Thomas Haweis (1732-1820)

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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)