Who Wrote Our Hymns

Table of Contents

1. Prefatory Note
2. Isaac Watts
3. Paul Gerhardt
4. Ann Ross Cousin
5. Gerhardt Tersteegen
6. Count Zinzendorf
7. Philip Doddridge
8. Charles and John Wesley
9. Thomas Ken
10. John Cennick
11. John Newton
12. William Cowper
13. Samuel Stennett
14. Samuel Medley
15. John Fawcett
16. Augustus Montague Toplady
17. Thomas Kelly*
18. James Montgomery
19. Reginald Heber
20. Josiah Conder
21. Miss Charlotte Elliott
22. Henry Francis Lyte
23. Sir Edward Denny, Bart
24. Light of the Lonely Pilgrim's Heart
25. John Nelson Darby
26. James George Deck
27. Horatius Bonar
28. Mary Bowley* (Mrs. Peters)
29. The One for Whom We Wait
30. Albert Midlane
31. George West Frazer
32. Frances Ridley Havergal
33. Philip P. Bliss

Prefatory Note

IN this little volume we could only give very brief sketches of the hymn-writers best known and most loved by Christians in general. More might have been told of some were more information available. Of others, fuller accounts may be obtained from cyclopedias and dictionaries of names, and from biographies, when further information is desired.
In his remarks the writer has endeavored to be fair to all, and selections have been made from all communions of Christians. No notice has been taken of the compositions passing current as "hymns" in many quarters to-day, many of which are mere rhymes, containing nothing of the sublimity of what should be called a hymn. "Songs" is the word that best describes them, and their life is destined to be but ephemeral.
It was difficult, sometimes, to decide what one hymn to use along with the writer's name; the rule has been to use one of the best or most helpful, but at the same time one not too commonly known, and thus bring to many readers' attention what has not been heretofore familiar.
Most of these articles appeared originally in the Sunday School Visitor from month to month, and having been intended principally for young people their style is more familiar than in others since written, but simplicity has been always aimed at.
Besides biographies and cyclopedias in general, the author has made special use of Dr. Charles Seymour Robinson's Annotations upon the Popular Hymns (now out of print), as also a little volume called Chief Men among the Brethren. To the compilers or publishers of both these courteous thanks are due, and here heartily rendered.
May He to whom we owe all praise be pleased to own the present effort to the glory of His name and the edification of His beloved people.

Isaac Watts

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“THE revered name of Isaac Watts stands first in our list of Christian hymn writers; for not only is he one of older ones, but he has written more largely than most. To many of us he is the best-beloved especially with the children, for whom he wrote often and well.
Though an Englishman, he was, on his mother's side, of Huguenot descent, her family being driven from France to England in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign. But even in Protestant England his family met with persecution for Christ's sake; for he writes that his father, who was a deacon in a Dissenting church, "was persecuted and imprisoned for non-conformity, six months; and was after that forced to leave his family and live privately for two years." There, before the old jail of Southampton, the young mother used to sit on the stone at the prison gate with the infant Isaac in her arms, waiting for a chance to see her persecuted husband within, or at other times lift up her infant child to the barred window that the father might see the face of his child.
Isaac was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674, fourteen years before the Revolution, when William of Orange came over from Holland and put a stop to all persecution for conscience' sake in England, and better times now came to the Watts family. Isaac became assistant to a pastor in London, whose place he afterward filled. He was much beloved by the people under his charge, not only for his gifts and piety, but for his kindness, visiting from house to house, and spending much of his income to help the poor.
In his eighteenth year, he wrote some pieces that were actually used in public singing. It came about in this way. He had expressed before some of the congregation his dissatisfaction with the rough, unpoetic verses that were being sung at the time. "Well, then, give us something which will be better, young man!" he was told; and that evening his first formal composition was sung in the congregation. It was the hymn commencing with,
“Behold the glories of the Lamb
Amidst the Father's throne.”
It was a worthy beginning, though not equal, as one has said, to later ones which "were the fruit of his maturer experience. The same writer says, "Each evening, for a long time, he presented a fresh composition; until, at last, he had given them 222 hymns in all; and they were printed in a portable form for local use" This is a large number; yet he wrote others besides, so that he has been justly called, the Father of English Hymnody.
A very small man, Dr. Watts was, and like the apostle Paul, "in bodily presence weak." In his early manhood he proposed marriage to Miss Elizabeth Singer, an accomplished lady, but she declined it with the remark that "while she loved the jewel (his excellent mind) she could not admire the casket that contained it." So he never married.
Dr. Watts was a great preacher of his time, but always feeble in health, and in 1712 was prostrated by a fever from which he never fully recovered. Sir Thomas Abney, who greatly appreciated Watts' gifts and Christian spirit, invited him to his country-seat for a week, but there he remained (at the request of his hosts) 36 years—until his death in November, 1748.
Besides his hymns, Watts wrote several books on education. But children know him best from his rhymes written especially for them, among which are his beautiful "Cradle Hymn," beginning,
"Hush, my dear! Lie still and slumber!
Holy angels guard thy bed!”
also his "Praise for Mercies." And who does not know his "How doth the Little Busy Bee,” "Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite," and "The Sluggard?”
The following remarks and narratives are from an able writer in "Historical Hymns. On Dr. Watts, he says: “His lyre, with its many chords, strikes its highest notes in his crucifixion hymn, which is universally conceded to be the finest on that theme in our language:
"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Lord of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God:
All the vain things that charm me most
I'd sacrifice them to His blood.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an off'ring far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!”
“The Rev. Duncan Campbell of Edinburgh says: 'For tender, solemn beauty, for reverent vision of the Crucified, I know of no verse in our hymnology to equal the stanza beginning:
"See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
“In 1830, James Delaney, a British artilleryman in India, first heard a Protestant prayer at the execution of a soldier for murder. Delaney's command was stationed at Maulmain, where he heard Eugenio Kincaid preach, and 'When I survey the Wondrous Cross' was sung. In his hard life Delaney had seemed insensible to religious influence, but the song so deeply laid hold upon him that the course of his life was changed; his conversion was complete, and a few weeks after he was baptized in the Salwin river. Four years after he emigrated to the United States, and in 1844 settled in Wisconsin where he became a Baptist missionary, with fruits of his labors no less remarkable than his conversion. He died at Whitewater, Wis., in 1896, aged 93.
“Perhaps the finest ascription of praise is Watts' paraphrase of the 117th psalm condensed into eight lines:
"From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Let the Redeemer's praise be sung
Through every land, by every tongue.
Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord,
Eternal truth attends Thy word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.”
'This was sung at the Peace Jubilee, in Boston, in 1872, by twelve thousand trained voices and three thousand instruments. Gilmore, the leader, raised his wand, and when it descended, a flood of song burst forth from twice ten thousand voices to the solemn strains of 'Old Hundred.' The effect was overwhelming, "The first great missionary hymn was written by Watts in 1719, and begins with:
'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,
Doth his successive journeys run.'
“It is a famous version of the 72nd psalm, and the hymn is next in popularity to Heber's 'From Greenland's Icy Mountains.'
“The most interesting occasion on which this hymn was sung was when the sable King George of the South Sea Islands exchanged the former heathen for a Christian form of government. Some five thousand natives assembled for divine worship. Rescued from heathenism and cannibalism, they met for the first time that day under a Christian king. Foremost among them sat King George with his old chiefs, and old and young rejoiced together. It is not possible to describe the deep feeling manifested when the solemn service began by the entire audience singing Dr. Watts' Hymn,
"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Peoples and realms of ev'ry tongue,
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.
Blessings abound where'er He reigns,
The pris'ners leap to loose their chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse shall reign no more;
But Adam's race in Him shall boast
More blessings far than Adam lost.
Then all the earth shall rise and bring
Peculiar honors to its King;
Angels respond with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen.”
“Dr Watts was a pioneer in popular English Hymnology. He did exceeding much to improve and inspire worship in song.

Paul Gerhardt

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PAUL GERHARDT wrote many hymns, and. is called in the Encyclopedia Britannica, "The greatest hymn-writer in Germany, if not indeed of Europe." He was born in a small town of Saxony, March 12, 1607, where his father was the chief magistrate. When only twelve years old the terrible "Thirty Years' War" broke out in Germany.
Little is known of Paul Gerhardt's early life, as most of his town's archives were destroyed in a fire occasioned by the Swedish soldiery. But he studied in the Wittenburg University, and when almost forty years of age he became tutor in the family of Bertholdt, the Chancellor-advocate at Berlin—a man "highly esteemed for his ability as a lawyer, and noted, in common with his pious wife Elizabeth, for the strict discipline of his house and the training of his children in the way they should go.
Ten years later, Gerhardt assumed the pastorate of a small congregation at Mittenwalde, about twenty miles from Berlin. His parents, brothers, and sisters had all been removed by death; he was poor, and his heart was lonely; so he took for his wife. Anna Bertholdt, daughter of his former patron, "whose exemplary attendance for years on a sick mother's couch must have added esteem to the admiration which her many engaging qualities of mind and person had created in Gerhardt's heart.
Six years later he became pastor of the church of St. Nicholas, in Berlin, where he was subjected to many and sore trials for conscience sake, and was dismissed from his pastorate in 1666. He received this message submissively, saying, "I am willing to seal with my blood the evangelical truth, and offer my neck to the sword." Then he was ordered by the king to quit the country, and, says a writer, "In reduced circumstances, he and his wife went, traveling on foot. One night coming to a village inn, weary with the journey and disheartened at her friendless situation, his wife sat down and began to weep. Behind her were the happy scenes of her youth; before her was a land of strangers." Her husband tried to comfort her with this verse of Scripture, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also Him, and He will bring it to pass" (Psa. 37:5). "God will provide," he said; and, leaving his wife, he went to pray alone in a garden near at hand. "It was a lovely night in the rosy time of the year. The air was temperate, the sky serene; the moon shimmered on the groves, and was mirrored on the waters." It was here that for his wife's consolation he composed the verses beginning,
"Commit thou all thy griefs
And ways into His hands—
To His sure trust and tender care
Who earth and heaven commands.”
That night two gentlemen came riding to the inn and inquired for the deposed preacher, Paul Gerhardt. "I am Paul Gerhardt," he said firmly, though fearing further troubles were in store for him. But they were messengers from Duke Christian, who sent him his sympathies and an invitation to make Merseburg, his city, his home. "God be praised for this asylum,” said Gerhardt, "it is His will," and with beaming face, though tearful eyes, he hastened to tell his wife the good news of provision made for their sustenance. "See," said he, "how God provides! Did I not bid thee trust in Him, and all would be well?" He then handed her the hymn he had written in the garden, as a prophecy of what was in store for them.
Ten years after this incident, Gerhardt died at the age of seventy. He is said to have been "of medium height, of cheerful bearing, quiet, courageous, gentle and firm." In the church at Lübben, where he died, there is still a portrait of him, with this singular inscription,
"Theologus in cribo Satanas versatus,”
which translated into English is, "A theologian sifted in the sieve of Satan," in allusion to his many trials. (See Luke 22:31, 32.) Several of Gerhardt's hymns were translated into English by John Wesley, and included in the Methodist hymnal.
May we learn from the life of Gerhardt to trust the Lord, even in life's darkest hour. He is faithful to His promises, and we can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man shall do unto me." But first of all, dear reader, cast thyself on Him for thy soul's salvation; then thou mayest trust Him for all things else.
Hymn of the Night Watches—by Paul Gerhardt
Quietly rest the woods and dales,
Silence around the earth prevails,
The world is all asleep:
Thou, my soul, in thought arise,
Seek thy Father in the skies,
And holy vigils keep.
Now my body seeks for rest,
From its vestments all undressed,
Types of immortality:
Christ shall give me soon to wear
Garments beautiful and fair,
White robes of majesty.
While mine eyes I gently close,
Stealing o'er me soft repose,
Who shall now my guardian he?
Soul and body now I leave,
And Thou wilt the trust receive,
Israel's Watchman, unto Thee.
God Sovereign—by Paul Gerhardt
Through waves, through clouds and storms,
God gently clears the way;
We wait His time; so shall the night
Soon end in blissful day.
He everywhere hath sway,
And all things serve His might;
His ev'ry act pure blessing is,
His path unsullied light.
We comprehend Him not,
Yet earth and heaven tell
God sits as sov'reign on the throne,
And ruleth all things well.

Ann Ross Cousin

AS John the Baptist "wrought no miracle," so Samuel Rutherford, so far as we are aware, wrote no hymn. The lines ascribed to him as, "The Last Words of Samuel Rutherford" were written by a Scotch lady, in Melrose, named Ann Ross Cousin, and were first published in The Christian Treasury as late as 1857. This highly gifted lady was the daughter of Dr. David Ross Cundell of Leith, and became the wife of Rev. William Cousin, "an honored clergyman of the Free Church of Scotland.”
In 1876 a volume was published, called Immanuel's Land and Other Pieces, by A. R. C. The volume, besides "Immanuel's Land," contained one hundred and six other pieces, "all of which are spiritual and good for private reading," a competent critic declares. But the poem which gave title to the book is by far the best, and is destined to be read with delight by Christian hearts while the English language endures.
“Matchless stanzas" and "exquisite piece of poetry" are descriptions which none who read them would question.
"Glory Dwelleth in Immanuel's Land.”—by Ann Ross Cousin
The sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of heaven breaks,
The summer morn I've sighed for-
The fair sweet morn awakes.
Dark, dark hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.
The King there in His beauty
Without a veil is seen;
It were a well-spent journey
Though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with His fair army
Doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.
Oh, Christ! He is the fountain—
The deep sweet well of love!
The streams on earth I've tasted,
More deep I'll drink above!
There, to an ocean fullness,
His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel's land.
With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustered with His love.
I'll bless the hand that guided,
I'll bless the heart that planned,
When throned where glory dwelleth,
In Immanuel's land.
Oh, I am my Beloved's,
And my Beloved's mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into His "house of wine!”
I stand upon His merit,
I know no safer stand,
Not e'en where glory dwelleth,
In Immanuel's land.
The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear bridegroom's face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of Grace—
Not at the crown He giveth,
But on His pierced hand:—
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Immanuel's land.
But while the versification is that of Mrs. Cousin, "the thoughts contained in it, and most of its peculiar expressions were uttered by Samuel Rutherford himself while he was lying on his death-bed," and "these telling and intense expressions of the dying saint, with a few others like them, were wrought skilfully into the poem." Rutherford is as the miner who found and furnished the gems, while Mrs. Cousin was as the skillful jeweler who sorted and arranged them into a chaplet for the king.
Rutherford was born at Nisbet, Roxburghshire, Scotland, in the year 1600. "He was educated in Edinburgh, and in 1621 received the degree of Master of Arts. Soon after this he was appointed Professor of Humanity in that center of Scottish literary life. But he seems to have preferred to preach; for his name disappears from the office four years later." We next find him settled as "minister" over the little town of Anwoth. Speaking of this place in later years, he said, "There did I wrestle with the angel and prevailed. Woods, trees, meadows, and hills are my witnesses that I drew on a fair match between Christ and Anwoth.”
From Anwoth he issued a volume which gained for him an invitation to a professorship on the Continent. Two offers were made him, in fact—one from Utrecht and another from Hardewyck. From this time his troubles began; he was cited to appear before the Court of High Commission, July 27, 1636, and was subsequently deprived of his parish at Anwoth. The things laid to his charge were of an ecclesiastical nature; it was the old story of the high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, jealous of their authority and moved with envy against Christ's faithful witness.
Rutherford was banished to Aberdeen, but political changes restored him to his old charge two years later; and in 1639 he was made professor at St. Andrew's, In 1643 he was sent to London as one of the members of the historic Westminster Assembly, where he spent "four serious and perilous years." After the Restoration, in 1660, he was again subjected to bitter and persistent persecutions, which ended with his being summoned to appear before the next Parliament on the charge of High Treason. But the summons found him ill and like to die; and the court prepared to try him received the treasured and characteristic answer: "I am summoned before a higher court and judicatory; that first summons I behoove to answer; and ere a few days arrive, I shall be where few kings and great folks come.''
He died at St. Andrew's, March 20, 1661. Late in the afternoon of the final day of his stormy life, just as the sun was sinking, he was asked by one of the friends standing by his couch, "What think ye now of Christ?" To which he gave answer: "Oh, that all my brethren in the land may know what a Master I have served, and what peace I have this day! I shall sleep in Christ, and when I awake, I shall be satisfied with His likeness. This night shall close the door, and put my anchor within the veil; and I shall go away in a sleep by five of the clock in the morning. Glory! glory to my Creator and my Redeemer forever! I shall live and adore Him. Oh, for arms to embrace Him! Oh, for a well-tuned harp! Glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel's land!”
At precisely five in the morning, as predicted, he crossed the border into Immanuel's land, there to feast his eyes on "the King in His beauty.”

Gerhardt Tersteegen

THE poet, Gerhardt Tersteegen, was born in Mors, a town of Westphalia, Germany, November 27, 1697. His father, "a pious tradesman," died soon after, and the family being in straitened circumstances, the orphan boy was put into business when very young, at Mühlheim. He appears to have had deep convictions of sin from his earliest youth, and once, while still an apprentice, he was seized with spasms while on a journey alone through a wood. There he prayed beseechingly that he might not be cut off in his sins, but be spared to repent and prepare for eternity. He believed God heard his prayer, and so earnest was he to make amends, and fit himself for death, that he opened a vein to make with his own blood a covenant with Christ.
But he had to learn by painful and disappointing experience that it was no blood of his by which peace with God might be attained.
His earlier austerities were revealed to him as "hindrances rather than helps," as he records of himself; the Savior "took me by the hand; He drew me away from perdition's yawning gulf, directed my eyes to Himself, and instead of the well-deserved pit of hell, opened to me the unfathomable abyss of His loving heart.”
“This was on a spring morning of that year, 1724 in the same spring he sat alone in his little room, on the evening of 'Green Thursday,' as the day before Good Friday is called in Germany. His heart was filled with the joy which had put an end to the five years of darkness. We can see him there with none to whom to tell it, but the Lord who had given it. He is sitting at his little table, and with his own blood he is writing the letter still preserved to us.
“My Jesus:—I own myself to be Thine, my only Savior and Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. I am Thine wholly and eternally. I renounce from my heart all right and authority that Satan unrighteously gave me over myself, from this evening henceforward, "On this evening—the evening when Thou, my Bridegroom through the precious blood, when Thou, my God, didst purchase me for Thyself, agonizing even unto death, praying till Thy sweat was as blood falling to the ground, that I might be Thy treasure and Thy bride.
“Thou hast burst the gates of hell, and opened to me the loving heart of Thy Father.
“From this evening onward my heart and all my love are offered up to Thee in eternal thankfulness.
“From this evening to all eternity, Thy will, not mine, be done. Command, and rule, and reign in me. I yield myself up without reserve, and I promise, with Thy help and power, rather to give up the last drop of this my blood, than knowingly and willingly, in my heart or in my life, be untrue and disobedient to Thee. Behold, Thou hast me wholly and completely, sweet Friend of my soul. Thou hast the love of my heart for Thyself, and for none other. Thy Spirit be my keeper, Thy death the rock of my assurance; yea, amen, may Thy Spirit seal that which is written in the simplicity of my heart.
“Thine unworthy possession,
“On 'Green Thursday' evening, Anno Domini 1724.—
“The darkness was past, and the light was come, the glory of the Lord had arisen upon Gerhardt Tersteegen, to be to him an everlasting light, and the days of his mourning were ended. 'It was,' he said, 'as if a sick child were alone, and far away in the dark night, and suddenly the door was opened, and father and mother and all the beloved ones came in, and the long, lonely hours were over, and all
was love.
After his conversion he left his business for the trade of ribbon-weaving, as he thought that would give him greater opportunity for meditation and quiet. Later, he took into partnership with him one Sommer, which gave him still greater leisure for spiritual development. Three years after this, there was a great religious awakening in Mühlheim, and Tersteegen was induced to address the people. He gave up the ribbon-weaving: his house became the refuge of a multitude of the troubled and the sick; from this fact it was called "Pilgrims' Cottage.
“In consequence many demands were made upon the slender means provided either from the savings of his own frugality, or from the gifts of friends.
Tersteegen was a member of no sect, and for this reason, and also because he did not marry, he was accused of keeping people from church and of teaching celibacy. This calumny he met with loving patience, and with equal firmness. He refused to join himself to the Moravians, though they entreated him often to do so—was he not a "member of Christ?" and is not this enough? Yea, verily, "for we are members one of another." He was a great and almost constant sufferer, but always bore his pains with enduring patience. He bore reproach too, and calumny, with the same patient, uncomplaining grace. He died of dropsy, April 20, 1769, at the ripe age of 72.
Many of the spiritual songs and hymns written by Tersteegen in German are exquisitely translated into English poetry, by the gifted Frances Bevan. They are published with others in 2 volumes, and provide a rich spiritual ministry beyond many other poetic productions. The three following hymns are fine examples.
Whiter Than Snow
To heart and soul how sweet Thou art,
O great High Priest of God!
My heart brought nigh to God's own heart
By Thy most precious blood.
No more my countless sins shall rise
To fill me with dismay—
That precious blood before His eyes,
Hath put them all away.
My soul drew s nigh with trust secure
With boldness glad and free;
What matters it that I am poor,
If I am in Thee?
Forgotten even stain and spot,
Their memory past and gone,
For me, O God, Thou seest not,
Thou lookest on Thy Son.
Come, weary sinners great and small,
The door stands open wide—
Thy blessed heart that welcomes all
O Lamb of God who died
The Door Into Heaven
Name of Jesus! highest Name!
Name that earth and Heaven adore!
From the heart of God it came;
Lead me to God once more;
Name of Jesus! living tide!
Daye of drought for me are past
How much more than satisfied
Are the thirsty lips at last!
Name of Jesus! dearest Name!
Bread of Heaven, and balm of love;
Oil of gladness, surest clam
To the treasure stored above.
Jesus gives forgiveness free
Jesus cleanses all my stains,
Jesus gives His life to me;
Jesus always He remains.
Only Jesus! fairest Name,
Life, and rest, and peace, and bliss,
Jesus, evermore the same,
He is mine, and I am His.
By-Path Meadow
Lord, from Thee I went astray,
Lured by magic song;
Through dim places far away
I have wandered long—
Now when lost are moon and star
Shines the light of Home afar.
O'er the waves that cannot rest,
O'er the drifting foam,
Wandering dove without a nest,
Weary-winged, I come.
From the lonely wastes of sin,
Blessed Noah, take me in.
Take me in, my heart implores,
Leaving far behind
All the thunder of the shores,
All the wailing wind;
In the chambers of Thy rest,
Fold me, hush me, on Thy breast,
Still and sweet the silence deep,
Where no foot hath trod;
Softer than an infant's sleep,
Rest alone with God;
Closed on me Thy palace door,
Perfect peace for evermore.

Count Zinzendorf

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ZINZENDORF'S full name or title was Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf —quite long enough, you will agree, like some of his hymns, one of which, "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness," had originally thirty stanzas! The list of hymns written by him also is long—more than two thousand, it is said.
Zinzendorf came of an ancient family of Lower Austria. He was born at Dresden, May 26, 1700. He received his early education at Halle, under the pietist Francke, founder of the celebrated orphan school, and from whom Zinzendorf received deep spiritual impressions. Later he was sent to Wittenberg to study law and prepare himself for a diplomatic career. After this he was sent to travel through France, Holland, and various parts of Germany, where he sought the acquaintance of the most godly men.
On his return he decided to settle down among the peasantry, to promote among them the true knowledge of God and of Christ. With this purpose in view he purchased Berthelsdorf from his grandmother. Then he married and began living on his estate as a Christian landowner in the midst of his tenantry. The settlement rapidly increased, and received the name of Herrnhut.
God blessed his efforts to advance the kingdom of God in the world, and those who became associated with him were known as the Moravian Brethren. They interested themselves chiefly in missions, and from Herrnhut, their center, colonies were sent out to the West Indies (in 1732); to Greenland (1733); among North American Indians (1735). Zinzendorf visited most of these places himself and labored among them for a time. Before Zinzendorf's death (in 1760) these brethren had missions established in Livonia, and on the northern shores of the Baltic; among the negro slaves in North Carolina; in Dutch Guiana; among the slaves in various parts of South America; among the Copts in Egypt, and among negroes on the West Coast of Africa.
From his childhood Zinzendorf appears to have shown zeal for the salvation of souls, for, when quite young, he used to gather children about him to pray with and speak to them. Referring to these youthful efforts, he says, "The desire to bring souls to Jesus took possession of me, and my heart became fixed on the Lamb.”
He was not always allowed to carry on his work in peace, however, for in 1727 he was forbidden by the authorities to preach or hold religious meetings in Dresden.
A great sorrow came into Count Zinzendorf's life in the year 1752, when he lost his only son, whom he had named Christian Renatus. He had hoped that this son would take up the work of the Lord with him, and his removal by death was a severe blow, and three years later God took his wife. Thus he had 6 sorrow upon sorrow; but he was enabled by grace to say, "Not my will, but Thine be done." "Mine own will is hell to me," was a saying of his. And so it will be with all who, to do their own will, refuse to submit to God's. And what is the will of God for us? Hear it from His word: "This is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another," and again: "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because He hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness" (1 John 3:23; Acts 17:30).
It must have been an easy task for Zinzendorf to compose hymns; for he says, speaking of his ministrations in Berlin: "After the discourse, I generally announce another hymn appropriate to the subject. When I cannot find one, I compose one; I say in my Savior's name what comes into my heart.”
In January, 1737, Zinzendorf made his memorable visit to London, where the Wesleys were brought under his influence; the two brothers, with their adherents, were for a time in association with the Moravians as a result of his visit, but doctrinal differences arising among them they separated, and Zinzendorf the same year returned to Berlin.
He visited the American Colonies in 1741, preaching in Philadelphia, and to the Indians through an interpreter. An old writer speaking of this time says, "He soon, with his daughter Benigna, and several brothers and sisters, visited several Indian tribes. At Shekomec he established the first Moravian settlement in North America (1742). In 1743 he returned to Europe, and died in Herrnhut in 1760.”
With all his gifts, and graces, his great wealth and high station in life, Zinzendorf was a very meek and humble man. He said of himself, "I am as ever, a poor sinner, a captive of eternal love, running by the side of the triumphal chariot, and have no desire to be anything else as long as I live.”
He said to his son-in-law, as he lay dying, "Now, my dear son, 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." About a hundred members of the community were assembled in and about his bed-chamber to watch the departure of God's dying servant to whom they owed so much. He looked on them tenderly and with cheerfulness, speaking words of encouragement and consolation to all; and just as his son-in-law, in his prayer, closed with the words, "Lord, Thou lettest Thy servant depart in peace," he ceased to breathe. That blessed word "peace" was the punctuation of his earthly life, so full of faith and good works.
He died on the 9th day of May, in his sixtieth year. His coffin,"the chronicler says, was carried to the grave by thirty-two preachers and missionaries, whom he had reared, and some of whom had toiled in Holland, England, Ireland, North America, and Greenland. What monarch was ever honored by a funeral like this." Yes, what monarch! He honored God in his life and God gave him such honor at his burial as few are privileged to receive. But to serve the Lord as he did is open to all who know and love Him; so may we do it with diligence, for He is worthy, blessed Savior and Lord! Amen!
Martyr-Faith—by Count Zinzendorf
Written after he had been forbidden to speak in the name of Christ at Dresden
Glory to God, whose witness train,
Those heroes bold in faith,
Could smile on poverty and pain,
And triumph ev'n in death.
Oh, may that faith our hearts sustain,
Wherein they fearless stood,
When, in the power of cruel men
They poured their willing blood.
God whom we serve, our God, can save,
Can damp the scorching flame,
Could build an ark, can smooth the wave,
For such as love His name.
Lord, if Thine arm support us still
With its eternal strength,
We shall o'ercome the mightiest ill,
And conquerors prove at length.

Philip Doddridge

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WHAT English speaking Christian does not know the hymn,
"O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God?”
It seems a favorite everywhere, as it well deserves to be. It was written by a minister named Philip Doddridge, who was born in London, June 26, 1702, and was the youngest of a large family of twenty children! Being so small when he was born, the nurse thought he could not live; so she wrapped him up in cotton and laid him in a little box. But he lived, and grew up to be a very godly and useful man, as you will see.
“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" the Scriptures tell us. It is not those who have strong, vigorous bodies, who are therefore most useful in God's service, for, as it is written, "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty... that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Cor. 1:27-29). So none should be proud because they possess what is called "a fine physique," nor should the feeblest become discouraged because they are weak in body. The Lord can make His strength perfect in our weakness, if we depend wholly upon Him, while those who feel themselves so strong are often easily overcome by Satan.
His father was a merchant and a faithful Christian, so young Philip was brought up "in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord," as children of Christian parents should be. Histories of the Old and New Testaments were taught him by his godly mother, before he could read, by means of the Dutch pictured tiles in the chimney piece of the room where they resided. But his father and mother both died while he was yet quite young, and he was left to the care of friends to bring up, who, a writer says, "showed much kindness to the afflicted orphan.
Young Philip loved study. "I want to be a minister," he would say while yet a lad. But he was an orphan and for. A rich lady offered to pay his expenses at Oxford, providing he would become an Anglican clergyman. He was grateful to the lady, but refused the offer, preferring to suffer reproach as a "Dissenter" rather than compromise his conscience.
He was much in prayer then, and God raised a strong supporter for him in Dr. Samuel Clarke who had been a friend of his father, and now acted as a father to Philip for many years—till his death, when Philip, who had then become "Dr. Doddridge," was called to preach at his funeral.
So God takes care of those whom He loves; if father and mother forsake us, or are removed from us by death, the Lord will see to it that we are provided for. This is to teach us not to lean upon any arm of flesh, but to "trust in the Lord at all times." He will never leave nor forsake us, is the sure promise of His word.
Doddridge began to preach when he was only twenty years of age, and seven years later, he opened an academy at Northampton, England, intended to help prepare young men for the ministry.
Although 28 years younger than Dr. Watts, Doddridge was an intimate friend of his; as also of Lady Huntingdon, Whitefield, Venn, Romaine, and Berridge —all of them devoted servants of Christ; the Wesleys too he counted among his friends, although differing from them in various things.
He kept to this work with unremitting zeal, together with his pastoral duties for twenty years. But his health, never strong, began to fail, and a severe cold became the seed of consumption. His devoted friends sought by all means to prolong his precious life, but it was evident that the malady, notwithstanding temporary improvements, was fastening upon him. As a last resort he was sent to Lisbon, Portugal, to spend the winter in that genial, mild climate, loving hearts having provided the means for himself and wife and servant.
The ship's easy progress and soft breezes from the South revived him, but his spirit was turning heavenward. To his tender companion he would often say, "Such transporting views of the heavenly world is my Father now indulging me with, as no words can express.”
The short improvement did not continue. Bad symptoms came soon after their landing, and on Oct. 6, 1751, the beloved Doddridge was "put to sleep by Jesus" and was buried in the English graveyard by the sea.
It was Doddridge's custom to begin his sermon with the stanza of a hymn of his own composition, which was sung at the close of the preaching. Many of his hymns were founded on some passage of Scripture, often one of the Psalms; so they serve as a kind of explanation on that portion of God's Word. Many of his beautiful hymns are used in almost all Protestant collections. Dr. James Hamilton wrote of them: "At once beautiful and buoyant, these sacred strains are destined to carry the devout emotions of Doddridge to every shore where his Master is loved and where his mother-tongue is spoken.”
He wrote in all 364 hymns for the use of God's people. Of these, James Montgomery, a noted Christian poet, wrote: "They shine in the beauty of holiness; ... they are lovely and acceptable for that fervent, unaffected love to God, His service and His people which distinguishes them.),
How beautifully he has expressed the new convert's outburst of joy in finding peace, rest, and full satisfaction in his Savior-God
"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.
'Tis done!—the great transaction's done;
I am my Lord's and He is mine;
He drew me, and I followed on,
Glad to confess the Voice Divine.
Now rest, my long-divided heart—
Fixed or, that blissful Center, rest!
With ashes who would loath to part,
When called on angels' bread to feast?
To this a chorus has been usually added since to intensify the soul's exuberant joy:
"Happy day! happy day!
When Jesus washed my sins away!”
From "Hymns Historically Famous," we quote the following narrative in connection with this hymn: "In January, 1898, a remarkable scene was witnessed at the old Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Louis. The occasion was the mid-week prayer meeting, and when the venerable pastor, Dr. Mathews, was about to dismiss the several hundred who had braved the rain and melting ice to attend the service, he invited anyone who desired the prayers of Christians to go forward while the last hymn was being sung..A well-dressed, earnest-looking lady came forward and quietly knelt at a chair. Intense interest was manifested. Several prayers were offered in her behalf, and her tears indicated great depth of earnestness and conviction.
“At about ten o'clock some were on their knees praying for the penitent, and the hymn,
"O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God,
was started without book or organ. The entire audience chimed in with a soft, sweet unity. When the stanza, "
'Tis done, the great transaction's done,
I am my Lord's and He is mine,
was reached, the penitent woman still on her knees, raised her hands in prayer, while her face was as radiant as if from the throne of God." The St. Louis Christian Advocate reporting on this occurrence and meeting said, "The scene was worth more than all the books written on the evidences of Christianity to see this woman of modesty and culture rejoicing in the revelation of God's love.”
Besides his hymns, Dr. Doddridge wrote three famous books, his "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul;" his "Life of Colonel Gardiner," and his "Family Expositor," a simple commentary on the entire New Testament.
So you see, that though so delicate and such a very busy man, with his school work and preaching, the good minister found time to write a great deal besides. He did not idle his time away as many do. And if we are earnestly engaged in what is useful or necessary, Satan cannot tempt us nearly so easily; it is for the "idle hands" that he so often "finds some work to do." Let us learn from the example of Dr. Doddridge to keep busy in that which is useful and good; then, though our life may not be long (he lived only 49 years) we may, like him, accomplish much that is lasting and good.
But, stop: Can you say, as he wrote,
"Tis done, the great transaction's done!
I am my Lord's and He is mine?”
If not, oh may you give yourself to Him now; let Him be your Savior; and then you can truly sing,
"O happy day, happy day!
When Jesus washed my sins away!”

Charles and John Wesley

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Charles and John Wesley were so closely associated in their work that we speak of the brothers together. Though John, the great preacher, did not himself write many hymns, he translated a considerable number, notably some by Zinzendorf and Gerhardt. Charles, the younger of the two by five years, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, in the year 1708. He was the youngest of 18 children; but nine of them had died in infancy, so that the mother, no doubt, often wondered if she would be able to raise the infant Charles. But the God who gave him being, spared him for the work He had for him to do, which is the only real reason any of us have for living, as a Christian catechism for generations has rightly taught: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
Charles received the beginning of his education from his godly mother, and later studied under his brother Samuel at Westminster School. After obtaining his degree from Oxford, he came out to the new colony of Georgia in America as secretary to the governor, General Oglethorpe. "At that time," one writes, he "was not experimentally a Christian, though he was ordained, and kept himself busily engaged in missionary work among the Indians.”
So one may come from a Christian home, you see, be highly educated, and an "ordained minister" even, and yet not be a Christian at all! Scripture says, twice over, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). Perhaps God has repeated this warning in His Word because He knew how many would take this way that seems right—thinking that because they say prayers and do good works they will be saved; so, in His compassion, God warns such, that they might trust to nothing but CHRIST, who says, "I am the Way;" and, No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" ( John 14:6).
The next year Charles Wesley was truly converted to God, and for many years traveled all over England and Ireland with his brother John, preaching the gospel to high and low, Protestants and Catholics alike, offering to all salvation through "the blood of the Lamb”
On May 21, 1739 (the date of his conversion a year before), Charles Wesley commemorated the triumph of grace over his previous darkness and gloom by composing this memorable and worthy hymn of praise to his Redeemer:
"Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise;
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim—
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy Name.
Jesus!—the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
'Tis music in the sinner's ears,
'Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the pris'ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me!
He speaks—and, list'ning to His voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.
Hear Him, ye deaf! His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosen'd tongues employ!
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy!”
For nearly fifty years Charles Wesley wrote hymns which he composed as he went about preaching. As is almost invariably the case, it was on great occasions and in times of trouble and persecution that he wrote his best hymns.
It is told that at one time when he "had just begun a hymn in the open air, intending to preach to the gathering crowd, some half-drunken fellows came and struck up the tune of 'Nancy Dawson.' Between the hymn and their song it was sorry music, but the preacher's ear was quick enough to catch the meter of their song, rid to master their tune there and then. He invited them to come again by-and-by, when he would be there and sing a song to their tune. They came, and he gave out a new hymn made hr the occasion. The rough and merry tars seemed to enjoy the hymn more than their old song." The first verse will show how the new hymn suited the rough fellows who helped to sing it:
"Listed in the cause of sin,
Why should a good be evil?
Music, alas! has too long been
Pressed to obey the devil.”
It means that their singing was good, but employed in a bad way Charles Wesley was the most prolific hymn writer of any age or country. He published nearly four thousand hymns of his own composition, and at his death two thousand more were left in manuscript! Two of his beet-known hymns are:
“Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly;
While the nearer waters roll
While the tempest still is high,”
It is a fervent hymn, of four stanzas, which he wrote shortly after his conversion.
A touching incident is related in connection with the other,
"Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?—
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?”
This was being sung by children as a young actress was passing on her way to he theater where she was to play her part. Need was in her soul, and dissatisfaction with her life. The sweet voices of children together with the words sung went to her heart:
"I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face;
Would not harken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
"There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands:
God is love, I know and feel-
Jesus lives and loves me still.”
Surely it was the Holy Spirit speaking to her soul by these children, for when she reached the theater and came to the stage, the absorbing thought of the hymn forced itself to her lips, and the words,
"Depth of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?”
rang out before the startled audience, wondering at what had happened. It was the new birth of a soul whom the Holy Spirit was quickening into life, but of which the natural man is ignorant.
Charles Wesley passed away "to be with Christ," March 28,1788, in his 81st year. His brother John, five years older than Charles, like him confesses that he was preaching and trying to convert the savage Indians before he was himself converted. God had mercy upon him "because he did it ignorantly in unbelief" ( 1 Tim. 1:13). He was brought into the light at a little meeting of the Moravian Brethren in London, on his return from Georgia.
He was a very remarkable servant of Christ, and had marvelous powers of endurance. He could go to sleep at will, it is said, and with his clothing saturated with rain could lie down in it anywhere, even in the cold, and sleep the night through without harm, fie is said to have preached 40,000 sermons in his life-time, and traveled a quarter of a million miles! He more than once slept soundly in a damp cellar or basement with nothing under his head for a pillow but his Bible.
His last sermon was preached when he was eighty-eight years old, it was from the text, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near" (Isa. 55:6). He died soon after, March 2, 1791.
The Sinner's Friend—Charles Wesley
Jesus, the sinner's Friend, to Thee,
Lost and undone, for aid I flee;
Weary of earth, myself, and sin,
Open Thine arms and take me in.
At last I own it cannot be
That I should fit myself for Thee:
Here, then, to Thee I all resign;
Thine is the work, and only Thine.
What can I say Thy grace to move?
Lord, I am sin—but Thou art love:
I give up every plea beside,
Lord, I am lost—but Thou hast died!
The Praises of Jesus—by Charles Wesley
Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful name;
The name all-victorious of Jesus extol;
His kingdom is glorious, He rules over all.
He ruleth on high, almighty to save:
And still He is nigh—His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumphs shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.
Salvation to God who sits on the throne,
Let all cry aloud and honor the Son;
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.
Then let us adore and give Him His right,
All glory and power, and wisdom and might,
All honor and blessing, with angels above,
And thanks never ceasing, and infinite love

Thomas Ken

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Thomas Ken is known chiefly by his long meter doxology,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
which is sung wherever the English language is spoken. He was born in Hertfordshire, England, July, 1637, and died in March, 1711. He entered Winchester College at 15 years, and his name may still be seen cut on one of the stone pillars. He began preaching at the age of 25, and continued a faithful servant of the Lord up to his death at 74.
Of his boyhood and conversion the historians say nothing, but that he was a very conscientious, godly man. One says, "He acted as curate in one of the lowest districts;" and later in life he was made a bishop. Being faithful in this lowly position, he was entrusted with what men consider an important post in the Anglican Church. Let us learn from his example to do faithfully and diligently whatever it is our duty to do.
But, like all true servants of Christ, Ken had his trials; some severe and long enduring. "In 1679 he was appointed by Charles II chaplain to the Princess (afterward wife of William of Orange)," a writer says. "In 1684 he was appointed bishop, and one of Ken's first duties was to attend the deathbed of Charles, where his wise and faithful ministrations won the admiration of everybody." We may be sure he was faithful to the soul of the dying king, for, some years before, when this dissolute prince visited Ken's town with his gay and loose court, he wished to quarter some of them in the residence of the worthy minister. "Not for the king's kingdom!" was Ken's resolute reply, which has become historic for its boldness. Instead of taking offense at his bold stand, and having Ken punished, Charles advanced him with an appointment. How true is God's word by Samuel, "Them that honor Me, I will honor, and they that depise Me shall be lightly esteemed." Of course, we should be very sure we are doing God's will in refusing to obey those in authority; for the Scriptures not only command us to fear God, but to "honor the king." (See 1 Peter 2:17.)
Ken was one of the celebrated "seven bishops," who, in 1688, refused to publish the "Declaration of Indulgence," by which James, the king, intended to help the Church of Rome in England. For their refusal, the seven bishops were committed to the Tower on the charge of "high misdemeanor." But like Moses' parents, they were not "afraid of the king's commandment;" and when tried they were acquitted, amidst the great rejoicings of the nation. The next year the Revolution occurred, and Ken's trials with Romanizing powers were ended; but having sworn allegiance under James, he thought he could not conscientiously take the oath under the new government, to William of Orange, so was deprived of his office.
It has been said of Ken, "It is something to follow the course of a good man, who, amid the strife of parties, is faithful to himself and to his God: who desires not high position, yet accepts it when it falls to his lot, and when conscience forbids him to retain it, can leave it without a wistful look behind.”
But God did not let His faithful servant want. Lord Weymouth, a friend of Ken, granted him a pension of £80 a year; and under Queen Anne, at Bishop Hooper's suggestion, he was given £200 annually out of the public treasury.
“On March 19, 1711," says a biographer, "he peacefully breathed his last. Twelve poor men bore his body to the quiet grave in Frome Selwood. His funeral and his tomb were of the humblest description, in accordance with the character of His life, and his own desire." He was buried at sunrise, and according to his own request his morning hymn, "Awake, my soul, and with the sun" was sung.
During the last years of his life, this good man, in traveling, carried his funeral shroud in his portmanteau. When asked the reason, he replied that, "It might be as soon wanted as any other of his habiliments.”
Yes, dear reader, we do not know when death may claim us; and tile true preparation is to have Christ, the robe of righteousness.
We quote the following interesting note relating to Ken's Doxology: "Chaplain McCabe has related how the Doxology saved prisoners in Libby, the Confederates' prison at Richmond, Va., from despair. Day after day they saw comrades pass away, and their numbers were replaced with living recruits for the grave. One night about ten o’clock, the tramp of coming feet was heard, and stopped before the prison door. In the company was a young Baptist minister whose heart almost fainted as he looked on the cold walls and thought of the suffering within. Tired and half sick, he sat down, put his face in his hands, and wept. Just then a lone voice of deep, sweet pathos, sang from an upper window,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,”
and a dozen voices were heard taking it up on the second line; and before the last line was reached the prison was alive with song, and lonesomeness and despair were dispelled for the night by this splendid verse of praise.
"The Doxology is truly a wonderful verse. It has been the death song of martyrs and the 'mean of victorious armies. When peace was sealed at Appomattox the Doxology rolled like the voice of mighty thunder from State to State and from ocean to ocean. Whenever the spirit of spontaneous praise takes hold of large public assemblies, the Doxology is usually the song by which expression. of gratitude is made.41,
Morning Hymn—by Thomas Ken
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Awake, lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
Glory to the eternal King.
Glory to Thee who safe has kept,
And hast refreshed me while I slept;
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless life partake.
Direct, control, suggest this day,
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy blest service may unite.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:

John Cennick

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THE hymn, "Lo, He comes, from heaven descending," has made English speaking Christians everywhere familiar with the name of Cennick; for, while he was only part author of this hymn in its present form, his association with it has endeared his memory to all who love our Lord's appearing. A well-known hymn writer says, "This hymn has passed through so many transformations that its history is somewhat complicated. It is supposed to have been originally written by the Rev. John Cennick, and it was sung by the congregation of the Moravian Chapel, Dublin, in 1750. It was first printed in the 1752 edition of Cennick's Collection of Sacred Hymns. Since the date of Wesley's adaptation many imitations exist, testifying to the power and beauty of the original, which has inspired so many efforts to rival it. In Anglican Hymnology this is put as No. 3 in the First Rank Hymns.
Lo, He Comes From Heaven Descending—by John Cennick
Lo, He comes, from heav'n descending—
Once for favor'd sinners slain!
Thousand thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train!
Jesus comes, and comes to reign!
See the Savior, long expected,
Crowned with glory, now appear,
While His saints, by man rejected,
All His heav'nly glory share!
See the Son of God appear!
Israel's race shall now behold Him,
Full of grace and majesty!
They who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced Him, nailed Him to the tree,
Now in glory,
Shall their great Messiah see!
'Tis Thy heav'nly bride and Spirit,
Jesus, Lord, that bid Thee come,
All Thy glory to inherit,
And to take Thy people home!
All creation
Travails, groans, till Thou shalt come!
Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee,
High on Thine exalted throne!
Savior, take Thy power and glory-
Claim the kingdoms for Thine own!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Hallelujah! come, Lord, come!
John Cennick was born in Reading, England, December 12, 1718. His parents were Quakers, but in spite of this advantage, "he was wild and reckless as a young man, when he made frequent visits to London," a writer says. Indeed, it requires more than Christian parentage to make a Christian of any one. "Ye must be born again," is the declaration of the "teacher come from God," as Nicodemus confessed Him to be, and whom we know as "God manifest in the flesh.”
But, though grace cannot be imparted by natural generation, the God of all grace has promised to hear prayer in behalf of our loved ones, and the intercessions of Cennick's parents were rewarded in his conversion.
While in London, Cennick formed a friendship with a Mr. Kinchin whose influence over him became great, and resulted in his conversion. He made the acquaintance of the Wesleys in 1739, and was appointed by John Wesley as teacher of a school for the children of colliers at Kingswood. He also began to act as a "lay preacher," but in 1740 he had a disagreement with Wesley as to points of doctrine, and withdrew from the work. During the following five years he assisted Whitefield in his evangelistic labors. Later he joined the Moravian Brethren, with whom he labored until his death in London, July 4th, 1755, at the early age of thirty-seven.
The following is popularly considered the best of Mr. Cennick's many hymns. "The majority of the singing-books in Christendom for the last hundred years have contained it," said a writer in 1892; and, he continues, "What a history a good hymn has! Think of doing something that will cheer God's dear children, as this praise-song has, for a hundred and fifty years already!" Only lately the present writer was told by a shut-in invalid what a blessing and joy the reading of some of our best-known hymns had been to him.
Encouragement to Praise—by John Cennick
Children of the heavenly King,
As ye journey, sweetly sing;
Sing your Savior's worthy praise,
Glorious in His works and ways.
Ye are traveling home to God
In the way the fathers trod;
They are happy now, and ye
Soon their happiness shall see.
Shout, ye little flock, and blest!
You on Jesus' throne shall rest;
There your seat is now prepared;
There your kingdom and reward.
Fear not, brethren; joyful stand
On the borders of your land;
Jesus Christ, your Father's Son,
Bids you undismayed go on.
Lord, submissive make us go,
Gladly leaving all below;
Only Thou our leader be,
And we still will follow Thee.

John Newton

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ON a marble tablet on a tomb in the churchyard of Olney, England, where it was removed from its original position in St. Mary Woolnoth Church, Lombard St., London, is this remarkable inscription:
once an Infidel and Libertine,
a Servant of Slaves in Africa,
was, by the Rich Mercy of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
preserved, pardoned, and appointed to preach
the Faith he had long labored to destroy.”
This inscription was written by Newton himself, the author of many of our sweetest hymns. "And I earnestly desire," he said, "that no other monument, and no inscription but to this import, may be attempted for me.”
This was as it should be; the true praise of a true servant of the Lord "is not of men but of God." Newton's one wish was to call attention, not to himself but to "the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Oh, that all believers might be more like him in this, and follow him in his humility as he followed Christ.
He was born in London, July 24, 1725. His father was a sea-faring man, and his 'pother, a godly woman, died while he was yet very young. The father married again within a year, and his second wife was very unlike the first. She did not wish to have the care of young Newton, so he was sent away to school. He did not learn much there, however, and associated with bad company. At eleven, he left school finally, and accompanied his father on his voyages for the four succeeding years.
But, bad though this young English lad was, he could not entirely forget God, or his departed mother's prayers, and he made a profession three or four times before he was sixteen. He fasted and prayed, and read the Word of God; but he did not really repent and turn to Christ for salvation; so all his efforts to be good ended in dismal failure.
But God had His eye upon him; He allowed him to pass through many painful and humiliating experiences in order that he might see how bad he really was, and how much he had need of a Savior such as Jesus is to all who call upon Him in truth.
He was carried off by a press-gang and put on board an English war-ship where the severe discipline might have done him good, but he profited little by this. When his father secured his release at the close of the war, the ship on which he was returning home encountered a terrible storm, and young Newton was greatly alarmed. He resolved that, if he ever reached shore again, he would lead a different life; but though the vessel arrived in port safely, Newton soon forgot his promises and good resolutions; like the dog of the Scripture parable, he "turned to his own vomit again." Had he put his trust entirely in the Lord, He would have made him one of His sheep— and a sheep, you know, is a clean animal; it turns away from the mire. When souls are really saved, they are taught of God to abhor sin, and by His grace are enabled to resist its temptations.
But God often allows those whom He is about to save to plunge into the deepest depths of sin, that they might fully know what is in their hearts, and ever after abhor themselves, and never more have confidence in the flesh. This will tend to keep them humble, and to cleave closely to the Lord for His keeping power and grace.
After this last failure to make himself better, the young man went from bad to worse, and ended up—how, and where, do you think? Why, as a slave to a black man and his wife in Africa! I will not tell you all that he passed through there, but, as he later wrote to a friend, Had you seen me, sir, go pensive and solitary, in the dead of night, to wash my one shirt upon the rocks, and afterward put it on wet that it might dry upon my back while I slept; and had you seen me so poor a figure that, when a ship's boat came to the island, shame often constrained me to hide myself in the woods from the sight of strangers (and my conduct, principles, and heart were still darker than my outward condition)—how little you would have imagined that such an one was reserved to be so peculiar an instance of the providential care and exuberant goodness of God!”
John Newton was indeed a marked example of the transforming power of the grace of God, as in a still greater measure with Saul of Tarsus, who afterward called himself "chief of sinners," who says, "For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first [or the first] Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him, to life everlasting" (1 Tim. 1:16).
How he was at last saved on the voyage home, after being delivered from his miserable servitude in Africa, I cannot now tell you here; it is too long a story, and can be read in a volume of his letters called, "From Bondage to Liberty," or in books from almost any library. It is enough here to tell you that he was saved, not reformed merely, as so often before, but brought to a real, saving faith in Christ. This made an entirely new man of him, and he confessed his new-found Savior boldly before the world.
at caused this great transformation, Newton has touchingly expressed in the following verses:
"I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His eyes of love on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Oh, never, till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seemed to charge me with His death.
Though not a word He spoke.
Again He looked in love, which said,
“I freely all forgive:
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may'st live.”
Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!
Having studied navigation, he obtained command of a ship; but God had called him to other service, and through the later years of his life he preached that faith which, as he says on the memorial tablet, he "had long labored to destroy," He died like a "full shock of corn," at the ripe old age of 82.
May the grace that saved John Newton save you, dear reader, if still "a stranger to grace and to God.”
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds—by John Newton
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's car!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.
Dear Name! the Rock on which we build!
Our Shield and Hiding-place!
Our never-failing Treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace!
Jesus, our Savior, Shepherd, Friend!
Thou Prophet, Priest and King!
Our Lord, our Life, our Way, our End!
Accept the praise we bring.
The Lord Will Provide—by John Newton
Though troubles assail, and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail, and foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The Scripture assures us the Lord will provide
When Satan appears to stop up our path,
And fill us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise, the Lord will provide.
No strength of our own, or goodness we claim;
Yet since we have known the Savior's great name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide;
The Lord is our power, the Lord will provide.
When life sinks apace, and death is in view,
This word of His grace shall comfort us through;
No dangers alarm us, with Christ on our side,
Even death cannot harm us; the Lord will provide.

William Cowper

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THIS distinguished poet and hymn writer was born at Great Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire, England, November 26, 1731. He came of an excellent family, his father being a clergyman, and his grand-uncle, Lord Chancellor of the Realm. He lost his mother when only six years old; and at the early age of ten was sent to a boarding-school, where the older boys were rough and cruel towards him; being of a very sensitive and timid disposition, he suffered much from the hands of these thoughtless bullies. He says, speaking of this time, "Day and night I was upon the rack; lying down in horror and rising up in despair." And when he became a man he wrote a poem called Tirocinium (Review of Schools), in which he described what children like himself often have to endure in these private boarding-schools; and the cruelties practiced on him by the older boys probably helped later to unbalance his mind at times, for "when grown to manhood, he tried to hang himself," the account says; but the rope broke, and he was saved. After that, in his insanity, he supposed that he had committed the unpardonable sin.
How sad that thoughtless school-mates, by their cruel sport, should have helped to unbalance the mind of this timid and sensitive boy. Let it be a lesson to all boys to be kind and gentle to those younger than themselves, especially to the motherless and timid.
Handicapped by his great diffidence, no doubt, Cowper had no success in the law profession which he negligently pursued for nine years: "He neither sought business, nor business sought him." Then an influential friend obtained for him a clerkship in the House of Lords, but learning that he must appear before them for examination, he became so despondent that he attempted suicide.
For a long time dear Win. Cowper thought it was impossible for him to be saved. But in July, 1764, sitting in his garden one day with the blessed Book of God before him, he was arrested by the words in Rom. 3:24, 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." The light of the gospel, contained in these wonderful words, entered into his soul, and he there and then "believed to the saving of his soul." We shall let him tell us in his own words what he felt and experienced at that happy moment.
“Immediately I received strength to believe," he says, "and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement that Christ had made, my pardon in His blood, the fullness and completeness of my justification. In a moment I believed and received the gospel.”
Yes! It is the moment we believe the "gospel of our salvation" that we pass from death unto life. It does not take years, or months, or days to be saved; one look of faith in Christ, and you are made a child of God. (Read it for yourself in John 1:12). Reader, if you are anxious to be saved, you may receive Christ by faith just now; He has suffered for your sins on the cross to put them away forever. This will bring both peace and joy to your soul, as it did to William Cowper.
When 34 years of age, being largely restored in mind, his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Unwin, took him in their home, near Olney, where lived the devoted John Newton, who was of much help to Cowper. They became close friends, and oftentimes "took sweet counsel together" over the preciousness of Christ and the fullness of His salvation. Together, they composed or compiled the celebrated Olney Hymns. Besides his sixty-four Olney Hymns, Cowper wrote many other pieces by which he ranks among the first of English poets. He boldly pleaded the cause of the poor and the slave with his pen; even the dumb animals came in for a share of his poetic pleas. He was also greatly interested in Christian missions, as every follower of our Lord should be.
Among his best-known hymns are the following:
"Oh, for a closer walk with God.”
“Ere God had built the mountains.”
“There is a fountain filled with blood.”
“Hark, my soul! it is the Lord.”
“I thirst, hut not as once I did.”
“Of all the gifts Thy love bestows.”
“God moves in a mysterious way.”
The last mentioned was the last but one of his many and beautiful compositions.
A large part of Cowper's life was spent in the gloom of melancholy in which he experienced at times impulses to suicide. There is a story that it was after he had providentially been prevented from drowning himself in the river Ouse, that he wrote the sublime hymn on Divine Providence,
"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.”
But the hymn from Cowper that has made more history than any other is,
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.
E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
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.”
Critics have found much fault with the first stanza's simile. The hymn, however, is hallowed by many precious and notable occurrences in connection with it. An author gives the following incident among others: "A Mr. Cross had a notorious infidel neighbor. He took great interest in this man's spiritual welfare, and several times endeavored to reach his bedside; but his wife, obeying her husband's command, refused to allow any one to converse with him on the subject of religion. But the good man was not discouraged, and he soon solved the difficulty.
"In the neighborhood was a little girl whose voice in song was sweet and impressive. Mr. Cross said to her, 'Mabel, would you mind singing the hymn, 'There is a fountain filled with blood,' in the room of yonder window where a poor man is very sick?' Mabel was glad to do so kind a service, and Mr. Cross then gave her a handful of beautiful flowers, and in a few minutes she was admitted into the room; and laying the flowers on a table near the bed, she began the hymn. Line after line was sung tenderly and touchingly. Presently the sick man was overcome with emotion, and in a trembling voice asked: Where, my child, did you get that song?' When he learned that Mabel was a member of Mr. Cross's Bible Class, he made the request that the teacher should call to see him. The sequel can be told in a single line 'A brand was plucked from the burning.'
Dear Cowper passed away "to be with Christ," April 25, 1800, in his 69th year, and his memory, as that "of the just," is "blessed forever!”
Prayer for Children—by William Cowper
Gracious Lord, our children see.
By Thy mercy we are free,
But shall these, alas, remain
Subjects still of Satins reign?
Israel's young ones, when of old
Pharaoh threatened to withhold,
Then Thy messenger said, "No:
Let the children also go.”
When the angel of the Lord,
Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
Slew with an avenging hand
All the first-born of the land,
Then Thy people's doors he passed,
Where the bloody sign was placed.
Hear us, now, upon our knees,
Plead the blood of Christ for these!
Lord, we tremble, for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight.
Spread Thy pinions, King of kings;
Hide them safe beneath Thy wings;
Lest the rav'nous bird of prey
Swoop and bear these young away.
A Closer Walk With God—by William Cowper
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.

Samuel Stennett

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IN the "Little Flock hymn-book" there are three hymns ascribed to "Stennett"—77, 88 and 239, which were written by three different individuals —Samuel, Joseph and James, respectively. They were all related, so must have been a family of hymn-writers. "It is a little difficult," a writer says, "to keep the genealogy of this Stennett family perfectly clear, especially as more than one wrote hymns for their own comfort, and handed them down for singing among people who took very little pains to keep literary titles distinct.”
Edward Stennett, who began the line, was "a dissenting minister who suffered persecution, and for a short time imprisonment, because of his enthusiastic espousal of the cause of the Commonwealth," says a biographer. "His son and grandson were both named Joseph, and this Joseph had a son Samuel whose son was also named Joseph. All the men of these five generations were ministers; then this remarkable line ceased.”
Samuel, the subject of our story, was born in the year 1727, in Exeter, England, where his father was pastor of a church. When this Samuel was ten years old, his father removed to London, where he became the minister of a congregation meeting in Little Wild Street, "As the young man grew up he assisted his father in the pastoral care of the parish," his biographer says. He succeeded his father in this field, where he continued to labor in the care of souls till his death, in August, 1795.
What a great pleasure it must have been to his godly father to see his son walking in his footsteps in the service of the Lord. It is not always so, alas; for many fathers and mothers have to mourn over some of their children who do not follow in their steps as they seek to follow Christ. This was so in the case of the prophet Samuel. "His sons walked not in his ways," the Scripture account says. And the dissatisfied people of Israel were not above reminding him of it: "Thy sons walk not in thy ways," they complain (1 Sam. 8:3-5). It was bad enough for him to know that his sons were walking in unseemly ways, but to have it thrown up in his face must have made the aged Samuel's heart sad. Nothing causes godly parents more pain than to see their children walking in forbidden paths, and their own influence as Christians injured before the world by it. Remember this, dear boys and girls; and for this, if for no higher reason, seek to follow in your Christian parents' footsteps.
Samuel Stennett was an excellent scholar. "He gained the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Aberdeen, and was possessed of fine literary ability, and had great influence among those who maintained themselves in usefulness outside of the Church of England." Even the king seems to have given him his entire confidence.
It is related in this good man's biography that "during his last sickness he was compelled to use a gargle with vinegar among the ingredients for a relief to his throat. Once, while taking this, he quoted the words of psalm 69:21: 'In my thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.' Then he added: 'When I reflect upon the sufferings of Christ I am ready to ask, What have I been thinking of all my life? What He did and suffered are now my only support.'
Yes, Christ's work, accomplished on the cross of Calvary, is the sinner's only hope, whether young or old—for a "good man" like Samuel Stennett, or "the chief of sinners," as was Saul of Tarsus. "What He did and suffered" is the only hope for any soul. Is this hope yours, dear reader? Oh, make it now your soul's real trust, and you will have peace with God and a perfect title to heaven. There is none other.
Besides his hymns Samuel Stennett wrote three volumes "On Personal Religion," including a most interesting Memoir. But the books were only published in 1824, that is, long after his death.
One of his finest hymns begins: "Majestic sweetness sits enthroned. He entitled it, "Chief among Ten Thousand; or, the Excellencies of Christ," giving with it the Scripture reference, Sol. 5:10-16. Of this hymn a writer says: "For many years it has been married to the tune of Ortonville in this country. The music was composed by the venerated Thomas Hastings for children's use, but it was a failure as a Sunday-school piece, and reached its popularity in the prayer-meeting, where it was always welcome." So what suits the grown-ups does not always take with children, no matter how good the thing may be. But the blessed Savior of whom the verses speak is precious to all who believe, even if the little ones prefer to express it by the simpler, "Jesus loves me, this I know.”
May we all, both young and old, know His love to us; and then we will, in return, as the Scripture says, "Love Him because He first loved us.
Sweet Name of Jesus—by Samuel Stennett
Jesus! O name divinely sweet!
How soothing is the sound!
What joyful news, what heavenly power,
In that blest name is found!
Our souls, as guilty and condemned,
In hopeless fetters lay;
Our souls with countless sins defiled,
Of death and hell the prey.
Jesus, to purge away our guilt,
A willing victim fell,
And on His cross triumphant broke
The bands of death and hell.

Samuel Medley

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ONE of the best known hymns used in the United States is, "Awake, my soul, in joyful lays." It was first sung in Lady Huntingdon's chapel, now just 140 years ago. But it was composed earlier than this, and printed on what was then called "broadsheets," that is, on slips, for distribution. A writer says, "The popularity it has in America is owing much to the refrain which closes every stanza, and the odd, old melody to which it has been sung in a thousand camp-meetings, East and West [and South, we may add], over the land for unreckoned years.”
Its author, Samuel Medley, was born in England, June 23, 1738. When a lad he was apprenticed to a dealer in oil, but disliking the work, he took advantage of the privilege accorded apprentices in those times of war, and had himself transferred to the navy, and was very seriously wounded in an engagement off Cape Lagos. "I am afraid," said the surgeon, "that that amputation is the only thing that will save your life. I can tell to-morrow morning." Now young Medley had been piously instructed when a child, both his father and grandfather being godly men, and the surgeon's words troubled him greatly. He had led a very profligate life since entering the navy, and knew well that he was not prepared to die. So he gave himself earnestly to prayer; and the next morning, when the surgeon came to examine his wounds, he lifted up his hands in amazement and said, "This is little short of a miracle!" He found the patient so much better that he could scarcely believe his eyes. God had heard the young midshipman's prayer; and you will, perhaps, think he was converted.
Alas, no! As so often happens, when people cry to God in some distress, they make all sorts of promises and resolutions for the better; but when the danger is past they go right back to their old ways and forget the benefit they received. So it was with young Medley; he did not really turn to God for salvation, but soon returned to his evil ways, an forgot God.
But three years later he was really converted. It came about in this way: The war being over he returned home. There he had to listen to godly admonitions. One evening he asked the servant if his grandfather was going out to meeting. "No, he is going to read a short sermon to you," was the answer. This was worse to young Medley than a battle at sea. "A sermon to me!" he exclaimed; but he had to hear it. It was a sermon by Isaac Watts on Isa. 42:6, 7; "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. This refers to Christ and His redeeming work. The young man listened at first with indifference; then his heart softened at the grace and mercy of the Lord, and when he was left alone, he fell upon his knees and gave himself entirely up to Christ. And it is said that he wrote, "Awake, my soul," to commemorate this blessed occasion.
A blessed occasion indeed!—to be brought to the feet of Jesus. Has this event yet taken place in your life, reader, young or old? Has it! Oh, it is glorious, wonderful, past all telling. May you know it by blessed heart experience! I could wish you no better fortune. And it is so simple—just to yield to the strivings of God's Spirit—to receive Christ in your heart, and you are saved!
Medley became a minister of the gospel after his conversion, and for many years preached in Liverpool. Here he was very much thought of by the sailors who came to hear him; for, having been once himself a sailor, he knew their ways and thoughts, and took special pains to instruct them in his preaching. Even in death he used the language of the sea to express his happy thoughts; "I am now a poor shattered bark," he said, "just about to gain the blissful harbor. Oh, how sweet will be the port after the storm! But a point or two more, and I shall be at my heavenly Father's house!" So he peacefully "fell asleep," July 17, 1799, aged 61.
Medley wrote in all over two hundred hymns, the best of which, perhaps, is,
"Oh, could we speak the matchless worth—
Oh, could we sound the glories forth
Which in the Savior shine,
To God and Christ what praise we'd bring!
The song which soon in heav'n will ring,
Extolling grace divine!
We'd sing the precious blood He spilled,
Our ransom from the dreadful guilt—
From sin and wrath divine!
We'd sing His glorious righteousness,
In which all-perfect, heav'nly dress
Our souls shall ever shine!
We'd sing the characters He bears,
And all the forms of love He wears,
Exalted on the throne!
In loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
We would through everlasting days
Make all His glories known!
Soon that delightful day will come
When our dear Lord will bring us home,
And we shall see His face!
Then with our Savior, Lord and Friend,
A blest eternity we'll spend,
Triumphant in His grace!”
His Loving-Kindness—by Samuel Medley
Awake, my soul, in joyful lays
To sing thy great Redeemer's praise:
He justly claims a song from thee;
His loving-kindness, oh, how free!
He saw us ruined in the Fall,
Vet loved us notwithstanding all.
He saved us from our lost estate:
His loving-kindness, oh, how great!
Though num’rous hr Th of mighty foes.
Though earth and hell our way oppose,
He safely leads His saints along:
His loving-kindness, oh, how strong!
When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
Has gathered thick, and thundered loud,
He with His Church has always stood:
His loving-kindness, 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.

John Fawcett

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JOHN FAWCETT author of the hymn, "Blest he the tie that binds," was born at Lidget Green, near Bradford, Yorkshire, England, in January, 1739. His father died when he was eleven years old, and the burden of a large family fell heavily the widowed mother; thus young John, in his 13th year, was apprenticed to a trader.
When sixteen he heard the great Whitefield preach from the text, John 3:14, 15,
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Young Fawcett was converted then, and rejoiced in Christ his Savior. "As long as life remains I shall remember both the text and the sermon," he wrote many years after. How could he ever forget that which God had used to the salvation of his soul?
The young convert at once identified himself with God's people; and such was his godliness and zeal for the Lord that the older brethren exhorted him to "go beyond private exhortation; to stand forth and preach the gospel," which, after much exercise, he did. He did not rush into the ministry, however, as some do, but waited prayerfully on God. After deep heart-searchings he decided to devote his time wholly to the work of the Lord. His prayer to the Lord for light on his path at this time is thus recorded in his diary, "O Lord, I know not what to do, but mine eyes are upon Thee. If in Thy wise counsel Thou hast fixed upon me to bear Thy name to sinners, I earnestly implore that Thou wouldst give me a right spirit, and bestow upon me every needful qualification for that most difficult and important work. If Thou dost not call me to it, O Father, not my will, but Thine be done.”
But God had called him to the ministry of His Word, and he commenced his labors with a small congregation at Wainsgate in Yorkshire. It was here that he wrote his most famous hymn,
"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love:
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims, are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes:
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
The glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.
From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Though all eternity.”
(“Dennis” is the popular tune to which this hymn is usually sung.)
It came about in this way: "After he had been preaching several years to his faithful and loving flock at Wainsgate (his family increasing far more rapidly than his income), he thought it was his duty to accept a call to settle as pastor of a church in London to succeed the celebrated Dr. Gill. He preached his farewell sermon to his church in Yorkshire, and loaded six or seven wagons with his furniture, books, etc. All this time the members of his poor church were almost broken-hearted; fervently did they pray that even now he might not leave them; and as the time for his departure arrived, men, women, and children clung around him and his family in distress of soul. The last wagon was being loaded, when the good man and his wife sat down on one of the packing-cases to weep. Looking into his tearful face, his devoted wife said, while tears like rain fell down her own cheeks, 'O John, John, I cannot bear this! I know not how to go!' 'Nor I either,' said the good man; 'Nor will we go. Unload the wagons and put everything in the place where it was before.' The people cried for joy. A letter was sent to the church in London to tell them that his coming to them was impossible; and the good man buckled on his armor for renewed labors on a salary of less than two hundred dollars a year. It is said that this hymn was written to commemorate his continuance with his people.”
Was it not Christ-like in this poor but good man, with so large a family, to remain with a people so little able to assist him with their means? And we are sure he did not miss his reward, for God is faithful. He was honored in life, and in the coming day, "at the resurrection of the just," he will have "a full reward" from the Lord.
In 1788 he published a little volume on Anger, a copy of which was presented to George III. The king was so much pleased with it, says one writer, that he offered to confer upon Fawcett any favor he might desire, but the royal munificence was gratefully declined. Some time after this, however, the son of one of his friends committed forgery, for which he was sentenced to be hanged, death being the penalty for this crime at that time; Fawcett then interceded on his friend's behalf, and the king, remembering his former promise, granted a pardon.
He continued preaching till 1816, when a paralytic stroke prevented him from laboring further in the vineyard of the Lord. He died July 25, 1817, aged 78. His last words were, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!”
His hymns number as many as 166. It is said that many of them were composed in the midnight hours preceding the Lord's Day. May we imitate him, first in believing the gospel while young, as he did, then in devotion to Christ and His people, especially among the poor.
Book Divine—by John Fawcett
How precious is the Book divine
By inspiration given!
Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine,
To guide our souls to heaven.
O'er all the strait and narrow way
Its radiant beams are cast;
A light whose never-weary ray
Grows brighter at the last.
It sweetly cheers our drooping hearts,
In this dark vale of tears;
Life, light, and joy it still imparts,
And quells our rising fears.
This lamp, through all the darksome night
Of life, shall guide our way,
Till we behold the clearer light
Of an eternal day.

Augustus Montague Toplady

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ROCK OF AGES, cleft for me,"is, perhaps, the best known hymn in the “ English tongue. An able writer says of it, "In spite of its confusion of thought and incongruity of figures, it remains one of the most popular and helpful of all the great hymns of the Church.
Mr. Gladstone, the great prime minister of England, made a beautiful translation of it in Latin, so highly did he esteem it.
Its author, A. M. Toplady, was born at Farnham, Surrey, England, Nov. 4,1740. He was yet an infant when his father, Major Richard Toplady, was killed at the siege of Carthagena, a seaport of Columbia, in South America. His mother," one wrote, "seems to have been a woman of character and force," and he grew up under her pious care. When he was sixteen years old, she took him to Cody-main, Ireland, on a visit to friends. While there he was attracted to a religious meeting held in a barn, under the preaching of an illiterate man named James Morris. The text was, "But now, in Christ Jesus, e who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:13). "Under that dear messenger and his sermon," wrote Toplady in later years, "I was, I trust, brought nigh by the blood of Christ; in August, 1756—in a barn and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name. The excellency of such power must be of God—not of man.”
Yes, it is God's word that does the work in souls, whoever it be that speaks the message. And that verse has a wonderful message. It shows our ruin by sin, "far off," far from God. It speaks, too, of the only means of redemption from sin—"the blood of Christ." And it says that we who believe are not only saved from the wrath to come, but are "made nigh to God"—which means, near to Him as His children, not as servants in bondage and fear, but in the happy liberty of love. God's word says, "In Adam all die," but "in Christ Jesus," we live, and live to God. Ask yourself, honestly, Amos 1 in Adam, or in Christ? If not "born again," you are in Adam; if you have been converted, as was young Toplady, you are "in Christ Jesus, where "there is no condemnation." (Rom. 8:1)
Toplady commenced to write his hymns while still quite young. The following was composed by him while yet in his teens:
"Surely Christ thy griefs hath borne,
Weeping soul, no longer mourn:
View Him bleeding on the tree,
Pouring out His life for thee:
There thy every sin He bore;
Weeping soul, lament no more.
Weary sinner, keep thine eyes
On the atoning sacrifice:
There, the incarnate Deity,
Numbered with transgressors, see!
There, His Father's absence mourns,
Nailed, and bruised, and crowned with thorns!
Cast thy guilty soul on Him,
Find Him mighty to redeem;
At His feet thy burden lay,
Look thy doubts and cares away.
Now, by faith, the Son embrace—
Plead His promise; trust His grace!”
Varying accounts are given of his preaching. Some say, "He was harsh and bigoted." Others insist that "his heart was warm, and his zeal was unquenchable." So it fares with most of God's servants, and with most of His children, too. Some speak of them disparagingly, while they are praised by others. But it is God’s approval we are to seek and then be thankful if others are pleased with us. But if otherwise, we may still take comfort in the Lord's approval. Only let us do that which is good and right; and then we can say as we sometimes sing:
"Then let the world approve or blame;
We'll triumph in our Savior's name.”
Mr. Toplady, like many of God's choicest servants, was never very robust or strong; his zeal far exceeded his strength. In hope that a change would be beneficial, he removed to London, where he preached occasionally in a French Calvinistic church. But the seeds of consumption were deeply rooted; his light frame rapidly wasted away, and he died in London, at the age of forty-nine. To a friend who had asked how he was, as he lay dying, he said, "Oh, my dear sir, 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 into praise. I enjoy a heaven within my soul." And just before he passed away, he asked his friends. if they were willing to give him up; and when they answered, "Yes," tears of joy and thankfulness coursed down his cheeks, while he said, "Oh, what a blessing that you are made willing to give me over to the hands of my dear Redeemer and part with me; for no mortal can live after having seen the glories which God has manifested to my soul!”
Dear reader, make this dear Redeemer yours, that your "last end may be like his.”
Confidence in God's Grace—by a. M. Toplady
A debtor to mercy alone,
Of heavenly mercy I sing;
Nor fear drawing near to the Throne,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God,
With me can have nothing to do;
My Savior's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forego,
Or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.
And I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The spirits departed to heaven.

Thomas Kelly*

THE name of Thomas Kelly is found almost as frequently as that of the Wesley's in most of our best collections of hymns. He was son of the Right Honorable Baron Kelly, and was born at Kellyville, in Queen's County, Ireland, July 13, 1769. He graduated from Dublin University, intending to take up the study and practice of law. But God had better occupation for him, and at the age of 23 he was ordained a clergyman of the Church of England.
We are sorry to have no personal account of his conversion, which must have been with deep conviction and much power. We learn however, that young Kelly passed through a season of self-mortification; like many another, probably seeking to attain peace with God and mastery over a sinful nature by such means as self-imposed hardships, which God uses, however, to show to earnest souls the inveterate evil in our nature. "At length," writes Josiah Miller, "young Kelly found peace with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, by way of 'justification by faith,' of which he became afterward so firm and faithful an advocate," and of which he afterward wrote:
"Grace is the sweetest sound
That ever reached our ears:
When conscience charged, and justice frowned,
‘Twas grace removed our fears.
'Tis freedom to the slave,
'Tis life and liberty;
It takes its terror from the grave,
From death its victory.
Of grace, then, let us sing!
(A joyful, wondrous theme!)
Who grace has brought shall glory bring,
And we shall reign with Him.”
Kelly determined, thereafter, to devote himself to the service of God, and, in 1792, was ordained as a minister of the established church in Ireland. There he displayed so much zeal that his ecclesiastical superiors looked upon him as a disturber of the peace of their State-established "Zion," and efforts were made to get rid of him. A biographer says, "He was too zealous for anything like tame routine, and some considered him almost a fanatic. Rowland Hill made his acquaintance, and, before long they were both silenced because their preaching was too direct and spiritual for those times.”
Their preaching was too spiritual, we may say, to suit the worldly-minded preachers and people of their time. Such heart-searching preaching is just what is needed at all times, but the worldly professors of religion do not like to be disturbed in their self-deception and spiritual sleep; whilst the true people of God welcome with thankful hearts the preaching and teaching in the power of God's Spirit which makes Christ and the truth a living reality. But such ministry does not suit the cold formalism of State Churches or other worldly congregations; little wonder therefore that these servants of Christ were forced outside. "The Archbishop of Dublin closed all the pulpits of his diocese to these two men," a writer says.
Thus driven from the Establishment, Mr. Kelly went wherever he found open doors; thus he was free to go where he believed the Lord was leading him, and was happier doubtless in this path than he could have been under bondage to man or the jurisdiction of the State. Cast out for the truth's sake, he was given opportunity to bear "the reproach of Christ,” and taste the "fellowship of His sufferings"—thus prepared also, and made a vessel meet to give to the church those hymns which have been the joy and uplifting of so many of God's people. Had he continued in the Establishment and compromised his conscience, he could not have served the Lord and His blood-bought people as he did; and the Christian church would probably have been deprived of that rich legacy of song left her by this gifted servant of Christ.
Our Lord's return was a precious theme to Mr. Kelly, and reference to it is found in many of his hymns. In the following he celebrates His triumphant return:
"Lock, ye saints, the sight is glorious;
See the Man of sorrows now:
From the fight returned victorious,
Every knee to Him shall bow:
Crown Him! crown Film!
Crowns become the Victor's brow.
Sinners in derision crowned Him,
Mocking thus the Savior's claim;
Saints and angels crowd around Him,
Own His title, praise His name.
Crown Him! crown Him!
Spread abroad the Victor's fame.
Hark, those bursts of acclamation!
Hark, those loud triumphant chords!
Jesus takes the highest station;
Oh, what joy the sight affords!
Crown Him! crown Him!
King of kings, and Lord of lords!
“He was a musician and a poet," his biographer says, "and he consecrated all his gifts to his divine Lord. At the age of thirty, he married a lady of like heart, views, and purpose." In this he was more fortunate than either John Wesley or George Whitefield. "A prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov. 19:14), and if the servants of Christ were careful to marry "only in the Lord," how much sorrow and handicap they might save themselves.
Thomas Kelly labored in Dublin more than sixty years. At last, stricken with paralysis, he died May 14, 1855. Shortly before his death someone repeated for his comfort, the words of the Psalmist, "The Lord is my Shepherd:' etc. With his last remaining strength he answered, "The Lord is my everything!" They we the last words his lips uttered on earth. Blessed finish of a course so fruitful of good works and words—these last to be sung by Christian lips throughout the world while the 'English tongue shall last.
The following lines of his own composition form a fitting conclusion or evensong for a life of such long and uninterrupted usefulness:
"Through the day Thy love has spared us;
Now we lay us down to rest;
Through the silent watches guard us,
Let no foe our peace molest.
Jesus! Thou our Guardian be;
Sweet it is to trust in Thee.
Pilgrims here on earth, and strangers,
Dwelling in the midst of foes,
Us and ours preserve from dangers;
In Thine arms may we repose.
And when life's short day is past
Rest with Thee in heaven at last.”
“This author wrote and published hymns for fifty-one years," one who was himself a hymn-writer says, "and left behind him no less than 765 lyrics, many of which rank among the best in our tongue.”
The Mighty Victor—by Thomas Kelly
The head that once was crowned with thorns,
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor's brow.
The highest place that heaven affords
Is His, is His by right;
The King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And heaven's eternal light.
The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His name to know.
To them the cross, with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of heaven.
They suffer with their Lord below,
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.
The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him;
His people's hope, His people's wealth,
Their everlasting theme.

James Montgomery

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ON November 4, 1771, James Montgomery was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the author of "Forever with the Lord," and "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire." His father was a preacher with the Moravians, who were a godly people, full of missionary spirit. Young James was intended for the same work as his father, and in his sixth year was sent to a Moravian school near Leeds, England. "He remained there ten years," says a writer, "distinguished only by indolence and melancholy." For his indolence there can be no excuse, but melancholy might be caused by separation from his parents—a very great trial at such an early age.
Thinking that he would never apply himself to books, the brethren at Fulneck, where the school was, apprenticed him to a grocer.
About a year later, tired of being a grocer's boy, he ran away, and after many wanderings engaged as a shop-boy in a village of Yorkshire. Later he went to London, and having a taste for literature, he entered the employ of a publisher there. Later he became associated with editors of revolutionary and reform papers, and finally became himself an editor. He was fined several times then, and once cast into prison "for printing a ballad on 'The Fall of the Bastile' for a poor hawker." But editing reform papers and writing for the abolition of slavery was not the work to which God had called Montgomery. He had left the peaceful town of Fulneck, and plunged into the toils and struggles of the outside world—which he ever regretted afterward.
But God had His eye upon him for mercy.
“The cares of the world proved harassing, and its pleasures wholly unsatisfactory," the same writer continues; "his early religious instruction prevented him from mingling with the dissipated and the gay, and thus saved him from a course of sinful indulgence. Although his associations were morally pure, still as he had once known the love of God, he could not help contrasting the peace he then enjoyed with the feeling of unrest and gloom which now filled his mind.”
So it is with children of Christian parents. They may break away from the restraints of home and meetings, and try to find satisfaction in the world, but it will end in bitter disappointment. There is no true and lasting rest or joy apart from Christ, and if He is shut out of our lives there will be only unrest and gloom, as James Montgomery found out.
Writing to a friend concerning his feelings at this time, he says, "Such has been my education, and such has been my experience in the morning of life, that I can never reject it, or embrace a system of morality not grounded upon that revelation [the gospel]. What can I do? I am tossed to and fro on a sea of doubts and perplexities; the farther I am carried from that shore where I was once happily moored, the weaker grow my hopes of ever reaching another where I may anchor in safety, and my hopes of returning to the harbor I have left are diminished in proportion.”
Is not this a sad confession? Yet it is the experience of how many! Brought up in a Christian home, they think it irksome and dull, and to find relief, as they imagine, they break away when opportunity offers, only to reap bitterly the sowing of their unbelief and selfwill. Oh, be warned, dear reader, and learn from the example of our poet that it is an evil and bitter thing to depart from the Lord for the sake of the paltry, unsatisfying pleasures and ambitions of the world.
Happily, Montgomery was at length restored in his soul and at the age of forty-three, on his birthday, wrote to the brethren at Fulneck, asking to be received into their fellowship. This was gladly accorded, and he sought diligently to serve the Lord to the end of his days.
"Rest," at the end of this article, was written by Montgomery to describe his unhappy experience while wandering in his folly far from God. He also wrote that beautiful hymn,
In the hour of trial
Jesus, be with me,
Lest by base denial
I depart from Thee:
When Thou see'st me waver,
With a look recall,
Nor, thro' fear nor favor,
Suffer me to fall.
With forbidden pleasures
Would this vain world charm,
Or with sordid treasures,
Spread to work me harm?
Bring to my remembrance
Sad Gethsemane,
Or, in darker semblance,
Cross-crowned Calvary.
Should Thy mercy send me
Sorrow, toil and
Or should pain attend me
On my path below,
Grant that I may never
Fail Thy hand to see,—
Grant that I may ever
Cast my care on Thee.”
Montgomery's hymns and versions of the psalms number about four hundred-many of great value. Among these are:
"Forever with the Lord
Amen so let it be!”
"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed.”
Toward the close of his life a friend asked him, "Which of your poems will live?" In an impressive way he answered, "None, sir; nothing except perhaps a few of my hymns." He passed away in his sleep, April, 1854, at Sheffield, England, where they erected a monument to his memory.
Rest—by James Montgomery
(Read Deut. 30:19.)DEU 30:19
Oh, where shall rest be found—
Rest for the weary soul?
'Tweer vain the ocean's depths to sound,
Or pierce to either pole.
The world can never give
The bliss for which we sigh:
'Tis not the whole of life to live,
Nor all of death to die.
Beyond this vale of tears
There is a life above,
Unmeasured by the flight of years;
And all that life is love.
There is a death whose pang
Outlasts the fleeting breath:
Oh, what eternal horrors hang
Around the second death!
Lord God of truth and grace!
Teach us that death to shun;
Lest we be banished from Thy face,
And evermore undone.
Prayer—by James Montgomery
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.
The saints, in prayer, appear as one
In word, and deed, and mind,
While, with the Father and the Son,
Sweet fellowship they find.

Reginald Heber

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WE know most of our hymn-writers best by some particular hymn of their composition, despite the fact that they wrote many others perhaps of equal merit. So it is with Reginald Heber; his name is usually linked in our thoughts with his "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," though he wrote other hymns of equal, if not superior, merit.
He was born at Malpas, in Cheshire, England, April 21, 1783. His father was a clergyman of the church of England; the boy had fine chances for education, and early displayed marked abilities for composition. At Oxford, he took prize after prize during a most brilliant career of literary success.
He heartily entered the ministry, and began to preach at Hodnet in 1807. In 1822 he was invited to the important and honorable pulpit of Lincoln's Inn, but the next year he was appointed Bishop of Calcutta, and sailed at once for his new field of labor, in which he entered with a fervor and zeal that quickly consumed him in that tropical climate, so different from that of his native England. His career in that foreign land was brief, for he was called to rest from his labors April 3, 1826—less than three years from the time of his arrival in India. Actively engaged in the performance of his duties, he became over-heated in the high temperature, and was found dead in his bath from a stroke of apoplexy.
His majestic "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!" is accorded great literary merit. It was published with others of his hymns in 1827, and "the tune to which it is now invariably sung, `Nicæa,' composed expressly for it by Dr. Dykes, has given it a matchless glory." Nicæa, in Asia Minor, was the city in which the great Council was held in A. D. 325, when the doctrine of Christ's eternal Sonship and equality with the Father was settled as the creed of the churches; the doctrine of the Holy Trinity also, which the Arians had attacked, was established at the same time. Hence the name of "Nicæa" was given to this grand Trinity Anthem.
"Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning let songs arise to Thee!
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! all Thy saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the
glassy sea,
Cherubim and seraphim falling clown before Thee,
Which, wert, and art, and evermore shalt be!
Holy, holy, holy! clouds no longer hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,—
Perfect in pow'r, in love and purity!
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name in earth and
sky and sea!
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!”
An interesting account is given of the circumstances in which Heber's best-known hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" was written. Dr. Shipley (Heber's father-in-law) was to preach a sermon in aid of the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," and as they sat together with friends in the vicarage, Dr. Shipley asked Heber, "Write something for us to sing at our morning service." Heber retired from the table where they sat and wrote in another part of the room. A short time after Dr. Shipley asked, "And what have you written?”
Heber had already composed the first three stanzas, and read them. "There, that will do," exclaimed Dr. Shipley. "No, no," replied Heber; "the sense is not complete," and went to add the fourth and final stanza. Thus like a few other celebrated compositions, it was written, not by long and labored effort, but on the inspiration of the moment, giving it a character all its own. Unlike most other famous hymns, this has suffered no alterations from its original wording, and we hope it never will.
It was Heber's wish during his life-time to have his hymns published so as to cover the whole Christian Year, something after the manner of Keble. But he could not induce those in authority to consent to it. Dr. C. S. Robinson has remarked, "It seems strange to us that the poetry of such a man should have to wait for a fitting recognition until after his death." His biographer relates how he earnestly endeavored, though in vain, to persuade Archbishop Manners Sutton, and afterward the Bishop of London, to authorize the publication of his work, then in manuscript, but he could not even induce them to consent to the use of some of his compositions in the regular services of the church. "The whole collection is now found, however," says the biographer, "in the hymnals of all the churches on both sides of the sea, with a wideness of welcome altogether unique in the history of compilation.”
So much for human authority in divine things; the choicest and finest is judged, by those appointed by man as ecclesiastical "superiors," as unfit for publication or use in the churches; and it is left to others of less pretentions to recognize and make use of that which the great Head of the Church evidently intended for its edification.
Another hymn of world-wide celebrity, "All hail the power of Jesus' name!" by Perronet, had a similar experience of initial rejection, and afterward of unbounded popularity. When first offered for the Church's acceptance it was refused a place in the Methodist collection. The secret of its refusal is told in a note, as follows: "The Wesleys had a singular antipathy against the author, in common with the clergy of the Established Church.
Well need those who would serve their God to give heed to the exhortation of His Word, "Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”
(Isa. 2:22). Had not God preserved the truth, and had human authority or worldly wisdom in divine things prevailed, the Church had ceased a great while ago to retain even its imperfect present day resemblance to the model given of it in the New Testament. And had not our Savior and Head watched over His Church, and declared, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it," where would it be to-day?
The tune, "Missionary Hymn," to which "From Greenland's icy Mountains," is universally sung in the United States, has also an interesting history, which is thus given: "In Savannah, Georgia, a lady received in 1823 a copy of the words, sent her from England. She was arrested by the beauty of the poetry, but the meter, 7, 6, 7, 6, D, was almost new then, and there was no tune which would fit the measure. A young clerk, Lowell Mason by name, was in a bark just a few doors away. It was said he had the gift for making beautiful songs, and she sent her son to this genius in music. In half an hour he returned with this composition. Like the hymn it voices, it was done at one impulse, but will last through the ages. Lowell Mason became the leading spirit for sacred music in the American church." He was born in Medfield, Mass., Jan. 8, 1792, and died in Orange, N. J., August 11, 1872.
Lord, Thou Knowest That I Love Thee—by Reginald Heber
Though sorrows rise and dangers roll
In waves of darkness o'er my soul;
Though friends are false, and love decays,
And few and evil are my days;
Though conscience, fiercest of my foes,
Swells with remembered guilt my woes;
Yet ev'n in nature's utmost ill,
I love Thee, Lord, I love Thee still!
Though Sinai's curse, in thunder dread,
Peals o'er mine unprotected head,
And memory points, with busy pain,
To grace and mercy given in vain,
Till, nature, shrinking in the strife,
Would fly to hell to 'scape from life;
Though every thought has power to kill,
I love Thee, Lord, I love Thee still!
Oh, by the pangs Thyself hath borne,
The ruffian's blow, the tyrant's scorn,
By Sinai's curse, whose dreadful doom
Was buried in Thy guiltless tomb;
By these my pangs whose healing smart,
Thy grace hath planted in my heart—
I know, I feel, Thy bounteous will,
Thou lov'st me, Lord, Thou lov'st me still'

Josiah Conder

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JOSIAH CONDER'S contributions to hymns, appreciated on both sides of the sea, "rank next in number and value to those of Watts, Wesley and Doddridge," says a writer. He has title, therefore, to an honored place among our beloved hymn-writers. The following eight lines alone would have endeared his name to every loving Christian heart;
“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.”
And what a grand hymn of his is that which begins,
"Thou art the Everlasting Word—
The Father's only Son: God manifest,
God seen and heard,
The Heaven's beloved One:
Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou
That ev'ry knee to Thee should bow.”
Its last stanza is,
"Of the vast universe of bliss,
The center Thou, and Sun;
Th' eternal theme of praise is this,
To Heaven's beloved One:
Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou
That ev'ry knee to Thee should bow.”
Josiah Conder was born in the city of London, September 17, 1 789. At the age of five he was vaccinated for small-pox, and, as sometimes happens, the virus worked in a way not expected, for as a result he lost the sight of one of his eyes. Fearing for the safety of the remaining eye, he was sent to Hackney for electric treatment, and the good doctor became also his instructor. In addition to his other studies, he took a course in French and Latin, and at the age of fifteen became assistant to his father in a metropolitan book store. Here he had opportunity to further cultivate his mind by judicious reading; and his occupation with books improved his taste for literature.
He had hardly reached his majority, when, "in company with some few friends of like gifts and ambitions," he published a small collection of verses entitled The Associate Minstrels. It must have possessed some merit, for two years later, in 1812, a second edition was called for. Soon after this he purchased the Eclectic Review of which he was the editor until the year 1837. "During this period," his biographer says, "he was in close association with the best literary people of that day, and was occupied with the publication of many works of his own, both in poetry and prose, mostly on religious topics.”
In the year 1837 he published The Congregational Hymn Boole, a Supplement to Watts; it contained sixty-two compositions of his own, with four composed by his wife. So popular did it become, that during the first seven years oi its publication ninety thousand copies were sold—an immense circulation for those days.
"He was of essential help to our modern hymnology," a prominent hymnodist Lays; "he made many and felicitous emendations of the rough poetry that went before him into the congregations. People blamed him for destroying their favorite expressions, but the future collections took his changes cheerfully, and found no fault with the ability and courage which gave them better hymns." Sir Edward Denny (of whom we write in another place) would not accord with this, for in the 3rd edition of his Hymns and Poems, 1870, he says: "Should any of these poems and hymns be deemed worthy of a place in any future collections, they may be left as they are, without alterations or abridgment.”
But it was different with the hymns Mr. Conder had to deal with, some of which required revision for doctrinal reasons; and this has been the case with many since. A hymn should above all things give expression to that only which is scripturally true. Other considerations, such as smoothness, rhythm, etc., are of secondary importance.
The hymn called "Hearer of Prayer," is said to have been written under the following circumstances: "While riding, Mr. Conder fell from his horse and was compelled to take to his bed in a trying season. He was not only suffering from pain, but feared becoming a permanent cripple. His affairs, too, were in a condition that required his utmost activity. This confinement summoned all his fortitude, and led him to constant supplication. It was thus he wrote the following lines in which the bravehearted preacher is seen at his best—bold, earnest, importunate.”
"O Thou God who hearest prayer
Every hour and everywhere,
For His sake, whose blood I plead,
Hear me in my hour of need:
Only hide not now Thy face,
God of all-sufficient grace!
Leave me not, my Strength, my Trust;
Oh, remember I am dust;
Leave me not again to stray;
Leave me not the tempter's prey;
Fix my heart on things above;
Make me happy in Thy love.”
Similar circumstances of trial and sorrow have given birth to some of our sweetest and most-prized hymns. Though Conder himself wrote, On reading a hymn nobody inquires why it was written, or attributes the feelings it depicts to the poet's actual or present experience." We do not, however, agree with him in this. The history of many hymns is almost as interesting as the biographies of those who wrote them. As examples, think of the circumstances that called forth many of those inspired poems, "The Psalms of David." See 2 Samuel, chaps. 7 and 22; also the titles of Psa. 3; 7; 18; 30; 34; 51; 52; 54; 56; 57; 60; 63, etc., and others of our own times of which the reader will find samples in this book.
Josiah Conder died in St. John's Wood, London, December 27, 1855, in the 67th year of his life, "and his works do follow him.”
Prayer for Divine Guidance—by Josiah Conder
Heavenly Father, to whose eye
Future things unfolded lie,
Through the desert where I stray
Let Thy counsels guide my way.
Lead me not (for flesh is frail)
Where fierce trial would assail;
Leave me not, in darkened hour,
To withstand the tempter's power.
Save me from his treacherous wiles;
Arm me against pleasures' smiles;
Give me, for my spirit's health,
'Neither poverty nor wealth.
Help thy servant to maintain
A profession free from stain,
That my sole reproach may be,
Following Christ and fearing Thee.
Lord, uphold me day by day;
Shed a light upon my way.
Guide me through perplexing snares,
Care for me in all my cares.
Let me neither faint nor fear,
Feeling still that Thou art near,
In the course my Savior trod,
Tending still to Thee, my God.

Miss Charlotte Elliott

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MISS Charlotte Elliott, the author of the hymn, "Just as I am," was born near Brighton, England, March 18, 1789. The celebrated preacher, Henry Venn, was her grandfather; her father, too, was a godly man, at whose house the servants of Christ were often entertained. It was through a visit of one of these, Dr. Cesar Malan, of Geneva, that Charlotte was converted, and later wrote her celebrated hymn, "Just as I am." The story is as follows: One evening, as they sat conversing, the servant of God turned the subject to our personal relation with God, and asked Miss Charlotte if she knew herself to be really a Christian. She was in poor health, and often harassed with severe pain, which tended to make her irritable. A severe illness had left her a permanent invalid. She resented the question thus pointedly put, and petulantly answered that religion was a matter she did not wish to discuss. Dr. Malan replied, in his usual kind manner, that he would not pursue a subject that displeased her, but would pray that she might give her heart to Christ, and employ in His service the talents with which He had gifted her.
It seems that the Holy Spirit used her abrupt and almost rude conduct toward God's servant to show her what depths of pride and alienation from God were in her heart. After several days of spiritual misery, she apologized for her unbecoming conduct, and confessed that his question had troubled her greatly. "I am miserable," she said. "I want to be saved; I want to come to Jesus; but I don't know how."—"Why not come just as you are," answered Malan. "You have only to come to Him just as you are.
Little did Dr. Malan think that his simple reply would be repeated in song by the whole Christian world!
Further conversation followed, and this good man was enabled to make perfectly clear to the once proud but now penitent young lady, God's simple way of salvation through Christ: that on the ground of His blood shed for us, all who from their heart believe, are accepted of God. Miss Charlotte came as a sinner to Christ, and in commemoration of this event wrote the hymn that has made her name famous everywhere.
"Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about,
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken ev'ry barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
Miss Elliott was possessed of rare literary gifts, and when in the year 1836 she assumed the editorship of The Yearly Remembrancer, she inserted in the first number this now long-famous hymn—without her name. A commentator says of this hymn, "With its sweet counsel to troubled minds, it found its way in magazines and other publications, and in devout persons' scrap-books; then into religious circles and chapel assemblies; and finally into the hymnals of the church universal.”
Some time after its publication a lady, struck by its beauty and spiritual value, had it printed in leaflet form for circulation in cities and towns of the kingdom. Miss Elliott, in feeble health, was then at Torquay in Devonshire, under the care of an eminent physician. One day the doctor, who was an earnest Christian man, put one of these leaflets into his patient's hands, saying it had been helpful to him, and felt sure she would like it. The surprise and pleasure were mutual when she recognized her own hymn, and he discovered that she was the author. We know not which to admire most, the beauty of the composition, or the lovely modesty of its author, who for so many years forebore to divulge its origin.
Many notable occasions are recorded in which this hymn was the means of blessing and of bringing souls to Christ. It has been translated in many tongues and sung on the banks of the Ganges in India, and even by Congo-land peoples.
Miss Elliott, always in feeble health, loved poetry, and music was her delight. This seems to have given to her poems that sense of exquisite finish in rhythm. She offered only about one hundred and fifty hymns to the public; but almost all of these are now in wide and common use.
Her father died in 1833, and ten years later her mother and two sisters. Then the home at Brighton was given up, and Charlotte went to live with her only surviving sister on the Continent. Later, they lived for fourteen years at Torquay. After this they went again to Brighton to live, where our author remained till her home-call, September 22, 1871, at the advanced age of eighty-two. She wrote:
"Lord, till I reach you blissful shore,
No privilege so dear shall be
As thus my inmost soul to pour
In prayer to Thee.”
Now, "on you blissful shore" her prayer is turned to praise.
We give two more hymns by this gifted poetess:
The Christian's Desire
Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
My Savior, mine eternal rest;
Then only will this longing heart
Be fully and forever blest.
Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Thine unveiled glory to behold;
Then only will this wandering heart
Cease to be treacherous, faithless, cold.
Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Where spotless saints Thy name adore;
Then only will this sinful heart
Be evil and defiled no more.
Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
Where none can die, whence none remove;
There neither death nor life will part
Me from Thy presence and Thy love.
Clinging to Christ
O holy Savior! Friend unseen,
Since on Thine arm Thou bid'st me lean,
Help me throughout life's changing scene,
By faith to cling to Thee!
Without a murmur I dismiss
My former dreams of earthly bliss;
My joy, my recompense, be this,
Each hour to cling to Thee!
What though the world deceitful prove,
And earthly friends and hopes remove;
With patient, uncomplaining love,
Still would I cling to Thee.
Though oft I seem to tread alone
Life's dreary waste with thorns o'ergrown,
Thy voice of love, in gentlest tone,
Still whispers, "Cling to Me!”
Though faith and hope are often tried,
I ask not, need not, aught beside;
So safe, so calm, so satisfied,
The soul that clings to Thee!

Henry Francis Lyte

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DUFFIELD'S English tell us that "Henry Francis Lyte was born June 1st, 1793, at Kelso, Scotland, well known as the residence of Horatius Bonar from 1837 to 1866. During his collegiate course at Trinity College, Dublin, Lyte three times obtained the prize for English poetry, and the money thus gained was an important addition to his finances, which were meager enough. He then entered the ministry of the Church of England, having given up his original intention of studying medicine." But he appears not to have been converted until three years after his ordination.
“This he did not suspect," his biographer says, "till, on a certain occasion, he was sent for by a brother clergyman, who was dying and needed counsel. Then he found he knew no more than his unfortunate neighbor about the way of salvation by a crucified Redeemer. They were both frightened and subdued. Together they commenced an eager and anxious study of the Scriptures (Paul's Epistles, particularly), and in turn each was soon changed by the Spirit of divine grace in the whole temper of his mind and life.”
From that time Lyte became a deeply devoted man. The other died, Lyte says, "happy in the belief that, though he had deeply erred, there was One whose death and sufferings would atone for his delinquencies, and he accepted for all that he had incurred. I was greatly affected by the whole matter, and brought to look at life and. its issue with a different eye than before; and I began to study my Bible and preach in another manner than I had previously done.”
His heart renewed by grace and touched with a tender Christ-like sympathy, Lyte took upon himself the care of his departed friend's family, "and so increased his own responsibilities and anxieties that his ill health can be largely attributed to this cause.”
The year after this (1819) he was settled at Lymington, Hampshire; and in 1823 was made "perpetual curate" of Lower Brixham, Devonshire, where "he relinquished society, culture arid everything, to follow Jesus.”
“His life was filled with disappointments and afflictions," a writer says, "his affections were betrayed and his health failed. He died in 1847, in his 54th year, and was buried away from home in the cemetery at Nice, on his way to Rome, where he had hoped to find rest and more soothing air than that of his seashore parish in England.”
A pathetic interest attaches to his well-known hymn,
"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!
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;
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!
I need Thy presence ev'ry passing hour:
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still—Thou wilt abide with me!”
It was his last hymn, and was composed under the following sorrowful circumstances: Before his departure for Nice he addressed to his parishioners the following words: "Oh, brethren, I can speak feelingly and experimentally on this point; and I stand before you to-day as alive from the dead, to impress upon you, and induce you to prepare for that solemn hour which comes to all, by a timely appreciation of and dependence upon the death of Christ.”
After these farewell words he retired to his chamber. Then, as the shadows of the closing day gathered, he came forth wearily, and placed in the hands of one of his family his now famous hymn, together with some music he had arranged for it. "The tune has perished," an annotator says, but the hymn is immortal." It was not intended for singing in public by a promiscuous congregation; yet we have seen it even in a book of songs for children!
The following is worth repeating from Dr. Robinson concerning Lyte's touching hymn, "Jesus, I my cross have taken." He says, "This fine poem arrested so much attention at once, that for many years it was credited in all the American collections to Sir Robert Grant; for nobody even knew the name of this modest curate, who was dividing his time between working out unwelcome parochial tasks and teaching African freedmen, just liberated from slavery, so that they might go as catechists and school-masters to Sierra Leone.”
So his life, though through much sorrow, was not lived in vain; for by the voice of his poems he still speaks to a world that little appreciates God's choicest gifts and which crucified His own dear Son.
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken—by Henry Francis Lyte
Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
Naked, poor, despised, forsaken,
Thou henceforth my all shalt be.
Perish ev'ry fond ambition—
All I've sought, or hoped, or known!
Yet how rich is my condition—
God and heav'n are still my own!
Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior too!
Human hearts and looks deceive me—
Thou art not, like them, untrue;
And while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate, and friends may shun me,—
Show Thy face, and all is bright.
Man may trouble and distress me—
'Twill but drive me to Thy breast!
Life with trials hard may press me—
Heav'n will bring me sweeter rest!
Oh, 'tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me!
Oh, 'tweer not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy apart from Thee!
Go then, earthly fame and treasure!
Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure—
With Thy favor, loss is gain!
I have called Thee, Abba, Father!
I have stayed my heart on Thee!
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather
All must work for good to me!

Sir Edward Denny, Bart

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SIR EDWARD DENNY was born October 2, 1796, at Tralee Castle, County Kerry, Ireland, and in 1831 he succeeded his father as fourth baronet.
A writer says, "Sir Edward was brought under conviction of sin by reading Father Clement. He then confessed the Lord,, and began ministering to the poor and to the saints in a most unassuming manner. He was much loved and esteemed in London, and was connected mostly with the Park Walk Assembly.”
His book, Hymns and Poems, was published in 1848, when the author was in his 53rd year. Though a man of means and culture, he was not eager to "rush into print," as so many writers of inferior verses are apt to do. He was a devout student of prophecy, and it gave occasion for many of his hymns, in which the joy kindled by the hope of the Lord's coming, with its blessed results to the church and to the earth, seems to leap from his heart in beautiful stanzas, as in the following:
"Bride of the Lamb, awake! awake!
Why sleep for sorrow now?
The hope of glory, Christ, is thine,—
A child of glory thou.
Thy spirit, through the lonely night,
From earthly joy apart,
Hath sigh'd for one that's far away,
The Bridegroom of thy heart.
But lo, the night is waning fast,
The breaking morn is near;
And Jesus comes, with voice of love,
Thy drooping heart to cheer.
He comes—for, oh! His yearning heart
No more can bear delay—
To scenes of full unmingled joy,
To call His bride away.
This earth, the scene of all His woe,—
A homeless wild to thee,—
Full soon upon His heav'nly throne
Its rightful King shall see.
Thou, too, shalt reign—He will not wear
His crown of joy alone!
And earth His royal Bride shall see
Beside Him on the throne.
Then weep no more! 'tis all thine own—
His crown, His joy divine,
And sweeter far than all beside,
He, He Himself, is thine.”
Large charts were also devised by him, which were published at his own expense. One, "A Prophetical Stream of Time," shows a large amount of study and patient labor in setting forth the ways of God with man through "The Ages," with much detail as to each.
A volume of his, "Hymns and Poems," has been published in which are found "How sweet the hour, O Lord, to Thee;" "What grace, O Lord, and beauty shine;" " 'Tis finished, all, our souls to win;'' "Sweet feast of love divine;" etc., etc.
He "fell asleep" at the advanced age of 93 in June, 1889 (the exact date of the present writer's conversion). Commenting on his departure, a writer in the Leeds Mercury of June 19, 1889, made the following remarks: "Nearly the whole town of Tralee belonged to him. He had an opportunity, twenty years ago, when his leases fell in, of raising his rents to figures that in some cases would not have been considered extortionate had they been quadrupled. He decided, however, to continue the old rates. '1 he result was that he was almost alone in escaping any reduction at the hands of the Land Commission. So far as he was himself concerned, a little money went a long way, but he gave liberally to poor relatives and to religious work in connection with 'the Brethren.'
Living in a quiet way in a cottage at Islington, he devoted much of his time to the study of prophecy.
The following is from the pen of one from whose account most of the information in this paper is taken.
“It was the writer's privilege to meet with Sir Edward at his residence in Bolton Gardens; and in his study there to spend some time in his company. Aged, yet sweetly communicative, it was a valued time of communion as our minds reverted to scenes of the past, and the Lord's gracious dealings with His people. In order to test our brother's memory, I remember repeating one of his hymns, with a slight change of words, which was detected at once, showing that there was little falling off in that loving and bright intellect, though ninety years were creeping on the aged baronet. On parting he gave me his photo, so seldom given, which is here reproduced.”
It is a pity that not one of his beautiful hymns appears in the present editions of "Hymns for the Little Flock." Sir Edward was averse to any change in his hymns, and would consent to no alterations being made in them. One can hardly blame him for this, for among our best known and much used hymns, there is scarcely one in any collection that stands now as originally written, and some have been very greatly altered. Editors and writers frequently disagree, so differences between the poet and the compiler are neither new nor strange.
As a fitting close to this brief account we give an extract from the introduction to his "Hymns and Poems." Remarking on the classic concerning Love—1 Cor. 13.—Sir Edward Denny says, "Love being 'the greatest of these,' seeing that the blessed God is Himself essentially Love, our hope surely should not come short of that day when He, 'whom having not seen we love,' will reveal Himself to our hearts in all His attractions—when our powers of loving will be fully developed. And this will not be till the whole family meet in the house of their Father; till the Bride, the Lamb's wife, is actually enthroned with her Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus!'

Light of the Lonely Pilgrim's Heart

Light of the lonely pilgrim's heart,
Star of the coming day,
Arise, and with Thy morning beams
Chase all our griefs away!
Jesus, Thy fair creation groans—
The air, the earth, the sea—
In unison with all our hearts,
And calls aloud for Thee
Come, blessed Lord! Let ev'ry shore
And answ'ring island sing
The praises of Thy royal name,
And own Thee as their King!
Thine was the cross, with all its fruits
Of grace and peace divine;
Be Thine the crown of glory now,
The palm of vict'ry Thine!

John Nelson Darby

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JOHN N. DARBY is more generally known by his prose writings than by his hymns, of which he did not write very many, but they are all of such superior quality that we have thought well to put him among those WHO WROTE OUR HYMNS.”
John Nelson Darby was the youngest son of John Darby, of Leap Castle, King's County, Ireland. He was born in 1800, the same year as Dr. Pusey, the well known champion of ritualism in the Anglican Church. Both he and Mr. Darby died the same year also, but how different their careers! Dr. Pusey leading back to ceremonies and superstitions very near to Romanism; while Mr. Darby became the honored instrument whom God used to bring back a multitude of His people to the truth and simplicity of apostolic days, and away therefore from traditions and expediencies with which man had overshadowed God's truth and order for His Church.
“Mr. Darby's middle name, Nelson," says a chronicler, "was derived from his uncle, Henry, the admiral who under Nelson commanded the Bellerophon in the Battle of the Nile.”
J. N. Darby graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, winning the medal for classics in 1819, and was admitted to the Irish Bar, for which his father had intended him. But God wrought in his soul with power, and he left the Bar, much to his father's displeasure, to give himself to the service of Christ.
In 1826 he was ordained as an Anglican clergyman, and appointed to the parish of Wicklow, Ireland, where he became distinguished for his self-denying and untiring devotion in pastoral work among the Irish poor, himself "dwelling in a peasant's cottage on the bog." A beautiful incident of his life at this time is related in his booklet, "The Kerry bob and the lost sheep," in which the Irish lad's own story of how he brought home one of his father's lost sheep was made to set forth the gospel of God, in a remarkably simple way, and to the salvation of the dying boy.
But God had a larger and more difficult work in view for His devoted servant. A fall of the horse on which he rode laid him up for over three months, in which time the following truths out of God's Word were revealed in power to his soul: (1) The perfect acceptance of the believer in Christ before God.
Not churches, but the one Church as the body and Bride of Christ.
The Holy Spirit now dwelling in the Church, and uniting it to Christ in glory.
The Lord Jesus' return to take His Bride to Himself in glory.
This marked a new epoch in the life of J. N. Darby, and it characterized all his ministry thenceforth. He became intimately acquainted with the well-known J. G. Bellett, Lord Congleton, Dr. Edward Cronin, and others, who already had begun to meet in the Lord's name alone, apart from all clerical ceremonies. With these Mr. Darby happily consorted, giving strength, unity, and spiritual instruction among the various meetings that were forming in different parts of Great Britain. The truth as to the Lord's coming for His Church was stirring many hearts at this time, and the study of prophecy was the subject in many small conferences, of which Lady Powerscourt's mansion became a sort of center.
What has been said as to another could preeminently be said of Mr. Darby: He looked as from heaven down upon earth rather than from earth up to heaven." It is reported that, in his constant ministry, while journeying with a companion they stepped aside from the road for a rest, and while his companion rested, Mr. Darby wrote the following:
"This world is a wilderness wide!
I have nothing to seek or to choose;
I've no thought in the waste to abide;
I have naught to regret, nor to lose.
The Lord is Himself gone before;
He has marked out the path that I tread;
It's as sure as the love I adore,
I have nothing to fear, nor to dread.
There is but that one in the waste,
Which His footsteps have marked as His own,
And I follow in diligent haste
To the seats where He's put on His crown.
For the path where our Savior is gone
Has led up to His Father and God,
To the place where He's now on the throne,
And His strength shall be mine on the road.
And with Him shall my rest be on high,
When in holiness bright I sit down,
In the joy of His love ever nigh,
In the peace that His presence shall crown.
Tis the treasure I've found in His love
That has made me a pilgrim below,
And 'tis there, when I reach Him above,
As I'm known, all His fullness I'll know.
And, Savior, 'tis Thee from on high
I await till the time Thou shalt come,
To take him Thou hast led by Thine eye
To Thyself in Thy heavenly home.
Till then 'tis the path Thou hast trod,
My delight and my comfort shall be;
I'm content with Thy staff and Thy rod,
Till with Thee all Thy glory I see.'
The strength of mind and great activity of Mr. Darby brought him in contact, and often in conflict, with leading persons in many places. In Oxford he made acquaintance with G. V. Wigram, who became an associate and strong supporter. The two Newmans were there, whom he opposed: Francis William, as a skeptic, and John Henry (afterward Cardinal Newman), who turned to Romanism. W. E. Gladstone (who later became Premier), was also met at Oxford, but was too much influenced by J. H. Newman to follow the teaching of Mr. Darby in full dependence upon Scripture for faith and practice.
In our brief space we cannot follow the great labors and devoted life of this eminent servant of Christ. Only very briefly can we mention that in Switzerland, France, and Germany many assemblies were formed and gathered to the Lord's name alone after the pattern of apostolic days as a result of several years' devoted labors, returning to England only at intervals. With the help of learned men in both countries, Mr. Darby translated the Bible from the originals (Hebrew and Greek) into French and German. His English Version, made later, is considered a most accurate and intelligent rendering of the originals. His "Synopsis of the Books of the Bible" (5 volumes) were first written in French, and afterward translated into German and English—they are precious unfoldings, in outlines only, of the ways of God and the principal subjects and object of each book. They have been recommended to Bible students by the noted Bishop Ellicott. No more useful five volumes on the Bible have been published in any language. His Collected Writings, edited by Mr. W. Kelly, form 34 large volumes.
From 1859 Mr. Darby labored in the United States and Canada at different times; and visited also the West Indies and New Zealand; Italy also, and Holland.
A little volume of his hymns and sacred poems has been published, the first piece of which gives an inkling of what lay at the root or was the source of that singularly devoted life. It begins thus:
“What powerful, mighty Voice, so near,
Calls me from earth apart—
Reaches with tones so still, so clear,
From th' unseen world my heart?

'Tis solemn: yet it draws with power
And sweetness yet unknown:
It speaks the language of an hour
When earth's forever gone.”
Of his hymns the following are among the best known:
“Sing without ceasing, sing!" (1856);
“Oh bright and blessed scenes" (1857);
“Rise, my soul, thy God directs thee" (1837);
“O Lord, Thy love's unbounded" (1845);
“And is it so, I shall be like Thy Son?" and, "We'll praise Thee, glorious Lord"— one of the loveliest hymns ever written. "And shall we see Thy face?" was composed in 1881, and the next year, April 29th, he was taken to see the Face of Him he had served so long and so faithfully.
The poem of 46 stanzas entitled "The Man of Sorrows" is a remarkable outpouring from a mind and heart that have drunk deeply in Christ's path of love and sorrow here upon earth. The history of its composition is given thus in the "Notes" that follow the compilation of Mr. Darby's "Spiritual Songs.
“'O ever homeless Stranger.'—This was written during a severe illness, in Canada, in which it was thought he was dying, and 'when medical aid had in vain been pressed upon him. He got up, although weak, wrote the Hymn, and was then obliged to go to bed again for the remainder of his illness." It was first printed in Words of Truth in 1867, under the title of "The Man of Sorrows.”
A writer, E. E. Whitfield, closes a brief biographical sketch of this distinguished servant of Christ with these words: "Although a born leader, he was nobly simple in habits and manner, and equally transparent and trustful. He had nothing petty about him. His ministry was ever in close touch with his pastoral visitations in which he engaged every afternoon. He lived in the Bible and recommended thinking in Scripture. May that similarly remain ever our spiritual food, ministry, and weapon." To this we add our earnest and unqualified Amen! But there yet remains for some qualified person to write an extended account of the life of this most remarkable man.
On! to the Spiritual Canaan—by J. N. Darby
"Rise, my soul, thy God directs thee,
Stranger hands no more impede;
Pass thou on, His hand protects thee,
Strength that has the captive freed.
Is the wilderness before thee,
Desert lands where drought abides?
Heavenly springs shall there restore thee,
Fresh from God's exhaustless tides.
Light divine surrounds thy going,
God Himself shall mark thy way;
Secret blessings, richly flowing,
Lead to everlasting day.
God, thine everlasting portion,
Feeds thee with the mighty's meat;
Price of Egypt's hard extortion,
Egypt's food no more to eat.
Art thou weaned from Egypt's pleasures?
God in secret thee shall keep,
There unfold His hidden treasures,
There His love's exhaustless deep.
In the desert God will teach thee
What the God that thou hast found—
Patient, gracious, pow'rful, holy,
All His grace shall there abound.
On to Canaan's rest still wending,
E'en thy wants and woes shall bring
Suited grace from high descending,
Thou shalt taste of mercy's spring.
Though thy way be long and dreary,
Eagle strength He'll still renew:
Garments fresh and foot unweary
Tell how God hath brought thee through.
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.

James George Deck

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James G. Deck, author of many of the most beautiful hymns of Christian worship ever written, was born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, on the 1st day of November, 1807. He was blessed, like Timothy, with a godly praying mother, whose custom it was to retire to her room every evening to spend an hour in intercession with God in behalf of her children. It is not surprising, therefore, to be told that they were all early converted to God, and their lives consecrated to His service. It was her custom to pray thus for her grand-children also, and she lived to see the reward of her faith to the third generation. One of her daughters, Jane (Mrs. M. J. Walker), became the authoress of two of our well-known hymns, "The wanderer no more will roam," and "I journey through a desert drear and wild," and others besides. Of these the one most used in the gospel is, "Jesus, I will trust Thee, trust Thee with my soul.”
But it is of her son James George that we now write. "Having studied at Paris for the Army under one of Napoleon's generals," one writes, "Mr. Deck went to India in 1824 as an officer of infantry in the East India Company's service. There had been deep convictions of sin already, under stress of which he had drawn up a code of good resolutions, signing it with his own blood, only to find himself 'without strength' to keep them." Thus the sinner learns his utter helplessness, and is made to realize that he is "sold under sin.”
Returning to England in 1826 he was taken by his sister Clara to hear the gospel from the lips of a godly Anglican clergyman. He was converted there, and at once set himself to faithfully follow the Lord and win souls for His kingdom. He was soon after married to the godly daughter of an evangelical clergyman, and returned to his former military service in India. He witnessed boldly for Christ before his fellow-officers, a number of whom he was instrumental in leading to the Savior.
He became exercised, then, as to the incompatibility of bearing arms and following Christ. He resigned his commission and returned to England in 1835. It was his purpose to become a clergyman of the Church of England; but he could not bring himself to believe some of the doctrines enjoined to be taught in this system, notably that of "baptismal regeneration." "Not finding such teaching supported by the Bible," one writes, "he became exercised as to ordination as a clergyman, when he would have to declare that he assented heartily to everything contained in the Book of Common Prayer." Coming to his wife he said, "I have left the Army to become a clergyman, but I now see that the Church of England is contrary to the word of God, what shall we do?" "Whatsoever you believe to be the will of God, do it at any cost," was her noble reply.
Then what followed? Let another tell us: "The Church of England and the promised 'Living' had to be given up. But what were they to join? Plainly, just what they found in the Book to direct them—that would be the test of everything. Seeking thus to be guided by the written Word they presently found themselves in touch with other Christians similarly exercised at the time, and who have become known as 'Brethren.' Leaving the Church of England, and looking to the Lord alone for their earthly needs, Mr. Deck began to preach Christ in the villages.”
At this period (about 1838) Mr. Deck's best known hymns were written, such as "Lamb of God, our souls adore Thee;" "A little while the Lord shall come," and many others.
"Lamb of God, our souls adore Thee,
While upon Thy face we gaze!
There the Father's love and glory
Shine in all their brightest rays.
Thine almighty pow'r and wisdom
All creation's works proclaim,
Heaven and earth alike confess Thee,
As the ever-great I AM.
Son of God, Thy Father's bosom
Ever was Thy dwelling-place;
His delight, in Him rejoicing,
One with Him in pow'r and grace.
Oh what wondrous love and mercy!
Thou didst lay Thy glory by,
And for us didst come from heaven
As the Lamb of God to die.
Lamb of God, when we behold Thee
Lowly in the manger laid;
Wand'ring as a homeless stranger
In the world Thy hands had made;
When we see Thee in the garden
In Thine agony of blood,
At Thy grace we are confounded,
Holy, spotless Lamb of God!
When we see Thee as the Victim
Nailed to the accursed tree,
For our guilt and folly stricken,
All our judgment borne by Thee,
Lord, we own, with hearts adoring,
Thou hast washed us in Thy blood:
Glory, glory everlasting
Be to Thee, Thou Lamb of God!”
In 1852 his health failed, and they went to New Zealand, where he quite recovered, but where his beloved wife died and was buried. Having fully recovered, Mr. Deck was privileged to witness for Christ in the new land of his adoption for some thirty years. There, too, he wrote some more hymns; they seem, however, not to have won a place equal to the former ones so marked with the spirit of worship and the outgoings of love and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ in His various characters and work. None have found so large and well deserved places as Mr. Deck's hymns in the "Little Flock Hymn Book.
He again became a helpless invalid two years before his death, which occurred August 14, 1884, in his 76th year. "On Sunday, 17th of August, 'devout men' laid the earthly tabernacle to rest in the Motueka Cemetery," S. J. D. writes. "There was a large attendance, many of them his own children in the faith. His own hymn, 'Thou hast stood here, Lord Jesus,' was sung at the grave. His name is fragrant to many to-day and through his hymns 'he being dead yet speaketh.'”
His hymns, unlike those of Albert Midlane, his contemporary, were mostly written for believers, and breathe a deep spirit of worship, making them peculiarly suited for use in Christian assemblies.
What a rich legacy of hymns and spiritual songs he has left to the people of God, who will be blest by them till the ransomed throng is gathered home, where death and sin shall never come!
Calvary—by J. G. Deck
O solemn hour! O hour alone
In solitary might;
When God the Father's only Son,
As man, for sinners to atone,
Expires—amazing sight!
The Lord of glory crucified!
The Lord of life has bled and died!
O mystery of mysteries!
Of life and death the tree;
Center of two eternities,
Which look, with rapt, adoring eyes,
Onward and back to Thee—
O Cross of Christ, where all His pain
And death is our eternal gain.
Oh how our inmost hearts do move,
While gazing on that cross!
The death of the Incarnate Love—
What shame, what grief, what joy we prove,
That He should die for us!
Our hearts were broken by that cry,—
“Eli, lama sabachthani!”
Worthy of death, O Lord, we were;
That vengeance was our due;
In grace Thy spotless Lamb did bear
Himself our sins and guilt and shame—
Justice our Surety slew.
With Him our Surety we have died,
With Him we there were crucified.
Quickened with Him with life divine,
Raised with Him from the dead;
His own, and all His own are Thine,
Shall with Him in His glories shine,
His Church's living Head!
We, who were worthy but to die,
Now with Him "Abba, Father," cry.

Horatius Bonar

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I HEARD the voice of Jesus say, Come unto me and rest," is one of our best known gospel hymns. It was written by Horatius Bonar, a godly minister of Christ, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dec. 19, 1808. His ancestors for several generations were ministers of the gospel. "In youth he devoted himself to the service of God," a writer says. By this we suppose he was converted while young, for none can really "devote himself to the service of God," unless he has been "born again," and so made "a new creature in Christ Jesus." Scripture says, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God;" therefore none can serve God acceptably unless they are born anew—born of God.
Mr. Bonar received his early education at the High School and University of Edinburgh; his biographer says, "He was fortunate in having Dr. Chalmers for his teacher. It laid the foundation for solid learning which advanced with growing years., It gave direction and strength to his life when most susceptible of influence.”
Few students are favored with such godly instructors to-day; and those taught by infidel or skeptical professors must be on their guard, and hold to the written Word of God as the sheet-anchor of their faith. We may be very sure that Dr. Chalmers did not teach his pupils what evolutionist teachers are telling students to-day.
Mr. Bonar's public ministry began in 1837 in the famous old town of Kelso on the Tweed. He preached with fervor and unction, and in house-to-house visitation proved himself the comforter of the sorrowful, and guide of the perplexed. This is what Scripture urges upon us, "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord;" as the good king Hezekiah also did: "In every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered" (2 Chron. 31: 21).
In 1839 the Free Church of Scotland sent a commission composed of four ministers, of whom Andrew Bonar and R. McCheyne were the younger members, to visit the principal centers of the Jews in Europe and Palestine. It aroused widespread interest and Horatius Bonar also visited Palestine in 1856.
A returned traveler from Palestine relates the following concerning Dr. Bonar: "One dark night in the year 1856, in the city Jerusalem, I wandered into a lighted mission-room on Mount Zion, where a small company of men and women of various nationalities and complexions were gathered. At the desk was a man of impressive countenance, of low and musical voice. The preacher, as I learned later, was Dr. Horatius Sonar. Learned and eloquent, there was a wonderful charm in what he said that night, because he had strong convictions on that subject of much speculation—the second coming of the Lord. He believed in His personal coming, to reign on the earth; and his faith, seconded by his rich poetic imagination and fervor, all quickened by the fact that we were in Jerusalem, the city of the Passion, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension gave to his words a winning power which I cannot describe. He had no specific time for the Advent. He did not argue in controversy, but gave himself up to the scene where, sooner or later, the King shall come again to walk in the streets of His abasement, in the effulgence of the sunlight that shall attend Him... To hear such a man in Jerusalem, having a firm belief in the personal coming and reign of Christ, thus to communicate to others freely his confident hopes, was a memorable event,”
This visit to Palestine seems to have given occasion for the hymn already mentioned, and which he entitled, "The Voice from Galilee,”
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
'Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast!”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He hath made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live!”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world's Light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright!”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of life I'll walk
Till trav'ling days are done.
“The impulse given by Dr. Chalmers to Mr. Sonar," says his biographer, was deepened by his fellowship with Robert McCheyne, of Dundee, where a great revival had sprung up whilst they were away in Palestine on their mission to the Jews. The Spirit of God wrought in power, and many souls were saved. A tide of blessing swept through the land, and Mr. Sonar entered heartily into the movement, and helped to spread it. He spared not himself in his efforts to carry the gospel to the perishing. He spoke as a dying man to dying men, resulting in many conversions. He also wrote The Kelso Tracts,' which went where his voice could not reach. His aim was to warn the careless, to present salvation simply, and to edify the saints. These messengers of life went into many homes and were eagerly read. Their circulation in Scotland and England was very large, and they found warm reception in America.”
Dr. Bonar remained at Kelso for 28 years, serving in the pulpit, in the study, and at the fireside. He did not seek earthly honor, yet it came to him. His name became known both at home and abroad through his ministry and his writings. Few poets have done more than Dr. Bonar to enrich our hymnal treasury with gems of truth and power: they will be sung upon earth until they are exchanged for the melodies of heaven.
Dr. Bonar removed from Kelso to Edinburgh in 1865, where he continued to minister till his death. One well acquainted with Dr. Bonar says, "Visitors in Edinburgh might go out of curiosity to see and listen to this 'sweet singer,' but they soon forgot the poet in the preacher. The opening prayer lifted them into the presence of God, and they listened as he went on to speak of a love stronger than death, and of the experiences of a Christian life.”
Many of Dr. Bonar's most precious hymns refer to Christ's second coming as the Christian's "blessed hope." In one of his last addresses he says: "I know not but this may be my last opportunity of bearing witness to the much-forgotten doctrine which was so specially given to the Church as her blessed hope; and I wish to say how increasingly important that doctrine is to me as the ages are running to their close, and the power of the great adversary is unfolding itself both in the church and in the world.. The poison of the last days has penetrated everywhere. Unbelief, error, strong delusion, self-will, pride, hatred of God and of His Christ these are the deadly forces operating all over the earth, disintegrating society, and demonstrating the necessity for the return of Him who is to end all of Satan's and man's evil work, and introduce the kingdom of righteousness and peace.”
From this it will be seen that the poet-preacher did not share the error of many to-day—that the world is getting better and that civilization is able to save the world. The hymn-writers of the preceding centuries, whose lives we have sketched, knew little of and wrote little about, the coming and kingdom of the Lord Jesus; it was reserved for God's servants of the 19th Century to understand and teach clearly the truth of what is called the pre-millennial coming of Christ, the tribulation to follow, and then the thousand years' reign.
Dr. Bonar died in Edinburgh, July 31,1889, and was buried at the base of Calton Hill, where he lies with his kindred, near to the house of the reformer John Knox. At his funeral no word of eulogy was offered, as was meet; for what better eulogium could he have than the rich legacy of hymns he has left to the household of faith?
Soon, soon, the Savior of whom he so sweetly wrote, will come, and then in the home of glory above we shall sing together the praises of the precious Savior.
A Man at God's Right Hand—by Horatius Bonar
I see a Man at God's right hand,
Upon the throne of God,
And there in sevenfold light I see
The sevenfold sprinkled blood.
I look upon that glorious Man,
On that blood-sprinkled throne;
I know that He sits there for me,
That glory is my own.
The heart of God flows forth in love,
A deep eternal stream;
Through that beloved Son it flows
To me as unto Him.
And, looking on His face, I know—
Weak, worthless, though I be—
How deep, how measureless, how sweet,
That love of God to me.

Mary Bowley* (Mrs. Peters)

AMONG female hymn-writers Mary Bowley (Mrs. Peters) ranks second to none. Her father, Richard Bowley, was born and lived in the quaint old town of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, and there Mary Bowley was born, April 17, 1813. Her husband, John McWilliam Peters, was at one time rector of Quennington, Gloucestershire, but in 1825 left there to become vicar of Langford, Berks, and also had charge of the chapel of Little Farringdon, Oxford; but he evidently did not forget his Gloucestershire friends, but returned later to marry Miss Bowley. He died in 1834, leaving her a widow at the early age of twenty-one.
That she had known sorrow, and found solace in the writing of her hymns, is evident from the character of them. That perhaps by which she is best known is:
"Through the love of God our Savior,
All will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor,
All, all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us,
Perfect is the grace that sealed us,
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us,
All must be well.
Though we pass through tribulation,
All will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation,
All, all is well.
Happy still in God confiding;
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding;
Holy, through the Spirit's guiding:
All must be well.
We expect a bright to-morrow;
All will be well.
Faith can sing through days of sorrow,
All, all is well.
On our Father's love relying,
Jesus ev'ry need supplying;
Or in living, or in dying,
All must be well.”
None of her hymns are inferior, and though not a voluminous writer of poetry, so highly did Mr. G. V. Wigram, the compiler of "Hymns for the Little Flock," esteem them, that some twenty of the pieces produced by her pen are given a place in it. Her hymns, 58 in all, with others, were published in London in 1847, as "Hymns intended to help the Communion of Saints.”
In addition to these, Mrs. Peters wrote an excellent work, in seven volumes, called "The World's History from the Creation to the Accession of Queen Victoria." Its shorter title is, "Universal History on Scripture Principles." In it, the gifted authoress traces the hand of God in all the great events of history—a most valuable feature, and one not found in any other work that we are aware of. It was published by Bagster, and is now out of print; but sets may still be obtained through the London second-hand book dealers.
That her early widowhood made Mrs. Peters realize more strongly that, to the Christian, this world is a wilderness, with wilderness lessons, is shown in "We're pilgrims in the wilderness," but her hymn commencing, "Our God is light," shows what was the resource she found there in the unfailing, unwearying care of her, and our, "most gracious Lord," and His "sustaining word.”
Her hymns breathe a spirit of calm and joyous assurance as shown in that in which she wrote triumphantly:
"Clean ev'ry whit: Thou saidst it, Lord;
Shall one suspicion lurk?
Thine surely is a faithful word,
And Thine a finished work.”
The secret of her comfort in sorrow, her assurance and joy, is that she knew Jesus not only as a Savior, but as her Savior, so that she could sing:—
"Jesus! how much Thy Name unfolds
To ev'ry opened ear!”
Is the reader among those pardoned sinners whose memory holds,
"None other half so dear?”
If so, you can join in her last stanza:
"The mention of Thy Name shall bow
My heart to worship Thee;
The chiefest of ten thousand Thou,
Whose love has set me free.”
Mrs. Peters has long been with her Savior. She died at Clifton, Bristol, July 29, 1856, at the comparatively early age of 43. Her hymns live on as the expression of faith and praise of other saints besides herself.
The following are two characteristic hymns:

The One for Whom We Wait

O blessed Lord, what hast Thou done?
How vast a ransom given?
Thyself of God th' eternal Son,
The Lord of earth and heaven.
Thy rather, in His gracious love,
Did spare Thee from His side;
And Thou didst stoop to bear above,
At such a cost, Thy bride.
Lord, while our souls in faith repose
Upon Thy precious blood,
Peace like an even river flows,
And mercy, like a flood.
But boundless joy shall fill our hearts,
When, gazing on Thy face,
We fully see what faith imparts,
And glory crowns Thy grace.
Unseen, we love Thee; clear Thy name;
But when our eyes behold,
With joyful wonder we'll exclaim,
“The half had not been told!”
For Thou exceedest all the fame
Our ears have ever heard;
How happy we who know Thy name,
And trust Thy faithful Word!
O Lord, we adore Thee!
For Thou art the slain One
That livest forever,
Enthroned in heaven;
O Lord, we adore Thee!
For Thou hast redeemed us;
Our title to glory
We read in Thy blood.
O God, we acknowledge
Thy greatness, Thy glory!
For of Thee are all things
On earth and in heaven;
How rich is Thy mercy!
How great Thy salvation!
We bless Thee, we praise Thee:
Amen and Amen.

Albert Midlane

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OF the more recent hymn writers, Albert Midlane is one of the most noted, and his best known hymn is, "There's a Friend for little children Above the bright blue sky.”
He was born, January 23, 1825, in the Isle of Wight, at Newport, in Carisbrooke p where stands the celebrated Carisbrooke Castle. He enjoyed the inestimable advantage of having a deeply spiritual mother and a godly, devoted sister, and says that he owed much to them. For three years he served in the printer's trade, after which he entered the hardware business. From being an "assistant" he came to have a business of his own, which he followed for many long years; one of his clerks remaining in his employ for more than half a century—a testimony to the character of both servant and master.
He commenced to write rhymes when quite young, and his first hymn to be printed was written at Carisbrooke in 1842—when he was 17. From then on he wrote constantly till his last, printed January 23, 1909, in commemoration of his 84th birthday, His first hymn to be sung, written in 1844, was "God Bless our Sunday School," to tile tune of the National Anthem. Since that time, hymns and spiritual songs to the number of nearly a thousand came from his pen.
Among the most widely used of these are, "There's a Friend for Little Children;" "Revive Thy Work, O Lord;" "Salvation, oh Salvation, endearing, precious sound;" "Oh, what a Savior is Jesus the Lord;" "Passing onward, quickly passing;" "I am not Told to Labor to put away my Sin;" "How vast, how full, how free, the Mercy of our God;” "Hark! the Voice of Jesus calling;" and "Oh, what a Gift the Father gave.”
The London Times, with some other authorities, consider his "A Little Lamb went Straying," as of equal merit with his other, "There's a Friend for Little Children," which was composed in 1859, known as "The Great Revival Year." One who interviewed him about it writes; "After a strenuous business day, Mr. Midlane settled down in the quiet of the evening to what proved the great task of his life, and by two o'clock in the morning his best effort in hymnology was completed, with great physical fatigue and in a state of collapse. 'But the hymn was completed,' added Mr. Midlane with a radiant smile.”
It was sent as a contribution to Good News for the Young, edited by the beloved "C, H. M.," and was published in the same year, 1859. It obtained great popularity at once, and has since found its way into over 200 hymn-books, and has been translated into 50 different languages.
A writer says that "Mr. Midlane had the pleasure of hearing 3000 children, assembled in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, at the jubilee of this celebrated hymn, blending their voices in 'There's a Friend for Little Children,' as well as attending an open-air service in his native town on February 7, 1909, when his voice was heard in public for the last time, as he earnestly spoke concerning eternal things to the crowds of old and young who had assembled to honor their fellow-townsman.”
His gift as a hymn-writer brought him to the attention of many persons of eminence, among them, Lord Tennyson, England's poet-laureate, who encouraged him in his literary work. Queen Victoria graciously accepted several volumes of his compositions, and the Prince Consort purchased a number for circulation amongst his friends.
Mr. Midlane tells us how he came to give the sovereignty of God such a large place in many of his hymns. "When quite a small boy, he says, "my old teacher gave me a portion from the Book of Acts to learn. One verse fastened itself upon me: 'Him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," etc. It sang itself to me, and came again and again as a refrain. I sought to know its meaning, and it has given color to all my religious thinking and teaching, making the sovereignty of God one of the ruling ideas of my faith, and giving what I suppose would he called a Calvinistic tinge to my writings.”
“Unlike most authors," a biographer says, "Mr. Midlane never took out a copyright for any of his hymns, and never derived any monetary benefit there from." This was indeed noble of him and bears witness to the disinterestedness of his motives. "Freely ye have received, freely give," Christ said when He sent His disciples out to preach. And as hymn-writing is only another form of ministry, the same rule would apply to it, we believe. But faith is not without its testings and trials, and after more than fifty years of close and honest attention to business, Mr. Midlane found himself a bankrupt to the extent of $2,500. This was through no direct fault of his, for his failure was brought about through his having become guarantor for a friend. It is the same old and oft-repeated story of a man smarting for becoming surety for another's debts. (See Prov. 6:1; 17:18; 22:26.)
But loyal friends quickly rallied to his relief. "His misfortune was made known to the public," his biographer writes, "and Sunday-school friends throughout the country subscribed generously, with the result that Mr. Midlane was able to pay all his creditors, and get his bankruptcy annulled, and an annuity was secured which relieved the veteran hymn-writer and his wife of further anxiety in this respect.”
The aged couple celebrated their golden wedding on March 20, 1901. He lived eight years after this; but on the morning of February 11, 1909, he was stricken with apoplexy, from which he did not rally. On the 28th of February just as the Lord's Day was breaking, while in sleep, he quietly passed away, to be with Christ, "above the bright blue sky.”
“The body was carried from Forest Villa, so long his abode, to Carisbrooke Cemetery, and laid to rest with the singing of his own hymns, 'Star of the morning, rise!' and 'One lasting, long Amen,' concluding with a number of children's voices uniting in 'There's a Friend for little children.' A pathos was put to the scene by the interment of a little child not twenty yards away whilst the last verse of the children's hymn was being sung.,
The following lines were among the last penned by his hand:
"What is the world to one whose hopes
Are fixed beyond the skies?
What can impede the charioteer
Just near to grasp the prize?
Enough! One's cup is brimming full,
All earthly struggles o'er;
Beneath the shadow of His wings,
In bliss for evermore.”

George West Frazer

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ONE of the latest of the hymn-writers whose lives we are briefly reviewing is George West Frazer. He was born at Bally, near Sligo, Ireland, about 1830, and was one of ten children. His father was of the Lovat-Frazer family, of Inverness, Scotland, but born in Tralee, Ireland, he became police inspector in the Royal Irish Constabulary.
George was converted at the age of 20. In October, 1859, the evangelist Grattan Guinness was holding meetings in Dublin in "The Rotunda," where vast crowds attended. William, George's brother, who was a Christian, was very anxious that his brother should hear the address; but the hall was filled to overflowing and crowds blocked the entrance. George had been indifferent as to these meetings. He had just purchased a new reading lamp, and was anxious to try it; but, such is human nature that, no sooner did he find there was no room inside, than he determined to hear the preacher anyway. So leaving his lamp to his brother's keeping, he climbed the rain-leader, and reached the ledge of an upper window, where he sat with legs dangling down, amazed at the sea of faces below.
However, something more important soon attracted his attention. It was the preacher's text: "Yet there is room." Its appropriateness to himself struck him, and as he heard of God's salvation from sin and the judgment to come, George was deeply convicted of sin.
He climbed down, an unhappy young man, and determined not to rest until he had found the Savior for himself. Fourteen days and nights were spent in an anxious and miserable state. One night, after being on his knees repeatedly at his bedside and finding no relief, he determined to cease seeking, and have his fling in the world. Then came the thought that though he might forget his trouble, he still would have to face God, his sins, and eternity, and in deep anguish of spirit he cried, "If I must perish, I am resolved to perish at His feet;" and there and then he cast himself at the feet of Jesus.
He was relieved, though not yet at peace. Presently, a well-known verse of Scripture came with such force to his remembrance, that it seemed spoken to him. It was 1st Tim. 1:15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." "That's just what I want; I'm a sinner, and Christ Jesus came to save such," he exclaimed.
One who knew him well, writes: "After lying awake, praising God for hours, he fell into the first sweet, refreshing sleep he had since that memorable night.
“Rising early the next morning to tell his brother the good news, the thought struck him, 'What shall I tell him?' For a moment, the peace and joy of the night before had vanished. Then he remembered, 'It was that blessed verse, 1 Tim. 1:15, that gave me peace last night,' and it was just the same though his feelings had changed. He simply trusted God's Word, and with a full heart confessed Christ to his brother.
“From that time," his sister writes, "his one endeavor was that others should be brought to the Lord. He was much blessed in our family circle. In many places around Dublin he with another earnest Christian, had gospel meetings, and many were brought to the Lord." Another testifies that "he labored diligently in the Lord's service, preaching the gospel acceptably, and ministering to the Lord's people out of the Word." Some years after this, Mr. Frazer felt called of the Lord to leave his position in the bank, to give himself wholly to the ministry, and the latter years of his life were spent chiefly in visiting the assemblies in England. He finally settled at Cheltenham, thus becoming neighbor to "C. H. M.," the well-known author of "Notes on the Pentateuch.”
His hymns are among the best of recent writings; many of which have found place in modern collections. Some of the best known of them are, "'Twas on that night of deepest woe," "What rich eternal bursts of praise," whilst his own conversion is reflected in his gospel hymn, "Come! hear the gospel sound, 'Yet there is room.' They have been published in three separate volumes: "Midnight Praises"; "Day-Dawn Praises;" and, The Day-Spring.”
An inward malady eventually necessitated an operation, but from which he died January 24, 1896.
His end was triumphant as his life was "lovely and pleasant." His sister passed to the present writer the following memorials of his last hours: "On his death-bed he ceased not to proclaim Christ to all who came near him.
I heard a nurse say to him, 'You would make me wish to die and go to heaven with you.' He called his wife and me to his bed-side and said, 'I feel grieved to leave my work for the Lord, and, you, and Tillie, and all I love; but it is infinitely more to me to be with Christ' His death-bed was a scene of rejoicing. To those around him, the doctors and nurses, he said, 'What matters it about my sufferings if it is the means of bringing me to my Savior?'”
So ended that life on earth that had been for thirty-five happy years redolent with the savor of Christ. May his example incite others to a like devotion to the Lord; and may any unconverted reader learn from this account of his conversion, that peace comes only from believing with the heart what God's Word says of Christ who came into the world to save sinners; that it is not feelings, but believing the "faithful saying" of Scripture that gives assurance of salvation. Important, too, is the confession of our Savior to our immediate circle, beginning at home. And so with service; it begins in our own immediate family, as in the case of the newly-converted Frazer.
His body was laid close to that of the beloved C. H. M., with the following inscription upon his tomb-stone, which includes a stanza of his own:
Departed to be with CHRIST,
January 24, 1896, Aged 56.
“THOU REMAINEST" (Heb. 1:11).
His spirit now has winged its way
To those bright realms of cloudless day:
Then, mourner, cease to weep;
Far better is it thus to be,
From self, the world, and Satan free,
By Jesus put to sleep.
Our Redeemer—by George W. Frazer
'Twas on that night of deepest woe,
When darkness round did thicken,
When through deep waters Thou didst go,
And for our sins wast stricken;
Thou, Lord, didst seek that we should be
With grateful hearts rememb'ring Thee.
How deep the sorrow, who can tell,
Which was for us endured,
O Love divine, which broke the spell
Which had our hearts allured.
With heart and conscience now set free;
It is our joy to think of Thee.
O Lord, how precious is Thy thought,—
How wondrous Thy desire,
To win our hearts, once worse than naught,
Who now by grace aspire
To seek Thy glory, bear Thy shame,
To keep 'My word, and love Thy name!
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 rememb'ring Thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal

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MISS Havergal, of lovely memory, and author of the hymn, "Precious, precious blood of Jesus," was the youngest daughter of the Rev. W. H. Havergal, rector of Astley, Worcestershire, England, where Frances Ridley was born, December 14, 1836. She was named after "Master Ridley," the reformer- martyr. She was a bright and clever child, and from her earliest years manifested a gift for versification which in time made her known wherever Christ is loved and the English language spoken.
A writer says that "in her girlhood days she knew the whole of the New Testament, the Psalms, and Isaiah by heart, and afterward memorized the Minor Prophets ... that she early acquired the French, German, Italian, Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages, and daily read the Old and New Testaments in the originals ... A deep longing after a purer life, united to delicacy of conscience, caused some melancholy in her younger years, which disappeared later on, with a sweeter mind and humbler trust in God.”
“Miss Havergal was never married," writes Dr. Robinson, from whose brief sketch of her life we quote, "She lived a happy, peaceful life, engaged in writing books of prose and poetry. Her health was precarious, and at times she suffered painfully from disease. But her Christian trust was supreme over every trial. She had a intense love for music and an excellent gift in the composition of tunes. Her voice was expressive and sweet, though never very strong, and grace divine was derived from her sorrows. She died at Caswell Bay, near Swansea in Wales, June 3, 1879, at the age of only 42 years. Her life was full of courage, faith, sympathy for others and forgetfulness of self.
The hymn beginning, "Golden harps are sounding," is, perhaps, the most popular of her hymns, though by no means the best. It is entitled, "Ascension Song," and was written while visiting at Perry Bar in 1871. Weary with her walk she leaned for rest against the playground wall of the boys' school there, and there wrote her "Ascension Song," for which she subsequently composed the tune "Hermas," to which it is usually sung.
"He who came to save us,
He who bled and died,
Now is crowned with gladness
At His Father's side.
Never more to suffer,
Never more to die,
Jesus, King of glory,
Is gone up on high.”
This is the strain she sang while dying. Her sister, who tells the story, says, "Now she looked up steadfastly, as if she saw the Lord; and surely nothing less heavenly could have reflected such glorious radiance upon her face. For ten minutes we watched that almost visible meeting with her King, and her countenance was so glad, as if she had already talked to Him! Then she tried to sing; but after one sweet, high note her voice failed, and as her brother commended her soul into the Redeemer's hand, she passed away.,'
Her hymns are largely on what is called the "subjective side"—that is, on experience and what relates to ourselves. Her own favorite among her many compositions was, "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus," It was found in her pocket-Bible after her home-going.
"I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus!
Trusting only Thee!
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.
I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus!
At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy,
Trusting now!
I am trusting Thee to guide me:
Thou alone shalt lead,
Ev'ry day and hour supplying
All my need.
I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus!
Never let me fall!
I am trusting Thee, forever,
And for all.”
Now, forever free from pain and weakness, she rests with Him whom she so implicitly trusted and whose praises she so sweetly sang. It has been said of her: "She was the happiest creature in the world, though she was ill and failing all the time. She never rebelled nor repined." Yes, "Fanny," as she was familiarly called at home, who in her poetry bids the Christian not to repine or complain in trial and sorrow, showed the way herself, which other poets have not always done.
Of the hymn, "I could not do without Thee," a compiler says: "Among the many hymns of Miss Havergal scarcely any other expresses such absolute dependence upon Christ's saving grace. It was written and printed in Home Words in 1873." It is to our mind the best of all her excellent compositions.
"Without Me—Nothing”—by Frances Ridley Havergal
(John 15: 5.)
I could not do without Thee,
O Savior of the lost!
Whose wondrous love redeemed me
At such tremendous cost;
Thy righteousness, Thy pardon,
Thy precious blood must be
My only hope and comfort,
My glory and my plea.
I could not do without Thee,
I cannot stand alone,
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But, Thou, beloved Savior,
Art all in all to me,
And strength in perfect weakness
Is theirs who trust in Thee.
I could not do without Thee,
For, oh, the way is long,
And I am often weary,
And sigh replaces song.
How could I do without Thee?
I do not know the way;
Thou knowest, and Thou leadest,
And wilt not let me stray.
I could not do without Thee!
For life is ebbing fast,
And soon in solemn loneliness
The river must be passed.
But Thou wilt never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know Thou wilt be with me,
And whisper, "It is I.”
Perfect Peace—by Frances R. Havergal
Like a river glorious
Is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase.
Perfect—yet it floweth
Fuller every day;
Perfect—yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

Philip P. Bliss

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THE name of P. P. Bliss is inseparably associated with the early evangelism of D. L. Moody, Major Whittle and others, He was born at Rome, Clearfield County, Pa., July 9th, 1838, and is therefore one of the later hymn-writers. His name stands as a sort of connecting link between the more sober hymnists of the generations before him, and those of lighter character since hi day. His given name was originally spelled "Phillipp," and from this singular for he wisely altered it to Philip P. omitting the superfluous I and making the final p a middle initial; so his signature is always Philip P.
Bliss, or more commonly, P. P. Bliss—not Philip Paul, as some writers have supposed. He was converted and baptized when twelve years old, at Cherry Flats, Tioga County, Pa., and was early familiar with camp-meetings and revival services. He regarded William B. Bradbury as his instructor and pioneer in sacred song.
in the year 1 864 he removed to Chicago, where he met and labored with the well-known musical composer, George F. Root; and after this for nearly ten years he was active in the conduct of musical institutes and. conventions in the West. His association with Mr. Moody and Major Whittle began in May, 1874, and ended at his death. It was he who took the leading part in the preparation of the earlier numbers of Gospel Hymns, where all his compositions, both music and words, are found.
The following is the account of his tragic end: "On December 29 th, 1876, they (his wife and he) left Rome, Pa., for Chicago. During the journey Mr. Bliss was busy with his Bible, and the notes of a new song which he was writing. But at Ashtabula, Ohio, a bridge suddenly broke; the entire train was thrown into the stream below; the cars caught fire. Mr. Bliss escaped through a broken window, but lost his life finally, by returning to save his wife.''
His well-known hymn, "Free from the law, oh, happy condition," was written under the following circumstances: His wife, as a birthday present had given him a bound copy of Things New and Old, edited by C. H. M. From an article in this book on the believer's deliverance by the death of Christ from the curse of the law, and his own death with Christ setting him free entirely from the law's dominion, he saw the blessed truth of the Christian position in relation with God; and to give expression to the joy of his heart at this deliverance, he sat down arid wrote the hymn whose chorus ends with the words,
"Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Christ hath redeemed us, once for all!”
A friend who knew him and lamented his death, says, "It is a memory to be treasured when one has heard Mr. and Mrs. Bliss sing,
'Waiting and watching for me.'”
His hymns have been owned of God to the blessing of many, of which the following is an example "A missionary of the American S. S.
Union sang in a hamlet in Missouri, I am so glad that Jesus loves me,' and afterward put the question: 'Are you glad, and if not, why?' A young man then rushed up to him, threw his arms around his neck, and besought his prayers. 'Oh, that song!' he cried. 'I could not get away from it, and it has saved me!'
Now, dear reader, let me ask, Is this Savior of whom these poets wrote, and sang, is He your Redeemer, your Lord, Shepherd, Friend? If not, receive Him now as yours; believe that He died for you; and if saved, live to His praise and glory who redeemed us by His blood. Of Him Moses and the prophets wrote, of Him our Christian poets sang, and He shall be the object of the praises of the redeemed in glory, world without end, AMEN!
Hallelujah! What a Savior!—by Philip P. Bliss
"Man of Sorrows," what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruin'd sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemn'd He stood;
Seal'd my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!"—can it he?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
"Lifted up" was He to die,
“It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Jesus Loves Even Me—by Philip P. Bliss
I am so glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv'n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.
Though I forget Him, and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His clear, loving arms would I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.
Oh, if there's only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the Great King,
This shall my song in eternity be:
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”
Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him,
Love brought Him clown my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree:
Oh! I am certain that Jesus loves me.
In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;
Satan dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me,
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