Eternal Father, strong to save

Eternal Father, strong to save. William Whiting* (1825?-1878). This is one of the most widely known hymns in English, often referred to in the United States as the ‘Navy hymn’. It was written in 1860 and first appeared, after revision by the compilers, in the First Edition of A&M (1861). The story that it was written for a pupil who was travelling to America is unproved; more convincing is the suggestion that it was inspired by unusually stormy weather and numerous shipwrecks in the autumn of 1859. Although Whiting was not himself a seafarer, he was familiar with the sea from holidays in the Southampton area, and his other poetry contains much maritime imagery. The hymn has numerous...

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