of hymns to which her ladyship and her cousin Walter Shirley devoted so much care and taste. In Lady Huntington’s hospitable drawing room he met with such great hymn writers as Toplady, the Wesleys, as well as the influence left by Isaac Watts. He wrote a total of 256 hymns, of which but four are in the Little Flock. The first one celebrates the resurrection of Christ as the solid foundation on which our justification rests. #328 has for its theme the wondrous love of Christ which was stronger than death, and #329 gives us our walk here below.
Advancing years rendered him infirm and he spent his last days at Bath, England, where on February 11, 1820, when he was 87, he passed peacefully to the glory he speaks of in the last verse of #83 in the Appendix. Of his hymns he said: “They are such as my heart indited, and they speak of the things which I believe concerning my God and King, They all point to one object—to a crucified Jesus.”
“Behold the Lamb! ‘tis He Who bore
My sins upon the tree,
And paid in death the dreadful score—
The guilt that lay on me.
I’d look to Him till sight endear
The Savior to my heart;
To Him I look Who calms my fear,
Nor from Himself would part.”
(Appendix #83)

Dr. Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

Hymns #61, 101, 104, 158, 248.
How precious the way in which Dr. Hawker’s hymns bring before us the Lord Jesus (hymn #61) and the Father (#104) with ourselves as children lisping out “Abba Father,” that hallowed Name! He was born at Exeter, England, in 1753. Originally educated for the medical profession, he in 1778 became a minister in the Church of Charles the Martyr at Plymouth, He was there until he went home April 6, 1827, at the age of 74. He was well known as a controversial and theological writer, but his name is associated with hymns, especially “Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing” and others. He also published a collection of Sunday School hymns.
“How wondrous the glories that meet
In Jesus, and from His face shine!
His love is eternal and sweet,
‘Tis human, ‘tis also divine.
His glory—not only God’s Son—
In manhood He had His full part—
And the union of both joined in one
Form the fountain of love in His heart.”

Richard Holden (?-1886)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymn #134.
Here we shall quote verbatim from Napoleon Noel, as we have no other data about this saint of God:
“RICHARD HOLDEN, formerly Anglican clergyman. He went out to Portugal in the Lord’s work. His letters to his mother, giving reasons for leaving the Church of England, had in its time a wide circulation. And he wrote the hymn, ‘Lord of glory, we adore Thee’.
“His departure to be ‘with Christ’ is an example of the faithfulness and sustaining grace of God towards those who obey His call to serve Him in foreign lands, and of His presence with and rich blessing upon them. Mrs. Holden realized this, when she wrote:
‘Near Lisbon, Aug. 24, 1886.
“Yes, my dear husband is at home now with the One he loved so well, waiting with Him till He come. It was at first a trial that my dear husband left me, this is almost the only time I can remember in all the happy years since the Lord gave us to each other, without ‘Good bye’. There was nothing of death or sadness in that sickroom, he was so happy, so cheerful. All who came to say ‘Good bye’—the dear saints and many others, — left, thinking he would yet be among them; he looked so bright; the Doctor, alone, gave me no hope, and Oh, he was so kind. My dear husband was so fond of him. ‘Doctor,’ he said, ‘A death bed is not the time to seek the Lord, what would I do if I had to come to Him in all this pain? No, thank God, it is all bright, all joy. 38 years I have known the Lord, and I never had a doubt of my soul’s salvation. Now it is all joy to go. Not even my wife, dearly as I love her, or my boy, hold me back. It is all bright, — all joy.’
“Someone said: ‘You are going to get your crown of glory.’ ‘Not the crown, not the crown,’ he said quickly, — ‘the One who gives it.’ When I asked him if he had any wish about Ernest or myself, brightly he replied:—‘Not a wish, not a care, my wife and my boy are in my Father’s hand; He will guide, I would not have it otherwise;’ ‘a little while, dear wife,’ and ‘God with you all the way.’ He had such perfect rest in God about everything, such trust in the Father’s heart; and you know how dear the saints in Lisbon were to him; but ‘God cares for them,’ was enough.
“In death he was allowed once more the privilege of witnessing for the truth, so dear to him in life. They refused to have him buried in the English Cemetery, as our views were different, and he could not be buried there without a service from an ordained clergyman; Martiers then thought that he had got it all arranged for the Playares, and we went there on Monday, Aug. 19, 1886. All the dear saints, and many others, met us at the cemetery; and a quiet, blessed time we had, beginning with the Portugese hymn: ‘Glory unto Jesus be’ etc., then Tenas prayed with great power. Martiers read 1 Corinthians 15; A. praised and prayed. Tenas said a few precious words, and the hymn, ‘Asleep in Jesus’ etc. Mr. Hall then gave out the lovely Portugese hymn, one of his own, ‘Thou art my rest, Lord Jesus,’ etc. The coffin was open all the time; — this is the custom here; and you had only to turn your eyes to his happy face, and know how true the words he had written.
“I had to leave then, as I was sick; but Mr. Hall said it was the most touching sight he ever witnessed; and the dear saints went forward in their deep, deep grief, and kissed him. Then came the order that he could not be buried there; so, twice refused a resting place, the coffin was taken back to the carriage, and buried in the little Cemetery OUTSIDE THE GATES. (Note Ex. 33:7; Heb. 13.10-14.)
“ ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven’ etc., 1 Thessalonians 4:11 — ‘and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ With my loving thanks to each one for their love and sympathy, and the earnest desire that Christ may be everything with us until He comes.
“Very affectionately yours in Him,
“(Signed) Kate Holden.”
He also wrote a valuable paper called “Corinth and Sects.”
This shows the Scriptural ground of gathering.
“Lord of glory, we adore Thee!
Christ of God, ascended high!
Heart and soul we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky.
Thee we worship. Thee we praise.
Excellent in all Thy ways.”

Josiah Hopkins (1786-1862)

Hymn #31 Appendix
Josiah Hopkins was born April 18, 1786 at Pittsford, Vermont. Details are missing as to how he was converted to Christ. His confession of faith in the Lord Jesus and His precious work are told out so touchingly in the hymn he has written. He was found wandering in a desert wide and the Lord’s love drew him from it.
He was linked with the Congregationalist church from 1803 to 1830. He received his M.A. degree (1813) and that of D.D. (1843) from Middlebury College. He was twice married: first, to Miss Orril Dike, of Pittsford, in 1808, and later to Lavinia Fenton, of Rutland, Vermont. He had one daughter and was survived by his wife. His work of ministry began in New England after he graduated from Auburn Theological Seminary at New Haven, Vermont, June 14, 1809. From there it appears he went to New Haven, Connecticut where he labored from 1809 to 1830. He is next found with the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, New York from 1830 to 1846. He next preached the word in the vicinity of Seneca Falls from 1851 to 1855. He went to be with the One Who had found him in the “desert wide” June 21, 1862 at Geneva, New York where he was a patient in the Water Cure, receiving treatment for asthma.
He also wrote that challenging gospel hymn, “Oh turn ye, oh turn ye, for why will ye die?” (see Echoes of Grace Hymn Book.)
“Lord, we worship and adore Thee
For Thy rich, Thy matchless grace,
Perfect soon in joy before Thee
We shall see Thee face to face.
Yet e’en now our song shall be,
Jesus gave Himself for me.

George Horne (1730-1792)

Hymn #70 (verses 2 and 3)
This writer was born at Otham, near Maidstone, Kent, England, on November 1, 1730, and was educated at Maidstone and University College, Oxford, obtaining his B.A. degree in 1749. He later became (1768) Master of Magdalen College. He was Dean of Canterbury in 1781 and Bishop of Norwich in 1791. He was widely known for his commentary on the Psalms. He died on January 17, 1792. It was not his honors or titles that are the important things: it was his faith in Christ, as he expresses it in the hymn-
“Saved by Christ, we’re free forever,
This the Spirit’s voice declares!
Death nor life, nor aught can sever
Jesus from the chosen heirs.” (v. 2)

Miss Amelia Matilda Hull (Circa 1825-1884 or Beyond)

Affiliation not known
Hymn Appendix #49.
How often one has sung that precious gospel hymn -
“There is life in a look at the crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee.
Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved—
Unto Him Who was nailed to the tree.”
This carries one back to the 1913 era at Sunday School in Brooklyn at the Gospel Truth Hall in my neighborhood where the gathered saints had a gospel and Sunday school work going on. Often this was sung in Sunday school and at the evening gospel meetings.
This hymn was written by Miss Amelia M. Hull who was born at Marpool Hall, Exmouth, England. She was the daughter of William Thomas Hull. She published several collections of hymns and contributed 22 to “Pleasant Hymns for Boys and Girls” published by Miss H. W. Soltau. These include “And is it true as I am told?” and “Life in a look” (1860). This last hymn shows indeed where Miss Hull had put her faith and on Whom she rested for salvation—she could write: “We are healed by His stripes, Wouldst thou add to the word?”
The date of her death is not available, but there was a publication by her as late as 1884. She is now with Him Who was “nailed to the tree” for her.

James Hutton (1715-1795)

Hymn #172.
This servant of Christ was cousin to Sir Isaac Newton, his father being a clergyman, and was born September 3, 1715 in England. He was a bookseller for several years, and in 1739 visited the Moravian settlement at Herrnhut, Moravia and met Count Zinzendorf, the founder of that group. In 1745 he retired from business to work for the Lord and in 1749 was made a Deacon. He contributed to the Moravian hymn book in 1754. On May 3, 1795 he went to behold the One of Whose blest ways he wanted to learn more.
“O tell us often of Thy love,
Of all Thy grief and pain:
And let our hearts with joy confess
That thence comes all our gain.”

Johann Christian Jacobi (1670-1750)

Hymn #33.
J. C. Jacobi was born in Germany in the year 1670.
However, he lived in England from 1708 to his death in 1750, being appointed keeper of the Royal German Chapel at St. James Palace, London. In 1722 he wrote a hymn which begins with the words,
“Holy Ghost! dispel our sadness,
Pierce the clouds of nature’s light.
Come, Thou source of joy and gladness,
Breathe Thy life, and spread Thy light.”
The same year he published a translation of German hymns under the title of “Psalmodia Germanica.” He first introduced Martin Luther’s hymn “Ein Feste Borg ist Unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress is our God) into the English language. He died December 14, 1750, and was buried in the Church of St. Paul’s, Convent Garden. What he rested on for salvation is clearly set forth in his hymn:
“Jesus, Captain of salvation,
Conq’ror both of death and hell!
Thou Who didst as sin’s oblation
Feel what Thou alone couldst feel.
Through Thy sufferings, death, and merit
We eternal bliss inherit.
Thousand thousand thanks to Thee,
Jesus, Lord, forever be!”

George Jekell

Hymn #324.
As we write this we know nothing of this hymn writer and can only quote from hymn #324:
“Lord Jesus, come! Nor let us longer roam
Afar from Thee and that bright place
Where we shall see Thee face to face.
Lord Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come! And take Thy people home,
That all Thy flock, so scattered here,
With Thee in glory may appear.
Lord Jesus, come!”

Andrew Jukes

Hymn Appendix #52.
Details are lacking and so again we quote part of the hymn:
“Behold, behold the Lamb of God,
On the cross.
For us He shed His precious blood,
On the cross.
Oh, hear the overwhelming cry,
‘Eli, lama sabachthani?’
Draw near and see the Savior die
On the cross.”
Here we have the sufferings of Christ, His being forsaken, His blood shed—they all form parts of the one work of atonement. What a solid ground on which to stand for all eternity! Dear reader, can you find a surer title to glory than this?

Richard Jukes

Hymn Appendix #68.
It is not known whether Richard Jukes is related to Andrew or not. We shall let his hymn speak for itself:
“By faith I see the Savior dying
On the tree;
To ruined sinners He is crying-
‘Look to Me’.
He bids the guilty now draw neat.
Hark! hark! His precious words I hear-
So soft, so sweet, they banish fear, -
‘Mercy’s free’.”
This reminds us of those words in Titus 3:4-5, “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.”

Thomas Kelly (1769-1855)

Hymns #10, 19, 37, 62, 94, 103, 105, 125, 126, 129, 138, 142, 168, 175, 183, 190, 198, 221, 226, 233, 241, 242, 247, 256, 258, 262, 263, 280, 285, 290, 312, 314, 317, Appendix 6, 20, 64, 81 (total 37).
It has been said that “the Green Isle has never furnished a greater or more prolific hymn writer than Thomas Kelly.” Nor is it a question of quantity, but good quality, as the 37 of his hymns found in the Little Flock amply testify.
This author was born July 13, 1769 in Kellyville, near Athy, County Queens, Ireland. His father was a judge and he was to be trained as barrister (lawyer). However, thoughts of eternity pressed in upon him early in life. This was brought about as he studied Hebrew. He was so deeply affected that he withdrew from worldly pursuits and gave himself up to the study of theology. He was so thoroughly awakened as to the need of his soul that he was in great distress, and in various forms of self-punishment sought to merit salvation. He really endangered his health by his ascetic practices, but soon the Lord led him to the truth of justification by faith and in this he walked to the end of his days.
In 1792 he was ordained in the Church of England, being associated with Walter Shirley, a cousin of Lady Huntington. Because he preached the gospel faithfully, the archbishop of Dublin closed the pulpits in his diocese against Mr. Kelly, as well as that other earnest evangelist, Rowland Hill. He left the Established Church so as to more freely preach the gospel. Crowds flocked around him wherever he lifted up the standard of the cross.
When he was about thirty years of age Mr. Kelly married a lady who also believed the gospel. She was a great help to him in the work of the Lord. It is important to marry “in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39).
He was a good musician and prepared a book of music for his hymns which numbered over 750. Only 37 are included in the Little Flock, and what a happy variety they provide! #10 celebrates the grace that removed our fears; #19 is praise; #105 is a soul-stirring hymn of glory to the Lamb; #6 in the appendix sets an object before our hearts to affect our ways practically.
In 1854 he had a stroke of paralysis while preaching, but lingered until May 14, 1855; at 86 years of age the Lord took him to that land where we “hear of war no more” (#312). Someone at his bedside repeated “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and he replied, “The Lord is my everything!”
His last words were “not my will, but Thine be done!” and thus he dwells in that rest and peace, that better home of which #258 speaks so happily. “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” (Num. 23:10).
“Jesus, Thy head, once crowned with thorns,
Is crowned with glory now;
Heaven’s royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor’s brow.”

John Kent (1766-1843)

Hymns #70 (vs.1 only), 87, Appendix 11, 41.
John Kent was born at Bideford, Devonshire, England, in December 1766. He was the son of a shipwright in Plymouth Dock, now Devonport, and had very little opportunity of getting an education. When but fourteen he was apprenticed to his father but used his leisure time in improving his knowledge and ability. How he was saved by the Lord and under what conditions are not known. But early he became interested in writing religious verses. In 1803 some of these were published in a small volume entitled “A Collection of Original Gospel Hymns.” He was said to be a modest and genuine Christian in his life. After many years he was overtaken by a great misfortune in the loss of his sight. This he bore with great patience and he died in peace with confidence in the Lord Jesus on November 15, 1843. His last words were, “I am accepted!”
“Sov’reign grace o’er sin abounding,
Ransomed souls the tidings swell!
‘Tis a deep that knows no sounding;
Who its length or breadth can tell?”
(vs. 1 of #70 which he wrote in 1827-the rest of the hymn was by George Horne who died in 1792.)
The writer of this book has found much comfort from #11 in the Appendix, from which we now quote verse 1:
“What cheering words are these!
Their sweetness who can tell?
In time and to eternal days
‘Tis with believers well!”

Christian I. Latrobe (1758-1836)

Hymn #Appendix 17.
C. I. LaTrobe was the eldest son of Benjamin LaTrobe (of Dublin, Ireland) and was born at the Moravian Settlement at Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England, on February 12, 1758. He received his education in England and in the United Brethren (Moravian) College at Niesky, Silesia, Germany. In 1784 he was made Secretary to the Moravian Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel. In 1795 he became Secretary to Unity of the Brethren in England. How and under what circumstances he was saved we know not, but he trusted in the precious blood shed at Calvary as will be seen as we quote his hymn below. No safer ground than that blood shed for rebels and for sinners, and faith says “shed for me.” He died at Fairfield, near Liverpool, May 6, 1836. He was best known by a six volume publication of hymns “Selection of Sacred Music” which appeared 1806-1825. Some of his hymns were translated from the German. We quote #17 in the Appendix:
“Son of the Father, Hail! Son of God eternal!
Jesus! the sinner’s friend, Whose favor knows no end;
Love made Thee condescend with men to make abode;
And through Thy precious blood
We’re now brought nigh to God.
Thee, Savior -Lord, we bless Our Lord Jesus!
Full of truth and power,
Highly blessed, blessed evermore.”


Hymn #273.
We have been unable to bring to light information as to this writer.
“O Lord, how does Thy mercy throw
Its guardian shadow o’er us,
Preserving while we’re here below,
Safe to the rest before us.

We’ll lay our trophies at Thy feet,
We’ll worship and adore Thee,
Whose precious blood has made us meet
To dwell with Thee in glory.”

William Freeman Lloyd (1791-1853)

Hymn #209.
W. F. Lloyd was born December 22, 1791, at Uley, Gloucestershire, England. Apparently saved early in life, he took a great interest in Sunday school work. In 1810 he was appointed secretary of the Sunday School Union. He also was with the Religious Tract Society in 1816. He commenced a magazine for Sunday school teachers, and for years the “Child’s Companion and Weekly Visitor.” He produced various books for Sunday school teachers and scholars. He also published a collection under the title “Thoughts in Rhyme.” He died at the residence of his brother Dr. Samuel Lloyd, at Stanley Hall, Gloucestershire, on April 22, 1853. His hymn “Our times are in Thy hand” was included by Mr. G. V. Wigram in the “Poor of the Flock” edited in 1838. Then it appeared again in the 1856 revision under the same number (209) as in the Little Flock.
“Our times are in Thy hand,
We’d always trust in Thee,
Till we have left this weary land,
And all Thy glory see.”

Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)

Hymns #301, Appendix 13.
We have all enjoyed from time to time singing hymn #301, “Our rest is in heaven, our rest is not here” etc. The dear servant of God who was used to write this precious hymn knew what toils and labor were here below. A devoted life to the work of the Lord and the good of His people was what marked Henry Francis Lyte. Born June 1, 1793, at Kelso, Scotland, he knew what poverty was, yet he struggled hard and at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (where J.N.D. later attended) he was awarded the prize for English poetry three times. This gave him some much needed money. He intended to be a physician, but gave this up and became a minister in the Church of England, all while he was yet unsaved!
Three years after he entered the ministry (1818) another clergyman was dying in agony of soul because he was “unpardoned and unprepared to die.” Lyte was called to this man’s bedside and soon realized that he was not ready either! They were both frightened and subdued. They read together in the Epistles of Paul and were brought to rest on the work of Christ. When his friend died Lyte said, “he died happy under the belief that, though he deeply erred, there was ONE whose death and sufferings would atone for all delinquencies, and HE accepted for all that he had incurred.”
Lyte labored in the seafaring town and area of Brixham, England. He had a large Sunday school work which embraced several hundred scholars, for whom he trained about 70 to teach them. One of his most famous hymns is “Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee.” This is not in the Little Flock, but hymn Appendix #13 is his other hymn in that collection.
One writer says that his life “was filled with disappointments and afflictions.” The last hymn was written by him(“Abide with Me”) under pathetic circumstances. He had been ordered by the doctor to leave for southern parts because of poor health. At the last service conducted by him he stood before the people he loved so much for the Lord’s sake and said, “I stand before you seasonably today as alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress it upon you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with, appreciation of, and a dependence on the death of Christ.” He then retired to his chamber aware of his near approach to the end here below. As the darkness of evening settled down he came forth and handed to a near relative this hymn with a tune to sing it by. The tune has been lost, but the words continue to this day:
“Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”
The next stanza told out his own experience at that moment:
“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
Oh Thou, Who changest not, abide with me!”
Soon after in that same year (1847) on Nov. 20th, in his 54th year he died at Nice, France, while on his way to Rome. So he found that the One in Whom he trusted did abide with him. He has experienced what he so happily expressed in the last lines of the hymn:
“Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”

Mrs. Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Possibly Anglican
Hymn #Appendix 14.
Margaret Mackay was the only daughter of Capt. Robert Mackay of Hedgefield, near Inverness, Scotland. She married Lt. Col. William Mackay (so did not change her name), of the Sixty-eighth Light Infantry. We know not how she was saved, how she was brought to the Lord Jesus Christ, but her hymn shall speak for her as to her faith in Him and His power over death. She has written in prose and verse, and her book, “Family at Heathersdale,” went to a third edition in 1854.
Her hymn in the Little Flock originated by a visit she paid to a burying ground in the west of England. Her own account follows:
“This simple inscription, ‘Sleeping in Jesus’, is carved on a tombstone in the retired rural burying ground of Pennycross Chapel, in Devonshire. Distant only a few miles from a bustling and crowded seaport town, reached through a succession of those lovely green lanes for which Devonshire is so remarkable, the quiet aspect of Pennycross comes soothingly over the mind. ‘Sleeping in Jesus’ seems in keeping with all around. Here was no elaborate ornament, no unsightly decay. The trim gravel walk led to the house of prayer, itself boasting of no architectural embellishment to distinguish it; and a few trees irregularly to mark some favored spots.”
At Cheltenham, on January 5, 1887, at the age of 85 she entered into the sleep from which no believer ever wakes to weep.
“Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep!
From which none ever wakes to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Where powerless is the last of foes.

Asleep in Jesus, peaceful rest!
Whence waking we’re supremely blest.
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Savior’s power.”

William P. Mackay (1839-1885)

Hymn #34.
No other information available from our sources. We shall therefore quote part of the hymn:
“The Lord is risen; the Red Sea’s judgment flood
Is past, in Him Who bought us with His blood.
The Lord is risen: we stand beyond the doom
Of all our sin, through Jesus’ empty tomb.

The Lord is risen: the Lord is gone before.
We long to see Him, and to sin no more.
The Lord is risen: our triumph shout shall be,
‘Thou hast prevailed! Thy people, Lord, are free.’”

Martin Madan (1726-1790)

Hymn #170 (only verses 3 and 5).
Born in 1726 Martin Madan was son of Colonel Martin Madan and brother to Spencer Madan. His mother was Judith Cowper, daughter of Spencer Cowper, uncle to William Cowper. This hymn writer was therefore cousin to the latter. He was studying law to become a barrister, but heard a sermon by John Wesley on the text, “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). This changed the whole course of his life and he became a preacher of the word instead of a lawyer. He was chaplain of Locke Hospital, Hyde Park Corner. Later he was involved in some very unscriptural doctrine as to marriage and no longer preached. This surely reminds us that “By strength shall no man prevail” and “All flesh is grass.” How timely a warning the apostle gives us in 1 Corinthians 10:12 — “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
This servant of the Lord has gone, has left this scene of failure; but may we take heed to our own walk and ways and seek to glorify Christ at all cost.
“ ‘Tis Thy heavenly bride and Spirit,
Jesus, Lord, that bid Thee come,
All the glory to inherit
And to take Thy people home.
All creation
Travails, groans, till Thou shalt come.”

Dr. Cesar Henri Abraham Malan (1787-1864)

Hymns #69, 97.
Dr. Cesar Henri Abraham Malan was born at Geneva, Switzerland on July 7, 1787. He studied theology in that city and in 1810 at the age of 23 was ordained to preach, and yet at the time he was a stranger to the Lord Jesus Christ! He had been under the baneful influence of the French infidelity as propagated by Voltaire. In 1817 the grace of God met him and he was brought to the Savior, Whom he now began to serve in reality. This brought him into collision with dead orthodoxy and he was prohibited from preaching. Certain ones clave unto him and, while they did not leave the Established Church, met at his home and later in a chapel. From 1830 he made missionary journeys to other parts of Switzerland, and to Germany and Holland.
On a visit to England he was instrumental in bringing Charlotte Elliott (writer of “Just as I am”) to Christ. She had been self-righteous and resented his question as to her salvation. Later she was concerned about her soul, but did not know how to come to Jesus. Dr. Malan said to her, “Why not come just as you are?”—and that is what she did. No wonder then that she could write—
“Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
The only two of Dr. Malan’s hymns in the Little Flock have the Lamb as their theme also. #69 celebrates the Lamb and the blood and rises up to praise. #97 has the same blessed theme, but looks on to the day of universal praise and worship.
On May 14, 1864 the Lord took His servant home where he can gaze upon the Lamb and “louder praises to Him bring.” How we ought to look upward with the desire to join that great company around the Lamb, for soon and suddenly shall the shout come!

John Mason (? - 1694)

Hymn #147.
We learn that the facts concerning the life of John Mason are scant. His father was a Dissenting minister, that is, did not go along with the Established Church (Anglican) of England. John was educated at Strixton schools at Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. He first became the Curate of Isham and then Vicar at Stantonbury, Bucks. Later he was made Rector of Water-Stratford. There he composed a volume of hymns called “The Songs of Praise.” It is said that “Mason was a man of true piety and humility; known for eminent prayerfulness; faithful, experimental, effectual preaching;-a light in the pulpit and a pattern out of it.” What a good testimony is this to this servant of Christ! The Lord would have us walk in the truth we profess (Titus 3:8).
The faithful Richard Baxter was a friend of his and writes thus: “The frame of his spirit was so heavenly, his deportment so humble and obliging, his discourse of spiritual things so weighty, with such apt words and delightful air, that it charmed all that had any spiritual relish.” Oh, how we need today a revival of spiritual relish among the Lord’s people! How often is a practical word despised with the servant of Christ giving it out! “Despise not prophesyings.”
We have not the record of how and when he came to Christ, but his own hymn declares in no uncertain terms what he rested on—
“To Him that loved us, gave Himself,
And died to do us good,
Has washed us from our scarlet sins
In His most precious blood;
Who made us kings and priests to God,
His Father infinite, —
To Him eternal glory be,
And everlasting might.”

Samuel Medley (1738-1799)

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. 42:6-7. 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.”

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.”

Mrs. Elizabeth Mills (1805-1829)

Hymn Appendix #70.
“We sing of the realms of the blest,
That country so bright and so fair,
The glorious mansions of rest—
But what must it be to be there?
We tell of its service of love,
The robes which the glorified wear,
The church of the first-born above—
But what must it be to be there?”
So wrote Elizabeth Mills a few weeks before she was taken “there.” She was born at Stoke, Newington, England, the daughter of Philip King, in 1805. She was married to Thomas Mills, a member of Parliament. The hymn written was suggested by a remark someone made to her a few weeks before her death, This remark was, “We speak of heaven, but oh to be there!” At Finsbury Place, London, England, on April 21, 1829 at only 24 years of age she learned what it must be to be there!
“We tell of its freedom from sin,
From sorrow, temptation and care,
From trials without and within—
But what must it be to be there?
Do Thou, Lord, midst pleasure and woe
Still for heaven our spirits prepare;
And shortly we also shall know
And feel what it is to be there!”

James Montgomery (1771-1854)

Hymns #131, 161, 323, Appendix #40.
James Montgomery was born November 4, 1771 at Irvine, in Ayrshire, Scotland, a region noted as the native place of Robert Burns. His father was an earnest minister among the Moravians (United Brethren). At the tender age of six he was placed under the guardianship of the Moravians at Fulneck, England, where he received his early schooling. Referring to those days he later said: “Whatever we did was done in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, whom we were taught to regard in the light of a friend.”
At the age of ten he began to write poetry. He had little desire for school studies and at age fourteen began work in a retail shop. Speaking of this period in after years he said: “When I was a boy I wrote a great many hymns; indeed, the first fruits of my mind were all consecrated to Him, who never despises the day of small things, even to the poorest of His creatures.”
His parents went as missionaries to the West Indies in 1783 where they died and were buried, one in Barbadoes and the other in Tobago.
Eventually James Montgomery became editor of the Sheffield Register, a prominent weekly paper of that day. He was not fully assured of his salvation until he was 43 years of age. He then wrote to his brother and said: “Tell all the good brethren and sisters whom I knew at Bristol, this great thing which the Lord hath done unto me.”
His hymns in the Little Flock—number 131 gives a lovely setting forth of the Trinity; 161 carries us on to the blessed end of the journey; 323, a precious resurrection hymn (3rd verse by J.N.D.); and the great millennial song, #40 in the Appendix.
On April 30, 1854 it was for him “forever with the Lord” —the wilderness ceased, all clouds departed, as he passed home in his sleep. He now awaits in that bright sphere the fulfillment of his hymn #323:
“The Lord Himself shall come
And shout a quickening word;
Thousands shall answer from the tomb:
‘Forever with the Lord!’ “


No data available
Hymn #264.
We quote his hymn:
“Thou sit’st on high, eternal Word,
As Son of Man, as sov’reign Lord,
And now, by faith, on Thee we rest
Till all Thy title have confessed.
“Thou hast our souls from sins made clean,
Thy Spirit gives us strength within;
Whilst Thou for us in all our need
At God’s right hand dost ever plead.
“O keep us in the narrow way
That ne’er from Thee our footsteps stray;
Sustain our weakness, calm our fear,
And to Thy presence keep us near.
“O be it thus till that blest day
When God shall wipe all tears away.
Quickly, ‘tis promised in the Word,
E’en so, Amen, come quickly, Lord.”
What a well rounded outline of truth do we have here! Stanza 1 gives us a glorified Man, the eternal Son in heaven. This is Christianity! In verse 2 we have the indwelling of the Spirit and the priestly work of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven. The third gives expressed dependence and the secret of communion. The fourth carries us on to the day of glory and rest to be ushered in by His coming—that One for Whom we wait.

John Henry Newman, Cardinal (1801-1890)

Anglican priest, then Roman Catholic cardinal
Hymn #Appendix 29.
This well known writer was born in London, England on February 21, 1801, son of John Newman, a banker of deep religious traits. “I was brought up from a child,” says Dr. Newman, “to take great delight in reading the Bible.” After a good preliminary education the lad was sent to Oxford, where he was graduated from Trinity College in 1820. He from the start had a “ritualistic” mind. Even though ordained in the Church of England his inclination was towards Romanism. He and others became involved in the “Oxford Movement” which sought to revitalize the Established Church by more ritualism. It all tended towards Rome and in October 1842, sad to say, he entered the Roman Catholic system. He wrote a. book too in 1864 to justify his position, called “Apologia Pro Vita Sua,” which many considered a brilliant work. But God gave to Mr. J.N. Darby to answer this book, which answer is found in the Collected Writings of J.N.Darby, Vol. 18, pp. 145-248. Mr. Darby says of J. H. Newman:
“The secret of the course of Dr. Newman’s mind is thisit is sensuous (not to be confounded with sensual), and so is Romanism. He never possessed the truth, nor in the process he describes, sought it. He had never found rest or peace in his own soul, nor sought it where it is to be found, according to the holiness of God. He sunk into that system where the mind often finds quiet from restless search after repose, when wearied in judging for itself, but never peace with God.”
His own brother, Francis William Newman, at one time professed faith in the Lord Jesus and was even with the gathered saints; but his mind was more bent on rationalism while with his brother it was ritualism, both being the products of the unbelieving human mind. Mr. Darby also answered Francis Newman in the Collected Writings, Vol. 6, “The Irrationalism of Infidelity.”
Cardinal Newman’s hymn (Appendix #29) was revised and incorporated by Mr. Darby in the Little Flock because of its spiritual desires as expressed. As first written it was, “Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on.” But how sad that the author did not follow the “kindly Light,” but rather the traditions of men. May this humble our hearts and make us to see more and more the need of dependence on God and the word of His grace (Acts 20:32).
He died suddenly in Birmingham on August 11, 1890.

John Newton (1725-1807)

Hymns #17, 54, 160, 181, 303, Appendix #10.
John Newton was born in London on July 24, 1725. His father was in charge of a vessel that plied the waters of the Mediterranean in trade. When but four years old his mother had already stored his mind with much of value. She had him learn portions of Scripture and hymns. He wrote: “My mother observed my early progress with peculiar pleasure, and intended from the first to bring me up with a view to the ministry.” When but seven his mother died and his father and step-mother left him to mingle with bad company. But though his faithful mother was dead and in the grave, her prayers followed him in all his wanderings.
While young he gave himself up to following of the sea. He was impressed into the Royal Navy, but deserted at Plymouth, Brought back he was lashed with the whip publicly, kept in irons and degraded in rank. Brought down thus he was ridiculed and insulted by the other men. He eventually got to the African coast where he became the slave of a slave trader, who with his wife treated him with savage cruelty. He suffered thus for about fifteen months before he was rescued and taken aboard a ship sent by his father. He had become infidel in his thoughts and set aside the early good teachings of his mother. But on the voyage he read “Thomas a Kempis” by Stanhope, when the thought flashed across his mind, “What if these things should be true?” Then a terrible storm came up and a friend who stood watch for him for a moment was swept overboard. The vessel shook and seemed doomed to be broken in pieces, and it was then that the Lord struck his conscience as to his sins. His crimes, infidel scoffings, and sudden escapes from death passed through his mind. It was then that he saw Christ as One Who had died for his sins. I shall give now his own words at that time:
“I now began to think of the Jesus Whom I had so often offended. I recollected the particulars of His life and death; a death for sins not His own, but for those who in their distress should put their trust in Him.... I was struck with several passages, particularly the prodigal—a case that had never been so nearly exemplified as by myself—then the goodness of the Father in receiving, nay, in running to meet such a son, and this intended only to illustrate the Lord’s goodness to returning sinners, this gained upon me.”
In later years he wrote:
“I hear the tempest’s awful sound,
I feel the vessel’s quick rebound;
And fear might now my bosom fill,
But Jesus tells me, ‘Peace! Be still!’
Hark! He has listened while I prayed.
Slowly the tempest’s rage is stayed;
The yielding waves obey His will, -
Jesus hath bid them, ‘Peace! Be still!’”
About the year 1742 he fell in love with a lady named Miss Mary Catlett. It was thoughts of her while enslaved in Africa that kept alive his hope and desire to get back to England. They were married February 1, 1750. After his marriage he made several sea voyages as Captain of a ship, to Africa and West Indian ports. But the Lord had a greater work for him and allowed an illness by reason of which he was declared by doctors to be unfit for going to sea again. He became a minister in the Church of England, and at Olney he worked with William Cowper to produce the “Olney Hymns.” He was also a great help to strengthen Cowper who was subject at times to fits of depression.
The Lord took him home in peace on December 31, 1807, and on his grave we have the epitaph written by himself:
John Newton, Clerk
Once an Infidel and Libertine,
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior
Preserved, restored, pardoned,
And appointed to preach the Faith
He had long labored to destroy.
Near 16 years at Olney in Bucks.
And years in this church.

Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608)

Hymn #31.
“Hark, ‘tis the watchman’s cry;
Wake, brethren, wake!
Jesus our Lord is nigh;
Wake, brethren, wake!
Sleep is for sons of night;
Ye are children of the light;
Yours is the glory bright—
Wake, brethren, wake!”
So translated Miss Catherine Winkworth from the German of Philipp Nicolai.
Philipp Nicolai was born August 10, 1556 in Mengeringhausen, Germany. He was the son of a clergyman who devoted him “to God and the church.” He was given a thorough Lutheran education at Erfurt and Wittenburg and was noted as a preacher marked by piety. He was brought face to face with eternity about the year 1597 when a terrible pestilence was raging. Fourteen hundred persons perished, and Nicolai from his window saw the sorrowful processions pass by. This made him think seriously on death and the future state. He later wrote a book entitled “The Joy Glass of Eternal Life.” People flocked to hear the Word as preached by him and in 1601 he ministered to large audiences in Hamburg. It was in this city that he left his path of service below, on October 26, 1608. How often have we enjoyed hymn #31 (written in 1598) as it has been given out on Lord’s day morning!
“The Father, from eternity
Chose us, O Jesus Christ, in Thee –
In Thee, His well beloved.
And we, as given to Thee–Thy bride,
In Thee, Lord Jesus, can confide;
Thy love remains unmoved.
From Thee daily
Strength receiving–to Thee cleaving, Blessed Jesus!
May we all show forth Thy praises!”

Miss Marianne Nunn (1778-1847)

Possibly Anglican
Hymn Appendix #84.
This author was born in Colchester, Essex, England on May 17, 1778. She lived much in retirement and was never married. The hymn was first published by her brother John Nunn, a minister, in a book “Psalms and Hymns.” It was first brought to America by a Dr. Leavitt in “The Christian Lyre” in 1830 and has been repeated much here since. How she must have enjoyed the love of Christ as she penned those lines! Paul could say “the love of Christ constraineth us.” In 1847 she went to that Friend she had found on earth and Whose love meant so much to her.
“We have found a Friend in Jesus;
Oh, how He loves!
‘Tis His great delight to bless us;
Oh, how He loves!
How our hearts delight to hear Him
Bid us dwell in safety near Him!
Why should we distrust or fear Him?
Oh, how He loves!”

Catesby Paget

No data available
Hymn #27 Appendix
This hymn gives us the joy of a saint of God who found perfect peace with God through the blood of Christ. How good for us also if we can walk in the sense of nearness expressed therein!
“A mind at ‘perfect peace’ with God;
Oh, what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood—
This, this indeed is peace.

So nigh—so very nigh to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of His Son
I am as near as He.

Why should I ever careful be
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me night and day,
And tells me, ‘Thou art mine.’ “

Miss A. E. Price

No data available
Hymn #124.
Miss Price has really given us a lovely hymn. The heights the Lord Jesus stooped from, His path here, His place in glory still loving us there, and His coming again! She must have found her satisfying portion in the Lord Jesus Christ. She is with Him now, yet awaiting until “heaven’s morning breaks and glory dawns.”
“Jesus, our Lord, Thou morning star,
How well we know Thy Name!
Jesus, the Lord, the crucified—
In glory still the same.

Jesus, the One Who left the throne
To save a ruined race,
Thy love and lowliness still shine
Upon that glorious face.

Jesus, our Savior, quickly come,
That we may with Thee be!
Heaven’s morning breaks and glory dawns
When Thy blest face we see.”

Thomas Edie Purdom

Little data available
Hymn #251.
All we know of this saint of God is that he was a physician and lived at Croydon, England.
How often have our hearts overflowed and the eyes welled up as we have arisen in the morning meeting to sing this precious worship hymn! As we are gathered around the person of the Lord to remember Him in His death and it is the mind of the Spirit for this hymn to be given out, how our hearts delight in pouring out collectively these holy, worshipful thoughts!
“Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior Thou,
With joy we worship Thee.
We know Thou hast redeemed us
By dying on the tree.

We know the love that brought Thee down,
Down from that bliss on high,
To meet our ruined souls in need,
On Calvary’s cross to die.

We praise, we worship, we adore,
As round Thyself we meet:
Thy beauty, Lord, our souls transports
While bowing at Thy feet.

Our theme of praise art Thou alone,
Thy cross, Thy work, Thy Word.
Oh, who can fathom all Thy love,
Thou living, blessed Lord?”

Robert Robinson (1735-1790)

Hymns #179, Appendix #5.
“Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for ceaseless songs of praise.”
Robert Robinson was brought to Christ through the preaching of George Whitefield, the Methodist gospel preacher. He was born in Cambridge, England in 1735 and was left without a father early in his life. His mother struggled to supply the family needs. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a hairdresser in London. He gave himself to books at every opportunity. He was led to conversion in a very unusual way-”God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, “ as another has written. With several companions he stopped at a fortune-teller’s place and the old woman told him that he would live long and see his great-grandchildren. He said to himself, “I will then during my youth store my mind with all kinds of knowledge. I will see, and hear, and note all that is rare and wonderful. Then my company shall be pleasant, and I shall be respected in my old age. Let me see, what can I acquire first? Oh, here is the famous Methodist preacher, Whitefield; he is to preach here, they say, tonight; I will go and hear him.” So he went and the preacher took for his text, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Mr. Robinson then heard Mr. Whitefield describe the Sadducees and thought, “This does not touch me, I am a good Christian.” But when the external decency of the Pharisees was described along with the poison of the viper in his breast, he said, “This rather shook me.” The preacher then with tears streaming down his cheeks cried out, “Oh, my hearers, the wrath to come! the wrath to come!” “Those awful words,” said Robinson, “followed me wherever I went.” After wandering for some time under deep conviction he was found on December 10, 1755. He expresses it so beautifully in Hymn #5 in the Appendix:
“Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.”
But being unstable he went from one thing to another. While in an unhappy state of soul he was traveling one day in a coach when a lady, a stranger, turned to him and asked if he had ever read this hymn. It was his own. She told him of the comfort and happiness it had been to her. He tried to turn the conversation, but she was persistent for an answer. Finally, bursting into tears he exclaimed, “Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago; and I would give a thousand worlds if I had them to enjoy the feelings I had then.”
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.”
(as originally written)
Not long before his death he wrote as to certain clergymen: “Alas, where is that ancient simplicity and power? They are modernized.” Of another person he asked, “Does he court popularity and applause? or is he aiming at winning souls for Christ?” As to his own restoration, all he had to do, as with us, was to act upon 1 John 2:1-2 and 1:9. The Lord has graciously made provision for the restoration of communion.
He had expressed the wish that he would die “softly, suddenly and alone” and this was granted to him. He was found lifeless in bed on the morning of June 9, 1790 and thus he passed into that scene where he now beholds more fully that “Brightness of the eternal glory” about which he spoke in #179.

Dr. H. L. Rossier (1835-1928)

Continental Brethren
Hymn #227 (translated by Miss C. A. Wellesley).
This brother requested at his death that he should not be spoken of. Information is therefore very brief, and we give a quotation from another concerning him:
“He was well known as a physician, but he heard at an early age the call of the Lord to serve Him. He was for 58 years the editor of the monthly periodical ‘Le Messager Evanggliquel, which is still a precious paper among the brethren in France and French Switzerland. He has left to his brethren the most valuable written ministry: many writings for the edification of the saints (notes and studies), and beautiful poetical works. He wrote also 28 hymns of a great elevation, for the book still in use in our meetings.”
How precious the thoughts in his hymn:
“Lord, e’en to death Thy love could go,
A death of shame and loss,
To vanquish for us every foe
And break the strong man’s force.

Oh, what a load was Thine to bear,
Alone in that dark hour,
Our sins in all their terror there,
God’s wrath and Satan’s power.

The storm that bowed Thy blessed head
Is hushed forever now,
And rest divine is ours instead,
Whilst glory crowns Thy brow.

Within the Father’s house on high
We soon shall sing Thy praise.
But here, where Thou didst bleed and die
We learn that song to raise.”

Johann Andreas Rothe (1688-1758)

Lutheran (then Moravian)
Hymn #26 (translated by John Wesley).
J. A. Rothe was born on May 12, 1688 at Lissa, near Gorlitz, Silesia, in Germany, his father Aegidius Rothe being pastor there. In 1708 he entered Leipzig University to study theology and graduated with his M.A. degree in 1712. He began preaching at Gōrlitz, near his home. When and how he was brought to the knowledge of Christ as Savior we know not. We are dependent on the hymn for his expression of faith and confidence in the Lord Jesus and His blood.
In 1722 Count von Zinzendorf (founder of the Moravians) heard him preach and that faithful preacher of the gospel invited Rothe to take up a pastorate at Berthelsdorf, where he began his labors August 30, 1722. One has written of him:
“Rothe was a man of considerable gift and of unbending integrity, fearless, and an impressive preacher. His hymns, about forty in all, though they can hardly be said to rank high as poetry, are yet often characterized by glow and tenderness of feeling, and by depth of Christian experience.”
He died in 1758 at the age of seventy.
“O Love divine, Thou vast abyss!
Our sins are swallowed up in Thee;
Covered is our unrighteousness;
From condemnation we are free;
In Jesus’ blood our hearts can trace
The boundless riches of Thy grace.”

Archibald J. Rutherford

Hymn #121.
Nothing is known at present except that Rutherford contributed to Scottish hymn books and we therefore consider he was born in Scotland. His hymn leaves no doubt as to what his joy and confidence were:
“Glory unto Jesus be,
From the curse Who set us free!
All our guilt on Him was laid,
He the ransom fully paid.

All that blessed work is done—
God’s well pleased with His Son;
He has raised Him from the dead,
Set Him overall as Head.”

John Ryland (1753-1825)

Hymn #243.
John Ryland was born on January 29, 1753 in England, and was blest with a pious mother. She early taught him the Holy Scriptures which were able to make him wise unto salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. How good to have godly parents who seek the welfare of their children for time and eternity! When he was five he could read Hebrew, and at nine the entire New Testament in Greek! At eighteen he began to preach the Word. While he was Baptist pastor at Northampton, the stage coaches used to pass that way to an Inn where they changed horses. He would intercept sound gospel preachers and persuade them to stay over so as to preach to his congregation. One preacher most reluctantly yielded and preached on the text, “Hinder me not” (Gen. 24:56). As a result of this John Ryland wrote a hymn which begins:
“In all my Lord’s appointed ways
My journey I’ll pursue;
‘Hinder me not,’ ye much loved saints,
For I must go with you.”
He is the author of ninety-nine hymns, and one of the best known and loved is #87 in the Little Flock. This was written in 1777.
He received a degree from Brown University of Rhode
Island, U.S.A. In 1794 he became president of the Baptist College at Bristol where he remained until his death on June 25, 1825. His last known utterance was, “No more pain.”
“O Lord, we would delight in Thee,
And on Thy care depend;
To Thee in every trouble flee,
Our safe, unfailing Friend.

O Lord, we cast each care on Thee
And triumph and adore.
O that our great concern may be
To love and praise Thee more!”

Robert Sandeman (1718-1771)

Hymn #128.
No data available now. Besides this hymn Sandeman did contribute other hymns to the Scottish hymnals, so we have to assume that he lived and possibly died in Scotland. To us he is unknown, but to the God in Whose mercy he trusted he is well known. What a joy it will be to our hearts when in the glory we meet our brethren from every distant shore, to find our eternal company with those that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity! Robert Sandeman trusted only in that mercy spoken of in Titus 3:5, as his hymn clearly testifies:
“See mercy, mercy from on high
Descend to rebels doomed to die;
‘Tis mercy free, which knows no bound.
How sweet, how pleasant is the sound?

Soon as the reign of sin began
The light of mercy dawned on man,
When God announced the blessed news,
‘The woman’s seed thy head shall bruise.’

Till we around Him there shall throng
This mercy shall be still our song;
For God shall every scheme confound
Of all who seek its course to bound.”

W. Saunders

Hymn #336.
No data available now. What a marvelous appreciation of the Father’s Gift of gifts is expressed in this precious hymn! What a glorious day it will be when we fill the “heavens with endless praise”!
“Behold, what wondrous love and grace!
When we were wretched and undone,
To save a ruined, helpless race
The Father gave His only Son!
Of twice ten thousand gifts divine
No gift like this could ever shine!”
Praise shall employ these tongues of ours
Till we with all the saints above
Extol His Name with nobler powers,
And see the oceans of His love.
Then while we look, and wond’ring gaze,
We’ll fill the heavens with endless praise.”

Mary Shackleton (Or Shekleton) (1827-1883)

Hymn #Appendix 72.
This dear child of God was an invalid, but lived a prayerful life. She died in Dublin, Ireland and a memorial written of her is entitled “Chosen, Chastened, Crowned.”
The hymn betokens a heart filled with the enjoyment of Christ. “The love of Christ constraineth us.” What better portion can be found for the believer? “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19).
“It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus! Savior! yet this soul of mine
Would of Thy love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth and everlasting strength
Know more and more.

And Jesus, when Thee face to face I see,
When on Thy lofty throne I sit with Thee,
Then of Thy love in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
My soul shall sing!”

Anna Shipton (1815-1901)

Hymn #Appendix 55.
Part of another hymn written by Anna Shipton reads:
“Father, my cup is full!
My trembling soul I raise;
O save me in this solemn hour
Thy might and love to praise.

Alone HE drank the cup,
The holy, sinless One,
That not one soul on earth again
Should drain the dregs alone.”
She seems to have mixed the Lord’s atoning sufferings here with our path of sufferings and His sympathy with us. Be that as it may, her hymn (#55 Appendix) gives us the grace of God in saving souls.
One information source states:
“Except the bare fact that the author of this hymn (quoted above) is named ‘Anna Shipton’, we know nothing of her life. She has published several books of poetry between the years 1855-1864, and some of her hymns are in general use.”
“Call them in—the brokenhearted,
Cowering ‘neath the brand of shame;
Speak love’s message low and tender,
‘Twas for sinners Jesus came.’
See the shadows lengthen round us,
Soon the daydawn will begin.
Can you leave them lost and lonely?
Christ is coming—call them in.”

Joseph Denham Smith (1816-1889)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #35, 67.
J. D. Smith was born July, 1816, at Romsey, Hants. in southern England. He first preached at the age of 16. Then he was partially educated in a theological course in Dublin, Ireland. In 1840 he became an ordained clergyman (Congregationalist) and then he did some mission work in Ireland for several years. Eventually the “work of an evangelist” impressed itself upon him and he resigned his position as a clergyman and went about preaching the gospel. He was considered as a “calm, judicious, devoted man of God” and the Lord seemed to bless his labors all the way through. But in 1886 his health failed, to the sorrow and trouble of his close associates. He never had been strong physically, but now his ailment assumed the form of a disease. His public ministry closed at Merrion Hall in Dublin on July 26, 1887. Then there followed attempts to regain health by travel and other means, but all to no avail, and after patient bearing of his trial the end here below came on March 5, 1889. He asked the doctor, “Can you give me a shadow of an idea how long it will be?” The answer was, “Not long; a little while only, not long now.” He then dropped his tired head back on the pillow, saying, “O how sweet-how sweet!” and passed on to the better enjoyment of what he expressed in hymn #35:
“God now brings thee to His dwelling,
Spreads for thee His feast divine,
Bids thee welcome, ever telling
What a portion there is thine.

Blessed, glorious word, ‘forever’
Yea, ‘forever’ is the word!
Nothing can the ransomed sever,
Naught divide them from the Lord.”

J. Wilson Smith

Hymn #222.
No data is available now, so we shall quote from the hymn to bring out the faith of this “unknown” brother in the Lord.
“Everlasting glory be,
God and Father, unto Thee.
‘Tis with joy Thy children raise
Hearts and voices in Thy praise.
Thou the light that showed our sin,
Showed how guilty we had been;
Thine the love that us to save
Thine own Son for sinners gave.
Gladly we Thy grace proclaim,
Knowing now the Father’s name.
God and Father, unto Thee
Everlasting glory be.”

Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704 -1792)

Hymn #Appendix 38.
This writer was born on July 15, 1704 at a place called Klettenberg, being south of the Harz Mountains, Brunswick, Germany. His father, Georg, was a court preacher under the Count of Hohenstein. He was left an orphan at age 13 and was sent to Ilefeld and from there in poor circumstances, in 1722, to the University of Jena to study law. He soon gave up law for the study of “theology.” In 1728 that faithful proclaimer of the gospel, Count VonZinzendorf, came to Jena and he and Spangenberg met. This could have been when the work of God’s grace wrought first solidly in his soul, for in 1730 he visited the Moravian colony at Herrnhut from which center the Moravians sent forth the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. He there set up a work for the care of the sick and poor. He also gave free lectures at Jena which were well attended. People in those days wanted to hear the Word of God and would travel distances for it.
Later he was expelled from Halle where he had served as assistant professor of “theology,” because of his connection with the gospel preachers of Count Zinzendorf. He then went to Herrnhut and continued his work there. He was devoted to the extensive missionary work in Germany, England, Denmark, Holland, Surinam, Georgia and other places. It was he that first awakened John Wesley in Georgia as to his true state. John, still unsaved, had gone to Georgia to preach to the Indians! Both John and Charles were really brought to Christ through the Moravian gospel testimony.
Spangenberg succeeded Count Zinzendorf as the leader at Herrnhut. He died at Berthelsdorf on the 18th of September, 1792. His name is associated with the list of German hymn writers such as Zinzendorf, Spener, Augustus H. Franke, Friederich VonHardenberg and others. We here repeat his hymn showing to Whom he had looked for salvation and Whom he praised for it!
“We adore Thee evermore, Hallelujah!
Savior, for Thy boundless grace, Hallelujah!
For the cross, whereby to us,—Hallelujah!
Sure is made eternal bliss. Hallelujah!

For Thy death which set us free,—Hallelujah!
From sin’s cruel slavery,—Hallelujah!
For Thine all-atoning blood,—Hallelujah!
Which hath brought us nigh to God. Hallelujah!”

Joseph Stennett (1663-1713)

Hymns #77, 88, 239.
This “earliest of English hymn writers” was born at Abingdon, Berks., England, in 1663. He received a superior education at the Grammar School of Wallingford, and at age 22 moved to London. In 1688 he married Susanna, a daughter of George Guilt, a French Protestant refugee. The next year he became identified with the “Seventh Day Baptists” (not to be confounded with the “Adventists”) at Devonshire Square, London.
Someone has said, “It is a little difficult to keep the genealogy of this Stennett family perfectly clear, especially as more than one wrote hymns and handed them down for singing among people who took very little pain to keep literary titles distinct.” Also, “Though grace does not run like blood in the veins, from one generation to another, yet the virtue of the prayers, and godly example of Christians, does often descend through the hearts of their children to succeeding ages. A forcible illustration of this is given in the genealogy of the Stennetts.” (2 Tim. 1:5).
The beginning of the line was Edward Stennett, whose son Joseph was born in 1663. Edward was a dissenting minister and suffered persecution. His son Joseph was also a minister of the gospel and to him a son was born in 1692 whom he also named Joseph. This second Joseph was said to be a zealous Christian from early life. To him was born, at Exeter, England in 1727, a son named Samuel. He (Samuel) in his young days assisted his father in a Baptist Chapel at Little Wild Street, London. Later he took over this, work completely and continued for 37 years.
Hymns 77 and 88 are positively identified by Julian as those of the first Joseph Stennett (born 1663). Due to an error in dating #77 to the year 1790, it was assigned to Samuel; but the “Dictionary of Hymnology” (John Julian) gives the date as 1709 and Samuel was born about 1727. Had the hymn been written in 1790 it would have to be that of Samuel, as Joseph died in 1713. Hymn 239 was assigned by the Little Flock to a James Stennett, but there is no record of a James in the history of the Stennett family, so it is considered that of Joseph.
Joseph died July 11, 1713, and among his last words were: “I rejoice in the God of my salvation, Who is my strength and God! “ So now he is in the presence of Him of Whom he wrote:
“Jesus, O Name divinely sweet!
How soothing is the sound!
What joyful news, what heavenly power,
In that blest Name is found!”

John Stocker

Perhaps Anglican
Hymn #75.
Very little detail is available as to John Stocker. He was born at Honiton, Devonshire, England. He is considered a friend of A. M. Toplady (who wrote “Rock of Ages”) who lived for a while near to Honiton. John Stocker contributed nine hymns to “The Gospel Magazine” in 1776-1777. These were reissued in 1861 by a Daniel Sedgewick. We quote part of one of the nine:
“Gracious Spirit, Love divine!
Let thy light within me shine;
All my guilty fears remove,
Fill me with thy heavenly love.
Let me never from Thee stray,
Keep me in the narrow way.
Fill my soul with joy divine.
Keep me, Lord, forever thine!”
Another source remarks: “John Stocker remains as the shadow of a name. No investigation detects anything beyond the facts that he was from Honiton, Devonshire, and that he contributed nine hymns to the magazine.”
We shall bring this item to an end with the words of the author in hymn #75:
“Thy mercy, O God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue;
‘Tis free grace alone, from the first to the last,
That wins the affections, and binds the soul fast.”

Miss A. M. Stoney

Hymn #92.
No data is available now, and we do not know whether or not Miss Stoney was related to J. Butler Stoney who at one time was a close associate of J. N. Darby with those gathered to the Lord’s Name.
“How sweet away from self to flee
And shelter in our Savior!
Oh, precious grace! With Him’s our place
In God’s eternal favor.
Jesus the goal before our soul,
The One we know in glory.
While we’re on earth we’d tell His worth,
A saved one’s sweetest story.”

Hugh Stowell (1799-1865)

Hymn #246,
The father of this writer was also named Hugh and was the Rector at Ballaugh near Ramsey, England. He was born December 3, 1799, at Douglas on the Isle of Man, received education at St. Edmunds Hall, Oxford, where he secured his B.A. in 1822 and M.A. in 1826. Details are missing as to the way in which the Lord brought him to Himself, but we may rest assured that no name on the pages of the Book of Life will ever be erased (Phil. 4:3). He was ordained to the ministry of the Church of England and served first at Shepscombe, Gloucestershire, and later at Huddersfield and Salford. He published hymn books which included his own, some of which were children’s hymns. He got finally to know the place “where glory crowns the mercy seat” on October 8, 1865.
An interesting incident is recorded as to this hymn (#246).. In 1871 while the great Chicago fire raged on, it engulfed the First Baptist Church. Those inside said, “Our house must go, but let us have one more prayer within its walls.” Then rising from their knees they sang together as they left the place,
‘From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat—
‘Tis found beneath the mercy-seat.”
(as originally written).

Joseph Swain (1761-1796)

Hymns #65, 80, 202, 266.
Joseph Swain was born in 1761 at Birmingham, England and was left an orphan early in life. He went to work as an apprentice to an engraver. The world had a strong attraction to him and he was fond of wild and gay social life. His ability to write songs was used for the benefit of his worldly companions. He also wrote some plays. But God’s eye was upon him for good and he had some serious thoughts. He bought a Bible and read it, and as a result he was led from darkness to Light. This took place in May 1783. He became a useful and active Christian. In 1791 he took charge of a mission work in East Street, Walworth, London.
How we have often enjoyed his hymn #202, “What will it be to dwell above?” The sufferings of Christ and our contemplation of Him are aptly set forth in hymn #65, “O how the thought that I shall know the Man that suffered here below!”
He was not very strong, and after a two weeks’ illness, on April 14, 1796, in the 35th year of his age, he heard the call of “His celestial voice” that made his “enraptured heart rejoice” (see hymn #65).
“Christ the Lord will come again,
None shall wait for Him in vain;
We shall then His glory see,
His Who died to set us free.
“‘This is our redeeming God!’
Ransomed hosts will shout aloud;
‘Praise, eternal praise be given
To the Lord of earth and heaven’.”

Nahum Tate (1652-1715)

Hymn #116.
Nahum Tate was born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of an Irish clergyman named Faithful Teate, He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was associated with another Irish minister named Nicholas Brady (1659-1726) in making a new metrical version of the Psalms. It was used chiefly in the Established Church. King William III made him Poet Laureate. He composed a birthday ode for George I, but left this scene August 12, 1715.
“Oh, render thanks to God above,
The fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past
Hath stood, and doth forever last.
“The Father’s boundless love we sing,
The fountain whence our blessings spring.
How great the depth, how high it flows,
No saint can tell, no angel knows.”

Miss Clara Taylor (? - 1778)

Hymn #85 Appendix
No other data is available now. How she did value the work of the cross is told out in her hymn:
“The cross! the cross! O that’s our gain,
Because on that the Lamb was slain.
‘Twas there the Lord was crucified,
‘Twas there for us the Savior died.
“What wondrous cause could move Thy heart
To take on Thee our curse and smart,
Well knowing we should ever be
So cold, so negligent of Thee?
“The cause was love—we sink with shame
Before our blessed Jesus’ Name,
That He should bleed and gaffer thus
Because He loved and pitied us.”

Thomas Rawston Taylor (1807-1835)

Hymn #180.
The above is the correct name of the hymn writer, not “J. R. Taylor” as shown in the Little Flock book. He was born on May 9, 1807 at Ossett, near Wakefield. His father, also Thomas Taylor, was Congregationalist minister at Bradford, Yorkshire, where younger Thomas was educated at the Free School. Later he attended Leaf Square Academy at Manchester. From ages 15 to 18 he worked first for a merchant, then a printer. At this time “religious influences” (it. could be that he was saved at this time) led him to study for the ministry at Airedale Independent College. His first assignment was the Howard Street Chapel. He also taught, but ill health overtook him and so he resigned. It was during the last days of this illness in 1835 that he is said to have written hymn #180, under the title of “Heaven is My Home.” It was written to the tune of “Robin Adair” and published (not written) in 1836 in “Memoirs and Select Remains” by W.S. Matthews. He died in his 28th year, March 7, 1835. He wrote:
“There at our Savior’s side,
In heaven our home,
We shall be glorified:
Heaven is our home!
There with the good and blest,
Those we love most and best,
We shall forever rest
In heaven our home.”

Theodulf (Theodolph) of Orleans, France (Circa 750-821)

Roman Catholic
Hymn #90.
This writer was born about the year 750 of a noble Gothic family, probably in Spain. He found favor at the Frankish court and was made abbot of Fleury and Saint-Aignan. In 781 he became bishop of Orleans. He strongly supported Charlemagne’s principles of government and education. He established schools and by his own literary achievements was an honored member of the learned circle which had formed around the great King of the Franks. But we know from the Word of God that this is not the time for the Christian to seek a high place here nor seek to set the world right. John 17:16 tells us, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, so we as His servants need not fight for a better world by ballots, bullets or boycotts (John 18:36). In the days of Theodulf this was not recognized, nor do all the Lord’s people today accept this truth. He continued to help reform the clergy and monasteries and was awarded by Pope Leo III for his wise handling of a matter.
After the death of Charlemagne he was accused (it is considered falsely) of taking part in a conspiracy on behalf of Bernard of Italy, and in 818 was imprisoned at Angers (Anjou), France. No charge of guilt was ever proven against him. He died in prison in 821, presumably of poison. His hymn is the only evidence as to his faith in the Lord Jesus, and is the oldest in the book. It is also used as the chorus for #144. Some believe he composed it and first sang it while in prison.
“Glory, honor, praise, and power
Be unto the Lamb forever!
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.
Praise we the Lord!”

Miss Cenita Thompson (? - 1909)

Hymn #98.
This hymn first appeared in the 1881 Little Flock hymn book. It was not in the 1856 edition of G. V. Wigram. Miss Thompson went to gaze more fully on the Lord in glory about the year 1909. Her poems were published then under the title of “Songs of Praise.” She had long resided at Clapham, England, with a Miss E.J. Elwood who was also a writer of hymns. This is all we could learn of this saint of God at this time.
We read in Ephesians 4:9-10, “Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” How touchingly and beautifully does hymn 98 express these truths! How at the remembrance of the Savior on Lord’s Day morning have we been solemnly impressed by this hymn! It gives the depths of His sufferings as now answered to by the present heights of glory to which the Son of God in manhood is now exalted. Where could we find “lower parts of the earth” than at the cross and in the death of Christ, the Lord of glory?
“Gazing on the Lord in glory,
While our hearts in worship bow,
There we read the wondrous story
Of the cross—its shame and woe.
“Every mark of dark dishonor
Heaped upon the thorn-crowned brow,
All the depths of Thy heart’s sorrow
Told in answering glory now.
“Did Thy God e’en then forsake Thee,
Hide His face from Thy deep need?
In Thy face once marred and smitten
All His glory now we read.
“Rise our hearts, and bless the Father,
Ceaseless song e’en here begun.
Endless praise and adoration
To the Father and the Son.”

Dorothy Ann Thrupp (1779-1847)

Hymn #340.
There is a question as to whether or not this hymn was written by Joseph Francis Thrupp, an Anglican who lived from 1827 to 1867. One of our chief sources (“Dictionary of Hymnology” by Julian) fails to list this hymn for either, and so we hesitate to be final in ascribing it. However, there are two other hymn books (one used by the Raven party and the other by the K. L. C. group) which assign this hymn to D. A. Thrupp. Perhaps it would be well to say a few words about both these writers.
First as to Dorothy Ann Thrupp. She was born in London June 20, 1779. Her father was Joseph Thrupp of Paddington Green. She contributed hymns to “Friendly Visitor and Children’s Friend” edited by a W. C. Wilson. One of her hymns includes the following:
“Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tenderest care.
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.”
Joseph Francis Thrupp was born May 20, 1827, son of a lawyer. He was educated in Winchester School, Cambridge, where he gained prizes including the Queen’s Gold Medal for writing a poem. He became Vicar of Barrington, Cambridge, in 1852. He wrote the hymns, “Abide with us, O Savior dear” and “How beauteous are the peaceful feet.”
These two dear saints of God are now so enjoying the precious presence of their Lord and Savior that authorship of the hymn has no effect on them.
“Father, we commend our spirits
To Thy love, in Jesus’ Name,
Love which His atoning merits
Give us confidence to claim.
“O how sweet, how real a pleasure
Flows from love so full and free!
‘Tis a vast exhaustless treasure,
Savior, we possess in Thee!”

Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778)

Hymns #47 (verses 2, 3, 4), 117, 120, 166, 177, 232, 326.
Who, as a Christian or as attending gospel meetings, has never sung that precious hymn “Rock of Ages”? The man used to write it, A. M. Toplady, was born at Farnham, Surrey, England, November 4, 1740. His father Major Richard Toplady was killed in the siege of Carthagena, Colombia, South America while Augustus was yet an infant. His mother’s maiden name was Catharine Bate. His parents had been married on December 21, 1737 and their first child, Francis, died in infancy, so that Augustus was the second son. Having been a bright and promising student at Westminster School, he was able at sixteen to assist his mother, a pious woman, in settling the question of an estate in Ireland. But while there at a place called Codymain he heard a man who was not ordained preach the gospel. In 1768 Toplady recounted the incident; the preaching was on Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” He says: “By the grace of God, under the ministry of that dear messenger (a Mr. Morris) and under that sermon, I was, I trust, brought nigh by the blood of Christ, in August 1756. Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should be brought near to God in an obscure part of Ireland, amidst a handful of God’s people, met together in a barn, and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name....
The excellency of such power must be of God, and cannot be of man.” How wonderfully does God work in drawing sinners to Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ!
Between ages 15 and 18 he wrote some poetic pieces. He entered the ministry June 6, 1762 at Trinity Church, Dublin. In 1768 he began laboring in Broad Hembury, Devonshire and continued there until his death.
He was frail and sickly as has been the case with many dear servants of the Lord. The moist and cold atmosphere of Devonshire no doubt helped on sickness of consumption. He did spend time in London toward the end and last preached there. On April 19, 1778, he attempted to preach, but was so hoarse that after naming his text as Isaiah 26:19 he had to descend from the pulpit. He did, however, preach four more times. He was but 38 when he “rose to worlds unknown” on August 11, 1778. It is said that “his death couch seemed flooded with the sunbeams of the glory-land. Said he with sparkling eye, ‘I cannot tell the comforts I feel in my soul; they are past expression. The consolations of God are so abundant, that He leaves me nothing to pray for; my prayers are all converted to praise. I enjoy heaven already in my soul’.” What a testimony to the grace of God!
“While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”

Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875)

Hymns #9, 32, 68, 204, 240, 259, 295, 310.
S. P. Tregelles, who was considered by some to be the most distinguished of Biblical scholars of the nineteenth century, was born January 20 (or 30), 1813. His parents, who were Quakers, lived at Wodehouse Place, Falmouth, England. He studied at the Grammar School at that place. Later he was employed in the Meath Abbey Iron Works, from 1828 to 1834. In 1836 he took up teaching as a private tutor in Falmouth.
By the time he was 25 years of age he had developed a strong desire for critical study of the New Testament text. We do not have details as to how he was led to Christ, but his eight hymns in the Little Flock are ample testimony as to where his faith rested. Some sources say that while he was in sympathy with the teachings held by the gathered saints, he was never actually allied with them, while others say he was so identified for a while and then left the gathering. Eventually he became a Presbyterian.
His intention was to construct a Greek Testament as nearly perfect as possible derived from the best sources. In 1845 he had access to the Vatican Manuscript at Rome. He was aided in some of his work by William Kelly and also was the principal editor of Greek for George V. Wigram when the latter compiled the “Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament.”
Eight of his hymns are in the Little Flock and several are beautifully addressed to the Father or are about the Father. Hymn #310 is remarkable and quite unique in its dispensational arrangement.
Dr. Tregelles was stricken with paralysis which hindered the publication of his textual work until after his death. He passed on to “see the Master’s face” (hymn #9) while at Plymouth, April 24, 1875.
“The gloomy night will soon be past,
The morning will appear;
The harbinger of day at last
Each waiting eye will cheer.
“Thou Bright and Morning Star,
Thy light Will to our joy be seen;
Thou, Lord, wilt meet our longing sight
Without a cloud between.”

Mrs. John Alfred Trench (1843-1925)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #82, 127, 254, Appendix 35.
Janetta W. Taylor was the daughter of Wilbraham Taylor. (Her mother’s maiden name was Janetta Goset) She was married on May 25, 1866 to John Alfred Trench, a friend of J. N. Darby and a teacher among the gathered saints. Some of her earlier hymns were printed as leaflets, but her later and best ones are in the Little Flock. We quote from another:
“These hymns are more than meager expressions of truth; they contain a satisfying fullness that overflows, evidently the outcome of truth enjoyed, for ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’.”
Hymn #254 she wrote on the occasion of her own baptism. And who can measure the sublimity of “How Blest a Home!”-4127? She also compiled a book of children’s hymns called “Our Own.”
She and her husband walked the path of faith together sharing the joys of the Lord. About three months before he went to that blest home (March 28, 1925) he wrote: “I feel as one brought to the confines of the eternal world, and finding all stand that I have believed, and the blessedness of having no other resting place but the finished work of Christ.”
Mrs. Trench lived on to June 14, 1925 (having been born January 31, 1843), and as she entered her last short illness often repeated poems of her old friend and sister in the Lord Mrs. Frances Bevan. She is now with the blessed Savior of Whom she wrote:
“Jesus, Thou alone art worthy
Ceaseless praises to receive,
For Thy love and grace and goodness
Rise o’er all our thoughts conceive.
“With adoring hearts we render
Honor to Thy precious Name,
Overflowing with Thy mercies
Far and wide Thy worth proclaim.
“Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise the Savior,
Saints aloud your voices raise-
Praise Him! Praise Him!–till in heaven
Perfected we’ll sing His praise.”

William Trotter (1818-1865)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #320, 321.
This energetic worker for the Lord was born in the year 1818 and was saved when he was but 12, in 1830. He learned and found peace with God by the ministry of William Dawson, a Methodist preacher. He began to preach Christ when he was 14 years old! At 19 he was ordained as a Methodist minister and was used much in a revival at Halifax, England. Later at York the Lord further blessed his ministry to the salvation of many souls. He was then sent by the “Conference” of the church to London where his work was greatly hampered. He began to see that this was man’s arrangement and not according to Scripture. He was also led to see that the Church was one, and that the names set up for churches were of man and not God. He took his place outside the religious camp in accordance with Heb. 13:10-16 and was gathered by the Spirit to the Name of the Lord Jesus in keeping with Matt. 18:18-20. He left the titles, the music, the ritual, the order set up by man and was content to go on with those that “call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:20-21). His helpful book “Eight Lectures on Prophecy” is still extant and in use.
In 1848 when some gave up the ground of the one body and claimed that each assembly had a right to judge for itself and that fellowship with evil did not defile, he stood firm for the truth and wrote then “The Whole Case of Plymouth and Bethesda” showing the principles involved. It has been said that inhis 47 years of life he did the work of three lives! The Lord took him home in 1865. His hymn #320 directs our hearts away from the Christ-rejecting world and its attractions to a glorified Christ in heaven. Hymn 321 includes:
“Behold the Lamb whose precious blood
Drawn from His riven side
Had power to make our peace with God,
Nor lets one spot abide.”

R. Viney

No data available now
Hymn #224.
“Oh that we never might forget
What Christ has suffered for our sake,
To save our souls and make us meet
Of all His glory to partake,
But, keeping this in mind, press on
To glory and the victor’s crown.
“But, gracious Lord, when we reflect
How apt to turn the eye from Thee,
Forget Thee too, with sad neglect,
And listen to the enemy,
And yet to find Thee still the same-
‘Tis this that humbles us with shame.
“Astonished at Thy feet we fall.
Thy love exceeds our highest thought!
Henceforth be Thou our all in all,
Thou Who our souls with blood hast bought.
May we henceforth more faithful prove
And never forget Thy ceaseless love.”
May our souls take in deeply what this unknown saint has given us in this hymn!

Anna Laetitia Waring (1820-1910)

Anglican (Low)
Hymn #19 Appendix
This writer of many hymns apparently was a great sufferer, as in one hymn she expresses this thought:
“Who would not suffer pain like mine
To be consoled like me?”
She was born in 1820 at Neath, Glamorganshire, South Wales, where it seems she spent her whole life. It has been said of her: “Few authors are so sensitive and shy of publicity as Miss Waring. She has written her heart into her hymns, but particulars of her life and education are concealed from us.” She was the daughter of Elijah Waring and niece of Samuel Miller Waring (see next article herein). Her hymns were first introduced into America by a minister named F.D. Huntingdon in 1863.
Though her early bringing up was among the Quakers, she was impressed by the sacraments of the Anglican Church and identified herself with that body in 1842. She wrote hymns in her teens and completed 39 of them by 1863. In order to read the Old Testament in the original she learned Hebrew. She had a gentle but merry spirit and did helpful work for the “Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society.” Her ninety years of life was a blessing to all who knew her or read her poems and hymns. We have found much comfort and cheer from her one hymn included in the Little Flock collection:
“In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?”

Samuel Miller Waring (1792-1827)

Apparently Anglican
Hymn #5.
S. M. Waring was born at Alton, Hampshire in March 1792 as son of Jeremiah Waring. He was the uncle of Anna Laetitia Waring who was written about in the previous article. His hymns appeared in his publication “Sacred Melodies” in 1826. Included in that collection is Hymn #5 of the Little Flock. He died at Bath on September 19, 1827 at the age of 35. How elevating to our souls to rise and sing, as led by the Spirit, those precious words based on Revelation 1:5!
“Unto Him that loved us—gave us
Every pledge that love could give,
Freely shed His blood to save us,
Gave His life that we might live,
Be the kingdom, and dominion,
And the glory evermore!”

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Hymns #3, 42, 43, 51, 60, 89, 95, 102, 122, 144, 145, 228, 269, 271, 281, 283, 293, 298, 335, Appendix 8, 39, 53 (22 hymns).
Dr. Isaac Watts was the grandson of a British naval commander, Thomas Watts, who was blown up with his ship in war with the Dutch. His father Isaac Watts Sr. showed his courage in an entirely different field. He was a deacon in the Congregationalist church and suffered much persecution for not conforming to the Church of England ritual. Just about this time, on July 17, 1674, young Isaac Watts, the hymn writer, was born. His father was shut up in prison for conscience sake and his wife with young Isaac often sat on the stone near the gate so as to get a glimpse of her husband and give him a glimpse of the child. In 1688 William, Prince of Orange, came over from Holland to sit upon the British throne, and from then on persecution (and Tower of London executions) ceased. This brought in a brighter era for believers who did not conform to the Church of England.
Dr. Watts is considered the “father of English hymnody” and thus the originator of good Christian hymns as we now have them in the older books. Before his time practically the only singing in the English and Scottish churches took the form of crude versions of the Psalms. Once he expressed his dislike of the crude singing and was challenged—”Give us something better, young man!” That very day he wrote the hymn:
“Behold the glories of the Lamb
Amidst His Father’s throne;
Prepare new honors for His Name
And songs before unknown.”
He had the congregation close the evening service by singing this hymn!
We do not know how his heart was first opened to receive Christ, but we see in hymn #283 how precious Christ was to him. How touching those lines!
“When we survey the wondrous cross
On which the Lord of glory died,
Our richest gain we count but loss,
And pour contempt on all our pride.
“There from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flowed mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?”
Originally this was written with the personal pronouns such as “I” instead of “we,” but for collective singing in the assembly Mr. Darby revised it to the plural.
Dr. Watts was only five feet in height and slight of build and was in ill health most of his life. In his early days he proposed marriage to a Miss Elizabeth Singer, but she unhappily repulsed him with the remark, “While I love the jewel (his excellent mind and character), I do not admire the casket that contained it.” Isaac Watts never married.
Being worn out by weakness and labor, rather than by any particular ailment, he simply ceased to breathe on November 25, 1748. So now he knows more fully that “Now the full glories of the Lamb adorn the heavenly throne.”

H. Weir

No data at this time
Hymn #44.
May we ever have before our souls what is so beautifully expressed in the third stanza of this hymn—
“The light of love and glory
Has shone through Christ our Savior,
The crucified—Who lived and died,
That we might live forever.
And since Thy great compassion
Thus brings Thy children near Thee,
May we to praise devote our days
And keep forever near Thee.”

Miss C. A. Wellesley

No Data at This Time
Hymn #40.
This hymn would indicate that its author Miss Wellesley entered much into the meaning of the precious remembrance of Christ in His death, the value of His blood delivering us from our lost estate.
“Oh Thou great all-gracious Shepherd,
Shedding for us Thy life’s blood,
Unto shame and death delivered,
All to bring us nigh to God!
Now our willing hearts adore Thee,
Now we taste Thy dying love,
While by faith we come before Thee—
Faith which lifts our souls above.
“As our surety we behold Thee,
Ransoming our souls from death,
As the willing victim view Thee,
Yielding up to God Thy breath.
In this broken bread we own Thee
Bruised for us and put to shame,
And this cup, Oh Lord, we thank Thee,
Speaks our pardon through Thy Name.”

Charles Wesley (1708-1788)

Methodist (Anglican)
Hymns #13, 38, 46, 53, 130, 165, 170 (verses 1, 4 and 6), 171, 220, 268, 272, 284, 296, 300, 315, Appendix 25 (16 hymns).
Charles Wesley was the youngest of three sons of Samuel Wesley, the elder, being born at Epworth Rectory December 18, 1708 (or 1707). He was the brother of Samuel (the younger) and John Wesley. This family was remarkable from the standpoint of hymn-writing. The elder Samuel and all three sons wrote hymns for public worship, although Charles exceeds them all, having written seven thousand of them!
The three sons were brought up by a godly mother. One time she wrote to Charles about the Savior: “O my dear Charles, when I consider the dignity of His person, the perfectness of His purity, the greatness of His sufferings, but above all His boundless love, I am astonished and utterly confounded. I am lost in thought. I fall into nothing before Him.”
A wealthy man in Ireland wanted to adopt Charles and make him his heir; but he declined this. The person who accepted it became great in this world and was made an earl. Also he was the grandfather of the Duke of Wellington. What a better portion was Wesley’s in Christ! In 1737 he was brought into contact with Count Zinzendorf who led him towards Christ as his Savior. Actually a Moravian woman named Mrs. Turner brought him to rest upon Christ after a night of soul agony. She said to him, “In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise, and believe.” He responded, “I believe, I believe!” and then wrote:
“O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!”
Later he and another preacher were assailed by a mob throwing stones at them and causing them to flee for shelter. Charles then composed the hymn,
“Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high:
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past.
Leave, O leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.”
On April 8, 1749 he married Miss Sarah Gwynne who happily accompanied him on his evangelistic tours. Actually he never left the Church of England and when he passed home to Christ on March 29, 1788 he was buried as requested by him in Marylebone churchyard. He is now more fully in the good of hymn #38:
“How happy the man whose heart is set free,
The people that can be joyful in Thee!
Their joy is to walk in the light of Thy face,
And still they are talking of Jesus’s grace.”
(as originally written.)

John Wesley (1703-1791)

Methodist (Anglican)
Hymn #73.
John Wesley, main founder of Methodism, was born on June 17, 1703 at Epworth Rectory. He was older brother to Charles Wesley as indicated in the preceding article. Although he was ordained as a minister he was yet a stranger to God’s grace! He crossed the Atlantic to preach to the Indians and he had nothing but religion, not salvation, to tell them of! Returning to London he met with the Moravians (a gospel-preaching group founded by Count Zinzendorf) and was especially helped by Peter Boehler. By him, says Wesley, “I was clearly convinced of unbelief, and of the want of faith whereby alone we are saved.” While John was listening to the preface to the Epistle to the Romans, as written by Martin Luther, he was so brought face to face with the word of God that he said, “While he was describing the change which God works in the heart, through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed; I felt I did trust in Christ. Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine!” This was in 1738.
In 1709, when he was but six, he had been rescued from the Rectory house which was burnt down. He always remembered this; God had a work for him to do and preserved him for it. In 1729 when at Oxford he found a group then forming called Oxford Methodists and he became at once their leader. It was a movement within the bosom of the Church of England. Their chief purpose was to conduct their lives and study by “rule and method.” His brother Charles and George Whitefield joined in this activity. While they held the Anglican articles of faith, yet they were barred from preaching in the churches of that denomination. So they preached in the open field, barns, houses and every place that could be utilized.
The one weakness of their teaching was that a person could be saved and then lose salvation. This means that Christ would save a sinner but then the sinner had to keep up with certain works or lose the blessing. This is a subtle form of salvation by works which is not according to the Word. In John 10:28-29 the Lord in speaking of His sheep (not false professors) says, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any (man should be left out) pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man (or none) is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.”
John did not write as many hymns as Charles, but he is said to have preached forty thousand times and traveled nearly 250,000 miles. Many souls were brought to Christ through his earnest and zealous preaching.
In 1791, after preaching in the parlor of a magistrate at Leatherhead, near London, he returned home fatigued and ill. His text had been, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found.” The Lord took him home on March 2, 1791, after such a life of great activity in His service, at the age of 88. The only one of his hymns in the book is #73:
“The Lord of life in death hath lain
To clear me from all charge of sin;
And, Lord, from guilt of crimson stain
Thy precious blood hath made me clean.
“Clad in this robe, how bright I shine!
Angels possess not such a dress;
Angels have not a robe like mine,
Jesus the Lord’s my righteousness.”

Samuel Wesley (1766-1837)

(son of Charles) Anglican (?)
Hymn #24,
This hymn is assigned in the Little Flock to an unidentified Wesley and indicated as having been written in 1799. The elder Samuel Wesley lived from 1662-1735, and his sons lived: Samuel, Jr. from 1691-1739, Charles 1708-1788, and John 1703-1791. Therefore if the hymn was written in 1799 it could not have been by any of these four Wesleys. But Charles Wesley had a son named Samuel who had musical ability and wrote poetry. Details as to his spiritual life and experience are lacking and we simply suggest that he is possibly the author of the hymn, as he lived from 1766 to 1837 and therefore was living in 1799 when the hymn was supposed to have been written. We pass this on to the reader for its worth.
How good the faith expressed in this hymn!
“Where shall our wondering souls begin?
How shall we all to heaven aspire?
As slaves redeemed from death and sin,
As brands plucked from eternal fire,
How shall we suited triumphs raise
Or sing our great Deliverer’s praise?
“Oh how shall we the goodness tell,
Father, which Thou to us has showed,
Children of wrath, and doomed to hell,
But children now redeemed to God?
On earth we know our sins forgiven,
Blest with this antepast of heaven.”

Frederick Whitfield (1827-1904)

Hymns #169, 184,
This author, being the youngest child of Thomas and Jane Whitfield, was born January 7, 1827 (or 1829) at Threapwood in Shropshire, England. He was brought up in close connection with the gospel of God’s grace and was saved early in life. What a blessing it is for those brought up in Christian homes to lay hold of the blessed gospel while young and tender!
He graduated from Trinity College (Dublin University) in 1859 and became a deacon in the Church of England. He was in sequence made priest, curate (Otley, Yorkshire), and took parishes of St. John’s, Bexley Heath, London, and St. Mary’s at Hastings. He was also connected with Irish Church Missions and was both an author and poet. Based on the words of 1 Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe He is precious,” he wrote:
“I need Thee, precious Jesus! for I am full of sin:
My soul is dark and guilty, my heart is dead within.
I need the cleansing fountain where I can always flee,
The blood of Christ most precious, the sinner’s perfect plea.
“I need Thee, blessed Jesus! and hope to see Thee soon,
Encircled with the rainbow and seated on Thy throne.
There, with Thy blood-bought children, my joy shall ever be
To sing Thy praise, Lord Jesus, to gaze, my Lord, on Thee.”
How good to the soul it is to value the Lord Jesus our Savior! In his two hymns in the Little Flock it is the coming day “of cloudless ray” and the gathering of all the “blood-bought saints on high” singing the new eternal song with Jesus ever nigh.
Mr. Whitfield was first married in 1861 to Miss Sarah Garforth who died five years later, leaving him with three small children. He remarried in 1871 to Miss Sophia Butler who died after twelve years, three small children being left of this marriage. At that time he so felt the weight of things that he wrote:
“Oh lighten, Lord, this darkened life,
Lord, shine upon my way!
A broken heart, a darkened home,
Oh God, is this Thy way?”
In 1899 his health began to fail, so he retired to spend his closing days at Norwood, England. He became absent from the body and present with the Lord on September 13, 1904. He was buried beside his second wife in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. When the “shout” is heard he shall arise, “no more to view Thy chosen few in selfish strife divided,” but we with him shall then “drink in peace the living grace that gave them hearts united.”

Miss F. T. Wigram (? - 1871)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #132, 174, 195.
Miss Wigram was the daughter of George V. Wigram (see foregoing account), and her date of birth is not known at this time. She traveled with her father, having been brought up under the fullness of the blessings of the gospel of Christ. She took up nursing and devoted her time to nursing the Lord’s people, even when they had the dreaded small pox. While Dr. Jenner had discovered in 1795 that inoculation with the germ could check the disease, the general practice of all persons being so inoculated was not yet in vogue. Mr. G. V. Wigram says of her (March 1871):
“She had taken up nursing, and was quite prepared to lay down her life for the brethren; and it would not have been like her to have retreated, had one known the issue beforehand, but of course that one could not have known. She said lately, ‘I hope I shall not be taken away in small pox.’ On my saying, ‘It is as good a chariot of fire as any other,’ she said, ‘Oh, but for me to know you were sitting at the foot of my bed unable not to loathe the sight of me, would be painful indeed!’ To me it seems as if the Lord were pleased to permit her to go on high through laying down her life in nursing these dear to Himself. Why am I to allow my loss and privation to be of more importance than His pleasure?’
She went home on or about March 4, 1871.
What a high character of worship attaches to her hymn #195!
“Worthy of homage and of praise,
Worthy by all to be adored;
Exhaustless theme of heavenly lays!
Thou, Thou art worthy, Jesus, Lord.
“Yet, Savior, Thou shalt have full praise.
We soon shall meet Thee on the cloud;
We soon shall see Thee face to face,
In glory praising as we would.”

George Vicesimus Wigram (1805-1879)

Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #22, 72, 91, 330.
G. V. Wigram was the twentieth child of Sir Robert Wig-ram and this is the reason for his middle name, which means twenty in Latin. One of his brothers, Joseph, became a bishop in the Church of England, and another, James, became the Vice-Chancellor in the Old Court of Chancery. But the Lord had higher and better things for George.
He started out for a military career and had a low rank in the British Army when the Lord “recruited” him. We shall set forth in his own words how this took place:
“Good instructions as to the contents of the Bible were mine at school, at 17, under a John the Baptist ministry: but I never knew the gospel till, at 19, I went abroad, full of the animal pleasures of a military life. I and my comrade spent a long and tiring day on the field of Waterloo in June 1824 (note: this was nine years after the battle). Arriving late at night at –-, I soon went to my bedroom. It struck me, ‘I will say my prayers.’ It was the habit of childhood, neglected in youth. I knelt down by my bedside, but found I had forgotten what to say. I looked up as if trying to remember, when suddenly there came on my soul a something I had never known before. It was as if some One, infinite and almighty, knowing everything, full of the deepest, tenderest interest in myself, though utterly and entirely abhorring everything in and connected with me, made known to me that He pitied and loved myself. My eye saw no one; but I knew assuredly that the One whom I knew not, and never had met, had met me for the first time, and made me to know that we were together. There was a light, no sense or faculty my own human nature ever knew; there was a presence of what seemed infinite in greatness—something altogether of a class that was apart and supreme, and yet at the same time making itself known to me in a way that I as a man could thoroughly feel, and taste, and enjoy. The Light made all light, Himself withal; but it did not destroy, for it was love itself, and I was loved individually by Him. The exquisite tenderness and fullness of that love, the way it appropriated me myself for Him, in whom it all was, while the light from which it was inseparable in Him discovered to me the contrast I had been to all that was light and love. I wept for a while on my knees, said nothing, then got into bed. The next morning’s thought was ‘Get a Bible’. I got one, and it was thenceforward my handbook. My clergyman companion noticed this, and also my entire change of life and thought. We journeyed on together to Geneva, where there was an active persecution of the faithful going on.. He went on to Italy, and I found my own company— stayed with those who were suffering for Christ.”
About 1830 he became acquainted with J.N. Darby and this began a happy lifelong fellowship with him and others acting on the truth of the one body, gathered to the Lord’s Name outside the religious camp.
One great work was his having compiled The Englishman’s Greek and English Concordance of the New Testament, and The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament. He is said to have spent more than fifty thousand English pounds, which at today’s rate (1974) would be about $130,000. He modestly spoke of this sum as only passing through his hand.
He edited also the magazine called “The Present Testimony.” His great enjoyment of the truth of Christ and the church is so well expressed in #330:
“What raised the wondrous thought,
Or who did it suggest,
That we, the church, to glory brought
Should with the Son be blest?
O God, the thought was Thine!
(Thine only it could be,)
Fruit of the wisdom, love divine,
Peculiar unto Thee.”
He once remarked, .”.. and what a poor-hearted thing he must be, who, with the arm of a wife pressing on his own, has never thought of it as pointing to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ for that church, for whom He gave Himself and which He is to present to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such thing!”
Besides his ardent labors in the British West Indies and Guiana, he (as explained elsewhere in this book) edited a hymn book in 1838 called “Hymns for the Poor of the Flock,” and then in 1856 gave himself to a compilation known then as “A Few Hymns and Some Spiritual Songs (Selected).”
In September 1867 his wife and daughter joined him at Montreal. He says, “My wife had been ill, and wished to come.” They arrived on August 29th and the Lord took Mrs. Wigram home. “She gently departed at 10:10 p.m. on Thursday, 12Th September, 1867, in perfect peace—the peace of God Himself,” he wrote to another. She is buried in Montreal. In March 1871 his daughter was taken from him and he shows the same spirit of submission as when his wife was taken. He rejoined them both on January 1, 1879 at the age of 73.
“How bright, there above, is the mercy of God!
And void of all guilt, and clear of all sin
Is my conscience and heart,
Through my Savior’s blood,
Not a cloud above—not a spot within.”

William Williams (1717-1791)

Methodist (Calvinistic)
Hymns #276, Appendix 42.
William Williams was born in 1717 in a lonely farmhouse at a place named Cefncyoed, Carmarthenshire, Wales. One writer says (1950), “The house is still standing, a low-lying stone building in an open field some distance from the highway.”
When he was twenty years of age and about to take a medical course, he learned about the preaching of a man named Howell Harris. He wanted to satisfy his curiosity and went on a Lord’s day morning and found Harris in a churchyard preaching to people as they came out from the regular service. He stood in the graveyard on a flat tombstone. Harris was a twenty-four year old Methodist preacher and the word spoken reached Williams’ heart and conscience. It was said of him, “His conviction of sin was deep and alarming, but the subsequent joy proportionately high.”
So instead of medicine for the body he dispensed healing for the soul by preaching the gospel. His labors were ardent and incessant for about half a century. He is best known for his hymn, “Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah.” It will be of interest to our readers if we quote this verse in the original Welsh language in which it was written:
“Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch
Fi, bererin qwael ei wedd,
Nad oes ynof nerth na byoryd,
Fel yn gor wedd yn y bedd.
Ydyw’r un a’m cwyd i’r lan.”
When we sing #276 we sound forth these words:
“Guide us, O Thou gracious Savior,
Pilgrims through this barren land;
We are weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold us with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven,
Feed us now and evermore.”
He died on January 11, 1791 at the same place where he was born. Though his speech failed him before his home-going, he gave signs to show his happy state of soul and that the prayer of his hymn, “Guide me,” had its fulfillment to the end.
“In Thy presence we are happy;
In Thy presence we’re secure;
In Thy presence all afflictions
We can easily endure;
In Thy presence we can conquer,
We can suffer, we can die.
Wandering from Thee, we are feeble.
Let Thy love, Lord, keep us nigh.”
(Appendix #42)

John Reynell Wreford (1800-1881)

Presbyterian (with Unitarian views)
Hymn #157.
J. R. Wreford was born December 11, 1800 at Barnstable, Devonshire, England, and was educated at the Unitarian Manchester College in York. He became co-pastor of the Unitarian “New Meeting” in Birmingham (1826), but his voice broke down and he retired from public ministry to open a school in Egbaston, a suburb of Birmingham in 1831. It has been written about him that he regarded himself as one of those “English Presbyterians who always carefully repudiated all sectarian names and doctrinal distinctions.” His life span was commensurate with that of J.N. Darby. How good it would have been had he gone also outside the camp, actually separating from all sectarianism! He had a zeal for the Unitarian form of profession and this led him to set aside all Trinitarian formulas and what savored of Calvinism. However, hymn #157 was incorporated in the 1856 (Wigram) and 1881 (JND) books, and is a faithful presentation of Romans 8:37-39:
“In all things more than conquerors
Through Him that loved us—
We know that neither death nor life,
Nor angels, rulers, powers,
Nor present things, nor things to come,
Nor even height nor depth,
Nor any other creature thing,
Above, below, around,
Can part us from the love of God
In Jesus Christ our Lord.”

W. Yerbury (Died 1863)

(Died 1863)
Hymns #135, 152, 167.
This is all the information we have of this servant of God who found his joy in God and His Son as set forth in hymn #135. How precious in #152 to sing of the Name of our Lord Jesus, which now we love through grace. We quote from #167:
“Thy love we own, Lord Jesus;
In service unremitting
Within the vail Thou dost prevail,
Each soul for worship fitting.
Encompassed here with failure,
Each earthly refuge fails us;
Without, within, in strife with sin,—
Thy Name alone avails us.
“Thy love we own, Lord Jesus,
And wait to see Thy glory,
To know as known, and fully own
Thy perfect grace before Thee.
We plead Thy parting promise—
Come, Savior, to release us.
Then endless praise our lips shall raise
For love like Thine, Lord Jesus.”

Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)

Hymn #45.
The active founder of the Moravian Missions (United Brethren), Count VonZinzendorf, was born May 26, 1700 at Dresden, Germany. His father, noted for piety, had been Prime Minister at the Saxon court, but died soon after the birth of Nicolaus. Like Timothy (2 Tim. 1:5) he had a godly mother and a godly grandmother: so from his youth he was in close contact with the word of God. Even in his early days he gathered children together to pray!
In 1740 in reflecting on his early days he said: “It is more than thirty years since I received a deep impression of divine grace through the preaching of the cross. The desire to bring souls to Christ took possession of me, and my heart became fixed on the Lamb.”
While quite young he wrote hymns. In all he wrote about two thousand! We have all read of the painting of the crucifixion by the artist Stenberg which was hung in the galleries at Dusseldorf with the words on the frame: “All this I did for thee, what hast thou done for Me?” This painting was seen by Zinzendorf in 1719 when on a tour he came to Dusseldorf and was browsing in the galleries. He was arrested by the question on the frame and resolved to live more wholly for his Lord and Master.
He was married September 7, 1723 to the Countess Ermuth Dorothea, sister to his friend Count Reuss, and it was a happy married life for both. Not long after he came in contact with persecuted followers of John Huss (burnt at the stake in 1415) who were scattered about by the enemy. He bought an estate named Berthelsdorf in Saxony at the foot of a hill called Hutberg (meaning “Shelter Mountain’) which he changed to “Herrnhut,” that is “the Lord’s Shelter.” Here he allowed them to live and eventually he became their leader. From there the Word of the Lord sounded out to the regions beyond—Greenland, Labrador, Patagonia, West Indies, United States (yet to be that), and Europe. He often spent much time in London and it was there that he helped bring John and Charles Wesley to Christ.
His wife was taken from him June 19, 1756, and a year later he remarried, his second wife being Anne Nitschmann who was not of the nobility but was one of the sisters at Herrnhut. Here he spent his closing years in peace and quiet. Then on May 5, 1760 a fever laid hold of him from which he did not recover. His strength ebbed away and on the 9th, being nearly 60 years of age, he went to see “Jesus the Lord my righteousness.” Just before going he said to his son-in-law, “I am going to the Savior. I am ready; I am quite resigned to the will of my Lord. If he is no longer willing to make use of me here, I am quite ready to go to Him, for there is nothing more in my way!”
His coffin was borne by thirty-two preachers, who happened to be in Herrnhut at the time. They had been trained by him for the work of the Lord which took them to distant parts of the world. Over two thousand attended the funeral to the burying place. One asked, “What monarch was ever honored by a funeral like this?” But what a glorious resurrection awaits this dear servant along with all that are Christ’s at His coming!—”It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruptibility” (JND translation).
“Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed
With joy shall I lift up my head.
“Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.”
(as originally translated into English by John Wesley in 1739. The Little Flock gives a revision by G. V. W. in 1856.)

Part 3 Unknown Hymn Writers

There are twenty-five hymns with no writers identified. These are numbers 57 (translated by Mrs. Bevan), 58, 78, 81, 83, 108, 113, 154, 163, 176, 182, 203, 277, 288, 305, 313, 325 (translated by Hannah K. Burlingham), 337, and in the Appendix numbers 28, 30, 45, 57, 59, 61, 65.
All of these hymns have their merits in expressing praise or worship to our Lord. The day is coming when we shall meet and know all the saints we never knew on earth, and that will include the unknown hymn writers who know the salvation of the Lord through the Lord Jesus Christ.
“We look to meet our brethren
From every distant shore;
Not one will seem a stranger
Though never seen before,
With angel hosts attending
In myriads through the sky—
Yet ‘midst them all Thou only,
O Lord, wilt fix the eye.”

Part 4 Bibliography

The writer acknowledges the sources of information used in this compilation. The main ones consulted were the following:
1. Annotations Upon Popular Hymns, by C.S. Robinson.
2. Biography of John N. Darby, by W. G. Turner.
3. Encyclopedia Britannica
4. Chief Men Among the Brethren, by Hy. Pickering.
5. Dictionary of Hymnology, by John Julian.
6. Early Days (compilation of letters), published by Loizeaux Bros.
7. English Hymns, by S. W. Duffield.
8. History of Hymns and Their Authors, by E.M. Long.
9. History and Use of Hymns, by D. R. Breed.
10. Memorials of Ministry of G. V. Wigram, edited by Edward Dennett.
11. Studies of Familiar Hymns, by L. F. Benson.
12. The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, Columbia University.
13. The Gospel in Hymns, by Albert E. Bailey.
14. The History of the Brethren, by Napoleon Noel.
15. The Stricken Deer, by David Cecil.
16. Who Wrote Our Hymns, by Christopher Knapp Appendix
17. Songs of Pilgrimage and Glory, by E. E. Cornwall.
Adrian Roach, Vineland, N.J. December 1975.
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